For students, peer-to-peer relationships aren’t just about friendship, work or love. They can also be used to make extra money on sites like Depop and Instagram through building a ‘personal brand’ others want to buy. But this means students can never take time off from strengthening that brand. They are constantly selling themselves through a highly curated social media feed and looking at how they can widen the use of apps to grow their ‘fans’ and influence.

Insight Hustling

As work, life and love have become more intertwined so has the way students think about networking. Anyone, regardless of where you meet them, could be a useful professional contact in the age of the side hustle.

Because today’s students are natural, almost accidental entrepreneurs. According to Open University, 97% of Gen Z aspire to start their own business and become financially independent. They have grown up with online platforms that make peer-to-peer buying, selling and renting really easy and with so few barriers to entry, everyone can do it. Most have been managing their own personal brands on social media for years already!

“Next year I’m starting a graduate scheme for marketing, and I’m going to try really hard over the summer to build my own personal brand because I feel that if I can’t market myself, how am I going to market anything else?”

Students love buying from their peers, whether on Ebay, Etsy, Depop or the Student Union notice board. 50% of students look to their friends for style inspiration and why not? Fashion today is driven from the street up. But with peer-to-peer recommendation, the key is knowing what’s hot and what’s not. And that comes down to the creation of a personal brand, which acts as quality control, marketing and taste-maker. This is why they are so obsessed with their online presence! 4/10 admit they make sure their social media projects a certain look and lifestyle. It is part of branding themselves and is a totally worthwhile exercise when we find that 4/10 students check out the person they are buying things from on sites like Depop and now Instagram, which has become a marketplace in itself.

*“It’s being observant of trends and seeing what items in your wardrobe fit with those trends.” *