There are get-rich-quick schemes, and then there are ways to make money online fast by building a personal brand.
If you’re here for the former, this guide isn’t for you.
There are plenty of other articles out there that peddle “make money online” scams and promise to show you how to make money online quickly.
If you want to get on the fast track to leveraging your valuable skills, then you’re in the right place.
This article covers some of the most effective ways to turn your personal brand into a money machine.
Note: This in-depth guide on how to make make money online fast from your personal brand business is over 6,000 words long, so you can check the table of contents below to jump to the section you’d like to dive in to more.
My favorite way to make money from my personal brand is the first monetization strategy I cover in this guide (which will also help you grow your email list faster than anything else you’ve ever tried before as proven by my Virtual Summit Mastery students).
How To Make Money Money Online: 12 Ways To Cash In On Your Personal Brand
You can cash in on your personal brand with active income or with passive income. In this guide, I cover both.
Active income, like working as a freelancer or a consultant, have quicker returns, but they’re difficult to scale because you’re always exchanging your time for money.
Passive income, on the other hand, can generate a full-time income and create an incredible lifestyle.
Would you rather get recurring income from the same service/product, or always have to put in time like at a regular job? Nothing is more valuable than your time. The beauty of building a personal brand is that you can give yourself more time to do the things you love.
There are loads of ways to make extra money online. The strategies I cover in this guide can help you make money today and build a brand that will give your income longevity.
Let’s get started!
1. Host a Virtual Summit
Hosting a virtual summit is the best way to accelerate the growth of your personal brand by…
- Building authority
- Generating revenue
- Collecting high-quality email subscribers
- Forging valuable industry relationships
What Is a Virtual Summit?
A virtual summit is a collection of webinar interviews, and they can explode your email list and generate revenue in any niche.
Virtual Summit Mastery graduate Diana Rowen was even able to crush it in the harpist niche. Yeah, you read that right…the harpist niche! Diana grew her email list by 2,100 subscribers and sold 460 all-access passes with her first summit, and those are modest numbers compared to what a lot of my students are able to pull in.
With virtual summits, anyone who wants to watch the original airing of the interviews can watch them for free. All they have to do is subscribe to your email list.
People who want unlimited access to the recordings can buy all-access passes. Presto! Instant revenue. This is how virtual summits can function as your very first info product.
How Do I Know That Virtual Summits Can Work for You?
When I decided to host my first virtual summit back in the winter of 2014, I had been grinding hard for over a year with my blog and podcast.
At the time, I had only a few hundred email subscribers.
Just a few weeks after hosting The Branding Summit, I gathered over 3,000 highly-engaged email subscribers and generated $20k in revenue.
The best part?
I was able to quit my part-time job and immediately start living the dream of living on the beach and having the time to do the things I love.
In the month following my first virtual conference, I raked in over $40k in total profit, most of which came from promoting someone else’s info product.
Check out my free Virtual Summit Guide to see how I did it.
The Virtual Summit Guide is for you if:
- You’re just starting out.
- You’re in the early stages of your online business.
- You have an existing online business that’s doing well.
My first virtual summit was so successful that I quickly launched a second summit, The List Building School.
My subscribers couldn’t stop asking how my summits were doing so well.
I decided to create the Virtual Summit Mastery program to teach people how to launch massively successful virtual summits just like I did.
Virtual Summit Mastery Success Stories
Today, my students have generated 100,000’s of email subscribers and earned millions of dollars in the past year alone.
When Chandler Bolt hosted his first virtual summit, he didn’t even have a blog. Over the course of two summits, he gained 60,000+ email subscribers and generated over $700k in revenue. He leveraged his success to start the Self-Publishing School, which is now a multi-million dollar business.
His story isn’t as unusual as you might think.
Mitch Asser was a personal trainer with no experience working online. He used virtual summits to generate 6-figures in revenue and 30k email subscribers. His intermittent fasting membership site continues to thrive, and guess what? Hosting virtual summits continues to be the crux of his business model!
Virtual summits leverage the established authority of the people you interview. Almost overnight, you become an authority in your niche by association. By placing yourself at the center of an event that’s full of industry leaders, you look like a boss.
The revenue you generate can fund future online endeavors, but the email list you gather is the most valuable asset of all. You’ll be able to use it to market your future products and build a following of 1,000 true fans.
2. Host Webinars and Mini-Summits
Virtual summits aren’t the only online events that you can leverage to make money online.
