How to Turn Your Specialised Knowledge into Multiple Streams of Income
Can you imagine a life where instead of getting paid once a month, you’re paid every other day? 😀
Or a life where instead of getting paid by one company (your employer), you’re instead paid by multiple people monthly?
The phrase “multiple streams of income” is one that I hear many people use a lot, but no one really tells you how to achieve it reliably or ethically.
Today I want to walk you through how you can turn your specialised knowledge into multiple streams of income.
You do have Specialised Knowledge.
I can almost hear that voice at the back of your mind doubting that this could become your possibility.
Hang in there with me. I’ll define what I mean by specialised knowledge shortly.
Before that though, a little story.
Yesterday, at around 9 am, I got on a local train and headed towards London Bridge for breakfast with a friend.
It was a beautiful ☀️and mild day and I felt good about the day ahead.
Whilst on the train, I got chatting to my wife (Mary) on the phone and we talked about bits of our business and some of the exciting projects that we’re working on.
E.g. my wife loves cooking and we’re working on using her knowledge to create a food brand to help people eat well on a budget.
When I got off the phone, a young lady sitting in front of me tried to get my attention and said:
“Excuse me, so sorry, I didn’t mean to listen in on your conversation. But your job sounds so interesting.
Can you please tell me what you do? And how do you make money from it?
I’m into music but I don’t see it going anywhere. I don’t mean to be pessimistic or anything”
I smiled because I absolutely love this topic!
Plus, her pessimism about the future is one that I know that many people can relate to.
She said she only had 3 stops to go, so I knew I had to tell her enough in that time to hopefully change her mindset forever! 😊
Mindset for Multiple Streams of Income
I thought about her question for a few seconds and the perfect analogy for making multiple streams of income came to my mind:
The train 🚝.
I said to her:
“You see this train that we’re in right now?
We’re on it because it is taking us to a specific destination that we want to get to.
It is able to do this for us reliably, fast and at a price that we’re willing to pay.
As a result of getting us to our destination, this train attracts the right kinds of attention.
Look around you. There are people everywhere.
On top of that, there are adverts on every other window as advertisers go where the attention is.
To make multiple streams of income, metaphorically, you need to build your own train.
And the way you build your own train is to use your Specialised Knowledge.”
She smiled because a penny had dropped 💡.
I’d opened her mind up to a new way of thinking about the value that she creates through her skills.
PART 1: Clarity On Your Specialised Knowledge (Niche) For Multiple Streams of Income
At the time of writing this blog post, inflation is a big topic.
Prices are rising and many people are focusing on cutting costs to stay afloat.
Whilst this is one thing that you can do, a more sustainable option is to make more money using your existing knowledge.
Although this will not appeal to everyone, it is my hope that this post will appeal to you and give you the push to take action and truly create Multiple Streams of Income.
What is Specialised Knowledge?
In chapter 5 of the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, we’re introduced to two types of knowledge:
- General Knowledge
- Specialised Knowledge
Then the book defines them:
1: “General Knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, if of but little use in the accumulation of money.
The faculties of the great universities possess, in the aggregate, practically every form of general knowledge known to civilisation.
Most of the professors have little or no money.
They specialise on teaching knowledge, but they do not specialise on the organisation or the use of knowledge”.
I’d love you to pay very close attention to the words in bold above.
The book goes on to say:
“Knowledge will not attract money, unless it is intelligently directed, through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of money”
The language in the book comes from the 1930s, but you hopefully get the point being made.
2: Specialised Knowledge is acquired knowledge that’s organised and put to use for a definite purpose through practical plans.
Examples of my specialised knowledge include:
Stock Market investing, financial planning, building financial models, creating successful blogs or YouTube channels, building membership businesses, etc.
Could you think of some examples of your specialised knowledge?
Exercise 1: Spend 5 minutes brainstorming up to 5 things you’re good at or have knowledge or experience in.
One of these 5 things will eventually become the niche that you focus on.
One important requirement for Specialised Knowledge is something you acquired over time with effort and/or cost.
