‘My side hustle makes me an extra £400 a month – here’s how yours can too!’

by take-a-break |
Published on

When Helen Ashton turned her fun hobby into an online side-hustle five years ago, the grandmother-of-four didn’t think her business would take off in the way it has – and it’s all down to social media.

Instead of being scared by online platforms, Helen, 60, has embraced the digital world and set up Something Completely Different, (SCD) With Love, which specialises in painting staircase murals as well as painting ceramics.

She now charges up to £1,500 a job and credits it to Instagram and Facebook.

'The amount of money I make through my side hustle varies, it’s usually around £1,500 for painting a staircase mural and I do about three each year,' she explained. 'I began painting staircases five years ago for a bit of fun and to earn a bit of extra money, starting with a pub I used to work at in Lancaster.

'I used to get maybe one job a year through word-of-mouth and it was more of a hobby. But when I learned how to use social media to promote myself it turned into something more serious. I expect my business to earn £4,500 this year. I’ve been able to build my audience on social media to promote my work across Instagram and Facebook, reaching so many more people than just word of mouth alone.'

New research from BT Group reveals how tech-savvy over-65s are making an average of £650-a-year monetising their traditional skills online, such as knitting, sewing and baking their way to spare cash. But this could be even more if the over-65s improved their digital skills, creating over £1.2bn of economic value.

BT Group is helping drive digital skills among older generations through free learning programmes, including a free webinar ‘Digital discovery at any age’, a one-hour session to help over-65s to learn basic digital skills on Wednesday 28 February at 1pm GMT.

And Helen urges people to join to help make more money to treat their loved ones, or go on that extra holiday.

'I would urge older people like me to learn digital skills where they can, it’s not difficult and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way,' she said. 'I’ve been able to take something I love and turn it into a side hustle that makes me a bit of cash to treat the grandkids.'

Victoria Johnson, Social Impact Director at BT Group, added, 'It’s great to see people launch side hustles in later life. Through our learning programmes and tech tips courses, BT Group is proud to be helping older generations get the digital skills they need to convert years of experience into a successful online business.'

To learn new digital skills, register for free to BT Group and AbilityNet charity’s free webinar ‘Digital discovery at any age’ click here https://abilitynet-org-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/7617084346371/WN_eYmmVMdqR6aDfmHEIchaCg#/registration.

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