2015 was the first year I started consulting while working a full-time job. Those days were so exhilarating. Working 6-8 am on European clients, go to my 9-5 job, and then work 6-9 pm for the west-coast clients. I’m a glutton for punishment and I sometimes look back at those 13-hr days with fondness.
2020, the pandemic hit and I was laid off. Thankfully, at this time, I had a small roster of clients on the side that helped pay the bills so, I gave myself a three-month runway to hit a certain revenue.
Hitting that arbitrary revenue target, I pushed my goal higher and extended myself another three-month runway. Now, it’s been two years since going full-time in consulting and it’s only going up from here.
For 5, 6 years, I held a full-time job and this side hustle. It was amazing to earn a stable salary and supplement that with some consulting and 1-2 long-term contracts.
Despite all my efforts, I’m sure everyone can probably relate to facing months when money is tighter.
(Side note: financial literacy and budgeting is such an important skill. Everyone should learn new tips and tricks every once in a while.)
So, I scoured the Internet for ways to leverage my skills (Google Ads and online marketing) to earn a couple of bucks extra on the side. Then, I discovered subreddits like slave labour and for hire. In fact, if you looked hard enough, you may still find some of my posts there.
This experience led to a revelation: not everyone needs (or can afford) a full-service ad agency or freelancer to work on their ads and campaigns on an ongoing basis. There are so many people out there that just need their accounts set up properly and quickly. I sat on this idea and notion for several years.
It’s sounds strange but the pandemic was really good to me. Very quickly, I started making more money than I was working a full-time job and had more time to spend with my wife and family.
Call it survivor’s guilt, but I wanted to give back and help the small businesses that have been hurt so badly by pandemic.
But it was impossible for me take them on as clients. The fee they can afford and the effort involved to manage accounts like theirs didn’t make business sense to take them on.
Then I remembered the “slave labor days” where I earned a couple hundred bucks here and there setting up campaigns for people.
This was the perfect storm and I packaged this service into a simple product to serve some small businesses in my area over the holidays of 2020.
50 ad accounts later, I knew I was onto something.
There was demand for a simple service like this. Many people didn’t care about the account management, they just want to know their ads were set up properly and they weren’t going to throw their money away from the get go.
It’s important to realize this is a very abridged version of what happened. Everything wasn’t this smooth and to be honest, it took me almost an entire year to even figure out the messaging that resonates with my audience. Heck, it even took a very long time to figure out who my audience was.
Here’s what I mean:
At first, I thought reaching small business owners would be the way to go. This is direct to consumers (DTC).
The messaging at this point was to pinpoint what people cared about the most: growing their business. And as such,
As of publishing, it’s the last day of November.
I’ve gone into full-on planning mode for 2022. One of my goals for the year is to reach $10k MRR next year.
As part of my commitment to building in public, I’m going to document my journey growing SwiftAds in detail through this blog.
© Swift Ads Inc. 2022