7 Side Hustles For Students

I want to break down seven side hustle ideas for students, and I'm hoping that these ideas will apply even if you're not a student too.

I scaled an online business to six figures when I was a medical student, and so I wanted to share the side hustles I'd start today if I was beginning over.

Side hustles are a great way to earn an extra hundred to thousand dollars a month to your income without the risk of quitting your job and going all in on a new business which is inherently risky.

Now before we get into the first side hustle, my take here is that whatever side hustle we focus our time on, we need to trust in the process first and foremost.

In my experience, generating a significant amount of wealth or a return on anything follows a J shaped curve.

J-Shaped curve graph showing side hustle growth

My first business took two years to get really big. And we need to put in the time at the beginning of anything we're working on where we're not necessarily seeing huge financial returns, but instead we're learning.

The problem is that lots of people will tend to give up before that uptick in the J curve and return on time invested. And so whatever side hustle you go for, the most important part is to trust in that process and try and get 1 percent better.

Every time you do a task related to that side hustle, I guarantee that over time you will leverage all of those skills learned and things will suddenly start to take off. With that being said, getting started is always the hardest part.

Side Hustle #1: Writing Online

Okay, so the first side hustle that I would go for if I was a student is writing online. Being able to effectively write online and convey your ideas in a way that convinces people to do things is an absolutely essential skill that you can use for the rest of your life. Now, if we look at social platforms, particularly those like LinkedIn and Twitter, which are very text based, you'll see companies and And creators investing a huge amount of time and effort into writing in a way that engages people, stops them when they're scrolling, and conveys a point which then persuades the person reading to sign up to a newsletter or buy an actual product.

Now, while everyone can write, copywriting and mastering copywriting in a convincing way is a skill that's well worth putting the time in. And you don't have to have any experience here either. There are loads of people out there like Dakota Robertson or Lara Acosta who've started from absolutely zero followers and then used writing on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to grow to millions of followers and then generate hundreds of thousands in revenue.

But for both of them, it took a long period of time where they were writing without anyone actually seeing what they were writing, iterating, learning their craft and then improving and there are a couple of ways that you can make money. As well as growing your own following and selling your own products, you can also become a ghostwriter for other people.

If you get really good, you can hire out your services to creators who might be too busy to ghostwrite their blogs or newsletters or their LinkedIn posts and you can even write the busy CEOs of large companies like me.

But it's something that you will build up over time and for me personally learning how to write effectively online has helped me to develop copy that's helped my businesses to sell, helped my personal brand to grow and just been a really fun way to engage with people online.

Side Hustle #2: Digital Tutoring

Side hustle number two might be something that you've come across already as a student or a working professional and it's tutoring.

If you've passed an exam or you've been through school or university, there's a lot of great tutoring platforms who'll pay you for your time to tutor people a couple of years behind you to help them get the grades they want. For those people using tutoring platforms, they're incentivized because they need to get those grades and they're happy to part with money if it means better academic performance and less stress around exam times.

Now the problem here is that you are giving up quite a significant portion of your time and a lot of those tutoring platforms tend not to pay that well, taking quite a big percentage of the margin that you're paid because they're supplying you with regular customers. However, this is one area where you can take advantage of newer AI tools like Shiken AI, where you can actually create your own materials online and sell them through a digital platform so that you're earning money passively rather than spending hours of your time for just a few dollars an hour teaching other people which isn't really that scalable.

Now if you do create content online this might be in the form of question banks to help people pass exams, it might be courses, it might be some newer AI tools or digital products that you can sell to people who need to be educated and tutored around things like learning a new language or passing the exam or just learning a new skill in general like guitar.

Whatever it is, think about what you can do now and how you can leverage that and then think about how that could lend itself to creating an on demand digital asset, whether it's a course, question bank or downloadable and upload it to a platform and then sit back and enjoy some passive income.

This is actually one of the first things that I did and was what my first business was all about so I know it works and it's definitely worth checking out and exploring now.

Side Hustle #3: Social Media Management

Side hustle number three is really interesting because it's something where you don't actually lack experience. And in fact, in some cases you might have more experiences than people that hired and currently work for large corporations.

And that is being a social media manager with lots of new social media platforms coming out, often students and teenagers know how to use these much better than people in their 20s, 30s or 40s who've grown up on classic social media platforms like Facebook and might not know the newer platforms like BeReal, TikTok, Snapchat, or whatever it is that's coming out next week.

By understanding these platforms as a consumer and using them you can then offer your services and expertise to larger companies All creators and actually run their social media accounts for them. Now, why would someone employ a student to do this? Well, speaking on behalf of myself and my companies, often actually engaging with people on these platforms is the main thing that drives follows or drives your posts being viewed at scale.

But engaging and commenting and liking people's posts can take a heck of a lot of time. And that's where someone could come in and help you to engage with people and really expand your reach. And it's a perfect job for a student. Other things that you could do here as a social media manager would be to use your expertise in social media to identify trends, schedule posts, and do other things like moderating a community on YouTube, or discord where people might not have the time, but they'd be very happy to pay someone who's used those platforms regularly and knows all the ins and outs of them to run that on their behalf.

If you master this skill by doing it as a solopreneur, you could then also start something like a social media company later on and scale that up, employing people to do some of those jobs for you, and then sitting back and having a fully passive business. These are the types of companies that entrepreneurs like Steven Bartlett and Timothy Amaroo have started to really great effect.

