As a coach, consultant, service provider, or as somebody who has not productised their expertise, you are used to trading hours for dollars. This is not a sustainable business model because hours are finite.
Due to the fact that we can’t just manufacture more time and it’s not a never-ending supply, it’s important for you to find ways to generate income that don’t require you showing up in front of your computer or with your clients every time that you need to get paid.
This is something that I have been very passionate about now for about six years because I know that when I look back at my life when my final days have come, I’m not going to want to think about how much work I did.
I’m not going to want to think about all of the different struggles with finding time for my loved ones or all the places I didn’t go because I had to serve my clients.
I love most of my clients, but I’m not on this planet just to do the work. I have more ahead of me than that, and so do you. You are more than your work. You are more than what it is you are giving to your clients.
Unfortunately, for those of us who are coaches, consultants, service providers, you’re giving away a lot of your time.
The way to stop is to make a shift from trading just time for money and to start trading knowledge for money.
You can do that through passive income programs, whether they are things that you create and sell yourself or products created by others (IE: affiliate marketing) as a way to generate some passive income.
Passive income is such a big deal when you’re trying to build a freedom based business that it is the core pillar of the Impactful Empire Method.
Everything that we do inside of the Impactful Empire Method™ is to get you to that point where passive income eclipses one-on-one income. When this happens, you can fully live the life you want without having to do all of the work, all of the time, for all of the humans.
I teach my clients this because when you have passive income as your main revenue stream at the core of your business, the life you dream about becomes a reality.
Imagine waking up every day and not having to pay attention to the clock, not having to be in a rush.
Imagine being able to work from any country in the world, any time zone, anywhere with just an Internet connection.
Imagine getting to travel and meet awesome people with whom you relate very well and not having to end the conversation because you have to dash off to a client meeting.
Imagine finally being able to earn those six figures or multiple six figures that you’ve dreamed about without working more hours, running yourself into exhaustion because when you’ve got the time, the energy and the money, you can have a huge impact on the world.
You can change people’s lives when you have both time and money, but when you are lacking one or the other, it becomes very difficult to make a lasting, sustainable impact.
Passive Income Isn’t a Cure-all
Now, passive income products — I should really emphasize this — are not a cure all for being bad at what you do.
If you’re not good at what you do, then passive income products are not going to save your business.
They also aren’t going to be completely hands-off. Passive income programs do take some work to maintain, but it’s a different type of work. You’re not spending all of your energy serving only a few clients one-on-one; instead, you are creating content and building relationships.
Maybe you are spending one day a week creating content for a membership site, or nurturing relationships with people who have products you want to be an affiliate for.
Work is still involved, but it’s not the same type of work; it’s more creative work and it’s work that gives you more freedom, because you’re not having to do everything all the time for all of the humans who pay you.
How to switch to a passive income business model
To start to make the switch so passive income products are at the core of your business model, I first want you to realize that your time is a premium resource.
This is especially true if you’ve spent a number of years building up your knowledge and you’re a true expert in your niche.
If right now most of your income is derived from one-on-one work for your clients, whether that’s a service, coaching, consulting, it’s time to start thinking about how to get your knowledge out of your head so you can create passive income programs.
One of the things that you could do is just sit down in front of Google Docs, turn on your microphone, and just start talking. Just brain vomit everything that is in your head about what it is you do.
The other thing you could do is start recording sessions with your clients, which, in my opinion, if you’re a consultant or a coach you should be doing this anyway, so that you can give your clients or recording that has so much more value than just a call that vanishes into the ether, but, anyway. Record your one-on-one sessions, whether you are coaching or consulting, and use those to start to see exactly what it is you do with your clients and break it down into a framework.
This is how the Impactful Empire Method™ was born, because my client work is, I thought, very unique from client to client, but in reality my work is actually very predictable from client to client. Without even knowing it, I was taking clients through the same process, whether yoga teachers or health coaches, or any other industry that you can pretty much imagine. The process that I was working through was exactly the same.
Of course, the things that came up for them and the way that they implemented what it was I taught them, that, of course, was different and unique to them and to their business and their experience. But the method was exactly the same. So once I had that light bulb moment, I was able to get this out of my head, onto paper, and start to use this as the foundation of a whole new suite of passive income programs.
Once you’ve got everything out of your head and you have an idea of what it is that you want to teach in a passive income program, which, let’s be honest, the most profitable ones are courses, you need to start flipping things around in your business so that you can earn most of your money passively.
When you do this, you’re going to have the feeling of getting more time because you’re just freeing up the time that you now spend doing services. I really want you to pay attention to the word freedom. Changing your business model just for the sake of changing your business model is not a good idea.
I mean, if you love doing one-on-one work, if you love the process and if you love all of your time going to your clients, then don’t do this.
But if you love freedom, if you want to be free to choose how to live your time, then pay attention to that and really grasp on to that word because, over the years, I have seen when clients start to falter with this process of creating passive income products, it is because they didn’t maintain the connection to the concept of freedom.
“Well, you know, I just don’t know if I can do this right now. The time isn’t right.”
