Profit is the motive for anyone in business – and when you are selling yourself and consulting services, it’s a great idea to develop multiple streams of income to tide the slower times of business. Here are the top 15 ways to turn your hard work into more cash!
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1. Sell Products
If there is a product line that lends itself to you and your business, that is already set up as a sales pipeline… don’t be shy – give it a try! Many people in late startup are afraid to be associated with a product line, but what they fail to recognize is the time it takes to build out their suite of services and offers. If you have a ready-made product line that serves your clients and works with your brand – use it to generate interest in your services! But be careful – it’s very easy to align with direct sales companies today… you can sell anything from kitchen products, to foods, to children’s books to water filters – but if it doesn’t make ‘sense’ to your business model and clientele, it runs the risks of spreading you too thin, and it actually could undermine your credibility and legitimacy as a business owner. So, seek products that either you use in your business, are directly relevant to a service you offer, or have a feed stream that is relevant to your ideal clients. Choose wisely.
2. Sell Other’s Programs As An Affiliate
One of the fastest ways to cash is to hitch your wagon to someone who is a few steps ahead of you, whom you’d recommend! If you have folks whom you admire, and are in the midst of building your own list of fans, check out if those you follow offer affiliate programs (I do here!) I have some friends and colleagues from whom I’ve made several hundred dollars by simply signing up to be an affiliate to their brands and offered their programs to my list via my email and social media posts. I’m always excited to receive (relatively) effortless income from someone else’s amazing work. But, again – a bit of caution must be taken because you don’t want to disappoint or negatively impact your list. Some affiliate programs have requirements that may seem like demands… often they ask you to post several times a day in the social stratosphere and send solo emails – just about their programs to your list as requirements. So – as always – buyer beware and be sure you align with programs and businesses whom you know, like, and trust.
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3. Sell Your Own Products
If you’re an artisan, of course – typically the lion’s share of your income is in exchange for physical products. However, if you’re in the service business, you may have blocked this avenue as a possible income stream. Consider your options! Today, there are literally hundreds of ways for you to sell your own products. Consider wrapping your expert advice into the cover of a book (or ebook – it’s pretty simple to self-publish these days), create a home study course, press your own CDs, or create a special report that offers resources or something new! You can also group similar products into product lines. Once you create your masterpiece, you can get creative with how you offer your products to different customers.
4. Create Package Pricing
One of the first indications that your business is growing is when you become a bit too busy… you find yourself running ragged, serving clients with not much time in the day left for business building activities, or for you and your family. This is when it’s time to get out of the ‘dollars-for-hours’ mindset and get creative with your services. This is not doable for your business?? I challenge you to think creatively about how to offer a ‘package’ of services for an extended period (with or without discounted rates) and go from there. If you’re first starting out – take your typical workload – and make that your middle-tier package. Then, create your highest service (with some nice bonuses) – as well as your lower commitment service. Try them out on potential clients and see what sticks!
5. Audit Your Expenses
I have a running list of subscriptions, online apps, and tools that I use to run my business. Each year as the days get shorter, I revisit and update this list. It helps me audit my current expenses, and prioritize whether the apps, subscriptions, and services are paying off. I also review bank, merchant, and credit card statements regularly. BUT – sometimes expenses can fly under the radar. In fact, I discovered a huge gap from an account one of my kids had started years ago (when it was free) and it was racking up monthly. By the time I discovered it and discussed it with my husband, we realized we had already paid several hundred dollars over the course of a few years in monthly subscription fees. We never caught it because the monthly fees were low enough that they were going by unnoticed… my husband thought they were my charges, and I thought they were his. So, audit your business expenses regularly and be sure you know what the hidden charges are, and where they’re going.
6. Create A Continuity Program (Free or Fee)
A continuity program is one that provides regularity for your community. You may choose to offer a free service (such as a podcast) or one that provides monthly income to both add value and build your community. Some entrepreneurs start out offering something free to gain the trust of people in their community and are then happy to receive the benefits when sales increase. It’s much easier to sell to people who know you, and people love being a member of an in-group. Social Media has made this so simple – especially the free versions. It’s as easy as setting up a public group on either Facebook and Linked In to get started. Especially if you’re looking to generate consistent content and build your following, consider creating a community and offering a free weekly call – chock full of value-added content.
