I often talk about the benefits of recurring revenue.
It adds predictability to your business. And it can enable you to do all kinds of things, like pursue different clients and projects … or even a side hustle.
It’s a way to get the predictability of a regular day job—without having to get a regular day job.
In fact, a lack of recurring revenue is a top reason why many people quit freelancing. They simply can’t deal with the income unpredictability.
For me, the predictability brought by recurring income has enabled me to simplify my business, become more in demand, co-write The Wealthy Freelancer and launch side businesses.
So how do you create recurring income?
You have five main methods to choose from.
A retainer agreement is simply an agreement where a client pays you a fixed sum of money every month to retain your services.
If a client has a consistent amount of business for you each month — and especially if that business comes in small bits and pieces — a retainer agreement can be a great fit.
Few clients are likely to offer retainer agreements to you. You have to ask for them.
So look at your current clients and assess whether any would be a good fit for a retainer agreement. Look for those where you’re performing roughly the same amount and type of work for them every month.
Also, incorporate the retainer mindset into your qualification process. Actively look for prospects that have retainer potential.
- Productized services
Productized services are basically fixed-scope, fixed-fee services.
Because the scope is fixed, you can offer them to everyone for the same price.
They’re a great fit for any service that has a recurring component, such as a newsletter or social media copy.
Similarly, you could create a syndicated plug-and-play system that you’ve developed for other clients and refined over time.
You see this a lot in markets such as real estate, residential contracting services, dental and chiropractic. Some writers have created turnkey systems specifically for these industries, such as lead generation packages.
Or you could create a series of warm email and nine-word email templates with instructions on how to use them and sell them as a stand-alone lead generation and reactivation solution.
Another idea is to offer a series of comprehensive packages that give a very specific target market everything they need to tackle their big marcom needs, like the Hen House has done.
Or you could offer a writing or copywriting workshop that you create once and deliver multiple times to companies or nonprofits.
- XaaS (“X” as a service)
You can also offer “X” as a service.
This is typically something that your clients know they need to do, but they aren’t doing it (or aren’t doing it consistently).
Blog posts are an obvious example. But you can go way beyond that.
A great example of this is the franchise Massage Envy. They have a membership with a monthly fee. Membership includes one massage a month and a discount on any additional massages. It’s a great incentive to get massages regularly, because the personal accountability to book your session monthly is built into the model!
- Agency work
Not all agencies are created equal.
Some tend to commoditize our work, but many agencies are more strategic and treat their writers as valuable assets.
When an agency treats you as a valuable member of the team and positions you as an expert with its clients, they can be an outstanding source of recurring revenue.
- Information products
The biggest misconception that most freelancers have about information products is that they’re easy money.
They’re definitely not.
Not only do you have to create a product, but you also have to build an audience. And it’s the building audience part that takes the lion share of the work.
But what if you allocated just five to ten percent of your energy and time to testing out an idea? Would it be worth it?
Isn’t It Time to Increase Your Recurring Revenue?
As you can see, there’s more than one way to get recurring revenue. So, take a closer look at the model(s) that appeal to you.
And start taking steps to increase the percentage of your income that’s recurring.
By the way… whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my book.
It’s called Earn More in Less Time: The Proven Mindset, Strategies and Actions to Prosper as a Freelance Writer. The title says it all. 😉 — Click Here
2. Join my implementation program and be a case study.
I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’re earning $5k+/month (or the part-time equivalent) from your freelance business … and you’d like to grow your income quickly with better clients … just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
3. Work with me privately.
If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll get back to you with more details.