Side Hustle Success Story: Jaime Ortiz

Jamie took her childhood habit and turned it into a successful side hustle.

How did you get started?

How did I get started? It all began when I first started talking and writing–I’ve been telling stories ever since. But I got into the side business of doing communications by happenstance. About three years ago, I left my decade-long career working at public relations and advertising agencies to take a position in-house with an environmental organization. While in this position, my good friend asked me if I could help out his company by doing some work on the side. I said no to him once, but after my husband and I suffered some salary changes beyond our control, I couldn’t refuse my friend the second time he asked. And from there, it begin.

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been running Jamie Ortiz Communications for about six months now. I pick up a second client beginning in January, and now I’m looking to transition the afterwork communications business into a full time gig.

How do you make money (Hourly, By Project, Retainer or One Time Fee)?

I’ll make payment arrangements with my clients in any manner that helps them reach their budget goals. That’s the beauty of running a small communications business-I’m nimble and creative. Because I’m not bogged down with rules or corporation bureaucracy, I bring a fresh approach to structuring communications needs around the goals of my clients.

How do you get new clients?

Referrals. Hands down. I do exceptional work and my reputation takes care of itself. When I run into acquaintances, I am always sure to ask them if they know of anyone that I should be working with. And then I’ll ask them to introduce me. A personal introduction cuts through half the work of earning a new client. But, I also have to be true to myself and my clients about what I can accomplish in a side business, so I don’t take on anything that might sacrifice my ability to do my full-time job or to achieve results for my clients.

When do you work on your side hustle?

I’m lucky that my full-time job has flexible hours, so I just arranged my schedule that I arrive into the office by 9 or 10. This gives me three to five hours every morning to get my hustle on. I’m up at 5 a.m. cracking the whip on behalf of my clients.

Do you have tips or resources for a person who just started a side hustle or wants to start one?

1 – Like Nike said, just do it. Don’t over think it and just make it happen. You can always adjust, change your mind or try something new once you start.

2 – But do it well. If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I’m a big believer in that. Don’t pick up side work if you’re going to half-ass it because that won’t reflect well on you or your results.

3 – Don’t get bogged down by the details. Pick up some work and see how it feels and find what works for you, your industry and your clients’ needs. For instance, before I started with my first client, I had set my schedule to what I thought I could handle. But after paying attention to how the work flowed, when I could fit in workouts, when my husband and I could spend time together and how my office responded to the changing schedules, I realized I could do the 5 a.m. work call and it made everything flow together so much easier. So, I adjusted everything to what I learned was going to work much more naturally. And now it’s a breeze.

4 – Ask for referrals. In all the methods of marketing that I’ve enacted over the years, word of mouth and personal referrals are the top business producers, even in today’s world of social media. Your friends and colleagues may not think about offering a referral unless you ask.

5 – Ask again. Haven’t seen someone in a few months? Don’t forget to ask them again if they have referrals. You have to keep yourself top of mind with every person you run into contact. You never know when they may meet with someone who needs help, and you want your name at the top of the list.

Where can we go to connect with you?

You can visit my website.


Andrea is the Chief Chick of Smart Money Chicks. After filing BK twice (once because she panicked, second time because the pro messed the first time up), she realized that it all could have been avoided if she understood more about how her Finances worked and the options available. At that point, she wanted to help as many as she could never make the same mistakes again. Our Promise is that all the content you read on here is created or edited by Andrea

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