How to create income that is a portfolio of revenue streams
There are many uncertainties as we explore what work looks like post-pandemic.
- Will we return to the office, stay at home, or enjoy the best of both worlds? According to Accenture’s Future of Work study, 83% of employees want to work hybrid. Yet, companies like Morgan Stanley have ordered employees back to the office by September.
- Are we in an employer’s job market or an employee’s job market? The Society for Human Resource Management forecasts a “turnover tsunami” with >50% of employees planning to look for new jobs in 2021
- Do we want to get a full time job, have more freedom and flexibility with freelance work, or recharge with a sabbatical? Platforms like Patreon and Upwork saw a surge in talent during the pandemic and a recent article published in Forbes cited 58% of professionals who are not currently freelancing said they were considering freelancing in the future.
As much as we try to predict what may happen, the truth is that the job market — like any marketplace — functions as a push and pull. Employees will telegraph their desires, and employers will make a call on company policy.
In this time of change, you likely have little control over how your employer decides to approach reopening, but you can diversify your income so that you don’t have to count on your job to be your sole source of income. Your best strategy will be to follow the playbook in “Entrepreneurial You” by Dorie Clark. Clark teaches you how to build a portfolio of revenue streams, so that you’re diversified if one of your revenue streams takes a hit.
True to her message, Clark has taken her career destiny in her own hands and created a portfolio of revenue streams herself. She is a consultant and keynote speaker, teaches executive education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School, and she is the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine.
Clark’s book provides a simple 3-step playbook for what you need to do to get started to diversify your income streams.
Step 1: Build your brand
If you’re already Googling website builders, stop! Just as I would not start building random product features without having a clear product strategy driving them, you should not build your personal website until you have nailed down your high level strategy.
According to Clark, building your brand starts with understanding yourself and what expertise and insights only you can bring. Getting clarity on your unique differentiators makes it easy to identify who your target customer is and what your positioning is.
Once you’re clear on who you are and what you’re going after, then Clark recommends starting to create content like blog posts or even a book. Social proof can help you build credibility and audience, so look for opportunities to partner with other creators or get featured in media. While you are doing these activities, make sure that you are building a list so that you have the ability to reach your following and leverage these leads.
Step 2: Monetize your expertise
At some point, if you want to start to diversify your income, you’ll have to figure out how to monetize. But I get it, it’s scary to make the ask! Clark offers practical tips on how you can overcome common barriers like knowing how to price and practicing how to ask.
Clark shares a wide array of ideas for monetization.
With Consulting in particular, I loved how Clark thought about productizing, or scaling, your expertise. One limit to coaching, consulting or speaking is that it is limited by the number of hours you have in a day. She shared an example about how the owner of a small marketing consultancy reflected on common elements from his past client engagements and systemized it into an approach that he called “Duct Tape Marketing” and could sell to customers without his consulting package. Having a methodology like that also creates the opportunity to train others on it and charge a licensing fee to use your IP. Genius!
Step 3: Extend your reach and impact online
Now that we’ve all been working from home for the last year due to COVID-19, considering ways to monetize online are really important and Clark offers more ideas.
Throughout the quest for monetization, stay true to why you’re doing it. Always deliver value to your users, and remember the life you want to create. If you want to learn more, you can find many resources on Dorie Clark’s website, including links to her books, articles, and free downloadable workbooks.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. What can I say, I’m a quick study. :) That means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links (at absolutely no extra cost for you). These funds help me buy my next cup of Philz which, in turn, fuels me to write more blog posts.
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