Webinars and “mini-summits” are great ways to generate hype for your personal brand and fill in the gaps in-between your BIG virtual summits.
Mini-summits are a small handful of webinar interviews that you package as a single virtual event.
Just like virtual summits, you can use mini-summits to:
Russell Brunson, the creator of ClickFunnels, believes that if you host a webinar every week for a year, you’ll be a millionaire by the end of it.
- Launch, grow, and scale your business
- Get more authority
- Generate more profit
- Earn lifelong customers
- Develop stable growth
What makes webinars so powerful?
At the end of your webinar, you can sell affiliate programs and other products off the back end.
Take professional speaker Grant Baldwin, for example. He uses webinars to market his public speaking course, Get Booked and Paid to Speak. Grant’s public speaking business generates six-figures in annual income.
His webinars are packed with useful advice.
Grant’s webinars accomplish two key objectives:
- Prove that he’s an expert.
- Blow away his viewers with free value.
By the end of event, his audience is so impressed and grateful that they’re ready to buy his course.
While it helps to have an established online presence before hosting your first online event, it’s certainly not mandatory.
You can attract people to sign up for your online events with a lead magnet like an eBook or by advertising on social media and set up a sales funnel using ClickFunnels and host the event with a webinar platform like Easy Webinar or Webinar Jam
3. Create & Sell Online Courses
Is there something that people always ask you for advice about? If you have a skill or are knowledgeable about something that provides real value to others, it can probably be packaged into an online course.
Your personal brands depends on your ability to establish yourself as an authority.
The fastest way to do this is by hosting a virtual summit, and on the backend you can crush it by selling an online course.
Your audience will see you as an expert after watching you interview a bunch of industry leaders. The summit warms them up, and afterwards the info product gives them something to buy.
You can create an information product for any niche:
- Public speaking
- You name it
Platforms like Teachable and Thinkific allow you to easily create, market, sell, and protect your online courses. Teachable is my #1 recommendation for people just starting out.
In the past, I used Teachable to manage my membership portal for online courses and for selling all-access passes to my virtual summits. You can try Teachable here.
Make sure to promote your course as a high-value product. A higher price positions you as a high-quality brand.
You don’t want to come across as peddling second-tier knowledge, so price your course accordingly. Your course can be sold for months or even years to come as long as you update the content and keep it relevant.
The long-term earning potential is through the roof, and most importantly, it’s passive income.
When Christopher Stafford launched his first online course about building a real estate business, his email list was only 50-strong.
His course launch grew his email list to 500 subscribers and generated $35,000 in sales. And he did it all without a lot of marketing. It took him three months to create his course from start to finish, but it can happen even faster if you have the extra time and are willing to put in the effort.
If you’re starting from scratch, follow these steps:
1. Take other people’s courses that you’re interested and get ideas.
Think of it as competitor research. Take notes.
What makes the great courses great and the bad courses bad? How can you make yours better?
2. Choose a niche and confirm that there’s a demand.
Obviously, your starting point will be in a niche where you have the most expertise. Keep digging until you find topics that get a lot of search queries.
The easiest way to do this is to use a tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or Ubersuggest to find high-volume keyword phrases like “how to make an online course.”
The more people that search for your target keywords, the better. If you’re already publishing content in a niche, the content that gets the most engagement is a good place to start for ideas.
3. Look for people to partner with and collaborate.
Who are the noteworthy course creators and bloggers that are already doing well in your space? Ask them if they’d like to be an affiliate for your course.
4. Create the greatest course of all time.
You’ll need to back up the price of your course with a premium experience. Don’t settle for anything less than the best user experience (UX) possible. Using a platform like Teachable makes this as easy as possible.
5. Market your course and build a community.
If you don’t have a significant online presence, don’t worry. You can continue to sell the course for as long as you like while you build a following.
Spread the word about your course in online communities like Reddit, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
You can also opt to host and sell your course on sites like Udemy and Skillshare. They take a cut, but they also increase your sales and get you more exposure.
6. Get as much feedback as you can and continue to make improvements. Let people know when you make changes and ask them to weigh in on the improvements.
Having your own course will give a ton of perceived authority. It will also deliver recurring revenue and is a great way to make predictable passive income.
4. Membership Sites & Continuity Programs
Membership sites and continuity programs are another great ways to make regular passive income.
Membership Sites vs. Continuity Programs
Membership sites are packed with premium content that only paying members have access to.
The Freelance Writer’s Den is a successful membership site and community for freelance writers.
