I had to take a break from Operation Passive Income in order to actually go and make some passive income! Well, I did that so now it’s time to document how we actually did, so that we can show just how powerful the internet is and how YOU can use it to your advantage. But first, it’s story time.
Back in December this last year, I was going through the multiple channels I watch and Facebook groups that I had become a part of. I stumbled across another “Passive Income” group and requested to join.
It was a fairly large group of about 40k members and looked like it was a well ran group. I decided to do a little post introducing myself and what I was doing with this page thinking maybe I can start networking with some of these other group members.
And to my surprise, one of the admins straight called me out within moments of writing my post. OK, so he didn’t quite call me out, he actually gave me some great advice.
It was time to build an actual business.
He was right. I was spending more of my time trying to talk about passive income than I was actually trying to build passive income. However, back at the beginning of this year, I had no idea what I was actually going to make money on.
I understood concepts of affiliate marketing, launching a product on Amazon, self publishing on Kindle and all of these things. I had consumed SO much content that I felt like I knew what I was doing, I just hadn’t actually done any of it yet.
The other problem I had, was that I hadn’t found a problem that I could solve. At the end of the day, that’s what a business is, right? A business is built on the foundation of a solution that solves a problem.
A business is built on the foundation of a solution that solves a problem
So instead of just saying “I’M BUILDING A BUSINESS TO XXXXXXXXXXX!”, instead my wife and I said, “Let’s find a problem that we can help people solve.”
That one distinction has led us to where we are today. We now have an active and working business that is generating us between $6,000 and $12,000 a month as of writing this article.
Now that isn’t the biggest or most impressive business on the internet, but the message I want to deliver is this. I am no different than any single person that might be reading this.
I work a normal job as a district manager for a wireless company, I live in a suburban home just outside of Tampa. I have a wife and 4 kids and I put in 50-60 hours a week at my normal job. My wife and I run our other business from 8pm-12pm 6 nights a week and we have completely replaced her income.
Our next goal is to completely replace MY income as well so that I can come home and do this full time as well. I can’t WAIT to make that blog post.
OK, but how did you DO it?
Alright, alright, I’m getting to it! Remember when I said that we went and found a problem? Well that was key number 1.
As my wife and I lay in bed one night, she was going through her Facebook groups that she was a part of. And as she scrolled, she noticed a common thing that kept popping up. She’s a part of an MLM company as a consultant at that time, and alot of people in her niche was having the same problem.
They didn’t know how to properly run an online sales party. Well my wife had already started making herself a script so she decided to offer it up to a few people and suddenly she had over 250 message requests on Facebook. All asking about this script!
I looked at her and our eyes opened up wide. We found our problem. Now we needed to build a solution.
Over the next week, we set to work building our first digital product. It would be a word document with correlating graphics that would help consultants go through an entire catalog party step by step.
In fact, I remember our very first day of sales like it was yesterday and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Not because of the money we made, but because of the reaction from the people we helped by creating this product!
On that first day of sales, we reached out to everyone that had message requested my wife. We offered the script out for $10 and began accepting payment through any means they could send it digitally, from Venmo to PayPal and everything in between. After payment, we would email the product over to them.
This worked for about a day before we realized that we couldn’t scale like that. We did over $500 that first day! Mind you, this was just a words and pictures on a word document. We had no idea how popular this thing would become. However with this small success we gained, This also made us very aware of another situation that we needed to handle. Tech support and questions!
We new that we’d have to build some new assets to handle an influx of customers we weren’t expecting to have quite so quickly! So we decided in order to really help a large amount of people all at once, we had to create a hub or some sort of environment to house these scripts and new following we were gaining.
Be looking to add new tools to help you scale.
We launched our business on a Saturday, and as I said, it took up every minute we had that day and I knew that Sunday was going to be the same. We needed tools FAST because I had to go to work on MONDAY, and we needed this to be able to work on it’s own.
Step 1 that we needed to handle was a place to answer all the questions we were getting in just 1 place instead of individually. So we turned to social media.
We built a Facebook group for our business and we sent the link to everyone that purchased our product. We used that platform to create some quick tutorial videos on how to use it, how to download it, and even a FAQS page.
Next, we found a simple online software to host our products on with SendOwl. It was extremely easy to use, very inexpensive at $25/mo and was able to take online payments without us having to take it one by one. This saved us SO much time!
After we had that, we knew that in order for this to be a real BUSINESS, we needed a way to keep track of and communicate directly with our members without having to rely on Facebook to get our info to them consistently.