Notice that I’ve spent a decent chunk of this blog post trying to help you place value on what you know already.
This is really the secret.
Yes, you’ll need to learn some new things to eventually “build your train”…
But, it all begins with what you already know.
What I’ll show you next is how to then begin building that train.
How I Got Convinced About Multiple Streams of Income
From an online business perspective, there are 3 things that introduced me to this way of thinking.
1) Building an Online Brand
I’ve painfully learnt to turn my specialised knowledge into something that sustainably generates an income.
First I had to believe that I had Specialised Knowledge and then I started sharing it to help others on this blog.
Next, for this blog to earn an income, I had to put what I’m now teaching you into practice.
It has taken 4 years so far but I’m sharing this today to help you do it in months not years.
That specialised knowledge that I acquired has then been extended into creating our membership platform, Financial Joy Academy, for example.
And it will carry on being extended into other fun projects, such as the food brand that my wife has recently launched.
2) 1,000 True Fans
Years ago, I came across this article by Kevin Kelly.
In it, he shares a simple but powerful way for anyone to think about how they earn.
He suggested that if 1,000 people paid you £100 each in a year, you’d earn £100,000.
The 1,000 people are those he referred to as your 1,000 true fans.
If you’re someone who is completely new to all this, even the thought of 1,000 people loving your work could be overwhelming.
I can relate to this.
When I started writing on this blog 4 years ago, no one knew who I was.
But 4 years later, it is scary to think that this platform has reached over 3 million people.
Did anything change about what I was doing? Not really.
I just stayed consistent and carried on sharing my specialised knowledge.
To make an income from my specialised knowledge though, I had to re-think how I organised and directed it.
3) Learning From Others
I’m constantly learning daily.
For me, it’s all about growth over money. This mindset is very important.
I learn from books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, masterminds, coaching, etc.
In the same way, once you see this as something that you
should must do, you’ll have a lot of fun continuing that learning to acquire more Specialised Knowledge.
PART 2: Assess Demand For Your Specialised Knowledge
In Exercise 1 above, you started to identify a niche that your Specialised Knowledge relates to.
Exercise 2: You now need to assess how much demand there is for that knowledge that you have.
This will take you some time to assess. I’d suggest at least 1 hour of active research.
Useful tools to help you to do this include:
i) Google Keyword Planner – Here you can search for how many times that thing you do is searched for per month.
This free tool will tell you how many times a particular keyword is searched per month and in a particular area.
ii) Survey Monkey – This is a powerful tool for creating short surveys.
It’s exactly how we started ‘The Humble Penny’.
We created a survey with about 5 questions to see if there was demand and shared them across WhatsApp groups and Facebook.
iii) Social Media – You can also learn a lot by spending time in niche Facebook groups or researching via hashtags on Instagram, etc.
You could even invest e.g. £10 and run a boost a Facebook post as an ad to see what response you get.
iv) Word of Mouth – This is one of the most powerful ways to gauge demand. Start with conversations amongst friends, family, etc.
PART 3: Choose a Way To Get Paid (i.e. Business Model)
Once you have accessed demand, you now need a way to get paid.
I.e. a way to distribute that Specialised Knowledge.
There are 3 ways of thinking of this:
- Serviced Based – i.e. you can offer a service and get paid.
- Product Based – i.e. you can create and sell products.
- Content Based – i.e. you can create content and digital products.
Each of these has its pros and cons, but by far, my favourite of these is number 3 – Content-Based Business Model.
- It is scalable,
- Low cost and effort to start,
- Anyone can do it,
- It can be done anywhere in the world,
- The internet amplifies your effort. This is called leverage.
- It keeps growing with the same effort,
- It can make you passive income even in your sleep.
You can combine the Content-based model with a Serviced-based model too.
The Product-based model is also great and is scalable, but it requires a significant amount of capital outlay to start.
Then there is the Serviced-based model, which is great but not as scalable. It is great if combined with another approach.
