“One person. $1.3M in revenue. 98% profit margin. 810 days.”
I read stuff like this and often say to myself, “yeah right, matey.” Not this time. Justin Welsh is someone who has figured out passive income.
Consulting: $880k [forget this line as it’s not passive]
For some odd reason Justin is happy to share his story and give people screenshots of his dashboards. What you’re about to read is based on his formula. Copy, borrow, or steal it.
Attract the Right Eyeballs
First you’ve got to find the right people. You’ve heard the phrase “content is king” plenty of times. It’s no accident. Content is the pillar of any passive income machine and it’s often overlooked.
People mistake posting content for the influencer life. It’s not. Influencers are a waste of space and they take up oxygen we could use to treat lung problems in hospitals full of patients affected by a global health crisis.
Content only falls into the influencer category if it’s all about you, or if you’re trying to look good. Otherwise, content is simply helpful things you learn and your commentary about what’s happening in your field of interest. A passive income machine needs email addresses.
Create content. Collect email addresses. Simple.
Spend 1-Hour per Day for a Year Building an Online Community
Humans pay you money. Their money equals passive income. Therefore, you need a place for humans to congregate. You can do it via email or you can point people from your content into a Telegram or Discord group.
Many creators don’t understand why a community is so important. Let me explain: A community creates trust with an audience. Nobody is paying for anything from you unless they’ve dealt with you.
One year in a free community with you is enough time for the magic of trust to take over — where they learn you’re not some guru, but a person who truly cares about their goals and problems.
There’s zero point in having a product or service without a community.
So many people who seek to generate passive income get this small detail back the front. You also need a community to figure out what the hell you’re doing. What are the problems people have? What solutions have you helped provide that have attracted lots of positive emojis?
A community is where you go to listen. A community is where you find the ideas to generate passive income in the first place. Without it, you’re simply guessing. Or you’re relying on what people google which often leads you to saturated ideas to make money online.
The Biggest Problem with Online Communities
Now for some bad news. What I just said is nothing new. The problem is people set up communities via group chats or email lists and then destroy their passive income machine with one click of a button.
Rule: Never ask for anything in the first 12 months.
Now, most of you can’t do it. The thought of sharing an affiliate link or selling a product or doing something that progresses your side hustle dream is huge. The temptation is too great to make money online. And that’s the missing piece of the puzzle.
I’m crazy, as you know. If I were starting again I’d go for as long as possible without asking a community for a cent. I’d hold out until my last dollar before ever trying to sell anything.
Hard lesson: people don’t want to be sold to.
Passive income isn’t a one-night stand. You don’t wake up, start a community, get five people in there, and then attempt to have your way with them on the first night. That’s what most people do. Join an email list and find out. Within 24 hours you’ll be offered a one-night stand.
To prove it, I joined ten email lists in the last week of creators I admire. Nine out of ten tried to sleep with me in the first email. So what did I do?
A passive income machine isn’t built on top of your selfish desires. It’s the opposite actually. You build passive income by being unselfish. By caring about the people in your community without always trying to put your hand in their wallet and feel their erotic areas.
This is the underrated solution
You don’t meet someone you fancy one night and then try to sleep with them, get engaged, start a family, get married, and buy a house within 24 hours. No. You go slow. What makes passive income any different?
Your needs lead to greed.
The trick is to focus on the needs of your community. Solve their problems for free for a year. Show your worth. Prove your experience. Show you care. And keep your pants on, tiger.
Do This in Year 2 to Build an Unstoppable Passive Income Machine
This is when Justin says you can ask. I agree.
After one year of patience you have the right to ask. But many people royally f*ck this step up, too. How? They over-ask.
The best way is to pretend you get one ask with your community. Here are the options you can charge for:
- An eBook
- A membership community
- An affiliate link to a product you get a commission on
- An online course
- A live event
Many creators make the mistake of trying to do all of them. Don’t. Your community’s patience with asks is like a battery. As soon as you ask for something the battery goes to 0%. It takes 30 days before they’re ready to get an ask from you again.
So in year 2 you get a maximum of 12 asks. See the difference? Now you see why it’s stupid to ask your community to pay for an unproven product that may make you a $1 commission.
Every ask needs to be thoroughly researched. Too many creators spray and prey asks all over their community and then wonder why nobody cares or the unsubscribes spike in the hundreds every time they send an email.
Asks are a nuisance unless you’ve taken the time to understand people, and segment them based on who will care and who definitely won’t care about your ask.
Mindset: not everybody in your community is a customer. 90% of them will never buy anything from you. 10% of people will though. That will feed your passive income machine. The other 90% still have enormous value because they will share your work and increase the reach. Plus a community is about so much more than money. Humans united around a passion are extraordinary.
Build a free community for the next 12 months. Don’t you dare ask them for anything. Find out what their problems are. Think about how you can help. Research products you can offer in year two.
When 365 days have passed, roll out your first ask. Be gentle. Get feedback. Tweak your approach. That’s how to build a passive income machine in 12 months that starts to pay you in year two.
Making money from your wifi connection is possible when you’re unselfish, patient, and take the time to care.