I learned the importance of having multiple streams of income at a very young age. I was barely 22 when I graduated from college into The Great Recession and went six months without a job.
When I worked as a recruiter I was constantly interviewing people who would lose their jobs (a.k.a. all their income) from one week to the next. These experiences scared me straight, and I’ve committed to building multiple streams of income in my life ever since.
Now, when most freelancers think “multiple streams of income” they think they have it covered because they have multiple clients. In my book, this is only one part of the equation. Below you’ll find all the ways freelancers can build multiple streams of income.
Work for Hire
Work for hire is your freelancing. It’s the work you do in exchange for money. For most people, this is how they start. It’s certainly how I got started a few years ago and it’s still a major source of income for me.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to start making money. Or, at least, it’s much easier now than it was five years ago when I got started, If you have a marketable skill such as writing or designing you can begin to make money pretty quickly.
One way to build multiple streams of income as a freelancer is to consider consulting. In a world where people are more inclined than ever toward running their own businesses, you’re going to start getting questions about how you run your business.
At first, this will look like people offering to buy you coffee or wanting to “pick your brain”, but a smart business owner knows this can be monetized. A smart business owner knows this is just a form of consulting and that they can easily charge people $200 or more an hour for the opportunity to pick their brains.
Advertising and Sponsorship
I’ve previously discussed the importance of freelancers working on their own brands. One of the ways in which they do this is by running their own blogs. If done correctly, you’ll soon start to get approached for opportunities like sponsorship and ad space on your own website.
This is an area I started diving into recently as more companies began approaching me to share their stuff with my audience, and it’s defnitely boosted my income significantly.
In order to be a successful freelancer, you must become an expert in your field. Once you become recognized as an expert, you may find yourself getting approached by organizations who want you to teach, speak or create a workshop for them.
Speakers can make a significant amount of money when getting hired by organizations. One excellent book on this topic is World Class Speaking by Craig Valentine.
Create a Course or Membership Site
Up until now, we’ve discussed opportunities for building multiple streams of income that require an exchange or your time and skillset. Eventually, you’ll want to start looking at more passive ways of generating income.
One popular way of generating passive income is to create a course. For example, a freelancer may create a course based on their area of expertise. If you’re a financial writer, perhaps you create a course about getting your finances in order.
Another option is a membership site where members get exclusive content. I’ve personally done a hybrid of both in the Make Money Your Honey Academy. It’s a membership site where you get access to every business and finance class I’ve ever taught.
In both cases, you can automate the delivery of your digital product so you won’t even have to lift a finger to get paid. Of course, it does require work upfront. However, it’s work done upfront for the opportunity to continuously generate income over time.
Building multiple streams of income is the only way to make sure your finances are diversified. This helps you make more money and ride out any bumps in the road. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive as there are multiple ways freelancers can build multiple streams of income online. It is, however, a really good place to start.