We turned to MailChimp to start building our email lists. We integrated MailChimp with SendOwl so that anytime someone purchased, they could opt in to our email list.
I learned from my failures on THIS blog, on how to do things a little better and a little different in order to start building an actual audience and that led to next big evolution in our business. Growth and Scale.
Learning how to market our assets.
So we had our product, we had our Facebook group, the beginnings of an email list, and we had a dream. Now what? The next logical step in our growth is that we needed to start marketing.
In another article, I lay out some different marketing techniques all in a row for you, but today I’m telling a story.
Within only 2 weeks we had 800 some member in our group but we could see the growth already starting to slow. I remembered a podcast I had listened to about using “Viral Giveaways” to spread the word.
After my wife and I discussed the plan, we decided we would do a giveaway at 1000 members. In fact, we committed to doing a giveaway every time we gained 1000 members.
The first giveaway was simple, we would give away 3 months of our product. And we would give it away to 3 lucky individuals.
Using a simple MailChimp landing page, we would take email submissions for entries. But we also saw this a chance to build some other NEW assets! So we built a YouTube channel and started building some content on there, and we gave away 2 extra entries to subscribing to our new channel.
Then we realized we could also use this to get more people to try our product! So we gave away 5 extra entries to anyone who purchased one of our products.
We got people so excited for our giveaway that they did a lot of our marketing FOR us. Soon we had people inviting their entire networks into our group.
We knew that as we continued to grow, that we had to continue adding more value. We launched weekly live videos, interviews with others in the industry, and started to build other helpful products that our audience was telling us that they needed.
This simple but effective marketing has helped us build up our Facebook group to just over 5.7k members as of the writing of this, as well as just shy of 2500 active email subscribers.
Now of course, I can’t sum up 6 months of marketing in a single post, but if there was a single thing that I felt like we really did to help fuel that fast of growth, it was the giveaways! In fact, by our second giveaway, we were able to giveaway a Samsung Chromebook as a thank you to our group for all the support that they had given us.
Find your friend in your niche
Sometimes you just get lucky, but even that luck is probably the result of your own actions. While we had a great opportunity ahead of us, we also needed to make sure that we could really penetrate our niche.
We hadn’t really been involved in our niche all that long, and we were looking for other places we could turn to to grow. My wife was in a bunch of other groups dedicated to this niche, but as we all know, you can’t just go pop into someone else’s group and start spamming out yours.
So we decided to reach out personally to some of the owners of the larger groups out there. That’s when we found Lori. To be real with anyone that reads this, we wouldn’t have grown as much as we did without her.
She knew our niche so much better than we did, and she had a Facebook group of over 10k. To us, that was massive. After a few conversations about what we were doing and what we had going on, she allowed us to post and advertise within our group.
Then we really realized the potential. SendOwl had an affiliate option. So we turned it on and gave her the opportunity to become our very first Affiliate.
In fact, she had been looking for ways to start monetizing her graphics group, and we were looking for a way that we could improve the quality of our graphics. Since neither my wife or I could call ourselves graphic designers, this became the perfect partnership. To this day, she makes all of our graphics for that portion of our business and gets a healthy portion of the profits.
The other cool part, is that she now is growing a business right along side us and we get to discuss and navigate our niche together. Make sure that you find your friend or mentor within your niche as it will help you in more ways than you can possible imagine.
Where we stand today
So here we are. Six and a half months later and we have a functional, profitable, and growing business that I believe will soon bring me home to help me fulfill my vision.
We have a working e-commerce website with well over 100 digital products that we sell, a growing YouTube channel at 847 subscribers that we can soon monetize, a handful of affiliate products we earn commissions from, and recently started our patreon membership platform.
We also have an absolutely incredible admin team that helps us stay on track and have become our biggest brand ambassadors. They take on parts of our business that takes up the most time, and we know that without them, there’d be no way we could take on as much as we do.
We have 4 different streams of income with a few more on the way, as well as the reboot of Operation Passive Income to start sharing with everyone that YOU can build a business online as well.
The financial opportunity this has given my family is a godsend, and working so closely with my wife has made my marriage so rock solid that it’s literally all I want to do.
As this blog grows, it’ll be a combination of reviews, a spattering of how to’s, as well as reports of the businesses we are building so that you can see the steps along the way.
If you’re looking to do something similar but don’t know where to start, let me know. I’d be happy to help any way I possibly can. Take care dreamers, and I’ll see you in the next post!