10 min 4 sec

Public Health Employee Earns Extra $2,000/Month with Salesforce Consulting

An enterprising nonprofit employee bids for consulting contracts, earning a steady second income each month.
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What It's About

One woman harnesses the power of email marketing and supplements her income.

Business Model
Skills Required
Resourcefulness & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

These kinds of skills are not just the technical skills of how to do something on a computer. They’re the skills of bidding for a company’s business, making a good impression, negotiating a good rate, completing the task at hand in an efficient manner, and then going from project to project without getting overwhelmed. The only way to master these skills is by doing.

If for some reason this fell apart tomorrow, she’d probably be able to do something else like it in much less time than it would take for someone who’s never freelanced before.

Fun Fact

When Stephanie started this Side Hustle, she was 23, living in Nairobi, and working at a social enterprise that built out data collection and reporting systems on the Salesforce platform for non-profits (Salesforce has a super-generous non-profit donation program). She was making $18,000/yr, which even in Nairobi, did not go far, and Stephanie was feeling very stressed about finances and her ability to pay off her student loans.

Notes from Chris

Episode 447

Stephanie Zimmerman is a technology project manager at a public health non-profit in Chapel Hill, NC. She gets to travel to all sorts of interesting places, including India, Madagascar, and Liberia. When she started her side hustle doing Salesforce consulting, she was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya.

Her initial motivation was extra cash. She was earning a salary of just $18,000 at the time, which even in East Africa didn’t go far. She liked the work she did but was feeling stressed about finances and her ability to pay off student loans.

  She’d been using Salesforce for that job in Kenya, and she knew it offered a lot of opportunities for freelance work. Thousands of companies use the software, and while big corporations might have a whole team devoted to it, small companies needed to outsource at least some of the tasks.

But what could Stephanie do? She was young and inexperienced, and she worried that no one would hire her.

What she found though was quite the opposite.

So what was the first step? Stephanie set up a profile on several freelancing websites, including Upwork.com. Then she did some research—she wanted to learn (1) what hourly rates other Salesforce freelancers had on their profiles, and (2) what clients were paying on past projects.

For instance, whenever she was applying for a job, she would look at the client's profile and see what they had paid for past jobs and would then price herself to be around that client's past average rate. When she had no work history whatsoever, she priced herself on the lower end—but she always had a personal minimum that she would not go under. At the beginning, it was $20/hr. As her experience and confidence grew, this personal minimum went up.

Once she got more established, she began earning an average of $1,000-2,000/month. She likes that she can ramp-up or slow down as needed. In certain periods of life, she chooses to de-focus the side hustle, but it's nice to be able to pick it back up fairly easily.

For example, she’ll be going back to grad school this fall, so she’s now actively working to build up a client base to be able to support herself through freelancing only. Her goal is to earn $3000-5000/month and she seems on track for that this month!


  • Upwork: The global freelancing platform that helps businesses connect with independent freelancers remotely
  • Salesforce: The email marketing software that Stephanie used to start her side hustle
  • Timely: The hour documenting platform that Stephanie uses to document the amount of time she spents on various projects

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"It can be nerve-wracking raising rates, but I always go into it with the mindset that the rate I am asking for is fair. I’ve only ever lost one client from a rate increase, and it was a bad client to begin with."
—Stephanie Zimmerman #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau