If you’re like most web agencies – a sudden stop in your client work would be a disaster. When all of your revenue is tied to client work, it means less security in your company overall. However, some agencies have tapped into recurring revenue with simple, easy to implement products and services.
This post if for you if you’ve ever wondered:
- How you can diversify your web agency’s income
- How you can separate your time from your income
- How you can earn more even if you’re already fully booked
We’re going to talk about how to diversify some or all of your income streams so that you have money coming in no matter what and can separate your time from your income.
This is especially true if you already do contract or client work. You may already feel like you’re on a never-ending client treadmill. Freelance or client work ultimately comes to an end. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a client that has recurring work, there’s not guarantee it will last forever.
That’s why taking some time each month to invest in diversifying your income is a great idea.
However, it’s not easy. Creating diverse income streams is harder and sometimes more expensive to do upfront. In fact, chances are you’ll need to work without pay at the start.
For example, if you wanted to create and sell an online course, it could take months or years to produce the course. Meanwhile, you’re not earning anything. But once you launch, you can make thousands of dollars each month. This kind of diverse, scalable earning potential is what I want for you. So if you’re ready to put in the work and reap the rewards, here are five great ways to create a new diverse income stream this month:
Supplement Your Client Work
This is probably the simplest way to get recurring income.
If you’re a freelancer, finding a monthly retainer client offers more security compared to a one-off project. Monthly retainers mean clients lock in work on repeat. And although they do require ongoing work, they lock-in revenue for you and allow you to build systems and processes around your business.
The way this works is a client on a monthly retainer will give you a set of work to do each month for a fixed amount of pay. They pay in advanced to make sure your services are available to them each month. This can be while you working on a long-term project or indefinitely. A retainer means you are ‘on-call’ for a that client.
There are different ways to offer retainers. Look for a package that’s right for the type of work you do. Once you have multiple clients on retainer, you can start feeling more relaxed about your income. And look for ways to accomplish more in less time.
This is how you bake in more profit. If you’re tired of contracts that come to an end and leave you in a dry spell, creating an offer that will attract retainer clients is a great idea.
Keep in mind that the best way to get a clients on a monthly retainer is to first get your foot in the door with one-off projects. A great place to look for monthly retainers are your current clients. We include specific template for this conversation inside of Endless Clients. Sign up here to get notified the next time we open the doors for the course.
Affiliate marketing is when a company pays you a fraction of a sale you help bring in. The biggest and easiest affiliate program is: Amazon Affiliates.
By signing up for an Amazon Affiliates account you can post a link to any product on Amazon and receive a cut whenever that link is used by someone that leads to a sale.
This is great if you already have a blog or website that gets traffic. But you don’t need either of those things to start making recurring income. You can post an honest product review and post it somewhere that gets a lot of traffic to start earning affiliate revenue almost immediately.
For example: Quora, Reddit, Twitter, and even Amazon comments have people actively looking for product recommendations. By sharing your link there, you can post it once and keep earning a percentage whenever someone uses it to make a sale.
The key is to be honest. Write a useful review. Then share it somewhere that has people in need of that product.
From there, it takes a lot of work to build an actual business (here are some inbound marketing examples that can help). However, with just a few well placed affiliate links you have the makings of some real recurring income.
My recommendation is to start with big-ticket items. If you’re just getting started, only review and share products that cost $100+ that are in high demand. Since Amazon pays up to 10% in affiliate fees, that is the easiest path to significant recurring income.
Note: to earn an even bigger percentage and increase this number, some manufacturers, and SaaS apps also have their own affiliate programs. Here’s a great list of affiliate programs.
Buy a Business
Buying a business that’s already making recurring income might be easier and cheaper than you think. Blogs For Sale has listings under $1,000 that you can combine with the other tactics in this post.
If you’ve always wanted a business but have never had a good idea, this is a great option. Try to buy something that you can earn your money back within the first 6 months. Then, everything you make after that is pure profit. And you’ll have it forever.
This is how you create an asset. You can then sell this asset for even more than you paid.
How do you decide what type of business to buy? First figure out where you may have an advantage. Think about your experience, passions, and interests. What aligns with those?
For example, if you currently have a full-time job in the trucking industry, buying a trucking blog might be a good idea. You likely have intimate knowledge of it and can use that to build and improve the company you buy.
Remember that buying a business doesn’t require all the money upfront. You can make a deal where you acquire a business with part of cash and pay for the rest over time. Do your homework. Here’s a good quick video from Ryan Kulp to get started:
The biggest pro about buying a company is that you skip the initial hard work of getting it off the ground. You get to focus on building something up to a level 10 instead of getting it to level 1 in the first place.
A couple places to check if you’re interested in buying a business are: BizBuySell or Flippa. You may also be able to find more opportunities by asking in a couple Slack groups or your favorite social network.
Coaching or Online Tutoring
Online learning is booming. If you possess knowledge or a skill that you can teach to others, this is a great way to start building some recurring income quickly.
There’s a market for almost anything that you might want to teach. Work topics are great, but don’t forget about lifestyle skills like health and fitness coaching or relationship advice.
If you have skills that other people care about, a regular coaching call is an intriguing thing to offer. Once per week or month clients pick your brain. This is valuable for them but also requires almost no upfront investment from you. You don’t even need to do a call, an online community such as a Facebook group or Slack group might be enough for you to share your knowledge and get people to pay.
Many coaches even offer group coaching, where you give advice to more than one person at a time. My tip: don’t charge less than $100 per hour. You’ll be surprised by how much people will pay for your knowledge. Then go find clients.
The last tip is the easiest. You can do this today. Investing 5-10% of your income into a low-cost index fun and each time you get paid you will start to see your wealth grow. No other work required, just sit back and watch. It’s almost guaranteed to accumulate on its own. And that feeling is amazing. Use compound interest for your benefit. You may not even notice the small amount you put aside each month. But it’s one of the smartest things you can do.
I recommend a target-date low-cost index fund because unlike other opens, index funds are passively managed. There are no portfolio managers and getting started is dead simple. The stocks are safe and pre-selected, so you can do it in a few minutes and forget about it.
If you’ve never bought stock before, go do it right now. Buy one share of a low-cost index fund. You’ll be acquiring stock in hundreds of businesses worth millions of dollars. Don’t think about it choose something like Vanguard and just start.
What to do next
Earning recurring income feels like magic. You feel more secure and resilient. And it doesn’t take that much extra work.
If you’ve ever wanted to just go on vacation stress-free but worried about the thought of coming back to no clients, I have something awesome for you. My course, Endless Clients, goes even further in helping you build recurring income. It’s a complete step-by-step guide to diversifying your income streams and truly separating your time from your income forever.
The course is currently closed and we only open it up a couple times per year, but if you sign up now, you’ll hear about the next spot that opens up.