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How to grow your side gig while working fulltime

We’ve all asked this question; how can I grow my business when I am working full-time?

We all wish there was a secret sauce. While there isn’t a one and done answer, I want to share the tips that have helped me be successful in growing my own business while also working a fulltime job for an employer. Here are my top four picks to get you started.


Have you heard the term CRM thrown around? It stands for Customer Relationship Management. Switching to a CRM was one of the best decisions for my business; making my life so much easier. A CRM allows me to send client quotes, invoices, contracts, and all things client related easily and efficiently.

Once I setup my templates it was a breeze. A few clicks and a client is onboarded in my system. Easy peasy. Then everything is housed in one space – I’ve linked my calendar to my CRM so once a client is onboarded their event is on my calendar and their details are in the system.

Another great thing about a CRM, is that you can add client notes. Photographers, have you had a client shoot you an IG message with a photo they want to replicate on their wedding day (10 months from now)? You can add that note to their client profile within the CRM. Do you have consultation calls? Add all the notes of that in the CRM client profile, so if/when they book you have everything in one place.

Keep deadlines and important dates in the CRM calendar (and link it to your calendar), so the system can remind you what needs to be done.

- Use your time wisely

This is beneficial no matter what you do. In today’s world you likely find yourself wasting time scrolling social media or the internet aimlessly. Focusing your time on tasks that will help grow your business are important, especially when you have limited time to work on the business.

In our home, we found it is easiest to schedule time to do work. Otherwise we find ourselves always working. So, two nights a week we work, one night we watch Tv/Movie, one night we relax/go to bed early, and two nights we read. This is flexible, so if a deadline is coming up or we have extra work (like during the fall when family photos are happening every minute), we can branch into work on the movie night, or shuffle things around. But this is the baseline for us to ensure we have forward movement in the business while also balancing family time and recharging.

- Automation

Work smarter, not harder. There are tons of apps and programs made just for you – someone who wants to grow their business but also works full time. Using things like Buffer, Planoly, Tailwind, are all great ways to automate different parts of your business.

These types of apps allow you to sit down and spend an hour, or two or three, focusing on content, what your social media plan is. Rather than each day having to figure out what to post and when. *Bonus, if you have a VA they can actually push the post once you’ve set up the content and captions.

There are so many ways to do automation that can hugely benefit your business. If you’re like me, writing blogs and content isn’t something you take five minutes to do, I have to focus and get in a rhythm, which then lends to a lot of productivity. But if I don’t have an hour or two to focus, then forget it! So, I write a number of blogs and podcasts at one time. Then I batch record the podcast episodes and schedule the blogs to automatically go out at a specific time.

- Network

Networking has always been a huge part of my business and how I have grown from year to year. Supporting other photographers, getting to know other business owners and genuinely interacting has been a benefit in my business. Especially with this podcast, my goal is to bring guest speakers who will also share their insight, successes and challenges to help you grow from a number of perspectives, not just mine! Networking has always played a big role in the success of my business! And that’s coming from an introvert. ;)

So, while you may not grow your business overnight and suddenly become viral. Working towards implanting these things will help the support the growth of your biz over time, while also allowing you to maintain some sanity.

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