#2: Angad makes $100K as side income running a one-man content agency
Learn how you can build an agency as a side-hustle
"If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!"
- Richard Branson
The quote was all I could think of as I heard Angad's story, but he was not just offered the opportunities; he also created them. At the end of our conversation, I was truly inspired to start a similar side hustle, and I hope you get inspired, too, as you read his journey.
So let's dive deep into a side-hustle that
🤑 Made $100K in revenue
⏳ Takes less than 5 hours of work every week
Angad makes $100K as side income running a one-man content agency
Angad Singi is currently working as a Product Manager at BrightChamps. After graduating with a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, Angad's career milestones include being a Co-Founder of two automotive startups and PM with two ed-tech companies.
He is a person with a true hustler mindset and believes in seizing opportunities and hustling his way to the end goal. And in 2019, he was able to identify a possibility of a side hustle of a content agency called Quarks for educational companies making $100K/ year.
How did he stumble upon a unique niche in content?
In 2018, Angad joined Embibe, an AI-powered curriculum learning platform, as a Product Manager. One of his responsibilities was to manage vendors for content, and he realized that the company was spending 10X of his monthly salary on vendors. The vendors were not technology savvy or offered exceptional services. Yet, they were billing around $5000-6000/month from a single client and had 4-5 retainer clients. It felt like a space with an opportunity.
After a year, in 2019, Angad quit Embibe and decided to venture into the automotive startup space. He started building Flo Mobility, a startup building an autonomous tech stack that can be applied to agri-bots, delivery bots, and two-wheelers. Running an early-stage startup is time-consuming, but Angad still grabbed an opportunity for a side hustle.
Embibe, his ex-employer, was struggling with a project, and it was stuck for four months. They wanted to create 1000 questions for 14 subjects for the NEET (U.G.) (examination for determining the eligibility for the post of assistant professor in Indian universities and colleges) in different Indian languages like Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, and more. No vendor could complete it for Embibe, and his ex-colleague, with who Angad was in touch, was really stressed. With the cost dynamics of vendors at Embibe at the back of his mind, he decided to help him and take up the project. He had no prior experience or any clue about delivering it, but he was ready for the hustle. 💪
It was tough and very tricky to find people in different languages. But after much search, Angad was able to find a site where he could connect with regional tutors. He still recalls his interaction with a Malayalam tutor. As he was unaware of the market rates, he enquired her about the fees for each question, and she wanted $0.5. Angad was being paid around $2/question and wanting to be fair for her work, he decided to pay $1/question.
Angad was able to complete the project for eight regional languages, and he had a profit margin of over 50%. When he worked at Embibe, his CTC was $18000/year, and the project he completed brought revenue of $16000 🤯
Angad decided to give this side hustle a try.
Making the run to get the first few clients
After Embibe, Angad had Unacademy as his next goal. He contacted his connections and grabbed the contract to create UGC NET content at $2/question. Very soon, Angad started billing Unacademy $5000-6000/month and delivering projects.
The next big client was UpGrad. Angad had appointed two interns to help with some research and asked them to reach out to people handling content for educational companies. And one such cold reach out led to him getting an opportunity to create the course curriculum for MBA graduates.
Again, an area he had no experience nor the people to do it. But while working on the Unacademy project, he came across Vishwas, a hustler who would take up a project and just find ways to complete it. Angad and Vishwas decided to go for the project and successfully delivered it. Today, UpGrad is one of the biggest clients of Angad, with monthly billing between $6000-8000.
From 2020 to now, Angad has carved out a niche among Ed-tech startups with clients like UpGrad, Unacademy, Embibe, TestBook, and more. He has built a deep network of freelancers and provides content for various projects to these companies. And with excellent quality of service, he has reached a milestone of $100K revenue, taking home 30-35% after taxes. He did this while working on Flo Mobility (2019-2021) and then PM at BrightChamps (2022).
P.S. All this revenue without creating a website! He launched his site only recently.
