The ultimate dream of most work-at-homers is to make more and work less. While we may want more time to do the things we love in life, we can’t afford to give up our incomes altogether. As a matter of fact, most of us are actually looking to make MORE money working from home than we did in our previous employer roles. Luckily, we have so many opportunities to make this happen!
1. Automate What You Can
There are so many cool tools available today that can automate some of the simple tasks we perform on a regular basis. Even a minute or two here and there can add up to a lot over the course of a year.
Two of my favorite places to scope out automation opportunities are IFTTT.com and Zapier.com. Both of these sites can link different apps and services you use to have little tasks done when a specific action occurs – If This Than That.
A couple of automation examples I currently have set up:
- If you are a blogger and have quickly realized the annoyance that is Bitbounce and is currently removing these people from your list manually, I found the solution. Through Zapier I automated the removal of these people from my newsletter every time a Bitbounce email arrives in my inbox.
- Anytime I upload a new video to YouTube; an order is automatically placed with Rev.com to have the captions done.
- If you are searching for a work-at-home job, IFTTT has automation that will send you a weekly email of jobs posted on a subreddit.
- Zapier has automation that will send a thank you email anytime you get a PayPal sale.
These are little things that you may not think a lot about, but they add up. Get them off your plate entirely.
2. Recurring Income
If you are a freelancer, your ultimate goal should be to move away from one-off projects to recurring clients. These are clients you have on a retainer for a certain amount of work each month. That may be a certain number of articles or blog posts if you are a writer. It may be a set number of hours or predetermined tasks if you are a virtual assistant or social media manager.
This will help prevent you from being in a perpetual state of marketing. You will be able to count on this income month after month which can greatly ease your budgeting burdens as well. And, you can often work a 30-day termination notice into your client, so you have plenty of lead time should a client want to terminate your relationship.
3. Residual Income
If you are an affiliate marketer, keep an eye open for residual income opportunities. These gems will pay you over and over again for referring a single lead to a merchant.
An example of this would be my email service provider, Seva. They pay me every month that someone I referred to their platform remains a client. There are a couple of people I referred to the site over two years ago, and I’m still receiving 30% commission every month they remain a ConvertKit customer.
You should not seek out and sign up for programs strictly for their recurring commissions. Only promote stuff you know and can stand behind. But when you find one of these treasures, put it into place.
4. Repurpose Your Content
I LOVE repurposing content. Even before this blog post published, it was made into a YouTube video. At some point, it may become an email newsletter or part of my autoresponder series.
You have so many options for getting more mileage out of your blog posts.
- Make them a YouTube video.
- Make them an audio file.
- Turn them into a Facebook Live.
- Turn them into a tip sheet you can offer as an opt-in bonus.
- Add them to your autoresponder series.
- Turn them into an ebook or course.
These are all opportunities to expand your reach and possibly make more money.
5. Outsource the Small Stuff
Just like automating, you have so many opportunities for outsourcing – both personally and professionally. It’s commonplace today to hire someone to clean your house and mow your yard. These are both things my husband and I have outsourced.
I also have someone doing my grocery shopping these days. Most stores offer this free with a certain order amount. My only charges $2.95 is the order is under $100. $2.95 to save me an hour – and a lot of money because I’m not tempted in the store – is well worth it. My time is worth way more than $3 an hour!
I outsource a lot of things on the business-side of things as well:
- I have someone to help me with my opt-in freebies.
- I have two writers on staff.
- I just hired a social media strategist.
- Rev.com does all of my video captioning.
- I also use Time, Etc. to pick up straggler tasks throughout the month that I don’t want to do.
This outsourcing has truly given me my life back. I’m no longer stressed about how I’m going to get everything done. And it’s often those small tasks that suck dry our days. Get them delegated.
6. Raise Your Rates
We should all be evaluating our rates at least annually. If you haven’t raised yours lately, it may be time. Especially if you can provide more value to your clients now than you were initially.
It can be stressful to drop a rate increase on an existing client. But, maybe you can reframe their thinking from the get-go. Maybe you have picked up a few new skills that would be useful to them. Put together a couple of appealing retainer packages bundling those new skills with things you are already doing (but at that new rate). This may make the sound of “rate increase” a little less painful for both of you.
7. Batch Process
I’m a big fan of batch processes. If you aren’t familiar with this phrase, here’s an example:
When I’m shooting my YouTube videos, rather than doing one from start to finish and then starting on the next, I will batch them.
- I will do the research and outlines for several videos at one time.
- I will then shoot all of the videos in one sitting.
- The next day, I will do the editing for all of them at the same time.
- Next, I will create all of the graphics in one sitting.
- Then, I will upload and schedule all of those videos in succession.
Batch processing not only saves me time as I’m allowed to focus on the task at hand as opposed to jumping around, but I am also able to create better work because of that focus.
Your batch processing may be:
- Hitting your inbox just once or twice per day
- Doing your bookwork once per month
- Freezer cooking
- Invoicing clients
- Creating social media updates and images
This streamlined process can save you tons of time.
8. Work on the Weekends
Maybe your dream doesn’t involve weekend. But, let me tell you a little secret. You can get a TON of business done in the off hours around here.
The online world is just as busy 9-to-5 as the traditional work world – emails, phone calls, social media, emergency, distraction, something to stress you out…
I get so much done during the quiet hours. I often pull out my laptop Saturday evenings while we are catching up on our DVR to write blog posts. Sunday mornings before church I’ll get my social media updates scheduled for the week. These fringe hours often aren’t too long, but they allow me to get a jumpstart on my week without any distractions or interruptions.
9. Email Funnels & One-Time Offers
The #1 way I have been able to make more & work less is email funnels. No joke. When someone signs up for my email newsletter, they are taken to one of my sales pages offering them a one-time discount on one of my products. That offer alone can earn around $100 per day without any daily activity from me.
Regardless of whether they buy or not, they then go into a nurturing sequence that delivers valuable information relevant to their interests (based on the freebie they signed up for). In the end, they are offered up another thing for sale that will help them get where they are trying to go. This is more passive income that is coming in automatically from work I did months or years ago.
These funnels take time to set up, but they are SO worth it. (Screw the Nine to Five has some great info on funnels.) And, remember, you can be outsourcing some of the small stuff while you focus on this money-generating activity!