A while back, I heard the marketing legend Dan Kennedy say this:
“The scariest number in business is one.”
He taught that if you only have one of something, you’re always in a precarious position. If you lose that one thing, you’re out of luck. To remedy this, leaders train multiple members of their team overlapping skills, and they make sure all their important files have two copies.
The smartest of them make sure they have multiple streams of revenue coming in.
Life changed dramatically over the last year or so. When the pandemic started, everyone suffered an economic hit. Well, everyone except those with multiple streams of recurring revenue.
At the start, I noticed many local businesses began having revenue problems. Some decided to keep up with my marketing services, and some backed off. The ones who only had one stream of revenue (like in-person store sales) were hit the hardest. Some of them even had to lay off employees or go out of business.
This affected my revenue streams, too. Local marketing was my very first income stream, but thanks to COVID-19, I saw it dwindle for a few months. Thankfully, by that point, I already had quite a few other income sources to rely on.
To accomplish these multiple streams, most so-called online business “gurus” will tell you to have multiple businesses. I think that’s a joke. I barely have enough time to run one business!
Instead, focus on layering new streams of income onto your main business. There’s really no shortage of layers to add. Here are a few that came to mind, most of which I currently use:
- Done-for-you starter packs for others just beginning in your area of expertise
- Private business/entrepreneurship coaching
- Exclusive email lists
- Joint ventures
- A monthly paid newsletter
- Monthly recurring memberships giving access to resources and tools
- Affiliate marketing
As you can see, the limiting factor is NOT a lack of ideas. It’s usually a lack of forethought and effort.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “But I barely have ONE solid stream of revenue coming in, Tom!” Let me solve that problem for you: Click here for my FREE e-guide that will teach you how to turn your skill, product, or idea into a major cash cow.
The Strengths Of Multiple Streams
Let me break down exactly why you should add another income source to your business.
For one, it insulates your business when one stream is stagnant. Things outside of our control happen from time to time. The ability to rely on other streams when one dries up is instrumental to your long-term survival.
Second, when you have multiple streams, they tend to serve one another and multiply profits for you. You can use excess growth in one stream to invest in another. Or, simply enjoy the bonus income.
Third, having multiple streams expands your skill set. This enables you to serve a wider clientele and ultimately offer packages on a monthly fee. The knowledge you gain while learning a new skill is valuable because you can turn around and sell it to the next learner.
So, if you have one stream of income right now, get another one. If you have two, find a third.
By the way, if you want more ideas for breaking into new media to build your audience and generate revenue, click here. It contains links to all my content guides.
Two Quick Tips as You Expand
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is today. Don’t wait until the next disaster comes to start pushing into new streams. Start now, so you can be protected.
- Expand Into One New Skill at a Time
My marketing career started in 2010 with direct mail. I found incredible success by helping the businesses around me market to their area. As I worked with 16 local businesses in this way, a few of them asked me if I could build or update their website. Thus, I broke into web design.
This led to the necessity of learning SEO for websites and blog content. That became my third stream. Naturally, this progressed into things like social media and email lists, as well as paid advertising online.
Then, I turned around and started teaching others how to do what I do. I began a monthly membership program, then a paid newsletter, and finally began developing courses. All this led to a podcast, e-guide, and the blog posts you’re reading right now.
Eventually, I ran out of fingers to count my income streams on.
It all seems daunting at first, but I’m sure you can see the gradual flow. I’ve been in the game for about 11 years now, which means I added a new stream of revenue every 8-12 months.
I didn’t try to do everything at once. I see too many new marketers make that mistake. They feel like they need a website, podcast, YouTube channel, email list, and three social media accounts. They think they need to begin by offering their clients a turnkey solution.
No wonder most marketers fail in their first year of business.
Take one stream of income, and layer in just one more until both are consistent and recurring. Then, add a third. Take your time, and really learn each one. Instead of being an inch deep and a mile wide, learn to offer incredible value with your primary skills, and then go from there.
- Let Your Skills Serve Each Other
Once I knew I had enough skills to be a one-stop shop for marketing, I started developing packages I could sell to businesses. Instead of offering just web design and SEO, for example, I started asking clients if I could take on 100% of their marketing for a recurring monthly fee. Many agreed.
Because I had learned each skill one-by-one, I had some mastery of them. This meant that when businesses paid me, say, $2,000 a month for their marketing, I could usually boost their revenue by $4,000 a month or more. It became a win for everyone. I could charge more for my work, and my clients could benefit more from it.
Then, I started teaching other people how to do the same. As I developed coursework on something new, it helped me refine my marketing skills. Nothing helps you learn something quite like teaching it. Learning how to interact with my clients also helped me when it came time to interact with students. Doing launches for my clients helped me learn how to do launches for my courses.
All that to say, as you learn more skills, they begin to cross-pollinate. You’ll find yourself getting a bigger return on your time investment because of your diverse skills.
As you invest in multiple streams of income, you’ll be able to weather the next economic storm that comes our way. You’ll be able to help others make it, too.
For more secrets about online business that the so-called “gurus” won’t tell you: