How to DIY Your Career
Step 1: Brainstorm AF
Think about what you want to do, what you are good at, and what there is a demand for. It's important to consider demand in every aspect of DIYing your career. If there is no demand, it doesn't matter how great you are. No demand = no work = no money = no good.
Think of demand like a problem and your career as the solution. Find a problem, for me it is lack of affordable classes for individuals with special needs, then find a solution, my solution is providing affordable and high quality instruction for classes with individuals with special needs. As long as there is demand, and you are able to fill it, you will thrive in your career.
Step 2: Research each "job" within your DIY career and write down what things you wish to incorporate
A DIY career involves combining multiple jobs into one idea. You have to be creative to figure out how the aspects of different jobs will mesh, but that's why it's important to understand as much as you can about each aspect of your work.
For me, I combine yoga, dance, breathwork, and therapy in my DIY career. This means I have to be knowledgeable in all of these areas. Masterfully knowledgeable. It's not enough to just know the basics. I need to strive for mastery of these concepts if I want to be able to truly make them mesh together in my career. From yoga poses, to dance technique, to understanding physical and cognitive disabilities and disorders, I have to know about every aspect of it and how one affects another. The aspects of your DIY career MUST connect and work together and the only way to ensure this is to become a master of each aspect.
Step 3: Make your to-do list
Structure things in order of importance. Things are more important if they get you closer to actual production. For example, my DIY career involves teaching classes for kids with special needs. My to-do list looks like this....
1. Find music for class
2. Plan class activities
3. Design business cards
4. Design T-shirt
The most important things are getting me closer to teaching my actual class. Things like finding a logo and printing t-shirts are lower on the list. These are still important, but the service I offer is more important than creating my business image in this case.
Step 4: Decide what you can do on your own and what (if anything) you need to hand over to someone else.
If you need to hire help, check out sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and even Craigslist for skilled freelancers who can help. Be prepared to pay a fee for their services, but do your research on the going-rate for the jobs so you know what to expect.
Step 5: Start doing!
Get out there and start producing. Start solving the problem. Start filling the demand. The best way to start your DIY career is to simply start doing it. If you're offering a service, call around and advertise yourself to potential employers. If you're offering a product, start creating some samples and reach out to potential buyers. Whatever it is, just start doing it.
Step 6: Get the word out and connect.
Social media is the new word-of-mouth. Think of it this way: you create a Facebook page for your business, your friend likes it. One of their friends sees their "like" and likes it too. One of their friends sees the like and has a direct connection to someone who is in need of what you offer. Just through Facebook you have connected to someone and grown your career based only on likes and social media interest. Create a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat for your business. It's important to maintain consistent content on your social media platforms to keep people engaged. Utilize "post scheduling" on Facebook and Instagram to plan out your posts weeks in advance, or look into using a program like Hootsuite, which helps you manage all platforms in one place. Plan to post at least a couple of times per week; once a day if you can. This will help keep your audience engaged. Use relevant hashtags and SEO (How to article) to grow your audience.
Step 6: Keep improving
With experience, you will learn more about yourself and your brand and you'll begin to tweak things. Your mission statement, your budget, your name, etc. Never stop working to be better than you were yesterday.