7. Bundle Your Assets
When I started out, I tried ‘just about everything’ to make more money. And then – as my business grew, my clientele became more crystalized, and my offers more savvy -I looked around at the entire bookshelf of products I’d created! (Most were sitting there, collecting dust!) One of the best things I did was sit in front of a huge flipchart pad and started writing down all the different ‘assets’ I had. This review was the beginning of my journey into bundling items into packages. Packages and bundles offer more value to your clients and usually have higher conversion rates than single products. (This means more people tend to buy a bundle with an assumed higher value than items piece by piece.) So, take a look back and see if there is a way for you to create a level of value by combining your assets creatively to offer different services or a high-end package.
8. Create Your Own Affiliate Program
Do you have an outstanding program that others really love? If so, you may want to check out creating an affiliate program of your own! When I began to market my Time & Space Style Inventory, I knew it was the time to begin my own affiliate program. Now, people who know, like, and trust what I do are able to recommend it to others and as a result, get a sweet reward! There are many affiliate programs out the magical internet, tracking links are all monitored.
9. Decrease Your Spending
One of the first things my husband and I do when we’re looking to afford something we were not planning for is to look at ways to decrease what we currently spend. Personal expenses can include eating in for a month or two, making our own coffee and lunches vs. going out, and coupon shopping to help cut extraneous expenses. When it comes to business, you can do the same thing! Some easy ways to cut expenses are to find the gaps, bleeds, and drains in your business currently. (This probably should appear higher on my list because it always works…)
10. License Your Program
I’ll soon license the TSSI™ (Time & Space Style Inventory) my assessment tool and certify other coaches who may wish to use it and train it to others! Of course, it’s taken a while to get to this level (and I needed an appropriate product/program to make this option even viable) – but it is a viable option if you have trademarked programs and signature systems that others could pick up and use. Certification is another step up – and may offer increased earning potential. (This is the next step for me in my business.)
11. Sell Ads/Articles On Your Blog, Site, Ezine…
When you get a solid following, others who are looking to advertise will be willing to ‘get in front of your group’ by advertising on your well-known (and well-respected) blog, website, or ezine. I’ve paid as little as $25 for a place on a blog and as much as $200/month to advertise a specific product/program for a short time. If you have a popular website, blog, podcast, and following, this may be a great option for you!
12. Pay Per Click Advertising
This is when you set up with a vendor to place its pay-per-click ads on your site so when a visitor clicks on one of the sponsored ads, you receive income. Although AdSense (By Google) is probably the best-known player by Google there are others. It’s a good practice to work with an assistant who’s done this before because there is a danger that ads encourage people to click away from your web site. So, if you’re a blogger, or have a large following, it may be worthwhile to look into this opportunity.
13. Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle!
If you’ve created a webinar, recorded a teleclass, live seminar, workshop, or other one-time events – consider dusting it off, and reusing it! You could create an offer by simply bundling the original recording, adding a transcript of it – and perhaps packaging it into a series. At the very least, whatever you do from now on -make sure you record your originals so you have the opportunity to sell it later. I’ve used materials several times for my individual clients – to adding pre-recorded items, tools and templates from one area of my business to others. Take a new look at your other stuff – or hire a coach to help you re-bundle your awesomeness to cash in on some new clients!
14. Change Your Audience
One of the best marketers out there Lisa Sasevich is well-known for sharing her father’s story about his rise to fame by not changing his comedic act, but by changing his audience! In the early years of my business, I worked almost exclusively with non-profit associations and companies. I LOVED the work, but as is their nature, they typically have limited budgets. When I learned that with a few minor changes, I could simply shift my focus to other corporations and small to medium-sized businesses – repurpose my training and coaching programs, I was able to quadruple my rates, income, and clients. If you’re finding that your audience is saturated, or slow to purchase – explore other audiences that may benefit from what you have to offer.
15. Reach Out
One of the most overlooked yet highly profitable opportunities business owners have is their past clients. When business is slow, generate a list of your best clients and customers who’ve enjoyed amazing results from your services or products. Drop them a warm email, pick up the phone, or create an actual snail-mail letter to reach out to them and see how they’re doing. I’ve been surprised (so many times that it’s no longer a surprise…) at the response rate I’ve received when I’ve reached out to past clients! Be sure to consider some type of continuity upsell, a free valuable resource, a new program that may fit their needs, or a new product to make your offer irresistible.
Your Sanity Assignment
Time to do a ‘Bucket Dump’ (this is what I lovingly refer to as emptying my brain!) Grab some post-it notes and use one for each idea you generate. When you’ve emptied your bucket – stick each separate note to the wall and see what ideas are most plausible and those that are easy to complete.
Please Comment Below!
Which suggestion above is the best for you right now? Which would you like to explore? How can I help?