Exercise 3: Decide on which primary way you’d like to be paid. Service? Product? Content? And why?
Now that we’ve outlined these 3 ways that you can get paid, let’s now focus on two of them – Content-based and Service-based.
I’ll share 5 of our favourite ways of putting these into practice to help you take action.
5 Multiple Streams of Income Ideas 2024
Think of these 5 ideas below as ways to begin organising and distributing your Specialised Knowledge for a definite purpose.
Remember: Growth over money.
I.e. By you taking the steps to grow first by helping others with your Specialised Knowledge (and seeing them grow or move forward), only then does the money follow.
I'm focusing mainly on online-based ideas below because they can be grown more quickly.
Also, you can combine some of these ideas and do them together.
1: Get Paid Monthly Through Memberships
Of the 5 ideas, this is the most reliable way to get paid recurring monthly income for your Specialised Knowledge.
You can also do it as a side hustle alongside your day job if you want 😀.
It takes some effort to initially get it going but once done, it’s all about maintaining it and making it more valuable over time.
A good example of this is a very simplified version of Netflix.
But instead of having entertainment content, you’d instead had content related to your niche.
I previously mentioned our membership, Financial Joy Academy, which we took some training to learn how to set up.
18 months ago, it had zero content and no members.
Today it has over 40 courses and masterclasses, around 36 recorded coaching calls and a thriving community.
The more time passes, the more valuable it becomes.
In the same way, you could create a membership in any niche (with your specialised knowledge).
- Health and Fitness for busy mums
- Leadership training for high performing women
- Property investing for first time investors
- Education for rock climbers
- Training for newbie photographers
- Online training for private pilots
- Education for trainee chefs
- Keto dieting for millennials
- Sewing workshops and resources
- Wood work for retirees
- Bookkeeping for newbie entrepreneurs
- Coding for mid life careerists
- Parenting skills for stressed dads
- Baking skills for newbie bakers
The list is endless.
Why does it work? It delivers a lot of value relative to the price.
It is often low priced (e.g. £10 – £50 a month) and delivers the value of at least 100 times the price.
Why do people stay and pay? You’re taking them on a journey that’s helping them achieve a life transforming goal or learn a new skill.
What can you earn? Example: A £20 a month membership with 50 members will make you £1,000 per month.
This will keep growing if you keep offering value but it won’t necessarily cost you more to grow it.
We’ve recently launched a new 12-week programme to help purpose-led people not only build and multiply their income streams through this method, but we’re also going to teach them to invest and scale the monthly profits they make.
The theme is Build, Multiply, Invest. We’ve called it the “Architect Programme” 😀.
Every week, we’ll work together to build an element of your membership platform and eventually launch it to start making recurring monthly income.
Top Tips for Success:
- Keep it simple and be clear on what your offer is.
- Start where you’re and build up gradually
- Learn from others to make fewer mistakes
- Take your audience or customers on a growth journey
- Have a launch strategy.
How Does It Pay You Monthly?
By the recurring nature of membership programmes being low ticket subscriptions, you get paid monthly provided you continue to offer value.
The key is to continue to serve your members through high quality and actionable content as your membership grows.
So your time commitment remains the same, but your income increases monthly if you keep marketing your membership.
2: Get Paid Through EBooks or Digital Downloads
Ebooks are digital products that typically communicate information in a concise way.
Another way to think about it is as a book with chapters that you build out depending on what you want to share.
Low priced ebooks are popular. Anything from £2 to £49 for an ebook is considered low ticket.
The more expensive the ebook, the more value you offer within it.
We’ve had success with creating ebooks and have sold thousands of them.
Here is one if you’re curious.
In terms of tools, the best one that I can suggest for creating your ebook is Canva Pro.
This also has a free version, although we use the paid pro version to get the best features and graphics.
You can sell the ebook or digital downloads on various platforms such Etsy or Gumroad.
In addition to ebooks, you can also create other digital downloads such as planners, calendars, spreadsheets, etc.
Here is a good example from a shop on Etsy.
