As a service provider and content creator, there are launch seasons for products as well as high and low seasons of income for service providers. Since I serve Moms mostly, the summer months tend to be slower when the kids are out of school, the end of the year during the holiday season my business typically slows down, and then there are times when your business might need a cash injection if you have an unexpected expense, for example.
After you have been in business a couple of years, it’s good to recognize these trends so you can plan ahead additional ways to make income during the slow months. The first time you create any of these ideas, there will always be work up front. After that, any of these ideas could create a passive income. Read on as I share my six favorite ways to make passive-“ish” income anytime of the year.
My 6 Favorite Ways to Make Passive-ish Income
Host a Paid Content Challenge
I love hosting challenges and there is no reason why you can’t hold a challenge anytime of the year. I recommend a challenge be three, five or seven days. I wouldn’t go longer than seven days because participation tends to drop off after that. A challenge helps your audience solve a pain point. This could be a smaller piece of a course you already have created or an introduction to a course that would be the next logical step for your challenger. Most participants expect a pitch at the end so you should use that opportunity to offer the next best thing (or step) for your challengers.
A challenge can be easily set up in any program like Podia, Thinkific, or Teachable to name a few popular course platforms. Running a challenge can be as active or passive as you would like to make it. If you prefer to host a challenge in a Facebook group where you are live answering questions would require more engagement on your part. If you run a challenge for the first time, recording the videos or making worksheets and graphics will require the work upfront.
To make your challenge passive is to turn it into an evergreen challenge and promote it using my favorite tool, Pinterest. Create and direct pins to your sign-up page and your challenge can then run on autopilot.
Create a Course
Creating an evergreen course (something that is sold all year round) is very similar to a challenge but it’s typically teaching a skill or your signature system from start to finish. You could sell a course passively up to about $300 – $400. Anything over that, you’re probably going to need to have a webinar or a challenge that is something more hands on to sell. Again, my favorite way to promote your course would be to create pins for Pinterest and sell it on autopilot.
Have a Flash Sale
This is not 100% passive, but it works if you have already have content such as a course or challenge. Other ideas include batching together some already created Facebook lives, a webinar or masterclass, or sell a smaller piece of your already created course. You can easily create a coupon code and host a flash sale. Many programs allow you to create a coupon code in minutes.
The only real work would be in creating emails to send to your email list. I suggest creating three to four emails and run the sale for a week. Even that can be automated and then can be run anytime of the year. A flash sale is more of a cash injection campaign which is perfect during slow times in your business. It is taking advantage of products that you already have set up. Create a sale for a limited time creates urgency and it may help people turn those fence sitters that have been following into buyers.
Once you create your email templates, you can repeat it any time of year. Pull up your templates, add in your sale details and schedule it. You can could do this in an hour to two hours.
Making affiliate money is the easiest and most fun income in my opinion because often times it is recurring and easy to set up. When you work with clients as a service provider, they often ask for suggestions for software. Most of the products I use in my business, from my course platforms and software to the coaching programs, I have affiliate links for every one of them. So I always recommend what I use and have had experience with so it’s not spammy or salesy. I am just sharing what I use and love. You can also do this with potential clients but on discovery calls too.
To find the affiliate program details for a particular software, start with the tools you use. Most providers will already have an affiliate program set up. Look down at the bottom in the footer of the page for information on how to apply or in the account information where it automatically generates a code for you to share.
Create Your Own Affiliate Program
If you created a course, usually the platform where you’re hosting the course will have an affiliate program built in so you can spread the word about your own product. Send an email out to your biz besties saying, “I’m launching this new course and I think this is something that would go well with your audience. Would you mind promoting it for me? I’m offering you an affiliate payout for sharing it with your audience. You usually have to apply to be an affiliate and then you’ll get a specific code to share.
Customer Referral Programs
This is very similar to an affiliate program, but referral programs are usually between service providers. I have worked with a variety of people like web designers, coaches, and have created a reliable network of other service providers. When a client asks if I know a website designer, I have a fellow entrepreneur who I have worked with and can refer them to.
I have a referral program of my own. If someone were to refer a Pinterest client to me for example. I give them a flat rate referral fee of $50 as a way of saying “thank you.” The referral fee can also be a percentage of the total price of the project.
Creating a referral network is a helpful service to your client because word of mouth carries more weight than just searching someone randomly on the internet and it’s helping your fellow entrepreneurs. You can either create a verbal agreement or if it is a higher ticket referral or ongoing, you may want to create an agreement in writing.
The next step is to decide what works best for your business and then plan ahead to use one or many of these ideas. There are no rules. You could try them all. I would love to hear what you are going to try first?
If you want to learn how to use Pinterest for your business to create passive income on autopilot, you can sign up for my Pinterest for Business Challenge here.
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