One of my goals this year is to diversify my income — and with this pandemic it is clear that it is needed. The longer I have my business the more I realize I need multiple icome streams. With the pandemic taking the world for a spin it seems that other businesses are being put in situations where they may or may not survive the new normal.
Although I have an online business and work from home, new projects aren’t being lined up. People have other things going on or to worry about. However, this is the perfect time to start with new business ideas and different services or products to sell to create a passive income. It is all about seeing what your audience needs and find what you can do to help them.
For this post I will be focusing on easy products you can make right now and sell to your clients to diversify and create multiple income streams. If you are a business owner reading this, let me know what your plans are! I would love to hear how other business owners are bridging this period and get ready for a new society.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT PASSIVE INCOME PRODUCT FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Before you even start with creating a product or service for your multiple income streams strategy, make a list of ideas that accompany the products or services you sell right now. What is a problem your client is having right now that they can solve when given the right tools? Can you upsell a client with a product or service right now?
Are you a content creator that creates content for businesses? Creating templates that businesses can use themselves is a great way to create a new income stream. The businesses that you target with this product can be the ones you normally wouldn’t work with because they may not have the budget. Or it is a new market you’re seeing is in dire need of a product you can create.
It is all about identifying a problem your target audience or a potential new market is having and creating the solution to that problem. It doesn’t have to be perfect at first — you can develop it as you get feedback. This is called creating a MVP (minimum viable product) and is a big thing in start-ups. Think of the iPhone — it gets an upgrade every two years to fit the demands of society or have a new feature that you didn’t even think you needed. The iPhone of today looks nothing like the original did because they developed it based on what Apple sees happening in society and the technological advancements that are available. In the end, it is still a mobile phone without a keyboard. It just keeps getting better.
Action point: Write down your list of ideas, prioritize them from urgent need for it to things you can still create and sell in the future. And then create an MVP you can sell as soon as possible. But before you do, read this post for inspiration. Good luck diversifying your income!
ALSO READ: HOW TO STAY SANE WHEN YOU WORK FROM HOME
SHAMELESS PLUG: If branding is the thing you want to invest in in 2020, get in touch! Especially if you want to create a new product or service as part of your multiple income streams strategy, branding can play a huge part in how well it will do.
My business Fiona Gobbo Creative is focused on consulting luxury brands and businesses how to develop and build their brand. From starters to taking things to the next level to helping you translate your brand to campaigns or brand extensions — we can help you facilitate every step.
SELL AN E-BOOK OR PRINTABLES TO HELP YOUR CLIENTS
An e-book or a printable are two great tools you can easily sell to create a passive income or to diversify your income streams. It’s a digital product that you invest time into once and then can sell unlimited times.
What are some topics you are an expert on? Write an ebook about the subject! It will not only help potential clients to trust you, it can also strengthen your position as an expert. I could probably sell a handy branding ebook for customers who want to work on their branding by themselves. They might have all the information that they need or will come knocking on my digital door to help them.
Action point: Ask yourself ‘what is one subject you are an expert in?’ And ‘what does your audience need right at this moment?’ If you are a visual person like me, create two big circles that overlap in the middle. One represents you and the other one your (potential) customers. Write in your circle the subjects you can create an ebook on and in the customer circle what their problems are. Compare the two and then write in the overlapping path 3-4 subjects that are interesting to sell.
• Think of your passive income ideas as a funnel — one can lead to the other. In the end they have to stand on their own as well — otherwise it will defeat the multiple income streams idea — but they can be connected in a way. A connection can be a certain problem or your expert subject.
• Ask your already existing pool of clients what they are missing or invest some time in social listening. People are more inclined to help during this pandemic so it is a great time to start the conversation. There are also lots of conversations going on in Facebook groups and Twitter for example where you can do research.
• Tap into your network if you need help and see what you can do for others to help them create multiple income streams. My experience is that you can come up with even better ideas when you work together.
CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE OR WEBINAR
The online course is one of the passive income products that will take a little more time. If you are in self-isolation right now this could become a cool project to work on an hour or two a day. At the end you’ll either be done or have a good portion of your online course ready to go. With things like online courses you can easily work with a MVP. Just put out something that is good enough to test the waters with and build on when you get feedback from your customers.
Action point: What type of course or webinar can you create? Is there a subject that you can use from the above action point that you can turn into one? Or can you turn your ebook into a more actionable course? Do you want to go live or create a pre-recorded version? And, is there a way you could funnel the group of people that will watch your webinar or course to other projects or build a community around it?
