Do you want to know the number one secret to good time management skills? It’s focusing your time on income producing activities. The problem is most people don’t know what those are!
How many times have you scratched your head wondering why you’re working so much and making so little? You feel like you’re doing everything and still nothing. Goose egg. Nada.
It’s probably because you’re spending your time on all the wrong things. For example, fixing your about page or obsessing over a logo doesn’t really get you paid. You don’t get paid for tweeting either. (Well, in some cases you can.)
Before we get into what the income generating activities are, we must first make sure you have the room for them.
How to Make Time for Income Generating Activities
As a business owner, the last thing you want is more on your plate. That’s why we need to make sure your time is set up in a way where you can focus on income generating activities.
Additionally, I want you to spend as much time as possible on income generating activities. That means you either need to delete or delegate. Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself to spend your time on these activities:
- Delegate tasks that don’t directly produce income to someone else. This includes social media, administrative tasks, accounting, etc.
- Stop accepting opportunities that don’t lead to more money in the bank.
- Drop clients that don’t pay you enough and are a pain in your neck. It’s likely that they take up too much of your time anyway.
- Invest in tools that help you automate and free up your time. This includes Facebook ads and a social media scheduler.
I know this looks like a lot. The good news is you don’t have to do them all at the same time, but you do need to do at least one of them immediately.
Furthermore, you need to set time aside where you prioritize your business. It’s too often that we put our own businesses behind that of our clients. That stops today. I personally dedicate Mondays to activities that grow my business.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can discuss the multiple income-producing activities you should spend your time on.
I can tell you most of my sales for my group coaching program are because of email marketing. I email my list almost every single day for the last year. You know what has happened as a result? My revenue increased by $30,000 in 12 months.
Coincidence? I think not.
The reality is if you’re not marketing yourself to your list, then you’re not making money. Most people will tell you to email your list once a week, but that’s not really going to cut it now is it? Not in a day and age when there is so much competing for their attention.
Of course, the emails need to be well written and make people move. Ben Settle and Russell Brunsun have some great stuff on how to do this.
Next on our list of income producing activities is sales calls. If you’re not selling, you’re not making money. Period.
The easiest way to do this quickly is by offering free consultations. If the prospect is a good fit, you sell them. I have one friend who quit her job in December and was able to generate $6,000 sales in her business in a few weeks. It was all sales.
Getting good at sales does take time and practice. So the sooner you get started learning how to do it the better. This is something I teach my students how to do in my six-week group coaching program. Kendrick Shope also has great stuff on how to sell without selling your soul.
You can start by offering free consultations to the list you already have. And speaking of that list…
Prospecting and Growing Your List of Leads
In order to consistently make more money, you need to grow your leads. After all, sales funnels are called that for a reason. Essentially, you get all the leads and the top of the funnel, but not all of them are going to buy. As you go down the funnel, it gets thinner.
Basically, at its core, this is all a numbers game.
That’s why consistently prospecting and growing your list of leads is an excellent use if your time and energy as a business owner. Here are some ways to do that:
- Go to networking events and meet people.
- Run Facebook ads. (You can also hire someone else to do this.)
- Frequently promote your list building magnets on social media. This is the freebie you offer in exchange for someone’s name and email.
- Get more media! This includes getting interviewed on podcasts, talking to reporters and pitching the media to feature you.
Ultimately, you want to focus your time on the activities that grow your list of leads. The good news many of these can be automated or outsourced. However, if you’re not financially there yet, you can do it yourself and it’s still a good use of your time.
Next up on our list of income producing activities is cold pitching! This includes email and phone. While I’ve never prospected anyone on the phone, I do hear that it works for some people so I’m mentioning it.
Here’s an example from my own business. I had my assistant pull of a list of financial tech and media companies. I’m now going to pitch my content marketing services to that list.
In addition to pitching, another good use of your time that also produces income is following up. Most business owners fear follow ups because they don’t want to be annoying. But, similar to email marketing, people have a lot going on so you need to send them constant reminders.
After all, there’s a reason they say “the fortune is in the follow up.” It’s because it takes an average of seven points of contact before someone is ready to purchase. Yes, you read that correctly. SEVEN.
That means you’re leaving serious money on the table if you don’t follow-up. The good news is this can also be outsourced, but if you don’t have the funds to do that you can do it yourself.
Creating New Offerings
I saved the best for last! Up until now, everything I’ve mentioned can help you make more money now. But, if you want to make more money over time and build wealth, you’ll need more than that.
Millionaires have an average of seven streams of income. (Are you seeing a pattern with the number seven?) The last of the income producing activities is to create new offerings you can sell to your audience.
For example, I spent the first half of 2017 creating my six-week group coaching program. It’s been a hit! The next step is to create the upsell for the students. More offerings equals more money.
This does take time which is why I left it for last. But it’s up to you to prioritize the business and find the time to focus on it.