Do you know that you can make money by being a virtual friend? Because of the pandemic, people need company more than ever. Nearly 40% of Americans reported feeling serious loneliness in a recent survey. With new COVID-19 variants on the rise, some people don’t feel comfortable leaving their homes, but still want to get social interaction. That’s where virtual friends come in. If you’re interested in trying this side hustle, here’s an overview of how much you can earn by being a virtual friend.
What Does a Virtual Friend Do?
If you’ve never worked as a virtual friend before, you may be wondering what the job entails. Virtual friends chat with people who are lonely and in need of social interaction. They usually hang out with their clients on video chat, but may also call or text them.
Your main job as a virtual friend will be to keep your customer company. Depending on the client’s needs you may just talk and joke around, or listen to their problems and give them advice. If you have a special skill like playing an instrument, you can also offer to teach your customers to earn some extra cash.
The relationship virtual friends have with their clients is completely platonic, so you don’t have to be someone’s virtual date. You just have to provide companionship and a listening ear. So this side hustle is perfect for kind, outgoing people who enjoy helping others.
What Can You Earn by Being a Virtual Friend?
Believe it or not, being a virtual friend is a pretty lucrative side hustle. According to Rent a Friend, virtual friends earn an average of $25 per hour. So you could earn an extra $500 per month by doing just five hour-long hangouts every week.
Once you gain experience, you might be able to start charging more. Experienced virtual friends with positive testimonials can charge up to $50 per hour. You may also be able to command higher rates if you have a skill you can teach your customers.
Most of us would Skype someone who’s lonely for free out of the goodness of our hearts. So getting paid is just the cherry on top!
How Do You Become a Virtual Friend?
There are several websites that can help you get your first customers and become a virtual friend.
RentACyberFriend is a marketplace that connects virtual friends with potential customers. You have to pay to become a member and put your profile up on the website. A monthly membership currently costs $29.99, but you can get a discount by paying for a few months or a year upfront.
Once you become a member, you can make a profile to attract potential customers. It’s important to create an engaging write-up about your hobbies and interests so clients can get to know you before they book a hangout session.
FriendPC is another virtual friend marketplace that you can use to advertise your services. It has several different categories you can create your listing under, including companion, virtual gamer, and life coach. FriendPC is completely free to join. But keep in mind that the platform takes a small percentage of your earnings to cover operating costs.
What do you think—does becoming a virtual friend sound like a good side hustle? Let us know in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.