UPDATE 10/29/16: I started a new blog dedicated to helping others earn a referral bonus when signing up to drive for Uber or Lyft. Check it out at UberDriverReferral.com
I'm a busy entrepreneur who is always looking for new ways to make some extra income while I build my own business. Flexibility and stability are two of the most important factors to me, as I don't always have both of those together with my own business. I've been on my own for 3 years now, and over that period of time, I have tried all kinds of different side jobs, hoping to find something that could truly help me feel financially stable, yet also be something I didn't have to make a lot of commitments to.
I had heard a lot about Uber over the past few years, but I didn't sign up to drive until a year ago. Looking back, I'm sure glad I did, because it has become a total game changer! From my consistent weekly income levels, to my overall decreased stress levels, everything has changed exponentially for the better.
Since it's the season of giving, I wanted to give back to Uber by writing a little gratitude post about them to show my appreciation. I'm also hoping to help get the word out there to others who might be looking for a good way to make some extra income, whether it's a side gig or a full-time job.
Without further adieu, here are 5 ways Uber helped me build my own business!
1. Uber Allows for a Very Flexible Schedule!
With Uber, I can work any time I want, 24/7. There's no schedule I have to follow, I can sign on and off whenever I want (even if I just want to drive for a quick 15 minutes,) and there's no minimum or maximum amount of hours I have to work (although, if I'm planning on working a lot of hours, I make sure I take a break every few hours, I make sure I eat and I definitely make sure I get enough sleep; for my own safety as well as the safety of others!) In order to stay active, I do need to give at least one ride every 90 days (or something like that) or else my account will be deactivated. Since Uber seems to always be pretty busy, that's not hard to do at all and it's never been an issue for me, personally. Plus, Uber will give me a heads up when I'm getting close to a potential deactivation; they are really great with communicating everything.
2. I Make at Least $20/Hr on Average but Sometimes a Lot More When There's Surge Pricing!
Even after all the Uber fees are taken out, I still average about $20/hr, which is an amount I can use to factor how many hours I can expect to have to work in order to make the amount I need. However, if I want to work smarter instead of harder, I will make sure to work during the times when there is surge pricing applied (which is shown as a colored hot spot on the map in the app.) This happens when the demand for rides is higher than the amount of drivers available, and can be higher or lower in different parts of the neighborhood, all relatively speaking.
3. I Made Just Under $10,000 of Extra Income in One Year Through Their Double-Sided Referral Program!
Yep, you read that right. $10,000.
This is not including how much I made from driving; it's strictly from referrals.
That comes out to be an average of about $800 extra each month, just from getting other people to sign up to drive and complete a certain amount of trips (usually 20.) When I signed up to drive, Uber gave me my own personal referral code (which is UBER94UND) that I could use to give to others who also wanted to sign up to drive. During the application process, all someone had to do is enter their contact information, along with my referral code, and we'd both get a sweet double-sided referral bonus once they completed the minimum amount of rides (right now it's $50-$600, depending on the city... email your local Uber support team to get that specific info.)
I can also give my code to people who want to try Uber out for getting rides; they can get up to $20 off their first ride (and I also make a little commission on those.) No matter which way you use your code, there's no limit on how many people you can refer.
Here are a few ways you can advertise this referral code: 1) Use the word of mouth method and tell your friends and family about Uber and how it's been helping you out. 2) Go to fairs and events and hand out cards with your referral code on it. 3) Take Lyft or Sidecar rides and tell the drivers how great Uber is (this is basically how I got hooked up with Uber... read my story by clicking here.) 4) My personal and absolute FAVORITE way (if you're a computer nerd like me;) writing blog posts like this one that give answers and other ideas to the questions people are searching for online. I have probably made about 90% of my Uber income this past year by doing this, which has allowed me a lot more time to spend on building my business, while still receiving a nice chunk of extra income each month. That's true passive income, baby!
I'd like to take a moment and give a HUGE thank you to everyone who signed up through my referral link on this blog over the past year, and another HUGE thank you to Uber for creating such an awesome referral program!
Blogging, affiliate referral programs and SEO are all additional factors that played a part in all of this, which is what I do as my personal business (blogging, web designing, marketing and advertising.) If you're interested in getting into this kind of stuff or you want some help with something you've already started, check out my website at whippeddream.com for more info! My goal is to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers grow (and my personal success is proof that I know how to make that happen!)
4. I Get Paid Every Week, Which Gives Me a Sense of Financial Stability!
Sometimes my clients don't pay me on time, sometimes a project takes longer than expected, or sometimes unexpected expenses come up. Having Uber incorporated as one of my main streams of income has really helped me, financially. I know I will get paid on the same day every week and so I can work that into my schedule, if needed. Their app even keeps a tally of how much I've made after each trip, as well as my week in total (with the Uber fees already taken out, so I don't have to do any extra math guesswork, yay!) I know exactly what I'll be bringing in in each direct deposit, which has taken a GINORMOUS amount of stress off of me, and has allowed me to continue working for myself, as opposed to going back to a 9-5 job, just for the stability. I can now pay my bills on time AND still have the time freedom and the flexibility of making my own schedule. It's a win all around.
5. I Scored New Clients for My Business!
I personally don't believe in being "sales-y" or "aggressively pushy," so I try to never sound like I'm trying to sell something. However, the nice thing about driving is that I get to meet a lot of people, and 99% of the time the passengers in my car will hold a conversation with me about something. One frequent question that tends to come up naturally is, "So, do you do anything else besides driving or do you do this full-time?" And so I then simply tell them what else I do. I've learned if they are interested in what I do, they will ask more questions, but if they're not, they won't and I'll leave it at that. No need to push anything in their face.
I always make sure to have some businesses cards on me, yet I usually keep them hidden away because, again, I don't want to seem too pushy, eager or in their face. When the ones who are interested ask more questions, I casually talk to them a little bit about it during the ride and then I make sure to give them a business card before they get out of the car. I've scored a handful of new clients this way over the past few years, many who have used me for more than one project or have even referred me to others. Sometimes, it's that personal, face-to-face marketing aspect that people prefer, rather than just trusting some random person hiding behind a computer screen.
So there you have it, the 5 ways Uber helped me grow my own business! I am so, so grateful for the Uber driver who got me started, the company itself, and all the people who have signed up to drive through this blog! My dreams are truly becoming a reality, and seeing results like this only stokes my fire! I'm so excited to see what else I can do with all of this knowledge that I've been able to obtain in my free time over the past year, so be sure to stay tuned!
I really think Uber is a great concept all around, especially if you're trying to grow your own business, simply because of the flexibility. It's also a perfect side job for those who are going to school, trying to pay off loans, or just looking for a way to have some extra spending money to do more of what you love 🙂
Want to get started driving? All you need to do is click the button below!
Remember to always use my referral code UBER94UND for anything you're trying to get a referral bonus from, so you can be sure to get your reward! Also, when you go to the sign-up page, it will probably say I sent you "$100," but you may want to check with your local Uber support team to see what the bonus is in your city... it could be more! 🙂 You can also use this code for a free ride if it's your first time trying Uber!
Good luck out there!