Meetings, tasks, con calls, deadlines – the roulette of the 9-5 job can be challenging for all. While some thrive on this daily routine, others prefer to walk the less travelled path of entrepreneurship. The aspiration of chasing your dream of establishing a brand, venture or trade is ingrained in a lot of office-goers. But what’s the best way to kickstart your journey? How can you explore and grow ideas into something monetisable and tangible? Where can you get the resourced you need?
Founder of HustlePost Academy Saloni Srivastava has the answers to all these burning questions. She shares how she used her success in personal branding on social media to start a platform that imparts knowledge and skill to the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs. 3 months, 1500 students, Rs 1 crore in revenue—here’s how she did it!
1. What’s your educational and professional background?
I did my Bachelor’s in Economics from Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune and then Master’s from Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University. After that, I majorly worked as a Marketing Manager and a Growth Hacker for about 4 years before I started my online business journey.
2. What prompted the idea for ‘HustlePost Academy’?
As I grew on YouTube and Instagram, I got messages from a lot of people who wanted to learn what I did and how I did it. And during the lockdown, I saw many people losing jobs. This is when I thought that people needed to have a second source of income and not entirely depend on their day job. Along with that, I also felt like I needed to scale my business and do more than just a YouTube channel.
Connecting all these dots, I came up with an idea for a course. After a lot of planning, self-doubt sessions, discussions, trails, learnings and more, HustlePost Academy was launched.
3. Did you always want to work in this space?
I always wanted to do something creative and I believe in learning, growing and expanding the business. When I was in my 9-5 job, I wanted to start a side hustle and scale it to make it my main income source. When I quit my job to pursue YouTube full-time, I wanted to scale my business to the next level. And since teaching was something that I was good at, ever since school, I wanted to venture into coaching and show people what I do and how I do it.
4. What was your first milestone & how did you get there?
I was super nervous about the launch of HustlePost Academy. I even postponed the launch for 2 days out of the fear. The first milestone was reached in just 3 months when we had over 1500 students inside the academy and we made 1 crore in revenue.
Though this seems like an overnight success story, it really isn’t. Because it took me 3 full years to build the community I have. I worked super hard to get here. I myself took a number of courses, did a lot of learning and tested things day and night to get here.
5. How long did it take you to monetise?
It took me about 6 months to really monetise my channel. Even after monetising, my initial earnings were tiny and were nothing compared to what I made in my job.
But that’s how content creation is — it starts slow, but it grows exponentially if your efforts are honest and in the right direction.
6. What kind of marketing strategies worked best for your brand, HustlePost Academy?
We focus on giving the best experience for the students that are already inside HustlePost Academy. This has been one of our top strategies, and believe me, the work we do speaks volumes. And with this, when our students get the results that we promised, we use that to market our business.
We also maintain and build the community by providing lots of free value on different platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Podcast, E-mails and so on. This helps us gain their trust and turn them into paying customers.
7. What are 3 tips you’d give to entrepreneurs looking to start an online training platform like yours?
First, train your mindset. Without setting your mindset in the right way, you wouldn’t be able to do anything. The one thing that I would give major credit to for changing my entire life is my mindset.
The other thing would be to focus on making progress rather than running after perfection. When we strive to make things perfect, all we do is postpone our success. Your first video isn’t going to be great; your first blog won’t be your best. But if you don’t pass through the first “average” work, you will never be able to reach your 50th work which could actually be very good.
The last tip would be to be consistent. When people constantly look for motivation to make a change in their life, I really want to tell them that discipline will take them a long way and not motivation. As an entrepreneur, there will be bad days and you are bound to see hardships. But, only your consistent work will ultimately help you see the good days.
8. Which networking groups and showcasing events could help an aspirant meet the right people and generate work opportunities in this line of work?
Social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook are great for networking. One should always be in the game and look for webinars, courses and other such platforms to learn and connect to people from similar lines of work. Entering an already built curated community like HustlePost Academy also really helps you connect with like-minded people.
9. What are some investments one should be ready to make when entering the online business space?
I urge people on a similar journey to always keep aside some money and time to do courses and learn from them. Constant learning is the only way to keep up with the kind of change that is happening in the online world.
Apart from this, one would need a laptop and a good internet connection. Also, maybe a few gadgets and software depending on what platform they want to start their online business in.
But in the end, as Tony Robbins says, it’s not about your resources, but your resourcefulness!
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