One of the easiest ways to scale as a service provider is through passive income. It allows you to make money in the long run with just a bit of effort up front.
Ready to scale? Here’s how to make passive income (aka diversify your income) as a web designer or other service provider.
TRANSCRIPTION: How to Make Passive Income As a Web Designer
I just want to say, I think service-based business owners get a bad rap when it comes to.
Having a scalable business or having the ability to scale your business to six figures and beyond. And I think that’s because working one-on-one is often not seen as a scalable option because there’s only one of you and you can only work with one client at a time. So how are you going to scale either work with more clients or charge more or both.
I have a lot of thoughts when it comes to different ways to scale your business. But one thing that I think isn’t often talked about is that as service-based business owners, we don’t only need to rely on one source of income.
Not all of us want to build an agency with a huge team. I know for me personally, that just doesn’t fit in with the vision I have for my company.
Today, I’m going to be talking about two additional streams of income. I have added to my business to compliment the client work that I’m doing on a regular basis. Before we dive into that, I’m Galen from Local Creative Co. And if you’re new around here, make sure to subscribe to this channel. So you don’t miss any videos I put out in the future.
Both of the income streams that I’m going to be talking about today, some would refer to as passive income. And I’m not a huge fan of that terminology because I just don’t feel like there’s that much passive about it.
Both of them require the initial setup. They require maintenance and they require ongoing marketing to make them sustainable.
The nice thing is they tend to build momentum over time. So you put in a lot of work upfront to build the system, to create the marketing, and that will continue to bring new people into your business over the long run.
Okay. So what actually are these income streams that I’m talking about? The first one is digital products and courses. I have created several digital products and courses over the years that compliment my business or they’re based around topics that compliment my business. The nice thing about this is that these products attract the same type of people that might end up hiring me to design their website. So it’s a win, win scenario.
You could consider these lower cost products as feeders for my higher end design services.
These products are technically passive because I create them once and then I can sell them over and over again. It’s that whole make money while you sleep mentality. I love waking up in the morning to receive a notification on my phone, letting me know that somebody purchased while I was sleeping, but it’s not that simple.
There is so much work that goes into validating the product idea, making sure that people are actually interested. Will anyone actually buy the thing I created to putting together all of the marketing materials to creating the product or the course itself, I have spend hours and hours of time building out these products and services and then building out the marketing that make sure that people know about them.
And then I’m actually able to sell them on a somewhat regular basis.
Not to mention. It’s also really helpful to have an audience before you create and sell digital products. So that way you have people to test your ideas with, and you have an audience they’re ready to buy when you launch your new course or product.
If you’d like to launch a digital product or course of your own, it’s really helpful to look at things you might have already created for your existing clients. Maybe there’s resources or guides or templates that your clients absolutely love. Think about just taking those, tweaking them a little bit, and then making them available for sale on your website.
The technology behind hosting, delivering and selling your digital products can be really overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. And you don’t know where to start. That’s why I’m going to share one of my favorite tools with you. It’s the one I use that makes it, so I don’t have to worry about any of the backend stuff.
And I can focus on delivering my services to my clients and marketing my business while they take care of the rest.
That tool is called Podia. And I’m going to leave a link in the description if you want to go check it out. And if you’re interested in me creating a tutorial about how I set up all my digital products and courses inside of Podia, what that looks like on the backend and how you can use Podia to list your products on your website, regardless of which platform you’re using.
Let me know in the comments so that I can make that video for you next. Next. If I look at the last year of my business, digital product and core sales made up about 30% of my total income. And I’ve sold to over 500 customers since my first digital product launched.
Again, there’s so much that goes into creating, maintaining, and marketing these digital products, but it’s so worth it. If you feel inspired to add this as an additional income stream for your business.
The second income stream that I want to talk to you about today is affiliate income. And yes, this is another passive income stream because in this case, you’re not even at technically creating the product that you’re selling. In this example, with the affiliate income, you are using a special link to link to a product or a software as a service that already exists. And then you get a commission every time somebody signs up through your link.
This is probably the easiest income stream to add to your business, because my guess is you’re already recommending tools and resources that you use personally, with other people inside of your business network.
There are tons of different affiliate programs out there, and chances are, if you go to Google and you type in a tool that you use frequently and then type affiliate program, after it hit enter, it’s going to pop up with a referral or affiliate program for that software.