START A BLOG OR NEW SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL
Another way to diversify your income is to start a monetized blog or social media channel — an Instagram, YouTube channel or Facebook group for example. It is not the most instant moneymaker on the list of multiple income streams but it can be very lucrative. The only downside — if this is something you don’t like doing or are inpatient — is that you need to make sure you have the time to build an audience before it actually starts to make money.
Within these platforms you can monetize in different ways:
Affiliate links are links you put on your blog or in a description that you can make money on. The most common ways to get payed are either you get a % when someone clicks on it (pay per click or PPC) or when that click drives a sale (cost per click or CPC — some call is CPA). It depends on your audience which one fits your platform best. I use ShopStyle Collective on here with the PPC model (they may have changed it) in posts and the shop. Whenever I use them I will add a ‘*’ behind the link, every post has a disclaimer on the top and bottom and I have a separate disclaimer explaining what it means when you click on a link — which is mandatory in Europe.
If you want to work with affiliate links, check your local rules on how you need to disclose the links. Some countries have stricter rules than others. I know in the Netherlands the rules aren’t super strict. Especially compared to Germany or the UK where people have been fined. Even though the rules aren’t that strict here, I feel being fully transparant about it is a must. That is why I always disclose wether a link is an affiliate link.
It can seem hard to get collaborations but the more niche you are, the faster you can get collaborations with lower numbers. Make sure that when you collaborate with a brand:
1) You get a fair compensation. If it is a big brand, they’ll have a budget and you can ask compensation in the form of money. For smaller ones I would look into different ways you can get compensated.
2) The brand gets exactly what you discussed and add a little more — overdelivering is always better than underdelivering. It is something that I always do when I work with clients through my business because I want to make sure the delivery is perfect. It is also just a great way to build relationships with other businesses.
Product or service
I’ve said this before but create your own product or service based on the content you create. Let the blog be a tool to funnel them towards a paid product or service.
Another way to monetize your blog or social media platform is to create an exclusive membership that will give them access to exclusive content. You can create a page with a password but you can also use the best friends feature on Instagram. The second one will ensure that no one can easily get your exclusive content.
You can also create a private Instagram account that you can sell a membership to and have the best friend function as the VIP package deal. There are many ways how you can turn this easily into a profitable business model.
Action point: Think of what your niche will be. A niche is a very specific group within a broader subject. For example, this blog is a style & career blog. The niche I’m focusing on are introverted ambitious women who want to create a life & career that they love. And lastly, how will you monetize your blog or social media platform?
MY ADVICE: Don’t forget a call to action! Make the customer come back for more and let them engage with your content. It doesn’t always have to be on the platform that they consume the content — a lot of blogs don’t have a comment section anymore because most engagement takes place on social media these days. Just make sure that your content converts readers or customers into a community.
SELL PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
You probably have a core business right now. As an example, mine is branding design and strategy. Why not create a complimentary product or service that still fits within your expertise but not with the business you are running. It is a safe way to create your multiple income streams that aren’t depended on each other.
To give an example, my niche is luxury businesses for Fiona Gobbo Creative. However, because I feel strongly about helping women and helping the position of women in general, I want to add I service that will run next to the business I run right now. I don’t know right now how that service is exactly going to look like but I know that it will be a separate business that fills a gap.
The same goes for products. Maybe you are a service based business right now that helps businesses with their social media. You could create a psychical content planner that they can buy. One of my friends is a hair dresser and she sells hair products on the side but also hair styling products like scrunchies.
At the moment I’m creating products for an Etsy shop that will launch at the end of May. I’ve always had two different target audiences: the business owner that is just starting out and the businesses and brands that need a change. Because helping starter businesses is taking more and more time and is not something I want to focus on solely, I’ve decided to create an Etsy store with the right products for them. Not only will they be budget friendly, they are the exact tools I think any starter can use to build their business up. If you want to be one of the first to be informed about products hitting the store, visit the Fiona Gobbo Creative Etsy shop and favorite it.
Action point: Are there products or services you can add to your roster that can live alongside your business to create a passive income? Set it up! Make a MVP and pivot based on the feedback you get.
ALSO READ: THE ADDICTIVE TRUE CRIME PODCAST FOR YOUR NEXT COMMUTE (that you can now listen to working from home)
START INVESTING TO GENERATE A DIFFERENT SOURCE OF INCOME
So this is something I know too little of to give advice on — I want to learn more about it — so I won’t pretend that I do. But having solid investments that make money is a great income stream. Obviously you need to do your homework into 1) what the right investment is for you and 2) how stable the investment will be.
Action points: There are many apps out there that can easily set you up when you just start out with investments. So do your research and try out the apps to see what works for you.