Ah, passive income. If you’ve been a business owner (or blogger, for that matter) for any length of time, then it’s likely you’ve seen the blog posts, webinars, ecourses, and more about why you should create passive income in your business.
But how exactly can a service-based business owner create a passive product? Does it have to be a course or templates? And how do you get your audience onboard for your digital product launch?
In today’s post, I want to share with you the exact steps you can take to add passive income to your service-based business.
Before I dive into the post, I wanted to let you know that I’ve been working on a new product to add to the shop: the Flourish Marketing Bundle. It’s packed with WordPress page templates, social media graphic templates, product mockups, and more to help you create, launch, and promote your digital products. You can click right here (or the button below) to add yourself to the waitlist and get first access to the pre-sale + a one-time only discount when it goes live!
Step 1 | Audit your services
First and foremost, it’s important to take a look at what you’re currently offering your clients, like an in-depth look!
Chances are you’ve been wanting to make some changes to what you do or you recently have, so it’s ideal that you do a full audit of your services to see what you’re getting paid to do for every single client.
For your audit, list out the name / type of service, the cost, what it includes, how many people you worked with on it in the last year, and how much you enjoy it.
For example, maybe you’re a designer who offers branding and website design services. Your service audit for your brand design package, might look something like this:
Resource: You can get a free spreadsheet template to audit your services right here! No opt-in necessary!
Once you have a solid picture of what services you’re regularly performing, you’ll know what the people in your audience are most interested in. This is a great starting point to nail down what product you could create.
Step 2 | Note what you could sell separately
Now that you know what your audience is needing the most help with, you can take a deeper look into what goes into those services. What specifically are you including in your most popular service that you could teach or turn into a template to sell?
At first, a lot of service-based business owners think they have to give their whole process away in their digital product. This is part of the reason there are so many branding courses on the market that walk you through every step of working with a designer.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with selling your whole process, but you don’t have to. You also don’t have to create digital templates, unless that really excites you.
So let’s go back to our designer example. What could the brand designer sell separately as a digital product?
Here are some ideas:
- Brand Strategy Ebook + Questionnaire
- Mini-course on creating a color palette for your brand
- Workshop on picking and pairing fonts for your brand
That doesn’t include the fact that the designer could turn their moodboards, brand style guidelines, and launch graphics into templates that they sell if they wanted to go the template route!
The key is thinking about what your audience needs the most help with, how you want to provide that help, and what you’re most excited to create and sell.
It’s okay if you’re a copywriter and don’t want to teach people how to write copy. Instead you can sell an ebook + workbook combo on nailing their messaging so they can be ready to work with you once their done going through everything.
Step 3 | Prep your audience + build your waitlist
If you’ve never sold a product before, it’s important to start prepping your audience and get them ready to buy what you’re selling.
But how do you do this?
You’ll build your waitlist the same way you do anything else: sharing related content and linking to your waitlist form while marketing your product.
If you’ve been following the steps above, chances are the product you’re creating is directly related to the content you’re already sharing with your audience. So it should be easy for you to get a little more specific about your product’s topic to educate your audience and prep them to buy.
For example, the brand designer has already been selling their services by talking about the importance of design and what goes into their process of working with clients. If the designer wanted to do a mini-course on creating a color palette, then she could start creating content on:
- What color theory is
- Example color palettes based on the messaging and audience of a brand
- How to apply your color palette to your brand
All of these pieces of content would ultimately lead her audience to a waitlist, where she started building interest in her new mini-course.
Plus, those points could also be added to the rest of her mini-course in more detail to help expand on her topic and educate her students further.
So when you’re getting ready for your pre-sale, make sure you’re sharing related content on your blog, podcast, or YouTube. You’ll want to mention it in your regular emails to your list.
When it comes to social media, a lot of people like to spend the weeks leading up to a launch just talking about their “secret project.” That doesn’t give your audience a real chance to learn more and show interest, though. So you can also market the product on Instagram by sharing sneak peeks at what you’re working on.
Step 4 | Launch a pre-sale
Selling services requires you to get money before you actually do the work, and that’s the ultimate goal with your first digital product, too.
If you’ve never sold a digital product before and depending on what you’re creating, it’s wise to do a pre-sale before you create the entire product. This saves you from spending valuable time creating the product if your audience ends up not interested in what you offer.
Here are a few things you’ll want to consider for your pre-sale:
How many sales do you need / want to validate your product idea?