All of these excuses come up because of fear. Fear is a huge deal for entrepreneurs, as you probably know from personal experience. When those fear things come up, they can be overwhelming.
But, when you remember that you’re doing this, that you’re putting in the work, that you are changing your business so that you are seen and paid like an expert, like a professional, you need to remember you’re doing it for the freedom. You’re doing it for what you can do with your time other than just show up and work all of the time. Working is great. I love working. I’m all about the hustle.
However, I’m also all about spending my days how I choose. If you’re at the beck and call of your clients all the time, you don’t have any freedom of choice there.
With that concept in mind — simply remembering why you’re doing this — then take a look at a product funnel and start figuring out what different types of products you can add in that are passive.
What’s this about funnels?
The way a traditional funnel works is you have the narrowest part, which is the most expensive, and the widest part, which is also called the top of the funnel, which is usually very low and low ticket offers. As people come into the top of your funnel with a low-end, low ticket offer, they can get an idea of who you are, how you can help them, how you serve, and then they can move down the funnel to the next offer which is a little bit more expensive, but still a passive income product that gives them more value.
The more they move down this funnel, the price points increase, the value increases, and you’re doing this as a way to guide people through a transformation.
It’s not enough to just say, “Oh, I’m going to put up an e-book.” Yeah, you can do that, but you’re not going to make nearly as much money as when you are guiding people through your funnel. You need to be taking your customers on a journey through your passive income products.
Now, the absolute teeny tiny little tip of the funnel, the very bottom, that can be your high-end services. This would be where you decide to offer a yearlong mastermind for entrepreneurs who are making eight figures a year, for example.
Or, this could be where you offer private one-on-one coaching or whatever it is. It needs to be high value and high priced. The thing with your passive income product funnels is most people are not going to get all the way to the bottom, and that is okay.
Each step of the way, as you move someone from your lowest ticket offer to the medium ticket offer to your highest ticket offer, people are going to fall out of the funnel. There are going to be people who either due to time, money, energy, or even just basic interest, decide that they don’t want the next thing that you have. That is okay.
What you need to be doing, however, is focusing on making sure that the experience is amazing so that people don’t just fall out of your funnel because you’re delivering a poor product or poor customer service. It is very easy to turn people away when you are not delivering quality.
People want quality.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of crap on the internet. So the abundance of bad products is really quite laughable. However, the upside to this is that you get to stand out by being better than everybody else, but you have to commit to creating quality in every single product at every single step of your funnel.
Now, about the one-on-one time at the bottom of your funnel here, I want you to be thinking about how you can shape this in a way that when you do get someone all the way to your bottom of the funnel, they’re not just going to be sucking up all of your time and energy.
You need to structure that offer in a way that is a win-win for both you and the client; whether this means you run all of your VIP work with phone or you only provide email support, or maybe you’re providing services, think about the things that you are doing.
The way that you can structure them so that it’s not a giant time suck, because even now I do have a couple clients who have gotten to the bottom of the funnel, who I need to … how should I say this nicely? I need to continually remind them that this isn’t a free for all on my time. Yes, they are paying me. Yes, I am delivering value and results. But I’m not going to be available 24/7.
You need to be structuring your offer in a way that you still have boundaries, that you still have time and freedom, and also making sure that you’re still delivering on that value. Don’t be afraid to reiterate to your client at this stage that you are not going to be at their beck and call every single hour of every single day.
How to flesh out your passive income product funnel
Before I wrap up, I want to talk about a couple of things that you can put inside of your passive income product funnel that will generate both value for the customer and revenue for you. So you can create courses on your own website.
You can house this in a platform like OptimizeMember, which is what I use with all of my clients. You could use Kajabi. You could use Wishlist Member. There’s a lot of different options for hosting online courses on your own platform. I personally don’t like to use things like Kajabi or Teachable or Thinkific because I like to own the real estate where I am developing my empire. It makes sense to me, and I never tell my clients that they should be using one of those external platforms either.
However, if you don’t have the funds for a tech specialist like me and what my agency does, then go ahead and sign up on one of these other platforms. Just know that they’re not the end all be all solution for your empire. At some point, you are going to need to make a change when you want to scale and grow, and also if you’re ever looking at reducing your costs and your overhead.
Another thing you can do is create Udemy courses. Udemy is a very interesting platform where courses are a little bit of a commodity. I got my first course on Udemy about five to six years ago now and I still make money off of that course.
I’ve had over 500 people go through that course. I wouldn’t have been able to command those numbers on my own website because I didn’t have an audience. Nobody knew who I was. But the Udemy marketplace is full of people all around the world who are trying to learn something new. The benefit to Udemy is that they do all of the hosting. You don’t have to pay for the hosting.
They have a huge audience. But the downside to Udemy is you have to be stringent about following their guidelines for the content, the different formats of different parts of your course, so they’re very video-heavy. They will often discount your course and lump it in with a promotion for other courses.
Also, they have caps on how much you can charge. So you can’t have a premium high ticket flagship course on Udemy. It’s not going to work. They’re not going to let you do it. But you could have a small course, so something that is at the top of the funnel, like 50 bucks. You can have a small course there on Udemy, and you can use that to drive people to your other platforms.