Members have access to:
- Community forum
- Curated job opportunities
- Downloadable webinars and podcasts
The Den has over 1,100 active members and costs $25/month. Admission is limited and the waiting list is long. There’s nothing like a little scarcity to fuel excitement and increase customer satisfaction.
A continuity program is any service that charges a recurring monthly fee for membership.
Examples of continuity programs include:
- Subscription boxes like Paw Pack, a continuity program in the dog niche where members receive a box full of toys and dog treats every month.
- Streaming programs like Netflix and Spotify.
- SaaS services like ConvertKit and ClickFunnels.
- Monthly or yearly retainers for freelancing services.
Crushing It with Membership Sites and Continuity Programs
Membership sites can be a fantastic source of revenue if you have a loyal following and a successful blog, YouTube channel, or some other online presence.
A lot of influencers and YouTubers use Patreon to host their premium content and collect donations.
People who make a minimum donation are get access to your content. Patreon isn’t the only way to do this. If you have your own blog, you can host your membership site with a platform like Teachable.
Why Every Personal Brand Business Needs a Continuity Program
You don’t have to have a membership site, but you do need a continuity program of some kind.
Why is a continuity program so important?
It’s way easier, and more affordable, to market to an audience that already loves what you do.
One way to make more sales is to increase the number of clients you have.
Another way is to make your products more expensive.
But the most effective way to make money online fast is to sell more products to your existing audience.
Why waste time warming up new customers if you don’t have to?
Sure, you always want to be growing your following. That’s how you became successful in the first place.
But you should always be getting the most out of your existing customers if you want to maximize your earnings.
5. Offering a Service as a Freelancer
The easiest way to make money online today is to sell your services as a freelancer.
Freelancing may not be the best way to create scalable, passive income, but it is an immediately accessible way to make money online fast.
Don’t feel like you have a marketable skill like web development, project management, marketing, or graphic design?
Chances are you know how to write an article, or are at least capable of learning. A blog is born every day, and there’s always a demand for more written content.
Is There Enough Demand for Your Skills?
Make a short list of the skills you have that you think someone might be willing to pay you for, then hit up the job boards and make sure there are plenty of listings for those types of jobs.
If there’s a high demand for your skill, then it could be worth pursuing.
Best Job Boards for Finding Freelance Work
Upwork is one of the world’s most popular job marketplaces.
They play matchmaker for freelancers and clients in a variety of industries:
- Mobile developers
- Designers and artists
- Virtual assistants
- Customer service agents
- Web developers
- Sales and marketing agents
- and the list goes on…
Other Job Boards Similar to Upwork:
These sites offer the same one-stop shop service for connecting clients with freelancers.
When all else fails, you can always find businesses advertising for remote positions on Craigslist.
Skill-Specific Job Boards
99Designs: As the name implies, 99Designs is for designers, but they have a unique twist to the standard job marketplace model.
Freelancers submit their work after clients publish a contest. The client then picks the design that they like the best. If you don’t get picked, you don’t get paid. Sounds brutal, I know, but it can be an excellent way to start building a portfolio when you’re first getting started.
Belay, Time Etc, and ClickWorker: These sites are worth checking out if you’d like to offer your services as a virtual assistant.
PeoplePerHour: Great for freelancers who specialize in SEO, marketers, and software engineers. You can send out up to 15 applications for free before they start charging you.
How to Find Writing Work
Even if you don’t have experience as a writer, you can still land some gigs by specializing in a niche that you have some life experience with.
You can market yourself on the “all-in-one” job boards like Upwork, but there are also several sites specifically for writers:
Most of these sites can be pretty competitive, but they’re always worth a shot. Problogger tends to have the highest concentration of high-quality gigs.
As you build your portfolio, make sure to do an incredible job for your first clients. According to a survey done by Carol Tice of MakeALivingWriting.com, in 2018, 32% of writers found most of their work through referrals from previous clients, not job boards.
6. Affiliate Marketing
You can put in the time and effort to create your own products, then warm an audience, or you can help sell other people’s product and make money online today.
Which do you think gets faster results?
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online fast, because you’re selling products that are already proven to sell.
There are affiliate programs in every niche, and if you help people move their products, they’ll probably be willing to give you a cut.
Depending on the company, you can make anywhere from 5% to 90% in commissions on each sale.
How to Find Affiliate Programs
There are a few different ways to go about teaming up with companies for affiliate deals.
