The other day I had a conversation with some members of The Round Table. We discussed ways to make additional income, especially in the current economy. My belief is that a good portion of your income should be Predictable and Online. Why those specific traits? First, I believe that income should be consistent, and in order for your income to be consistent, it needs to have a degree of predictability. Imagine you work at a job. What would you do if your boss only paid you some of the time? What if the pay was random? I imagine you wouldn’t want to work there. It would be too difficult to manage your personal finances and would ultimately prove disastrous. This idea especially holds true with entrepreneurs. I’m not a fan of entrepreneurs that can produce an income or a form of revenue without directly knowing how they made it. My belief is that the income can dry up at any time and the entrepreneur will be unable to influence it. I’ve seen this happen on so many different occasions. For example, imagine a restaurant opening up in an excellent location. But the owner doesn’t truly understand marketing or advertising, he doesn’t know why his customers buy from him, he doesn’t know the value of each customer, and he can’t predict his revenue. He relies solely on his location bringing in a consistent flow of money. One day, another restaurant opens up in a newly built plaza down the street. A new mall, some new houses, and tons of outdoor seating are created near the new restaurant. The new restaurant is so similar to the man’s restaurant in the eyes of the consumer that the traffic dries up and eventually causes the man to close his doors. I see this often in restaurants and other establishments. If the owner knew what made his income steady, he could manipulate the variable. Perhaps his income is consistent because of location alone. Maybe marketing could help him compete against the new restaurant. A geo-targeted Facebook Ad or an offer too good to pass up during the launch of the competing restaurant might allow the owner to retain a lot of customers. Or maybe his traffic was due to him having pretty waitresses and he recently hired new men as waiters that were rude. Hiring new, pretty, and pleasant waitresses that are adequately trained might not be a difficult fix. Or perhaps the menu was simply growing old and boring to consistent customers. A menu tweak and some new specials might be the only thing required. Or maybe the restaurant was too average. Perhaps taking a personal touch when it came to greeting customers, serving customers, and providing special deals to customers on holidays, birthdays, etc. might have caused his restaurant to stand out more compared to others. These are all hypothetical but this is a major reason why I believe income should be fairly predictable. A big part of predictability comes from understanding the individual variables involved. Second, I mentioned that I believe income should be online. Why? Primarily because online income is more easily scalable. My belief is that a business owner (or any worker for that matter) should be able to scale their income, which effectively means that they need to de-link their time from the money made. Making money online allows that to happen more easily. Also, making money online actually allows you to increase your spending power. Imagine you work as an employee remotely. You can secure a job in New York and receive a New York salary. However, you live in West Virginia where the average household income is around $49k and the average cost of a house is $119k. If you can manage to make $80k from your remote job while living in West VA, your spending power is tremendous. Saving, investing, taking vacations, and living a high-quality lifestyle can be done extremely easily. Relative to the majority of people in the state, you’re effectively like a millionaire. However, that same income in a state like California might make it fairly difficult to afford basic housing, live even a moderate quality life, and have extra money saved over. For these reasons, having a predictable income and an income that can be made online is extremely important.
With this in mind, I discussed with members of the Round Table ways to create an additional income. My belief is that a business is the most efficient way overall. And I came up with several ideas that could work. Please note that I haven’t tested all of these methods. These are just a few I came up with recently that could theoretically work. The downside of these methods is that they aren’t tested. The upside is that the ideas are likely unsaturated. Now, while this isn’t true of ALL the methods I provide below, most of them involve copywriting. In case you aren’t familiar with Copywriting, it’s a skill used in business often and it’s simply the art of using your words to persuade and sell. I recently appeared in an interview on Copywriting.org, which can be found here. But I share some insights about copywriting and I wanted to share similar insights here that might be helpful.
Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in trying one of these ideas out and if you’d like additional insights.
