Raise your hand if you want to make passive income in your business? I’m guessing it’s all of us. But here’s the thing: “passive income” doesn’t really exist!
The term passive income drums up visions of kicking back with your feet up while your business makes you money, but that just isn’t reality. This idea of “set it and forget it” unfortunately doesn’t exist! Instead, think of passive income as “leveraged income” -- the idea is to front-load work and set up a system that will in turn make you money over a long period of time. This still means you’d have to continually feed your system (such as marketing your digital downloads or providing customer service for your course), but if done thoughtfully and correctly, passive income can maximize your earning potential. Let’s dive in together and explore ways we can all earn passive income.
The Creative Entrepreneur's Guide to Passive Income (Monthly Guide Download)
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During our group discussion, we brought ideas for sources of passive income in a variety of industries. This was an awesome list that sparked many great conversations!
> Amazon Products
> Sharing links (ex. Honeybook)
> Etsy Affiliate Program
SAAS (Software as a Service)
Courses / Education
T Shirt / Merch Designs
> Shopify, Printify, Redbubble
Guides & Digital Downloads
Online Community (exclusive products and reviews)
EBook / Self Published Book
Stock Images & Photos
> Place It, Unsplash, Moyo, Insitu, Jump Story
*be sure to read licensing terms*
Selling Digital Artwork / Graphics
> Minted, Etsy Shop
Print Orders / Albums for Photo
Ads on Website
Method / How To Videos
21 Passive Income Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs
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The Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
The Side Hustle Show
Q: What made you want to adopt a Passive Income plan and go for it?
Danielle: It’s always been important to me to have multiple streams of income for my business. But that’s also easier said than done when it comes to having enough time to give each stream the attention it needs. With COVID, it felt like I was given a rare pocket of time when I’d otherwise normally be busy with weddings, so I jumped on it.
Prior to launching my shop, I also have an Amazon Affiliate account that has performed VERY WELL for years with virtually NO effort put in after the initial setup.
Q: What specific items did you create and/or participate in an affiliate program for?
Danielle: I love sharing products and services that I can confidently stand behind. When I noticed a particular article on my blog post performing abnormally well (first few results on “The Google”, often coming in higher than a similar one on The Knot), I decided to find a way to monetize it. The article focused on what items to include in a bathroom basket for a wedding. (Seriously) So I took every item on the list and linked it to a product on Amazon. So the reader could click on any item and easily add what they needed to their cart. From there, any purchase they made, I received a small, small portion of. But because of the quantity of hits it was getting, those small portions really added up.
I also some affiliates to courses that I believe in and want to support. I know how much time and effort goes into creating something like that, so sharing it makes sense to me.
Q: How much time would you estimate that it took to set up your system?
Danielle: The shop I just launched has been many years in the making because it sells products I use myself and have tweaked over the years. But the actual setting up of the shop took about 12 weeks, working on it anywhere from 2-6 hours each week. There were weeks where I got a LOT done and other weeks where I had to focus on other things so it got pushed to the back burner.
Overall, there were DEFINITELY things I procrastinated on (which is NOT in my nature to do) because I thought they were going to be hard to figure out or would take a while. And then when I’d finally do them, it wasn’t that bad and I realized I was only torturing myself for no reason. So it was a learning process, for sure.
Q: Once you made the content, how did you present it to your community? Was there a formal launch?
Danielle: I honestly wasn’t planning on doing anything to “launch” it. I just figured I’d create it, open it, and see what happens. But my assistant and mastermind group reamed me a new one when I said that and I realized I’d only be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t put more energy into launching it into the world.
I don’t have a huge following, but I essentially teased it on my podcast and social media accounts. I sent a few email blasts to my (small, but growing) lists. (Side note: One list in particular only had 14 people on it. I felt dumb sending one to that, but I did and make some sales for it. So I’m glad I did it!)
Prior to it launching, I did send a sneak peek out to some close friends who knew I was working on it. They helped me test it and make sure everything was working properly. That was such a huge help in being confident once it did go live to everyone that it would run as smooth as possible.
Q: Did the success of your Passive Income meet your expectations?
Danielle: Like I said, I don’t have a huge following, so I had low expectations. But so far, it’s far surpassed every goal I’ve set for it. The first official day, it did 5x what I was hoping for.
Q: What are the best parts of your digital shop? What were the challenges?
Danielle: It is definitely hearing a “cha-ching” (the notification I get on my phone when a sale is made) and not having to do ANYTHING afterwards. The entire shop is setup to function without me doing much of anything, so it’s really, really nice. One day, I made one post to a specific group of people I had the privilege of being in front of, and it brought in $1k. That’s not every day, but it was a nice boost.
The challenges for me right now are finding ways to balance sharing it without being obnoxious. I know it will grow and I need to make sure I’m giving it the attention it deserves while managing everything else going on, too.
Q: Do you have any insider advice for someone wanting to dive into Passive Income?
Danielle: Just do it. Put in the work and try. I have spent YEARS saying I was going to do this. I would get so far in and it would feel overwhelming. I’d tell myself those nasty words: “no one is going to want this” and convince myself to quit.
If you’re like me, it took being in a group of people I felt accountable to (for me, it was a mastermind group with other wedding planners) to complete this. I absolutely wanted to quit half way in (just like always) but I knew I’d have to show up to my group and admit it. And I didn’t have a good reason to quit other than I was tired and it was hard. I have a sign that sits on my desk that reads “It’s ok if it’s hard. Keep going.” That became my motto to finish it out and I am SOO glad that I did.
And now I know. If I launched it and it failed miserably (and who knows… it still might?) — at least then I’d know. And I can try something different next time.