Passive Income is not Passive

For Content Creators

Ever since online courses and online entrepreneurship has taken off, a fire has started inside people to share their expertise online to make money wherever they are in the world. People imagine themselves on the beach in Bali interacting with their followers and seeing the figures adding up in their bank account. Other entrepreneurs have added to this dream with their pictures of Ferraris and pictures of themselves on boats with dreamy guys and girls. But this is a facade.

Anyone who has gone on this journey, spent all the money, learned all the skills, launched all the products realizes that this isn’t a one and done journey. It’s a journey that’s a continual mountain to climb. Each time you see a peak, create a goal and hit it, you realize another peak is following it.

It may be obvious to people who have been on this journey of creating online courses, books, programs, and speaking events that this isn’t a one and done event. This is a launch and create and build and connect and launch and repeat event.

Passive income as we think of it is not passive, consistent or easy at any level. This is the truth:

Passive means that you create one thing and have the opportunity to get exponential results from the time it takes to make it. Meaning the opportunity is endless on the possible money you can make. Same with every business.

 But what we hope will come from it is the ability to quit our day jobs, work from home, and continue to make money on the same product over and over again.

Passive doesn’t mean:

  • You don’t have to do any more work for the rest of your life.
  • You don’t need to become an expert in a ton of things to make it work together.
  • You don’t need a business plan or projected steps to sustain and grow your business.
  • You don’t need to become a marketer first and a content creator second (or the money to pay a marketer).
  • You will be able to learn and sustain this all on your own.

What passive does mean (the complete opposite of the above statements:

  • You will need to work regularly to keep yourself present to your audience and grow an audience.
  • You will need to become an expert on things you had never imagined before like: designing, speaking, interviewing, editing, and much much more.
  • You will need a business plan or projected steps to sustain and grow your business.
  • You will need to become an expert marketer or pay someone to market for you.
  • You will most likely not be able to learn and sustain the entire business on your own.

To be a successful content creator, you must have one of the following:

  • A large or highly-engaged audience
  • All the elements needed to create, maintain and launch the product.
  • Money to pay someone to complete the above elements.
  • Be a facebook or social media ad guru (like Dennis Yu or someone who has learned from someone like him)  to create an effective marketing campaign.

I’m not saying that it is impossible. And I’m not saying that you will never be able to do it. And I’m definitely not saying to not try. 

I am saying though that we must have a long-term strategy around our content and a clearer understanding of what is happening and what is required of us to keep this going. 

The Difference Between Content Businesses and Others

Making money being a content creator is different than many other businesses for some of the following reasons:

TRUTH 1: You must be an expert (or perceived as an expert) first. No one will be willing to give you a large amount of money without you being credible with valuable information.

Create expert credibility by serving clients, proving your methods or knowledge through teaching DIY hacks, creating a solid expert platform through a podcast, interviews, in-person speaking events, a solid blog, or other related ways. 

TRUTH 2: Know how to create content that people want and consistently create new and updated free content that leads to a paid program. 

Just because one program or offer was successful doesn’t mean that it will always be or that you’re done and you never have to create something again. All the online gurus that I follow: Amy Porterfield, Jeff Goins, and more are always revamping old content, creating new books and other offers, and relaunching their old content in new ways.

TRUTH 3: Unlike a physical product, there are about a zillion skills you must know in order to create and launch effectively. 

Between writing good content, turning it into a desirable product, moving it to a platform, email marketing, ads, building an audience through engagement, and much more.

These skills can be outsourced but if you are just beginning it can be extremely expensive to have someone do all the above for you.

Additionally, I don’t know about you, but I’m that person that must know how it’s being done in order to pay someone to do it to ensure that they do it right.

So we just either have the knowledge and ability to do it, or the money to pay someone to do it all.

The Content Cycle

There is a cycle that a content creator must understand and begin to chip away at to be successful.

Some people call this a sales funnel, but I believe that calling it this makes people think that there is an end when it actually is a continual cycle that must keep going in order to be successful.  I will call this the Content Cycle.

Note: Initially you might feel like, “You mean this cycle will never end?!?” You might feel overwhelmed and never start, but I think true content creators will not mind since most of us have ideas to create content for years. We are just itching to get started. 

This content cycle starts with the Umbrella of Free Stuff. 

Umbrella of Free Stuff

The Umbrella of Free stuff is what my friend Donnie Boivin calls the top of the funnel. I’m calling it an umbrella because all the rest of your content falls underneath this umbrella.  

This is the stuff that gets the nerd in you excited. You just love talking about your nerd topic then start a podcast, if you are a writer (like me) then write blogs, contribute articles or small publications, pick the one that is the most aligned with who you are, will be the easiest for you to achieve and something you think you can be consistent with over the others. 

Which one do you do consistently or will do consistently?

Capture Drops

Calling your lead capture system Capture Drops is pretty silly, but listen to my reasoning. Your content that you create to capture leads falls from your Umbrella. It falls down to the funnel but not all of it will be successful to turn into a sale. The more ways you capture a larger and more engaged audience, the bigger chance you will have a successful sales launch. 

Your generic audience doesn’t mean anything until you’ve gathered them and caused each individual to commit to following you. When they commit to you through an email list, subscribing, or following, they are admitting to you that they are paying attention. As many of these capture drops you can create the better.  

Paid Offer Funnel

The goal of any content creator should be to have at least one of each of these available to your audience. We all should strive to have a book, do speaking engagements, have online courses and programs, and to continually work on new products while also managing the consistent free content, adding ways to capture more engaged prospects and repeat. 

Does any of this seem passive to you? 

It has definitely not been passive to me. There have been days and weeks of heartbreak. There have been days and weeks of struggle learning and crying over learning new skills, feeling like a failure when the launch is unsuccessful, and overwhelmed at the mountain that must be climbed…. each… and… every… time I launch a new product. Sometimes it feels like it never ends… but sometimes….

  • When a launch goes well and you have been able to help people. 
  • When people say that your product is exactly what they needed to succeed and you get a new fan. 
  • When people refer you because they love you, and you get bookings that you didn’t work for.
When the mountain doesn’t seem quite so elusive anymore. 

That’s when you know you made the right choice and you know that even if not one more person joins you, that you are doing what you have been called to do and are fulfilling that deep desire to impact and change the small world around you.

What will your next step be? Share your next step. Make sure to follow for more updated articles and share this article if you found it helpful to know the whole picture of Content Creation.

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