Real Estate copywriter
As a Real Estate Advisor, I’ll tell you firsthand that one of the most effective yet difficult tasks to do is following up with prospects. The difficulty isn’t from its complexity. Rather, it's from how time-consuming it can be and the creativity required to engage a lead. Many real estate agents and investors lose potential deals simply because they forget to follow up and stay in touch with potential clients and leads. As a Real Estate copywriter, you could offer to provide follow-up sequences that are written in a personal voice to leads. By understanding a bit of consumer psychology and knowing some copywriting techniques, your job could be to engage leads and get them to schedule an in-person appointment with the agent or agents you’re working with. The best thing about this idea is that once you have proven templates, you’ll ultimately decrease your workload since you’ll be able to essentially copy and paste templates and emails that work while adding minor tweaks based on your client and their respective leads. I’m sure other real estate agents can relate, but there have been many clients I've lost simply because I didn't follow up with them enough. Meanwhile, another agent would make their way in front of the potential client at just the right time. As a Real Estate copywriter, you’re saving agents from potentially losing deals. Newsletter Copywriter
Many businesses lose touch with their customers. When’s the last time you walked into a bar, restaurant, or general store and they provided a compelling reason to get your email address or phone number? And if they did, how often do they engage you and keep you interested enough to get you to purchase their items or service? I went to a spa for a massage a while ago. I loved the experience. The ambiance. The employees. The entire time was pleasurable. However, I forgot about them after my massage was finished. And, to this day, I usually don’t remember them unless I'm in the area doing something else. They don’t really stay at the top of my mind. If the spa had consistent newsletters or texts to keep me updated, provide discounts, and share interesting stories about the brand or why massages are beneficial to me and my health, there’s a high probability they’d get me back to the spa. Here’s another story. I signed up for a monthly subscription to Flagship Car Wash near my office. About once a week, they send an email and text telling me to come back. They’ll also give funny or interesting reasons why a clean car is beneficial to me. While the texts don’t always immediately get me to get a car wash, it does keep their business on the top of my mind. This also basically guarantees I’ll continue to use them. In theory, they could use the texts to upsell me or sell me other products. But my overall point is that far too many businesses do not use newsletters at all or any form of communication with previous customers/clients. This leaves a gap for a copywriter to fill.
Social media copywriter At its core, copywriting is just the art of using words to sell. And most businesses use social media these days, which is a massive combination of pictures or videos with words used to describe the picture or video. But the question is, “are they using social media to effectively sell anything”? Plenty of businesses have social media pages that exist but most haven’t tapped into their potential. How many stores have you seen with an Instagram page with less than 300 followers, random photos, no link in their bio, no CTAs, and a single sentence caption for a video or photo? Imagine if a store could monetize its followers in some way, even if they only have 300. They’d probably be willing to pay for that service. As a social media copywriter, you could manage social media pages and optimize them to either sell products/services directly from the pages or to drive traffic to the physical location itself.
I'm sure if you're reading this you've been on websites like Amazon or other e-commerce platforms. Similar to what I suggested in the previous paragraphs, products also need experts for high-level copywriting in order to increase conversions. Arguably, copywriting is especially vital on e-commerce websites since they rely primarily on the description, product photo, and reviews to sell. There is no salesperson walking them through it in real-time.
One of the greatest trends over the past few years is the emergence of dropshipping and e-commerce websites like Etsy and platforms like Shopify. There are plenty of people online that are able to build websites and maybe create deals with manufacturers but they're unable to increase their conversions based on cold or warm traffic.
As a product copywriter, you can fill in the gap by creating captivating captions that could lead to higher conversions for a store or an e-commerce platform.
TikTok Video Editor If you’ve been on social media at all you probably know that some of the most popular forms of content are Tik-Tok videos and Instagram reels. I'd argue that one of the most in-demand skills for personal brands and businesses is the ability to take clips that create short-form content and market them using TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and YouTube shorts.
Believe it or not, tons of brands and businesses still do not use videos for their marketing. This creates a gap that can be filled by anyone that is able to create short-form content similar to Reels or Tik Tok videos at a relatively fast pace
IG Carousel Creator Beyond short-form videos, some of the best converting content on social media are carousels or images that increase the chance of other people sharing them. If you're able to use a platform like Canva to create carousels for brands and businesses theoretically you can take some of their most valuable pieces of information or content and turn it into a carousel that they can use on their platforms in order to increase their followers and overall visibility. The increase in followers and increased visibility can lead to increased traffic to their website or sales page.
Thumbnail Creator YouTube is a platform that allows tons of businesses to increase their overall Revenue. I'd argue that most businesses will be lost in the ocean of businesses if they don't establish a good YouTube presence. Most of the internet is online video at the current moment and YouTube is the second largest search engine outside of Google itself. However, because it is owned by Google it makes little to no sense to not publish videos on that platform. If you've been on YouTube enough you probably learned at this point that one of the greatest ways to increase the chance of someone clicking on a video is to have an enticing thumbnail. Oftentimes, people don't even actually look at the title. They simply rely on the thumbnail to determine if the video is even worth watching. This means that if you have a skill for creating captivating or highly attractive thumbnails for YouTube you can help other businesses increase their attention and overall increase the traffic to their business or sales page and overall increase their revenue.