This seller has made 130,000 sales. Assuming on average that her products sell at £6.05 as advertised, that's £786,500 in income.
Top Tips for Success:
- Only create an ebook when you know there is demand for it.
- Focus on creating a high quality ebook or digital download.
- If you’re not creative, hire someone cheaply on Upwork to help.
- Be results driven i.e. focus on making sure your ebook offers lots of value.
- You need a strategy for selling your ebook. E.g. content marketing, email list, etc.
How Does It Pay You Monthly? :
You get discovered on platforms like Etsy and Gumroad daily, leading to sales.
That income is then shared with those platforms and your balance is sent to your bank account.
You can also sell these digital products on your own website, blog, Youtube channel, podcast, Social Media, Email list, etc.
3: Get Paid Through Coaching
This is a service-based business model.
You’re taking what you have expertise in and charging a premium price for it.
Here you’re creating a coaching programme to help someone achieve a very specific outcome 😀.
For doing that, you’re able to charge a much higher price depending on what outcome you’re able to help someone achieve.
As mentioned before, although this is a great way to earn a good amount of income, you need to really enjoy what you’re offering as it is pretty involved.
Plus, you’d normally offer this in conjunction with something else so that you have a passive or recurring element to your income.
E.g. ebooks, memberships, courses, etc.
Top Tips for Success:
- Be clear on the transformation you’d like someone to achieve with your Specialised Knowledge.
- Then break that transformation into 5 – 7 different steps.
- Name those steps and gradually build them out as the outline to your coaching programme.
- Choose a strategy – Will you offer 121 coaching or small group coaching and why?
- Be honest and clear about what you can and can’t offer.
How Does It Pay You Monthly?
You'll need to offer coaching monthly.
Ideally, I'd suggest not offering one-off coaching. Instead, you want ongoing coaching offering of between 4 weeks and 12 weeks.
This then gives you some predictability around your income.
You can then run your coaching in cohorts and market your services appropriately as another cohort comes to an end.
4: Get Paid Through Online Courses
Quite similar to ebooks, online courses go a step further in terms of offering value.
This can take different forms – Video course or a written course.
Although video courses have become more popular over the last few years, some best selling courses are written courses.
I.e. they’re in effect an eBook but sold at online course prices.
Online courses can be priced at anything from £97 to £997 for a super premium online course.
Your pricing will depend on what market you’re aiming for and what transformation you can offer.
E.g. a more expensive course at £997 could be teaching someone how to build wealth up to 10X their investment.
It’s all about the Return On Investment (ROI) and communicating that through your course 😀.
Top Tips for Success:
- Only create a course that you know people want.
- Consider pre-selling your course before you start creating it.
- Price your course appropriately after doing some research.
- Focus on making sure your course delivers a transformation.
- Create a sales page that communicates the value your course offers.
How Does It Pay You Monthly?
Similar to the ebooks, you can either sell your online courses on your website or on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.
My preference would be to start on your website as you get to keep all of the course income.
Then gradually start experimenting with hosting your course on other platforms.
Note that the degree to which you get paid monthly will depend on the degree to which you have automated the marketing of your online courses.
These are typically done via email marketing funnels that sell your courses on autopilot to the right people over time.
This is a skill you'll acquire over time, which is why I keep stressing the importance of being open to learning.
5. Get Paid Through Teaching Workshops
If there is one thing that Covid has taught us, it's that anything can be delivered online now.
Did you know that you could teach your specialised knowledge via an online workshop across the world?
HR and Diversity & Inclusion departments of most companies are looking for specialists in certain areas to teach ongoing workshops to their employees.
For example, I recently taught a workshop on Financial Resilience and Financial Bravery 😀.
Both were paid workshops and I taught hundreds of employees are the same time.
You can teach across multiple organisations of different sizes and the more recurring it is the better.
Top Tips for Success:
- Use LinkedIn to build your authority. Talk about topics that you're interested in.
- Start small and build up. Your first workshop could be to 5 people.
