Making Money in the App Economy
 

Do you spend exorbitant amounts of time on your phone? Do you actually get anything out of it? I am oh-so-guilty of this and decided I wanted to know how to accomplish fulfilling things via smartphone. And nothing is more universally fulfilling than making money. True…money isn’t everything. But it speaks to most of us at least a little bit.

You can do almost anything from your phone now. It’s pretty amazing, but also overwhelming, but fear not! Check out these 6 steps to making the most of your time within the app economy.

1. Decide what you’re going to leverage.

Making money in the app economy is as simple as finding a resource you have an abundance of and leveraging it. Keep in mind that most any resource you want to leverage will require you to also have some time to spare. If you’re already working too many hours and barely have time to sleep you might want to think twice before adding app-sourced gigs into the mix.

Here are some basic ideas: your time, your car, your love of dogs, your skills, your house or apartment, or your overflowing closet.

2. Have realistic expectations.

Most apps will not get you rich quick. Maybe not at all. If you’re expecting to make thousands of dollars without much skill or time, you will be disappointed.

It may be helpful to set a financial goal you’re trying to reach with your side-hustle. Do what you have to do to hit the goal, then decide whether it was worth the amount of time and effort you spent on it.

3. Commit, at least a little bit.

At the very least, give yourself a chance to succeed. Commit yourself to filling out a detailed profile and/or product descriptions on the apps that you choose to try.

As a consumer on many of these available peer-to-peer apps, my quickest turn-off is a lack of information. If I’m looking at an Airbnb and the host seems like a ghost-person that hasn’t included any information about why the place is a good one to stay, then I’m definitely not staying there.

This applies across platforms for me. Not enough information, not enough pictures, no photo in a user’s profile? No, thank you! I’m a cautious consumer, so if something feels even the slightest bit fishy I will back out and find another option.

4. Decide on a schedule.

You’re probably thinking “But I only want a side gig. I want more money whenever I feel like it.” That may be so, but experts strongly believe that in order to succeed at anything you need to set a schedule to get things moving. Even if you’re looking for more passive income, you will still need to schedule some time to ensure that you’re set up for success.

This could be a one-time 4 hour slot on the weekend to make sure that your listings are high-quality when you’re first starting on an app. 2 hours each evening where you go to a high-traffic area and drive for Uber or Lyft. 30 minutes on Tuesday morning sharing and following new users on social selling sites like Poshmark.

When I took the time to take staged photos of my clothing for sale on Poshmark, my sales shot up. I spent at least 8 hours taking photos and uploading items and setting prices. Those hours were definitely worth it! I made good money and didn’t have to do much maintenance to continue making sales.

5. Engage in Platform Stacking.

So you’ve found a niche that you’re doing well in. It’s time to ramp up your efforts! “Platform stacking” is basically what it sounds like: you start using more than one money-making app simultaneously.

When you stack platforms you’ll generally be able to duplicate most of your profile and listings on similar apps. The up-front investment of time will be less, and it will give you more exposure. Different people trust different apps, so you’re likely to get new eyes on different platforms.

For example:

• Keep Lyft and Uber open at the same time while you’re out and about

• Add InstaCart, DoorDash and Postmates and you may be raking in even more dough if they’re available in your area

• You could list your home on Airbnb and HomeAway

• Create profiles on DogVacay, Care.com and Rover

• List your clothing on Poshmark, Mercari and Vinted

In order to stack platforms successfully, make sure you have notifications set up properly. Use an email address that you actually check, allow push notifications and alerts. For apps where you’re renting or selling things, make sure that you’re updating listings across platforms to reflect availability. You don’t want to double-book your apartment or sell a pair of shoes twice.

6. Record your results.

Take the time to make note of what you’ve been putting into and getting out of your app-scapades. Make a nice little spreadsheet and keep track of how many hours you’re spending on your side gigs, how much money it’s costing you in overhead, other resources you’re using and how much money you’re making. This will help you decide if it’s still worth it to you, and it will also help greatly when it comes to tax deductions.

That may be a lot to process, but now you’re on your way to some side-hustle money! If you need some more suggestions on which apps to use, take a look at Hurdlr’s list of over 100. Have other favorites? Tell us about them in the comments.

Happy hustling!

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