There’s a lot of talk on business blogs about passive income, the idea that you can work to create something of value (like an e-book or online class) and then sell it over and over again for many years, without any additional work. Much less talked about is the concept of passive marketing.
Passive marketing is the idea that you can create a marketing channel once, and then use it to attract new customers for your business over and over again. As with passive income, the beauty of passive marketing is that you only have to put in the work one time, but can reap the rewards for many years to come.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best types of passive marketing that you can use to generate consistent revenue in your consulting or freelance business.
Active Marketing vs. Passive Marketing
When it comes to marketing for your consulting or freelance business, there are two main categories: active marketing and passive marketing.
Active marketing includes all of those strategies where you are generating new customers or clients based on the hours you are putting in or the money you are spending. (With active marketing, you are essentially trading your time or money in return for finding new customers.
Some examples of trading time for customers include attending networking events, offering free seminars, and speaking at local conferences.
Some examples of trading money for customers include paid advertising online (display ads or social media advertising), sending out direct mail ads, and paying a finders’ fee to others in your niche that refer customers to you.
Passive marketing, on the other hand, does not require you to constantly be spending time or money in order to generate new clients and customers.
The 3 Best Types of Passive Marketing for Your Business
While there are lots of different types of passive marketing, I have found that the following are the best 3 passive strategies for generating new clients and leads.
#1: Your E-Mail Drip Campaign
As I have often said before, your e-mail list is your company’s most important online marketing asset. Your entire website should be focused on getting people to sign-up for your e-mail list. Once people sign-up for your newsletter, you can turn your list into a passive marketing powerhouse for your business.
The best way to do this is by setting up an autoresponder sequence or drip campaign in your e-mail list provider. This means that when someone signs up for your e-mail list, they’ll automatically be sent a series of high-impact e-mails over the course of a few day, weeks, or months. These e-mails can include great content, links driving people back to your site, and various sales offers.
In the past, I have occasionally set-up fully passive drip campaigns, meaning that once people signed up, they received 1-2 e-mails per week from my autoresponder over the course of 3-5 months, including special sales offers. Whether they purchased or not, once they got through the sequence, they didn’t receive any additional e-mails from me.
This can work and is great if you don’t want to have to do any other work on the e-mail campaign. That being said, for most of my businesses now, I set up semi-passive drip campaigns. When people sign-up, they receive 1-2 months-worth of automated e-mails, then get moved over to my e-mail newsletter list, where they get new articles that I write once or twice per week. This is a great way to make sure people move through your most important e-mail sequence first, then move onto a general or segmented newsletter list that continues to grow.
#2: Keyword-Focused Blog Posts
Another great way to build passive marketing streams is by focusing on SEO (search engine marketing). If you create great, in-depth articles on your website that are focused on certain keywords or phrases that people in your niche are searching for, your web traffic will grow. As your web traffic grows, more customers will come to your site, and more people will sign-up for your e-mail list.
Creating great, keyword-focused content for your website truly is a passive investment in your business’ future success. You create the content one time, and then it will continue to generate website visitors for you for months, years, or even decades.
#3: Mentions / Reviews / Links from Other Sites
In addition to generating a steady flow of traffic via content on your website, you can also build passive marketing assets online by making sure there are links to your website on as many other websites as possible. If you can get your business rated highly on review sites, get customers to leave positive reviews of your e-books on places like Amazon, and place guest posts (with links to your site) on other websites, you’re leaving a lasting trail of “breadcrumbs” all over the web pointing back to your business.
Getting mentions, reviews, and links online is definitely not a passive process… you have to actively reach out and ask people to link to your site and review your work. But once they do so, you’ll benefit from those links and reviews for many years, making this a very reliable passive marketing strategy for your consulting or freelancing business.