Want to bank in 2022? Maybe you should quit your job and mount TVs for a living. But really, though. Take William Young, a 23-year-old who made $160,000 last year on handyman platform TaskRabbit doing just that.
Below, how Young made it happen, plus more innovative freelance gigs you may not have thought of.
Become a “Tasker”
We’re all curious about Young’s success, so let’s dive right in. After graduating from NYU in 2020 amid the pandemic with only $3,000 to his name, William Young, 23, joined TaskRabbit, the marketplace for cleaning, moving and other home-based service providers. The Fidi resident quickly found himself making more than $130 a day, so he decided to go full time. To date, he’s made upwards of $200,000.
“When I first started tasking, I took on as many jobs as I could across different categories,” he said. “After I got some experience, I realized I could best understand clients’ needs when it came to moving and furniture, so I decided to specialize in these categories.”
Now, about 85 percent of his work is mounting TVs, mirrors and pictures. He takes home around $13,500 on average per month.
“My advice to Taskers is always to work on improving your skill set and, more importantly, your customer service skills — this is truly half the job,” he said. “The more communicative you are, the better.
Become an image consultant
Growing up, Joseph Rosenfeld, 52, living in Bed-Stuy, was bullied about his looks. “I had an epiphany that if I created a personal style, everyone would leave me alone,” he said.
The strategy worked and led to a thriving career, first selling designer clothes, then launching his own image consultancy, focusing heavily on NYC and Silicon Valley clients.
“For the last 21 years, I’ve helped geeky tech and finance executives to develop their image, personal style and executive presence,” he said. He also works with legal teams to help make the right impression at hearings and trials. In all, his work generates $30,000-plus a month.
His advice to fellow aspiring fashionistas?
“Turn a passion for fashion into a satisfying career by studying personal image and style,” he suggested. “Develop an outreach strategy to find the people with whom you most align.”
With time, you can up your rates. Above all, “don’t go broke making yourself look Instagrammable,” he said.
Cook up a storm
Midtown resident Liana Werner-Gray, founder of the Earth Diet and a health and nutrition coach for Complete Wellness NYC, has raked in major income in branded recipe development.
She logs between $25,000 and $50,000 a month by dreaming up trending recipes for corporate clients, rounding out her income with recipe video reels on Instagram, for which she’s paid based on the number of views. She also writes meal plans for people with health concerns.
“The key is to be doing two main things at all times; focusing on ways to get new clients/projects, and secondly fulfilling your clients’ current projects,” she said.
She advises aspirants to invest in a good camera (she loves the Canon EOS M50), follow food trends and build relationships with brands that make your favorite ingredients.
“Do this by authentically coming to them saying you are a fan of their product, including links to your work and sharing that you would love to talk to them to explore a partnership,” she said.
Become a virtual assistant
This idea comes from Eliana Goldstein, a certified professional coach in Brooklyn Heights, who works with millennials to land well-paid careers they love. Many of them come to her wanting to build a side hustle or start their own business.
“A virtual assistant [VA] is someone who can work remotely to support business owners on the backend of their business,” she said. “Many VAs focus on administrative tasks, but some help with social media, podcasts and more. As a VA you can support multiple clients at once, so if you are paid a monthly retainer by each, you can hit your $10,000 monthly goal.”
Get started by putting together a list of admin services you offer. Then go on sites like freelancer marketplaces Upwork and Fiverr, and even Instagram, to find clients.
Create digital assets or a virtual course
Things like budget templates, lesson plans or instrumental music all involve up-front creation but require little maintenance, as Salzburg, Austria’s Frances Weir, a Korn Ferry career and leadership coach, suggested.
“It requires some research to understand what people find valuable, and some initial creation time, but once established, all that’s left to do is to market your assets and watch the money roll in,” she said. “Bonus points (and cash!) go to those who create a series of assets, or courses.”
Start thrifting and reselling items
If the past two years aren’t inspiration to remove the clutter from your closet, we don’t know what is. Take things a step further by buying clothes and accessories to sell along with what you already own.
“Look for cool and affordable items in thrift stores. Sites like Poshmark and Mercari have made it so easy to sell old clothing items online,” said Goldstein.
You can expand by offering to help friends and family sell old items for a cut of the profits.
Consult for start-ups
On top of her full-time job as principal at the California-based venture capital firm Frontier Ventures, Tudor City’s Julia Lemberskiy, 29, is the co-founder and managing director of startup consulting agency JJ Studio, helping startups scale their market channels, expansion plan and hiring talent. She charges her clients between $5,000 and $20,000 per month, netting a cool $50,000 per month.
“Review your entire career and figure out what the common thread was,” she said. “What is your super power? What topic did people ask you for advice on? What did you enjoy doing most? Tell everyone in your network about it. You’ll be surprised how many companies in your network need exactly the help you can provide.”