Article Writer My personal belief is that SEO is very underrated. While ranking high with SEO is a very long game process, I still believe it's worth it for many businesses to engage in the process of writing articles and content to allow them to rank higher in search engines outside of YouTube. Many businesses focus primarily on hot traffic and hot leads. As I mentioned earlier, following up with a potential client or Prospect can help you engage warm leads. But having good SEO will allow you to attract cold leads. My personal belief is that many brands and businesses leave a ton of money on the table by not pursuing cold leads through online search engines. As an article writer, you can find potential content related to the brand or business you work for by researching keywords and phrases that people are searching for to create updated and relevant content. Simultaneously, you can also try to find other brands or businesses that are similar to the business you work for to cross-promote on their platforms. A combination of these will allow you to rank higher theoretically in search engines. This can ultimately allow the business or brand you assisting to rank higher in search engines to increase their cold traffic and overall revenue.
Guest Writer Seeker Another way to increase the potential ranking in search engines and see an overall increase in SEO optimization is through backlinks. Guest writing is another method to increase backlinks to a business or brand’s website. Similar to the previous bullet that I mentioned, many brands and businesses do not consider search engine optimization and the cold traffic it could provide. If you're a good writer and if you're able to write in any tone that's closely related to a brand or business or it’s their voice, you can theoretically write as a guest on other websites or pages. If the website or page links back to your business's website. It'll make the business or brand seem more trustworthy to search engines especially Google which will overall lead to a higher rate of cold traffic
Podcast Guest Seeker Podcasting is a very hot trend at the moment but I still think it's very valuable for several reasons. For a brand or business, appearing as a guest on another platform's podcast will increase overall credibility which is a major factor when it comes to being able to sell or close potential clients, customers, and leads.
In a way, being on a podcast is a form of manufactured celebrity. Also, similar to the previous section, by being a guest on other podcasts you can create a similar effect to being a guest writer on other platforms’ websites or business pages. For the sake of SEO, you'll appear far more credible and trustworthy which will allow you to rank higher if the other platforms link back to your social media pages and your website. As a secondary effect, you can also use the audio and video from the podcast as additional content on social media platforms which can create a win-win for a business/brand and the business/brand that they appear on because you're advertising your brand as well as their brand simultaneously.
The issue that you can fill is finding different podcasts for your client whether it's a business or brand to be on. Pitching to podcasts to be a guest is a very time-consuming and difficult process. By almost acting as a sort of a one-man PR team for a business or brand where their potential client or customer might be you can overall help said business or brand increase their traffic and simultaneously their credibility which will make it far easier for them to close potential clients or customers. Needless to say, this will make the business/brand more revenue and ultimately more profit. Virtual Assistant Fulfillment Service
Recently, I hired a virtual assistant to help me with some tasks and editing. If you’re reading this and live in the US, it’s amazing how far the American dollar goes when it comes to purchasing power overseas. This gave me the idea of a virtual assistant fulfillment service. Effectively, using this service, you’re searching for business and deals as a middleman and organizer. After finding a deal, you use a virtual assistant to fulfill it. For example, perhaps you help businesses improve their SEO. You might be able to lock down several monthly retainers at $300/month. However, rather than using your own time and effort to fulfill the service, you can hire a virtual assistant instead to fulfill the service on a project or hourly basis. Now, in this example, let’s imagine you can find a great SEO content writer that will accept $150 per month. If you were to lock down 5 projects from businesses at $300/month while only paying the virtual assistant $100/month, you might expect to make $1350, effectively passively. Obviously, this is an ideal income to make and the true numbers might not work out to this exactly. However, this is simply an illustration of a way to make an additional income. Keep in mind that businesses need a lot of work done. Whether it’s SEO content, video editing, general social media content, Facebook ads, etc. if you can act as a middleman and outsource cheaply, you might be able to create leverage and profit handsomely. Hopefully, these ideas can be of some use to you. As I mentioned earlier, many of these are untested. I’m not suggesting that these will absolutely work. However, many businesses don’t work. An idea is simply an idea. Execution is a different issue. If you need any help or more ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or Instagram.
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