“You can generate an income without having to be totally involved in your business.”
That’s one of the biggest advantages to passive income, according to Pat Flynn, owner of Smart Passive Income.
If you’ve read the Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, you’re familiar with the concept. It’s fairly simple. If you sell any type of product via your website, such as an ebook, course or anything other than a service requiring your time, you have the potential to earn money while you sleep. This is called passive income.
Passive income is one of the best income streams you can have. It gives you the ability to earn money while you sleep, which let’s face it, is every business owner’s ultimate dream.
But having something to sell is only the first step. If you have products but aren’t seeing the type of revenue you’d like from your passive income stream, the problem might lie with your marketing.
Boosting Passive Income
Because the bulk of businesses generate passive income by selling online, it makes sense to start your marketing with proven digital marketing strategies. We specifically recommend using inbound marketing strategies.
Inbound marketing techniques are much more effective than outbound. Inbound strategies attract potential customers, giving you the ability to collect data. Outbound is based more on interrupting potential buyers and asking for their attention.
Check out the Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016 post we put together back in December. You’ll notice that many of these strategies are specifically inbound strategies. For example:
- Being more strategic about your content will help it work smarter and ultimately harder for you. This will bring more customers to your doorstep.
- Building a complete consumer experience for your buyers, rather than focusing on different channels as silos, will help you personalize your marketing better.
- Getting to know your customers by gathering the right data will help you reach your customers at a time when they are most likely to buy.
- Taking advantage of automation tools will mean you can market to your customers without you having to be planted in front of your computer.
Notice how each of these has taken an old marketing philosophy and updated it to become more modern?
Let’s dig a little deeper. Passive income requires a slightly more fine tuned approach. There isn’t someone sitting in front of the computer or by the phone waiting for a customer’s call to come in. Instead, you need to make sure you’re speaking to your customer at all hours of the with strong marketing.
Here are the top 3 components of a marketing strategy we recommend you finesse in order to boost your passive income.
Content marketing is a great way to boost passive income. Why? Because producing engaging content brings customers to you by helping you rank higher on search engines, get people talking about you on social media and generating interest about what you’re selling. No cold calls or door knocking required.
Passive income relies on you offering your knowledge to potential buyers, even when you’re not able to answer requests or questions. The content you put on your website serves their needs on a silver platter. Your buyers are able to find what they need faster and easier, making them more likely to buy.
High touch services and industries tend to take a more hands-on approach. People expect that from these companies. But when a customer buys a product off your website, they want less direct involvement and more information to guide their purchase decision.
Content marketing serves that purpose.
There are many types of content you can produce that will help drive traffic to your site such as:
- Book reviews
The list goes on and on.
One example of someone who nails content marketing on a consistent basis is Neil Patel. He wrote an article to help you find the perfect style of content for your brand and buyer. It’s called the 15 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic.
In this article Neil talks about a video by Crazy Egg (of which he is the co-founder) that helped to bring in $21k for them every month. The video is simple to understand. The imagery he uses speak a thousand words, while the audio helps hit his point home.
By incorporating more and better content throughout your website, you’ll have the bait you need to lure in potential customers for your products.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first step to selling more via your website is to get people to your website. Search engine optimization is the essential first step to making that happen. Without it, it becomes a lot harder for people to find you.
The process isn’t easy. After all, think of the thousands of other websites you’re competing with for the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP). But, done well, it can help you get free traffic to your website, making it easier for you sell more of your products while you sleep.
The most important thing to do when you are thinking about your SEO strategy is to ensure you pick the right keywords. Don’t pick keywords that you can’t compete on. For example, those that have an exceptionally high search popularity, or those with high ranking domain authorities on the first page. It’ll take you years to outrank those websites, so they’re not worth your effort.
We advise our clients to choose longtail keywords. These typically have five to seven words in the search term.
The best tool to help you search for your top keywords is Google AdWords.
In Google AdWords, you can enter a range of keywords to find search popularity and other keyword ideas. This shows you exactly what your customers are typing into the search bar so you know what your buyers are looking for.
This example shows the keyword ‘marketing strategy’ has been used in a search 74,000 times. It’s a hard one to compete on. The longtail keyword ‘components of a marketing strategy’ has only been searched on 90 times. This is much easier to compete on. It will also mean that the people who visit your site will be highly targeted due to the very specific keywords they have entered.
Once you’ve identified your keywords make sure you build them into your website, landing pages and any other content. You’ll get brownie points with Google if other websites link to yours using those keywords too. Over time, you will rise up in the ranks and attract a larger base of visitors, helping you sell more without lifting a finger.
3. Email Marketing
Today’s buyers expect instant gratification. When we buy something, we expect it to be delivered as soon as possible. That’s why Amazon Prime’s shipping model is so popular. It’s why Netflix has started to take over cable.
When a customer wants something, they don’t want to have to wait.
Email marketing allows you to meet that need without having to manually send messages to each of your customers. By setting up an automated email funnel, you can deliver your products faster, keeping your customers happier.
Better yet, you can boost your passive income over time by continuing to nurture the already interested buyers and luring them into buying more from you.
Automation tools, such as Infusionsoft, are your best friends in this arena. They offer an email solution to engage your customers based on their past interactions with your business. These tools are much smarter than they used to be. They respond based on what your customer does or does not do. The experience feels personal, but it’s faster and doesn’t require you to constantly be at the helm ready to react to their every move.
By setting up automated email campaigns, you will save yourself a lot of time. The email automation software does the hard work for you.
The first step to automating your emails effectively (and giving your passive income stream a healthy boost) is to understand your customers. Anticipate what they are going to do. Conduct some research and build your buyer personas. Think about the experience you want your buyers to have. Then, build your email marketing funnel around this experience.
It’s not easy, but if you skip this step, automating your emails won’t bring you the passive income you want.
Creating a healthy passive income stream requires more than just putting products for sale on your website. It requires you to be actively involved in your marketing so you can sell more at all hours of the day (or night).
Organize these three components – content, SEO and email – to work together so that you are targeting your buyers at a time when they are most willing to purchase.