If you have a service based business and are accustomed to trading your time for money you definitely want to read the rest of this article.
Whether you are a lawyer, baker, web designer, personal trainer, real estate agent, even a hair stylist, if the 3 strategies I’m about to share with you are not a part of your business, you are missing a huge opportunity to increase your income and free up some of your time.
Providing a 1-to-1 service is great, however if you could add an additional income stream to your business without a lot of headache and hassle, why wouldn’t you?
Think about it… I’d bet you are constantly giving your clients advice on what they should do. Or always answering questions about some problem your clients are having.
You are constantly educating your clients and customers.
So what if you could turn what you are already doing into another, less time-intensive, revenue stream for your business.
I’m here to tell you that you can, by creating information products.
With an information product, you take the knowledge and expertise that you have in your head and share it in several ways. I’m going to give you three great places to start:
- Write a short report, anywhere between 15-25 pages. Think about the questions you get asked all of the time, over and over again. Then take the time to answer them in a written report. You could easily write a short report in a weekend. I mean, you’re good at what you do right? Once you have the report written, offer it as a paid download on your website. There’s no printing or fulfillment involved and once you create the report once and setup the payment system once, you’re done! You can use Paypal to accept the payments for your new product which is super simple, or you can use a shopping cart service like 1ShoppingCart.
- Offer a 3-part online video series on a particular subject. This is by far one of the easiest things to do. If you are camera shy, you’ll have to get comfortable… or just do it anyway until you get used to it. Trust me I KNOW exactly how you feel. Video is not where I’m most comfortable either. I’m trying out LIVE video on Periscope right now and it’s definitely a push out of my comfort zone. It may take you a couple of run-throughs to get it right, and that’s ok. Once you have the video recorded, upload it to a video host like Wistia. You can also use YouTube however it’s not best to use them for videos that you are using in products. If you use Youtube, go through the options on make it a private video (so it can’t be found in search engines and won’t show up in your YouTube public archive). Once a purchase is made, you can send an email with the “private” link to your first video and you’re good.
Now when it comes time to deliver your next 2 videos record them, upload them (set them up as private if you are using YouTube) and you’ll send an email to your buyers with new links to each video. Now this is not an automated method. But, it’s a great place to start. You would just have to market your course as a one-time deal happening during a certain period of time. Now if you are a little bit more advanced, you could use an all in one shopping cart system like 1ShoppingCart or Ontraport that has auto-reply emails (called autoresponders). I used 1ShoppingCart for several years until I outgrew it and now use Ontraport. They are both great systems to use.
- A third way to expand your service based business online is to offer audio information products. This is a great alternative if you’re camera shy. You’d follow basically the same process discussed above, only your finished product would be, most likely, an MP3 file that your customer either downloads or listens to online. One of the simplest, and also free, ways to create an audio file is to use a platform like Soundcloud.com to record yourself. Especially if you don’t have any audio recording & editing software on your computer. AudioAcrobat.com has been around forever and offers a paid service that let’s you call in to make your recording. After your call, the audio will be made into an MP3 that you can download, upload to your website and sell. Set it up for sale once and you’re done. You could do this with multiple audio products.
There you have it. It’s not an exhaustive list and there are so many different options, but it’s a great start. Nothing’s stopping you except the barriers you place in front of yourself.
Now once you have your products created and your payment system setup, market the heck out of them. Tell your customers and clients about them. Talk about them on social media. If you have a website, already add them to it. Hopefully you have an email list… so send an email letting them know about your new products.
You can do this! Even if it earned you an extra few hundred bucks a month (it can be WAY more), the real beauty is that you will have implemented a way to stop trading so much of your time for dollars. Instead of serving your customers one-to-one, you can now serve them one-to-many because the work you performed one time can be used multiple times, over and over again without you even being present.
That’s the beauty of information publishing and marketing. You owe it to yourself, your family who can’t spend time with you if you’re working and even your customers to share your brilliance in this way.