Creating leveraged income is the holy grail for most entrepreneurs. If you want to be able to stop trading time for money and grow your business with less investment of time and resources, you need to build this type of income.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to do it, and give you four simple strategies for building leveraged income in your consulting or freelance business.
What is Leveraged Income?
The first question we need to answer is, “what is leveraged income?” Simply put, this type of income is when you create something once and sell it over and over again, while minimizing the amount of time you invest in the project in the future. In essence, you are leveraging your time and energy into a product or service that you can sell many times over the coming years.
You may be wondering how this differs from passive income. In my mind, passive income is a subset of leveraged income. Passive income refers to things like information products (e-books, webinars, etc.) where you create something once and never invest another hour into it, other than sales, marketing, and customer service.
Leveraged income, on the other hand, includes some strategies where you do need to invest additional time into the actual product or service, but not nearly as much as the first time you created it…. as you’ll see in the strategies below.
Leveraged Income Strategies You Can Use
Here are four leveraged income strategies you can use in your consulting or freelancing business to help you earn more money while working fewer hours:
#1: Productized Consulting
One strategy for building leveraged income as a consultant is to figure out ways to “productize” your consulting work. This will allow you to stop reinventing the wheel for every new client, and instead create plug-and-play packages you can offer to your clients at a set price.
For example, if you are a social media marketing consultant and are often hired to build social media followings, chances are that you are following a similar formula for each of your clients. You could create a “Social Media Boost” consulting product that gives clients a suite of services, including some services that you could outsource to a virtual employee. For every client who bought this productized service, you follow a four-step formula each month (no more, no less).
Many consultants and freelancers find that they can easily shave many hours off of each product by following set formulas and outsourcing repetitive tasks. Likewise, many consultants have found they can offer different levels of each services (e.g. you could offer a Silver Level for $1,000 per month, a Gold Level for $2,000 per month, and a Platinum Level for $3,000 per month).
#2: Consulting Referrals
This is a leveraged income strategy that most consultants and freelancers aren’t pursuing. As a consultant, chances are you aren’t offering every single service your clients need within your industry. For example, if you’re a fundraising consultant specializing in major gifts, you’re probably not also doing grantwriting or fundraising database training. Why not set up a systemized way to refer your clients (and those visiting your website) to others in your industry who can handle those services for them?
There are lots of ways to create income opportunities via this strategy. You could simply set up a finder’s fee or affiliate arrangement with the companies you are referring people to. Or you could set up a directory on your site and charge a fee to be listed. Once you set up the referral arrangement or the directory, you can refer people over and over again, leveraging the initial work you put in.
#3: Content Creation & Advertising
You may not think of writing blog posts and creating online articles as an opportunity to build leveraged income, but they can be. Selling advertising on your website content can be a great way to make additional revenue, and the best part is once you create the content, you can sell the advertising over and over again.
For example, let’s say you have 100 articles on your blog. You create a sidebar with five display ad spots and sell the spots directly to companies in your industry for $100 per month. That’s $500 per month (billed through automatic / recurring billing) coming in from those 100 articles, without you ever having to create another article. If one company stops advertising, you can always go out and sign-up another.
Best of all, as traffic to your consulting site grows, you’ll be able to charge increasing amounts for each advertising spot that you offer.
#4: Information Products
Of course, information products are my favorite way to build leveraged income on my consulting websites. Creating e-books, webinars, and online classes allows you to take what you know, package it into a passive income product, and sell it over and over again. I’ve had e-books and classes that have sold well for years, and I only needed to create them one time.
If you haven’t yet created and information products on your website, now is the time to do so. Remember, as a consultant, you know things that are valuable to other people and businesses… things they are willing to pay for. Info products are a great way to package that information once and sell it for many years to come.
Maximum Income from Minimum Work
Remember what I said earlier: the idea behind leveraged income is that you invest your time, energy, and expertise once, and then generate revenue from that over and over again.
Some of the ideas above (like content creation and information products) truly are passive income, allowing you to build revenue without almost any additional work. Others require a big investment of time upfront, and then smaller amounts later on.
Either way, putting in the time now and reaping the rewards later will allow you to grow your business and spend more time doing the things that are most important to you.