The book | Read in May 2018 | Rating 4.5
If you’re thinking of leaving your day job to go freelance, read this. It’ll help you to think about which revenue streams might work for you and your lifestyle, and give you tools to diversify your income. You really can monetise your expertise, generate some passive income, and thrive.
These days, the greatest job security possible comes from learning your craft, marshaling social proof, and developing multiple, sustainable revenue streams. When you’re no longer reliant on one company or one form of income, you’ve rendered yourself disruption-proof.
Build your brand, monetise your expertise, and extend your reach and impact online.
Diversify your income. Examples of revenue streams: consulting, coaching, a blog (could use ads or affiliate marketing), paid webinars, courses, ebooks, subscriptions.
Get your name out there
Create a list of 3-5 ideas to pitch to media outlets, based on their style. Reach out to 3 this week. Write for the publications that will have you, then ask bigger ones, e.g. Forbes or Business Insider. People’s impression of these brands will transfer to you.
Repeat exposure is essential. In politics, there’s a saying that voters have to hear your name seven times before they’ll remember it.
Deepen your audience’s trust in you. Create valuable content; build social proof; maintain a connection with your audience; build your email list.
What forms of social proof can you leverage (affiliations with prominent companies, educational institutions, membership organizations, media outlets, or individuals)?
Who are the influencers that it would make the biggest difference for you to connect with?
What skills or resources can you offer to help more experienced people in your field?
Grow your email list through content marketing
Which of your blog posts, podcasts, or videos have been particularly popular? Look for trends to drive new content.
What knowledge or information do you have that people ask you about frequently? How could you package this into a desirable lead magnet?
The perfect sort of giveaway is easy to create, but extremely useful.
Ideas for lead magnets: long PDFs, lists of questions, templates, tip sheets, swipe files, exercises, workbooks, a mini-course.
Focus on one channel at a time.
Have a consistent pace of publishing. More volume means more exposure and a greater chance of striking a chord with readers.
James Clear: “Every marketing strategy is easier with good content” – sometimes you don’t need a better strategy or tactic, but better work.
Consider syndication agreements with sites like Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Business Insider, and Forbes. Early on, it could be LinkedIn and Medium.
Invest in your skills
Marie Forleo: “I didn’t want to be desperate for clients,” she said, “so I bartended and did other odd jobs to bring in enough money to maintain my NYC lifestyle and invest in my own business and marketing education.”
Nathan Chan, “FPO33: Marie Forleo Reveals How to Build an 8 Figure Business with Heart” (Foundr)
Marie Forleo, “The Rich, Happy & Hot Entrepreneur Blueprint” (Tony Robbins)
Find ways to monetise that feel authentic to you and offer real value to your customers
Show your audience that you’re knowledgeable and put your relationship with them first before any potential financial gain.
When you have built a reputation, exposure, and a list of clients who can provide referrals and testimonials, move away from low-paying engagements – my addition: unless they’re meaningful.
Get clear on the value you can bring; build your brand to attract the right kind of clients who would be happy to work with you (even at a premium price point). Be confident enough to name that price and stand firm on it.
Understand what it costs you to share your work with others (time, other costs) and determine what breakeven (and beyond) would look like.
Know what others on your level are charging and increase your confidence.
Think about various pricing models. Can you continue to offer some material for free, for those who genuinely can’t pay, while offering exclusive paid content to your super-fans?
When starting out with consulting, reach out to your friends and colleagues to say you’re going out on your own. Do they know of any opportunities?
Reach out to a satisfied client to ask for a referral – do they know of other people or organisations that might benefit from your help?
Were there common elements in your last three to five client engagements? Can you systematise this?
Build other revenue streams
Test out a course idea with a small pilot programme. Pivot around your audience’s feedback, then bring it to a wider audience.
Move out of the business areas you dislike and transition into new revenue streams (webinars, courses, consulting, events, a book).
Bring your ideal work and lifestyle together
I leave every day around two or three to go to yoga; I don’t work all day. I read for an hour in the morning. These are things I love doing and I’d rather have a slower-building income and keep a really healthy, calm lifestyle as much as I can.
— Jenny Blake
Only deep work will enable you to get noticed, get promoted, and make a name for yourself.
Accomplish your high-value tasks by sharply limiting the number of projects you focus on.
Every six months, identify two primary professional goals; everything else, unless it directly makes you money or is a mandatory administrative task, gets shunted aside.
Figuring out how to monetize your expertise, in multiple ways, also allows you the freedom to determine what you really want your life to look like.