You’re here because you feel stuck. Stuck in the cog of working to make money. Time in = money out.
I’ve always been annoyed by this equation. I don’t agree that the MORE you work, the MORE you make. I think the Internet has opened things up for connections to be our new currency.
When you think about it that way, building relationships and a strong personal brand are the avenues to a life of freedom as a freelancer.
But since you’re here to learn a bit more about the logistics behind passive income, let’s talk about how to be strategic about the way you make money as a freelancer.
There are two key ways to earn passive income that allow you to create a life of freedom:
Why? Because these allow you to be hands-off with your business while still remaining connected — your source of currency as a freelancer.
While these aren’t the only ways, they’re the main ones I want to discuss today.
Something else I want to discuss is that passive income does not generate itself. You have to put energy into it (and be smart in how you market yourself) before it pays off. My warning is to manage your expectations: It’s not likely you’ll start a new brand and have your college debt paid off in 2 months’ time.
It’s possible, but don’t come into this thinking it’s “easier” than another route. It’s just a different route.
If you don’t want to slave away at your laptop forever (the typical path to good money at the end of your life), you need to make connections right now and continue to nurture them over time.
When you become an affiliate, it means you are “marketing a product or service for another person or company in an exchange for a percentage of sales made due to their post or link.” This connects you with people and products in your industry and niche. It may even connect you with a new audience!
For instance, I am the co-host of a global membership community for digital nomads and freelancers who run their businesses remotely. It’s called the Social Support Incubator.
The SSI is a community. We do live trainings 2-3 times a month, but at it’s core, it’s community-based. The perfect puzzle piece to complete the SSI? Having somewhere to send our members looking for additional resources like courses or e-books.
That’s why I partnered with Rise Remotely, an online platform where you can browse online education to help you go remote or work better remotely. It includes paid 1:1 coaching and mentoring, online courses, live sessions, training programs, e-books, and whitepapers (use code ERINCHELSEA for 15% off!). They also offer free resources.
It’s a win-win partnership. Those who enjoy Rise Remotely for the resources can find community through the SSI. Those who love the SSI community but want more resources can get courses and trainings at a discounted rate through Rise Remotely.
A huge no-no for this type of income stream is promoting products, courses, websites, or people you don’t believe in. As Mckayla of Comma Mama Co says, “You’ll ruin the integrity of your brand and lose followers and readers. If your viewers don’t trust you, they won’t shop through you.”
You need to gain trust from your community before you start selling or suggesting things for them to buy (especially if they’re not yours). This isn’t a step you can afford to skip if you want to generate passive income through affiliate marketing.
Another way to generate passive income is through your digital products. They show someone you’re an expert in your field. They also answer Q’s your audience has like:
This is all part of your personal brand, which is essential for making money this way. The thing to remember? Your audience is asking very specific Q’s before buying digital products. You should be able to answer:
These are the Q’s that solidify how this path requires more energy upfront than consistently long-term.
What do I mean by this? If your site is well-designed, your copy addresses pain points, the SEO is researched, and the product description speaks to your audience… the product does the work for you. You don’t have to peddle it like you do with your services, but you do have to take time to set all of that up in the beginning.
When I think about creating freedom, it’s to have more time and space in my day to prioritize things besides work. Digital products can do this for you if you’re willing to put in the time in the beginning for rewards later on.
If creating freedom for you means making more money, join a business membership like Scale Society that’s specifically designed to help you create passive products your audience is craving from you.
Although, the big thing with digital products is… just because they’re good doesn’t mean they’ll sell. You need to build a poppin’ personal brand, develop a real connection with your community so you know what they need from you, and gain their trust and loyalty.
The idea is that you don’t have to spend all your time doing work in exchange for money. You don’t have to stay glued to your desk. What you do have to do? Build relationships.
Of course, you need to tune in with yourself to see what you want to put your energy toward. Is your priority having an arsenal of resources, templates, and materials to help others on their journey? Or do you want to connect and collaborate with others in your industry and beyond?
The choice is yours. But the path all leads to something similar: You creating a life of freedom for yourself as a freelancer through passive income.
You trailblazer, you.