And scaled and sold those and they did so when they were very young. So again, it's something you want to explore and build up your skills early so that you can master them and potentially build a big, successful business.

Side Hustle #4: Sales Support

Side hustle number four is probably one of the most important side hustles that anybody can do because it relates to the skill of sales.

Sales isn't taught in schools, but it's one of the most impactful skills that I've ever learned that's actually directly impacted my financial success. Now, because sales isn't taught in school, lots of people often learn online or or on the job. And that means it's a great side hustle to get started with as a student or an early stage professional, where you can offer up your services, either writing cold emails and using email marketing platforms, or you could cold call people, or you could even be focused on assisting an existing sales representative and set up their meetings and perform manual tasks.

You've also got an extra advantage because as we're moving into the AI era, there are lots of tools. that can automate many of these processes for sales teams, but sales teams and large corporations might not know how to use them effectively. And so if you can master AI and you can master sales, you can do things like creating personalized emails for a sales team on mass, where previously you might have to do that yourself and take hours and hours of your day to laboriously write out these personalized emails to cold prospects to then try and sell a product or to close a meeting.

With AI you can do that at scale and suddenly provide an account executive with lots of personalized emails that they can put into their email outreach program and send that out on mass.

And this is something that I did because I was really interested in learning soft skills and a lot of sales is about building rapport with people, running a conversation and identifying people's problems before moving them to a close. And this is a little bit like being a doctor. You might first diagnose a patient, come to a management plan and then persuade them to follow that plan for their own interest.

So it's really interesting, really fun to learn. And it's something that's super impactful as a side hustle with reps earning on commission or high salaries. And if you get good at this, you can be earning more than the founder of the company itself with sales professionals amongst the highest worldwide.

Side Hustle #5: Social Graphic Design

Side hustle number five dives back into the world of social media. This time it's all about creating compelling social media graphics. If you're pretty creative and you can master tools like Canva, which is really easy, or you want to dive a little bit deeper and learn some of the Adobe Creative Suite tools, then you can create compelling thumbnails and graphics, which influence creator click through rates, or you could create infographics for creators who are posting on platforms like LinkedIn, where a compelling infographic of their existing text or video content is another way that they can capture attention and convert people over into their newsletters.

I get lots of emails every single week from people asking if they can help Thumbnails or design infographics for myself or my company. And the barrier to entry is pretty low, especially if you know how to use tools like Canva. But if you put in the effort, you study what makes the thumbnail compelling, or you study how to create a really eye catching infographic, and you master some of those tools, you can start to charge more and more.

And this is when you can put your services on freelancer websites like Fiverr or People Per Hour. And then you can have a steady flow of of customers where you're earning as a side hustle while also learning and practicing your graphic design skills.

Side Hustle #6: Executive Assitant

Side hustle number six is absolutely perfect if you're someone who's very organized.

One of the best ways to make money is to exchange your time to help save time for somebody else. And this is where side hustle number six comes in, and it's all about being a virtual assistant. For busy professionals, whether they're a founder, a CEO, or a manager at a large company, they have lots of things on their plates.

And often they don't necessarily have their own personal assistant within the company. And this is especially true of people like creators. Creators might be doing everything from video editing. to responding to emails to booking conferences and travel and virtual assistants are a great way to exchange money to save yourself time.

The only problem here is it can be difficult finding someone who's particularly well organized. If you're a student and you know you're organized and you enjoy sorting things out and keeping things in a notion template then reaching out to a popular creator or reaching out to a business might be well worth your time.

The best thing to do here. is to make sure you have a system and a framework first. And by that I mean using something like Notion or even Excel if you're not too familiar with Notion to create a calendar system and a process so that the person you're working with can assign you tasks and then you execute on them.

In terms of how you receive money for this, you can charge by the hour or better you can charge for doing a certain amount of work and use a subscription based model. where you can potentially have multiple clients as long as you can juggle multiple clients and you can do their work and save them lots of time in a week and a month.

Side Hustle #7: Web Design Agency

Side hustle number seven is one of the ways that I made my first money online, and that's creating a web design agency. When I was a student, I mastered tools like Webflow and WordPress and was able to create a selection of websites for different business ideas that I had to test them out. And what I found was that a lot of my friends and also businesses in the area that I lived were actually coming to me and asking me for my help And I also taught myself some search engine optimization around how you can use blogs and how you can use your website copy to rank highly at Google.

And what I found was I could actually charge for my time here. And when I was a student, I probably massively undercharged for designing a website. Just to give you an idea on how much money you can make here, one of my companies has just outsourced our web development because we don't have a huge amount of time and we've paid a company $25,000 to create an SEO optimized website designed around a specific buyer profile.

So if you can get good and you put in the work, understanding web design principles, but most importantly, understanding marketing principles like search engine optimization, and also how you move someone who lands on your website through a funnel from not knowing anything about your business to downloading things like case studies and then finally contacting you through the sales page, then you can charge quite a high premium to both companies and individuals who need their website creating.

Whatever side hustle you decide to pursue remember success follows a J-curve where you'll need to put in the work at the beginning to see the rewards later on. Whether this means mastering a tool or optimizing your time available for the side hustle persevere and I guarantee you'll see results in 12-24 months.