- Read books out loud. This helps you become a better speaker.
- Offer your services to various organisations e.g. Universities, companies, charities, etc.
- Create a simple website that outlines what you do and how you offer value.
How Does It Pay You Monthly?
This starts off slowly but once you've booked 1 or 2, the references from these will help you book others.
If you set yourself a goal of one workshop per month, you can achieve it if you actively contact companies.
In time, your bookings will be inbound.
LET’S DEAL WITH YOUR OBJECTIONS
At this point, you might be thinking:
- This is too complicated.
- I don’t have any specialised knowledge
- I’m not smart enough. I’m too old and not a techie.
- I don’t have enough time
- I’m barely getting by and don’t have enough money
Let’s take each of them head-on and talk about them:
1: It’s Too Complicated
Everything I’ve shared today might seem like a foreign language initially and feel like too much to take in 😅.
Yes, I agree.
But it does not all happen overnight.
The key thing is to have the willingness to learn and grow.
Nothing beats this.
Everything I’ve shared today I also had to learn through the desire to grow and learn the skills for tomorrow.
2: I Don’t Have Specialised Knowledge
Yes, you do 😀
Everyone has knowledge or experience in something.
The issue is that we place so little value on our knowledge and experience and we’ve never really thought about using them outside of our day jobs.
For example, you could be great at baking but consider it such a general skill that no one would pay you for it.
What you probably haven’t considered is that you might have a particular approach or system for baking and people might want to learn your way of doing it.
Please revert back to Exercise 1 and do that brainstorming again.
3: I’m Not Smart Enough. I’m Too Old and Not a Techie
People say this as it’s an easy excuse. It’s the low hanging fruit.
If you didn’t know, I used to be an Accountant. That was my day job! No tech experience.
Did that stop me build this brand using my Specialised Knowledge in Personal Finance?
The work that I needed was in my inner belief.
To help me with anything techie, I saved some money and got help on Upwork.
With a £100 – £300 investment in yourself and your idea, you can get someone to do all the techie stuff while you learn from the experience.
Oh, and about being too old, this again is a mindset thing.
Provided you’re open to learning, you’ll be fine.
The wisdom of your experiences so far will be an advantage.
4: I Don’t Have Enough Time
When someone says this, I always ask –
Do you have time to watch shows on Netflix or TV?
Or time to scroll through social media?
If yes, you definitely have time 😉.
It sounds very obvious but…
If you waste less time, you gain more time.
Check out this stat on daily Smartphone usage:
4 hours 23 minutes per day! That’s around 30 hours per week!!
This is not too different to the UK situation.
I bet you, most of these people also say that they can’t find the time.
The key to finding the time is to start small. You need to win back some of those wasted hours.
Commit to working on one of the ideas in this blog post with 1 – 2 hours per week. That’s it.
Diarise it and make an appointment with yourself.
The key to success here is consistency.
5: I’m Barely Getting By and Don’t Have Enough Money
This is where I explain the difference between an expense and an investment.
If you spend money on a takeaway or a holiday, that’s an expense. That money is gone.
Yes, you’ll have fun on your holiday, but it won’t make you more money.
However, if you spend money on an idea you believe in and actually put in the work to make it a success, you’ll want a Return On Investment (ROI).
This is an important mindset shift. So, if you’re about to spend, say, £500 on something, consider how many times your money you expect to get back and over what period.
Doing this will give you the drive and motivation to put in the time, energy and sacrifice to make that investment and get that desired return.
Huge well done if you made it this far into this post! 👏🏾👏🏾
Achieving Multiple Streams of Income takes work. I want to be 100% upfront about that.
However, it’s possible to do it in a few months by creating a second income using your specialised knowledge 💯.
It will require you to be radically open-minded about your possibilities and seek help from the right people.
If you’re determined to change your income situation, don’t let the objections that I covered above stop you.
Focus on believing it’s possible, stay open-minded to learning, put in the work consistently and you’ll see results 😀.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to creating multiple streams of income? Drop me a comment.
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