Using personal branding to earn passive income is extremely effective, but underutilized.
When most people think of building passive income streams they think of a lifestyle business or niche website. Unfortunately, leveraging their personal brand doesn’t enter into the equation.
Let’s see if we can change that. Here are 5 ways that your personal brand can earn you a passive income.
Monetize your personal blog the right way
A lot of people only use their blog as a place to post long-form thought leadership pieces. This is definitely an effective way to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
However if you want to harness it to earn passive income, you need to monetize your blog in a way that ties in with your personal branding efforts.
Simply throwing ads all over your blog is not the best way to go when it comes to this. Courses or ebooks are both better fits and are a natural continuation of your personal branding efforts.
Designing and sharing these kinds of resources also helps position you as an expert and further enhances your personal brand.
Once this is ready, you need to start using your personal brand to promote the ways that you are monetizing your blog.
Start by sprinkling some promotion of these into your existing personal brand messaging that you’re normally doing. Send out an announcement to your email list, post about it on your blog, tweet it, snap it – whatever works for you.
This is a fairly simple way to earn passive income without changing your existing personal branding strategy too much.
Personal branding: Create a private Slack community
People will want to hear more from you once you are seen as an authority in your industry and have a solid personal brand to support it.
While you can promote books or guides like we mentioned above, private Slack communities are another fantastic way to earn passive income with your personal brand.
The model here is simple. Charge users on a monthly basis for access to a private Slack community where people can discover cutting-edge information and talk with others in their industry.
The real trick to making this work is to have enough people to populate the community so it can sustain itself and thrive.
If you don’t have enough people populating this channel, then you’ll be the default source for answers and opinions (which costs you time and money). That would no longer make this a passive income stream.
Luckily, you can gauge interest in a private Slack community rather easily. Just send out an email, share a Twitter poll, or find another way to survey your audience.
If there’s enough interest you can get this new channel up and running in a day – at no cost to you. Slack charges on a per/user basis so as long as you charge your members enough to cover that cost, you’re in business!
Create a productized service and use your personal brand to sell it
This is a bit less “passive” than the previously mentioned methods since it requires more work up front. But if you set up a productized service properly from the start, it will do the work for you in the long run.
Within your industry there are common problems that people need help solving. You can probably list the top 5 off the top of your head right now, and chances are you know how to solve at least one of these problems.
This is where a productized service comes into play. Don’t use your personal brand to promote consulting or freelance services, these are more time-consuming from a work and billing standpoint.
Instead, package your services as a product.
Doing it this way means you only have to worry about delivering one or two predictable services to your clients. This is more time-efficient if you are handling the work yourself.
For example, you can say that you’ll write one high-quality blog post per month for a client at the rate of $150/month. This approach also makes it easier to outsource due to the predictability of the request.
Actively start to think about how you can turn your services into a product, and do some research on other successful people in your field for inspiration.
There’s a good chance that other thought leaders in your field are also trying to do the same, so poke around to get more ideas for yourself.
Affiliate marketing typically refers to an arrangement between you and a vendor.
This is when a brand, or online retailer, pays a commission to an external website based on traffic, leads, sales, etc., that resulted from exposure on that (aka your) website or marketing channel.
While affiliate marketing is nothing new when it comes to building up passive income, it’s actually most effective when paired with a strong personal brand.
When you have a solid personal brand and a good relationship with your audience that lends itself well to affiliate marketing because your word is trusted.
This means when you make recommendations on products or services as an affiliate, your audience will take you up on it.
If you want to make this a sustainable source of passive income driven by your personal brand, you need to make sure that you are promoting high-quality products and services.
Not only will bad products not earn you as much passive income, but promoting them will actually hurt your personal brand.
So make sure that you learn about potential partners, their products, and services before promoting them on your site or profiles.
While speaking engagements are less passive than some of the other passive income channels mentioned above, they’re definitely worth considering in the long run.
The return on your time from speaking at various events is significant (when done strategically) and it complements all of your other efforts with personal branding.
A lot of people think that you have to be extremely popular to get speaking engagements, but there are plenty of smaller conferences and events where you can easily get on the speaker list.
Make sure to say that you do speaking engagements on your website, but also keep an eye out for organic opportunities as they come up.
To get started you’ll need to be proactive. But once you get that ball rolling, momentum is on your side and this falls under the passive income category.
And if you are working to promote and build your personal brand anyway, then naturally you will bump into some people who will want to have you speak at their event.
Not only will you start to earn more from speaking gigs over time, doing these events will grow your personal brand even more.
This will also put you in situations where after the speeches wrap up, you can talk with others about your own products, services or anything else you want.
There you have it, 5 straightforward ways to earn passive income, just by taking advantage of your personal brand.
But remember, this is just a starting point. There are tons of ways to leverage personal branding when it comes to earning passive income.
Have you tried any of the methods above? If so, what worked for you? What was less successful?
And if you haven’t tried any of the channels above, has something else been working instead?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and personal experiences when it comes to earning a passive income using your personal brand.
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Sabrina Clark is the Director of Marketing at BrandYourself.com, the leading provider of tools and services to help people improve how they look online. Sabrina regularly writes and speaks on the topics of personal branding, online reputation management, product growth, and career development.