Welcome back to Part 4 of the Scalable Extra Income Series, How to Make an Extra $2,000 Per Month!
If you’ve landed here for the first time with the seedling of an idea for an extra income endeavor, I’m sorry to say that the tactical strategies laid out in this post won’t be of much use to you … yet.
This series is intentionally structured to introduce growth tactics in tandem with target earnings levels. Taking the time to build the foundation that earns you your first dollar of extra income is just as important, if not more, than the strategies that scale that initial payday into a full-fledged income stream.
So, if you haven’t already, please take the time to read through parts 1 through 3 of the scalable extra income series –
Part 1 – How to Make an Extra $100 Per Month
Part 2 – How to Make an Extra $500 Per Month
— and better yet, do the work before moving forward.
I know what it’s like to read and hear the same business principles over and over again. I’ve found myself nodding along to many a business book and marketing seminar thinking, “yes, I know”. But it’s only when I’ve sat down and done the work to put those principles into action that I’ve experienced transformative growth.
So, as you’re reading through, and perhaps nodding along, please remember to take the time to actually sit down and IMPLEMENT.
It doesn’t have to be immediate. Send yourself the link or bookmark it for later, but whenever you have 30 to 60 minutes of quiet to dedicate to upleveling your extra income game, come back and reread with pen and paper in hand to brainstorm what these ideas and strategies can do for you and your extra income stream.
And with that…
The momentum of growing your extra income stream to $1,000 plus each month is admittedly electrifying.
You’ve pushed through the slog of not knowing where to begin and crafted a business that actually works, as evidenced by the fact that it nets you income each month.
But then what?
How do you keep that initial growth going when the momentum of the early excitement starts to die down?
Having laid your foundation, niched down your audience and built out your professional network, you should have a solid sense of the unique space you occupy within your business landscape, now it’s time to build a community around it.
Become the destination for whatever the service you provide or product you developed was built to address.
This means investing time in creating a space that adds value to customers and potential customers, without them even having to make a purchase. (I know that may seem counterintuitive, but bear with me).
Become a resource for people needing information related to your niche and a hub for those looking to connect with others who share those needs and interests.
This strategy of building community by offering up front value will enable you to scale your business past your initial clients or customers to reach a much larger audience of targeted consumers who are primed and ready to buy your product or service.
[tweetthis]Building community scales your business to reach targeted consumers who are primed to buy your product or service.[/tweetthis]
So how do you build this community?
Content is a currency for building trust and expanding reach, both of which build community.
[tweetthis]Content is a currency for building trust and expanding reach[/tweetthis]
In today’s business landscape, EVERYONE is a content creator, at least they should be – no professional writing, photography or videography degree required (though it certainly doesn’t hurt to sharpen those skills).
Take a look at the website of almost any major business, chances are, you’ll see a blog, a video series or some other content driven campaign. You’ll also notice that much of the content is informational. In other words, there is no direct attempt to sell – the content is there to add the kind of long-term value that builds a community with both reach (number of people) and depth (level of trust).
By becoming a destination for excellent content in their respective niches, those companies are then positioned to become the go-to provider of products and services in those niches.
You can implement the same strategy.
To create the kind of content that expands your reach and your builds your relationship to your current and potential customers, start by building out your ideal customer profile…
In Part 3, How to Make an Extra $1,000 Per Month, we spoke about niche-ing down your business by identifying your niche benefit (ex. vegan-friendly recipes) and your niche audience (ex. women who are pregnant) – now I’m going to challenge you to get even more specific.
Move beyond your ideal audience and identify your ideal client.
Who will find the perfect solution to their problem using your product or service?
Again, be specific, move past the high level marketing speak (niche, pain points, etc.) and craft a story around your ideal customer that’s as nuanced and complex as you are.
Create an avatar in your minds eye (or on paper) of who this person is…
What is your avatar’s name, what does he or she look like?
Start with the basic demographic and psychographic information – age, income, profession, location, marital status, religious and political views, etc. – but then dig deeper – what does this person do to relax? How does this person like to start their day? Does this person participate in any social groups? What websites or blogs to they frequent? What books and magazines do they read? What are their most aspirational goals?
This level of specificity will help inform and refine all of your business practices, but for now, let’s focus on using it to shape your content strategy –
Think in terms of both topics and formats.
For example, inspiring content featuring personal stories in written and visual short-form a la Humans of New York or instructional how-tos complete with photos and step by step instructions a la eHow. Maybe a mixture of both.
Create a list of all the kinds of content that would speak to your ideal customer and the topics or keywords that that person might search on the internet.
I’m a big fan of podcasts, my mom, on the other hand, can’t figure out how to download them. She’s like me on Snapchat – I just don’t get it. For my little sister though, it’s the go-to social network. The point being, we all have different ways of consuming content, which platforms does your ideal customer use to consume his or hers? Again, make a list.
With the information you’ve identified about your ideal customer, the kind of content he or she likes to consume, his or her favorite content formats and finally, the platforms he or she most uses to consume it, it’s time to start creating your content!
Blog posts, videos, social media – all of it should be informed by your ideal client profile. Before posting anything, ask yourself, Would (avatar’s name) like this?
It’s this level of specificity in building out your ideal client profile that will shape a content strategy that works and brings the right kind of people into community – those who are interested and engaged with the conversation you’re having because it speaks directly to their needs.
Not only are those targeted consumers going to engage most with your content, they’re going to be the easiest to convert into customers and they’re going to become your best marketing resources. Because what happens when you come across a piece of content that totally rocks your world? You share it! And what’s a better way of getting your message out to the right people than having your ideal customer share your content with people they know will appreciate it most?
It’s this way of building community that enables you to start scaling exponentially. Those who follow you will help you do the work of growing your reach because you’ve created a destination for content and engagement in your niche with depth and nuance.
With that trust and reputation established, your pool of potential customers will not only be greater, but more engaged, trusting and primed to pay for the solutions you have to offer!