Ep. 140 – Nick Loper, host of the Side Hustle podcast, helps thousands of people earn extra money outside of their day job
Nick Loper helps people earn money outside of their day job. He's an author, online entrepreneur, and host of the award winning Side Hustle Show podcast, which features new part-time business ideas each week. As Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, he loves deconstructing the tactics and strategies behind building extra income streams.
Most passionate about
I’m pumped because I had a couple of sick kids with me for a whole week and they went back to preschool today so I have many tasks to accomplish – mainly, to create different content for the Side Hustle Show and additional channels.
I host the weekly Side Hustle Show, which is about how to build a business in your spare time and create ways to make extra money. I’ve been doing it since 2013 and it’s just past 10 million lifetime downloads.
It has been a totally life-changing project. We just started as a part-time experiment with a 50-dollar microphone from my living room. Today the weekly podcast is the main focus and there is also a blog component to the nation at sidehustlenation.com.
The whole thing started on the side from my original side hustle, which was in the affiliate marketing space. It was a comparison shopping site for footwear. That was my main business for a long time, and was the vehicle that allowed me to quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur “living the dream.” Then we started the show.
Prior to Side Hustle, I ran one other site, called virtualassistantassistan.com. It’s a directory and review platform for virtual assistant companies and outsourcing companies. I’ve run this site since 2011.
The majority of the listeners of Side Hustle are those who are working in traditional jobs and looking for ways out or ways to at least earn an extra income on the side.
Nick’s best advice about approaching customers
What I tend to look at is trying to climb that customer’s pyramid. (In my case, it’s the listener’s pyramid.) The base of the pyramid is strangers, those people who have never heard of you. Your job is to elevate them on the pyramid from strangers to listeners. From there, you climb from listeners to subscribers, and then, at the peak of the pyramid, from subscribers to fans.
Everything that I do – content-wise and marketing-wise – is trying to take people from one point on that ladder to the next one. I’m taking people to the next rung on that ladder in terms of podcast discovery. If they listen once, I want to bring them to the point where they listen again, and then to the point where they become a fan.
The biggest transition point that I’ve seen from subscriber to fan is when the listener takes action on something that you said and sees results from that. That is the magical moment.
An example is the people I meet at a conference who say, “I listened to episode ‘such and such’ and now I’m making a thousand extra dollars from my business.” That is a fan for life. They will be the evangelists, the ones who will spread the word for you.
So, I have the podcast and I have the blog. I also have a mailing list that I send new episodes to. The other component is the Facebook community. This is a group that has been running for several years and that has more than 15,000 members. That’s not me broadcasting to others; it’s where people interact with each other.
In terms of advice, I would say: The more touchpoints you have with your audience, the better.
Biggest failure with a customer
I’ve got a folder in my Gmail called ‘Hate mail,’ where people say less-than-nice things about me. And I definitely have my share of one-star reviews.
I had a house painting business in college. We were a bunch of 19-year-olds with paint sprays … everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. That was a really important experience entrepreneurially, as well as from the customer-service point of view. How to fix your mistakes. That was painful. However, you need to go through that stuff to learn how to do it right.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
Something that I’m most proud of is having been self-employed for the last 11 years. As I said, it was the shoe business, which helped people compare shoe prices and find the best choice for them. It started with the questions: How can I make extra money? How can I quit my job? In doing so, we created an excellent solution for the end consumer who, three out of four times, couldn’t find a better price anywhere else.
Recommendation of a tool for customer focus, marketing, or sales:
There is always going to be a changing arsenal of tools in your tool belt. One tool that I recently started to use is called Loom. I was launching my new side hustle online course and I wanted to do something different and personally welcome every new client. Loom is a kind of webcam and screen recording software. It was very successful; it surprised and delighted my customers and it was even free, so it was really cool.
Nick’s key success factor
I was going to say persistence but I thought that probably everyone says that, so my second choice is resourcefulness. Especially early on, your number one job is to ‘figure it out’ to get to the next step. So, it’s a combination of persistence and resourcefulness.
Because we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering a mountain, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?
I did climb a few mountains, especially back in the Pacific Northwest. I climbed Washington volcanos and Mount Hood in Oregon. So, I’ve done a little bit of climbing in the literal sense.
[caption id="attachment_5556" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Nick Loper and his brother mountain pic; at the top of Mt. Baker in Washington state, a 10,700 ft peak[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5555" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Mt. Baker in Washington[/caption]
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