In last week’s office hours, Jason Schuller joined us to talk about building and growing your own side projects. Jason currently works primarily on a number of projects for Microsoft, but he has a long history of building his own startups and small projects, growing them, and then selling them.
You can watch a full replay below:
What we talked about:
- How to choose what to work on.
- What are the biggest challenges in working on your side projects.
- How to validate ideas and determine if there is a need for the projects we want to work on.
- How to market your side projects and find partners.
- How to decide when it’s the right time to sell your projects.
- Where to find buyers and what the selling process looks like.
Key takeaways from our discussion:
- Choose a project that you’re passionate about, but even if money is not the primary goal, remember that the project needs to have measurable results that will fuel your motivation.
- Keep your side projects simple and focus on a single solution first and grow it later instead of overthinking it with a number of features right from the beginning.
- Don’t feel discouraged too soon. Give it a chance by focusing more on marketing.
- If you enjoy only the building process, consider partnering up with a marketer that can offer strategies, giving you more courage to help you sell your product.
- Don’t be afraid to charge for your product. Putting a price on your product, even if small, can help you filter your clients by those who value your work – and then you’ll get better quality feedback.
- Validate your idea by sharing it with a small number of marketers that you know and trust. See if they would be interested in selling it and partnering up with you. If so, you can form a partnership or offer an exclusive affiliate rate.
- Try to validate your idea by sharing it on social media or creating a prototype in order to gauge the response from the audience. Are people excited about it? Are they asking and checking with you when it’s ready?
- Consider a crowdfunding campaign to validate your ideas and raise funds that will help you focus on building the project without investing too much of your own money.
- Remember that building your own side projects requires you to invest your own time that could be spent on a client’s work or other projects and earn you a significant amount of money. Consider that as your own investment.