Operations behind running a content agency
When one thinks of an agency, its operations are very cumbersome and time-consuming. Especially if you are working with some of the best-known Ed-tech startups. But Angad seems to have found a unique way to run it by spending only 5 hours a week.
How does he do that?🧐
In the start, Angad was managing everything, from clients to freelancers. And he realized that he could not do this with his full-time job. So he decided to find a project manager who was a hustler and could manage every kind of work. After working with 2-3, he found Vishwas.
Since then, Angad has focused only on sales and finances of the agency. While Vishwas works as the project manager and executes all the projects. Once a client is onboarded, Vishwas works as the point of contact to complete the projects to satisfaction. They have also developed a system on sheets to seamlessly track each and every detail of the project.
But what makes the operations smooth and content in high quality is Angad's trust in the people who are working for him and his transparency. While the companies clear payments only after project completion and can take anywhere between 30-60 days, Angad never makes his freelancers wait. He understands that the work he is giving them is mostly their only income source, and paying them upfront helps them a lot.
And now he is pivoting…
The current model requires Angad to build expertise for every new project he takes up. His offerings are not pre-defined and change with every client's needs. While it has been favorable till now to carve a niche, Angad knows it's an operational nightmare and not very scalable. Angad wants to eventually move to a completely automated system; thus, he is looking for two pivots.
The first pivot is niching down further in Education. He plans to create content for IELTS and TOEFL exams for companies outside India. It will help him become an expert in that space and templatize his operations to a large extent.
And the second pivot is exciting. Angad is working to create a subscription-based content agency for podcasters worldwide. The agency will be making smaller pieces of content from the podcast that the creator can use in different channels, and Angad likes to call it "microcontent ."He will be utilizing his deep network of content freelancers to create this content. Because it's a subscription-based model, the operations will eventually be streamlined and even automated.
"There are 700000 podcasters in the world. I need only 5 to leave my job, 25 to lead a luxurious life, and 83 to hit a home run."
That is a well-thought-out goal!🚀
P.S. Angad had joined Build's premier cohort and launched a side project called SuperParents, a parent coaching platform. Once he has set up two strong income sources, his vision is to grow that as a startup.
Hustlers Insight of the Week: How can you start your own agency?
Very few people think of starting an agency as a side hustle. But Angad believes that, unlike products that require development or long go-to-market strategies, an agency hustle is quick cash flow. He only reached out to 30 people in two years and has made significant revenues.
So, we asked Angad how one should start their own agency as a side-hustle:
Find a niche, and do one thing well: The first and most important thing to starting an agency is finding a niche. You do not have to do everything but just do one thing well. Angad had Ed-tech content as a niche, and now he is even going for a deeper niche of selected exams.
Get your first order: You need to find a way to get your first order before setting anything up. It can be via connections or cold outreach, but securing the first client will motivate you to keep going. And for a one-man agency, four to five retainer clients are enough to generate a good income.
Find your vendors: Next, you need to find a vendor/freelancer who can take up the work and deliver it. You do not want to be taking the whole workload. Finding vendors can be difficult, but you can build a good network with a few days of hard work. India is ripe with people willing to work; Angad was able to find a translator of an Indian language that is known to about just 6 people in India.
Set-up processes: The last thing you need to do is set up some process on excel or any tool that makes it easy for you to track and communicate with the client.
And suppose you are considering starting an agency in the Education niche. In that case, Angad believes you have a massive market to target. Apart from the Ed-tech startups he worked with, other traditional companies, publication houses, and offline educational institutions need help with content.
So go for it!🚀
Did you learn something new about side-income reading this? If yes, share it with a friend to increase the surface area of knowledge so that more & more people can know of ways to make money.
Also, know anyone (who is making money while having a full-time job) we should feature? Let me know by writing to [email protected] and we will get chatting!
Want to launch a side-project in 7 days, that too while vacationing in Goa?
We launched our new initiative Buildcamps this week, bringing experiential travel to Building side projects 💥🚀😍
Want to know more? Check it out here