6 Steps to Successfully Create Parallel Sources of Income
For anyone who values financial security and ultimately desires financial freedom, creating at least one additional stream of income is no longer a luxury. It has become a necessity. Diversifying your income stream is crucial to protect yourself and your family against the unavoidable ups and downs of economic and industry cycles. Because of the financial risks that come from relying on one source of income, such as a job or a business, consider creating at least one or more additional streams to generate cash flow.
Your additional income streams can be active, passive or a combination of the two. Some may pay you for doing something that you love (active), while others can provide income for you without your having to do much of anything at all (passive). You can diversify your income streams among different industries to protect you against major losses during downturns in one market and allow you to financially benefit from the upswings in another.
This truly is one of the not-so-obvious secrets of how the wealthy become — and stay — wealthy, which unfortunately isn’t taught to the masses. The good news is that it’s not magic. It’s not even complicated. Creating your next stream of income is a simple, step-by-step process.
1. Define your offering Every person on this planet has unique gifts, abilities, life experiences and value to offer — and be highly compensated for. Figure out the knowledge, experience, ability or solution you have that others will value and might pay you for. Remember, what might be common knowledge to you isn’t for other people.
You and your personality differentiate your value from that of every other person on earth. Many people will resonate with you (and your style) better than they will with someone else offering value that’s similar or even the same. Packaging is how you can differentiate your value.
2. Identify your customers
Determine whom you are best qualified to serve. Based on the value you can add for others or the problems you can help people solve, who will pay you for the value or solution you can provide?
3. Nurture a community Start and grow an email list. I don’t think of my email community as merely a list of names but rather as a group of individuals, each with their own hopes and dreams.
Here’s how you can build your community: Acquire an email-marketing program (good: AWeber, better: Infusionsoft). Get a program to create an opt-in page (good: LeadPages.com, better: Kajabi).
Create an added-value deliverable such as a free report, an ebook, an audio or a video training so that people will happily provide their email address in exchange for the value you provide.
4. Find out what the community needs You can either guess or assume what people desire and need, invest valuable time in creating it, and then hope your guess was correct. But remember: Hope is rarely the best strategy.
Send an email to members of your community with the link to a survey (using a free service like SurveyMonkey), asking what they want or need help with in your area of expertise. Ask open-ended questions to help you later brainstorm or offer multiple choices if you’ve already thought about what you can provide.
5. Formulate a solution After your community members tell you what they need, it’s your golden opportunity to get to work and create it. This could be a physical or digital product (a book, an audio, a video, a written training program or software) or a service (dog grooming, babysitting, coaching, consulting, speaking or training).
6. Build a buzz and launch Think about how Apple rolls out its products. The company doesn’t just throw a product on the shelf or its website. No, the company makes it into an event. Apple builds anticipation months in advance, so much so that people are willing to camp out in front of stores for weeks to be the first in line.
Do that. To learn how, read the definitive book on the topic, Launch by Jeff Walker.
Following Apple’s example, here is: And, one more thing: The best way to cut your learning curve and achieve a specific result is to find people who’ve already achieved what you want and then model their behavior. Rather than try to recreate the wheel, find someone who has already achieved what you want, determine how this person did it, model this behavior and make it your own.
While you might seek a relationship with a face-to-face human mentor, you could also hire a coach, read a book or articles by an expert or do web research. After some consideration, you may decide to make this your first step.
Schedule time to begin implementing these 6 steps, one at a time, and within months you can be enjoying the benefits, the perks and the financial security and freedom that comes from having multiple sources of income.
Originally posted on entrepreneur.com