There’s nothing like welding: The flash of the sparks. The pure ecstasy of laying down that perfect bead. For many of us, that’s all we need. We’re satisfied with welding as a hobby. This isn’t a bad thing at all. Done right, it’s an awesome source of side income that will more than pay for itself. Here’s a couple tips the most successful hobby welders live and die by.
- Make Friends (or have a friendly dog)
The upside of hobby welding is that there’s no set work schedule. The downside is that you’re responsible for getting your own projects. The easiest way to get your own work is by becoming the neighborhood “welding guy.” Many successful hobby welders say they get anywhere from 1 to 3 project offers a week from neighbors. Of course, that means you actually have to know (and like) your neighbors. If the prospect of approaching your neighbors gives you a stress hernia, there’s other options. For instance, nothing breaks the ice like a friendly dog.
- Be an Open Book
Once people know you’re the “welding guy,” they aren’t going to immediately throw work at you. Most of the time, they’ll simply start by asking you questions. “Hey, I was thinking about changing the gate in our yard, what do you think would look best?” A simple shrug will merit you an awkward moment and no extra work. Let people know what you’d really do. Get excited. Imagine it was your gate and then just go crazy.
- Use the Internet to Your Advantage
A friendly human can have around 150 face-to-face friends. That’s people you communicate with in some person-to-person way at least once every six months. However, once you throw online social interaction into the mix, the friend pool gets a lot bigger. The average Facebook account has around 338 friends. That’s more than double the max amount you could normally have. Of course, you still have to regularly communicate through social media for it to work. Start off with simply posting photos and descriptions of your current welding projects. It’s a nice, subtle way to tell everyone, “Hey, I’m your welding guy.”
- Limit the Number of Large Projects You Do
Hobby welding projects have longer timelines than full-time-work projects. It’s just the nature of the beast. No one can spend 8 hours welding after a full day of work, at least not for long. While larger projects do bring in the possibility of more money, they also take a lot of time. And if things get busy on your end, it’s easier to put these big projects on hold indefinitely. Once that happens, your label can change from the “welding guy” to the “unreliable, lazy bum” and all your hard work goes down the tube. If you do have a larger project, make sure to set expectations on how long the job should take before you start working. Then do everything you can to stick to those expectations.
- Be Smart about Buying Equipment
As a hobby welder, you’re paying your own way for equipment. That means it’s all about being smart. You’ll almost always get a better deal with equipment online instead of driving down to your local big box store. It all comes down to math. With online purchases you don’t pay sales tax. All the money that’s normally spent on a big, fancy storefront instead goes towards lower priced items. It’s just a smarter decision to buy online. And once you spend over $50 with us, all those shipping cost just disappear. We’re serious, just give it a try. Think of something you need, then see how much you’ll save by getting it here.