You can then sign up for the program. Sometimes you’re required to apply in advance and let them know where you’re going to be sharing their link and how you’re going to be promoting the tool. But a lot of times you can just sign up, you’ll get approved, and then they give you that custom link that you can then share on social media.
You can talk about it on stories. You can talk about it through email marketing, you can write blog posts about that tool, genuinely Sharing the value and why you use and love that tool and why you think other people will get a lot out of it too.
Now, it’s really important that when you talk about this tool and you share your special link that you disclosed, this is an affiliate relationship and that you may be financially compensated. If somebody ends up signing up for the tool, through your link.
Many -platforms and affiliate programs have regulations around this. So you want to make sure that you read the fine print before you start promoting. It’s also just best practice to be as transparent as possible when you’re talking to your audience online.
I have made thousands of dollars promoting affiliate products over the years. And it’s really easy because these are tools that I personally use and love anyway. So I don’t mind talking about them. And I actually think it provides a lot of value to my audience over email and on social media.
For example, I promote HoneyBook all the time. I use HoneyBook for all of my client management. I use it to send invoices and contracts and to communicate back and forth with my clients about a project that I’m working on with them. I love this tool and I get to promote it. And when people sign up for the free trial and then upgrade to a paid account, at some point, I get a kickback from HoneyBook as a thank you.
Every affiliate program is going to be a little bit different. Some will send cash right to your bank account. Others will give you credit towards using their software or tool. It’s really going to depend, and it’s going to be on a program by program basis.
No matter which tools you decide to promote, keep in mind that you actually have to promote and share your links. If you want people to sign up for them and for you to get that affiliate commission, that’s the part that’s not so passive.
Signing up for these programs is definitely the easiest part of the process. If you’re not. Then talking about the tools on social media or sending out email newsletters about how to incorporate the tools into your business or life, or even writing blog posts, which are great for SEO and can help bring consistent traffic back to your site over and over again. If you’re not putting out content consistently and talking about the tool all the time, you’re probably not going to be making any sales.
Even though both of these additional streams of income require some work. If you want to see results in my mind, they are totally worth it. And now I want to hear from you, which one are you considering trying, adding digital products and courses to your business or trying out some affiliate marketing?
Let me know in the comments below.
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Scaling Your Business As a Service Provider
In my opinion, service-based business get a bad rap when it comes to scalability. But there are plenty of ways for web designers, online business managers, copywriters, photographers, and other service providers to scale their income.
One of my favorite ways to do this is through passive income. The term “passive income” is a bit misleading, though. With a passive income stream, you devote time and energy up front into creating a system for making money down the line. Usually, it requires a bit of upkeep, but not nearly as much as one-on-one client work.
2 Ways to Make Passive Income As a Web Designer
Ready to create your own passive income stream? Here are two ways I’ve scaled my business through passive income.
1. Online Courses + Digital Products
One of the most popular (and profitable!) passive income streams for web designers is digital products. These can be online courses, templates, guides, or other downloadable resources.
To get started, think about the resources you’ve already created for your clients. Maybe you send them step-by-step guides or video tutorials. Maybe you provide templates for new site pages or social media graphics. Whatever it is, you can tweak that resource, create marketing for it, and offer it as a standalone product.
When you’re developing your products, consider how it might lead to more high-ticket client in the long run. For example, I offer a course on SEO for creative business owners (which I host through Podia). Many of my customers for the course start as DIYers, but later on they invest in my web design services or one-on-one SEO consulting. The course serves as a “feeder” for bigger projects.
2. Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing
If you’re a web designer or other service provider, chances are you have a list of products and softwares you recommend to *everyone–*your clients, your business peers, maybe even your friends. So why not make money from those recommendations?
When you sign up for an online affiliate program, you receive a special link from the company that you can use to recommend their product or service to your audience. When someone purchases the product through that link, you get a small commission. Easy as that!
Here’s a list of tools and resources that I use and recommend.
Of course, there is some work involved in applying for the referral program and then spreading the word about the product. Personally, it’s been worth the effort. Just make sure you’re being transparent with your audience about your affiliate links, and only promote companies you genuinely know and trust.
Ready to scale your web design business with passive income?
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