Udemy has rules about how you do that and the rules change and evolve just like the rules on any platform change and evolve. So make sure you look into how you can drive people to different platforms before you decide that you’re going to plunge into that. But it can be your great option for building a low cost course at the top of your funnel.
Other things that you can do that I’m a big fan of here are e-books, planner pages, so any sort of digital download that you can host on your website using something like WooCommerce.
These are great little things that you can create when you’ve got some time over the weekend, get them up on your website and continually drive traffic to your blog posts, and when they’re there, people can see these things that you have on offer. So if you’ve been following me for, oh gosh, a couple years, anytime in the last couple years that you’ve come in, I’ve started selling workbooks. I call these Success Kits, because what I am focused on in these digital downloads is giving you all of the tools that you need to be successful in one particular area of your business.
I have a sales funnel success kit, a webinar success kit. I have several different options that are going to help you master one area of your business. These workbooks have fill in the blank spaces and checklists. Some of them come with videos or other bonuses, so like the webinar one has some slide decks in it.
These are a great way for me to supplement my income. Now, they’re not my main source of income, but they are a great way to get somebody into my funnel. When somebody is in the funnel, I don’t have to suddenly worry about, “Oh, is this somebody who’s ever going to buy from me?” because they’ve already done that. They’ve already done pre-qualified themselves as somebody who trusts me enough to give me a little bit of their money. So it completely changes the dynamic of the relationship.
One of my other businesses sells WordPress templates for Divi. That’s another way that you can do digital download. So if you’re a designer, you could do that, too. This is not my idea. This is not exclusive to me. So feel free to take this concept and run with it. Sell something that is going to help other designers or going to help people who can’t afford a designer. So templates and themes are a great way to do that.
E-books, so these are just like you would be getting on Kindle except hosted on your own website so they’re PDFs. You could, of course, do the .mobi format or even the Kindle format, but whatever it is, hosted on your own website because that is another way that you can control the way it looks, the way it acts, and you get to control the customers that come in to your funnel through there. I mean, I should rephrase that. You don’t get to control your customers, but you get to control how you talk to your customers who come in through that process.
Kindle is another great option for passive income products. You can create a book in a weekend, get it edited, a get a nice cover, hire designer for it. Most people who write Kindle books cannot create a cover to save their lives. Hire a designer. Get your Kindle book up for sale and that’s another way that you can generate income. Amazon has these great tools right inside of Kindle Direct Publishing, and you can run ads to your books.
You can see how many people have downloaded your books over, the course of your book ever being up on the platform, and you also get to enroll your book in something called Kindle Unlimited where you get paid for how much of the book somebody has read. So it’s a really good way to supplement your income.
One of my clients is doing quite nicely with Kindle books. They do take some effort though and you are going to need to buy a good book cover. The book cover is everything, because that is what’s going to draw people in when they first see it in the search results on Amazon. So people are going to see the cover of the book, they’re going to see the title, and the quality of the cover is going to determine whether or not they click through. So if it looks cheap, if the design is bad, then they’re not going to click through. If they do and you get people to read, it’s going to be a small miracle. So don’t make this any harder for yourself that you have to. Invest in a good cover.
Affiliate Income as Passive Income
The last thing I want to mention here for passive income is not a program, but it’s affiliate income for other people’s products and programs. There are a lot of platforms out there like ShareASale, Rakuten LinkShare. You can even use Amazon.
These platforms will generate links that you share with your audience and when someone makes a purchase through your link, you get a small commission. So I use Amazon Affiliates. I am affiliates with many higher level entrepreneurs and business gurus who have high-end programs. With this, you can also do launches. You can do JV promotions, or these are joint venture promotions. You can promote their products to your audience in exchange for an affiliate commission.
I’ve done Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy affiliate promotion for the last couple of years. It’s 50% of the cost of the course. So last time, it was, I believe, about $1,000.00 every time someone signed up for his course through my link. Now, this is not, again, completely hands-off passive. It’s not 100% passive because you do still need to put in some work. You need to write emails to your audience. You need to create content on your blog.
You also need to incentivize people to enroll with you by giving them bonuses, like a Facebook group where you are there with them to guide them through taking the course.
But, the amount of money that you can make off of these affiliate promotions for other people is massive. I’m talking six figures here. So this is something that you should also be considering as you start to build your audience and as you start to shift away from trading all of your time for money.
No matter what sort of niche you’re part of, you can take any of these ideas, all of these ideas, just one of these ideas, and add it into your business and start changing the way that you work. The more places that you can drive people who are interested in working with you, the more opportunities for freedom you have. So when the only option that you have is a single one-on-one service, you are ruling out everybody who’s not ready for that and you’re also limiting the freedom that you have.
By having these other choices, you’re not just going to be getting back your time, you’re not going to have more freedom, but you are also going to be able to serve your clients better. This is not just about you. This is about meeting your clients where they’re at, and when you do that you can have a massive impact.
Once you get these products integrated into your business, you are well on your way to finally having the impactful empire you have been working towards.