This is one of the most important things that you decide going into your pre-sale. Ultimately, you have to think about how many sales you want and need to get to make it worth the time to create the product.
I wish I could give you a specific number, but it really depends on the type of product and how much money you’d like to make for your time spent creating the product.
It’s also really important to be realistic about the number of sales that you can make during your pre-sale.
You can market your product to everyone, but the people who are going to be most likely to buy are the people on your waitlist. If you have less people on your waitlist than you have on the rest of your email list, then you should expect to have fewer people convert to your paid product.
Do you want to discount the price during your pre-sale?
When you’re thinking about how many sales you want to make you can also consider if you want to discount the price of your digital product during your pre-sale.
This can be a great way to incentivize those sales and also reward those people who are buying first. Then, when your product is officially live, you can raise the price.
What date will you deliver the product to the people who bought during your pre-sale?
Once you’ve decided on a pre-sale date, you have to give yourself a date of when you’ll deliver the finished product to the buyers.
Again, it’s important to be realistic about how long it’ll take you to create / build the product. However, the date you choose depends on lot of different things. Your existing work schedule and the size of the product are two big factors you should keep in mind when deciding on your delivery date.
It’s important to make this date really clear to buyers. You can put it on your pre-sale page, your pre-sale launch emails, and in the follow-up email that goes out to buyers. You want them to know when they’re going to receive the product so they aren’t hesitant in buying because they have no idea when they’ll get what they paid for.
What else do you need for your pre-sale?
Okay, so you’ve decided on the important details for your pre-sale, you’re building your waitlist, what else do you need to actually launch your pre-sale?
- Mockup to show off what you’re selling
- Pre-sale page (think: sales page)
- Launch emails for your waitlist
- You can write an email for the rest of your email list, but you can save your big email plans for when you launch the product later
- Follow-up email that gives buyers more information on what to expect now that they’ve purchased the product
These are probably pretty obvious, right?
A pre-sale is going to look pretty similar to a normal product launch, with the exceptions that you’re not delivering the product right away and that you’re mainly pitching the product to your waitlist.
You can also consider how you’ll keep buyers engaged with you while you build the product.
A great way to keep people engaged after they buy during the pre-sale is to give them some type of bonus related to the product.
Maybe this is a sneak peek video, an intro module, an exclusive template that only pre-sale buyers get, or something else. This is a great way to overdeliver to your buyers, which people always love.
Step 5 | Launch your digital product
If your pre-sale goes well and you feel confident about your product being validated, then it’s time to get to work!
Depending on the type of product you’re creating, you’ll want to create it and get ready to deliver it on (or before) your launch date!
As I mentioned, this obviously depends on the type of product you’re creating. For example, if your pre-sale was for a live digital workshop, then you may outline what you’re going to speak about and create any necessary workbooks or resources to go along with it. However, you would wait to create the workshop live on the date you already provided.
This could also work for an ecourse or any other digital product that you want to deliver to your audience in a live format.
If you’re creating something that doesn’t need to be delivered in that way, then you’ll want to start creating and building the product so it’ll be ready for your launch date.
Once your product is created, you can deliver it to the pre-sale buyers and start thinking about what you want your “official” launch to look like.
There are all sorts of formulas for launching passive income products, and this is another thing that really depends on what your product is and the way you like to launch.
But your launch can look similar to your pre-sale except instead of sending people to your waitlist, you can send them to an opt-in form that goes directly to your main email list.
Then you’ll likely create a series of launch emails to go out to your list and promote the product on social media and wherever you’re regularly producing content.
On committing to marketing
At the end of the day, the most important thing to think about is that your passive income is only going to be as much as you’re willing to spend the time marketing your new product – during the pre-sale, your official launch, and afterward.
If you’re not really invested in marketing your product, then you can rest assured that your sales aren’t going to be what they could be.
So once you’re ready to start building interest + growing your waitlist and then once your product is launched, make sure you’re spending enough time telling your audience about it.
Remember, you put a lot of time into creating the product. You don’t want it to go to waste sitting on your digital shelf.
Are you ready to create passive income for your service-based business?
If you haven’t introduced passive income into your business yet, there’s no better time than now! Take your time, validate your idea, and then go for it!
I know that creating a digital product can be overwhelming, which is why I’m making the Flourish marketing bundle. It’s packed with WordPress page templates, social media graphic templates, product mockups, and more to help you create, launch, and promote your digital products.
You can click right here (or the button above) to add yourself to the waitlist and get first access to the pre-sale + a one-time only discount when it goes live!