- Target large affiliate sites like ClickBank, Shareasale, and Commission Junction. These sites bring together a ton of individual affiliate offers for you to apply for.
- Become an affiliate for large corporations like Amazon or Walmart who sell a wide variety of products. Amazon is one of the largest affiliate programs in the world. They around pay 4% to 10% commission depending on the type of products you sell.
- The final, and most profitable way to arrange affiliate deals, is to reach out to companies directly. A lot of companies have a dedicated page on their website for their affiliate program. You can usually find it in the footer menu at the bottom of their home page. If they don’t already have an affiliate program, ask and see if you can strike up an offer. Oftentimes, this is the best-case scenario because you’re able to negotiate your own rates. I generated roughly $32K+ on the backend of my first virtual summit by selling copies of Ramit Sethi’s flagship information product Zero to Launch.
In many cases, you’ll need a website that gets a minimum amount of traffic in order to be approved, but if you have a creative and convincing way to reach a large audience, companies should be willing to hear you out.
Choosing the Right Affiliate Programs
Not all affiliate programs are going to be worth your time.
Your affiliate products need to:
- Offer value to your readers.
- Be in some way relevant to your content or to what you do online.
- Deliver outstanding ROI for your time and effort.
Only recommend products that you can stand behind.
Selling garbage products will damage your reputation in the long run.
Products that are unrelated to your personal brand will be harder to sell because your opinions and authority won’t be as persuasive.
Stay in your lane!
If you have a blog or YouTube channel, consider selling products related to blogging or making YouTube videos. You’re an authority in how to use these platforms, so it makes sense to recommend the tools of the trade, like:
- Video equipment
- Sound gear
- Hosting platforms
- Email CRM’s
- Keyword research and competitor analysis tools
As long as the products add value to your audience and boost the credibility of your personal brand, they’re fair game.
Last but not least, always go for the most profitable affiliate deals possible (assuming you can stand behind it 100% of course… personally I only promote things I use and have had experience with).
You can only make so many affiliate sales in a day, especially when you’re just starting out. Until you have a massive audience, be picky about who you partner with.
7 Start a Blog
Starting a blog and learning how to make money blogging is definitely part of the long game when it comes how to making money online legitimately, but when you pair blogging with hosting virtual conferences and online events, it can be part of an effective strategy to make money online fast while building your personal brand.
After all, you’re going to need something to do with all those emails you collect through your virtual summits and webinars. You might as well funnel your subscribers through a blog and make recurring sales.
As long as you continue to solve your audience’s biggest problems, they’ll continue to be loyal to your personal brand.
You can make a lot of passive income from a blog.
With the right content targeted at the right audience, you can make a killing promoting the right products.
Most bloggers make the majority of their money from affiliate sales, but more on that later…
You can sell everything from ebooks to high-end membership sites and elaborate training courses. Your blog is the hub where it all happens.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income uses his blog as the epicenter of a full-blown online money machine.
Pat isn’t shy about sharing his success. He publishes his annual income reports every year.
In 2017, Smart Passive Income brought in over $2 million through various income streams.
It’ll take you awhile to get to that level, but it isn’t unreasonable to have your blog bringing in a few thousand dollars a month in passive income within its first six months. If you really crush it, you might even hit the six-figure mark within your first year.
Hosting virtual summits and live events can help you reach this milestone.
Getting the Most Out of Your Subscribers
Whenever you launch new content, send an email to your subscribers so that they know to check it out.
Driving traffic to new posts helps them rank in Google.
Always deliver value and don’t make a pitch in every email.
There’s an old online marketing adage that says that each email subscriber is worth an average of $1 per month. That means 15,000 subscribers would be an additional $15k a month!
Steph Gaudreau’s blog StupidEasyPaleo.com wasn’t bringing in much money before she hosted her first virtual summit. Steph sold 600 all-access passes and generated 19,560 new email subscribers with her first summit.
8. Sell a High-Ticket Coaching Program
With a high-ticket coaching program you package your knowledge and consulting service as an online course. The major advantage of selling a coaching program is that it’s scalable.
Of course, you’ll need to host your program on a website, but using a platform like Teachable or LearnDash (my personal favorite) can make setting it up a simple process.
Your time is limited. You can only be on the phone with so many clients each day. An online coaching program, on the other hand, allows you to share your knowledge with an unlimited number of people at once.
As part of the program, members can have unlimited access to you via messaging and can schedule a set number of phone calls each month.
It’s up to you how much of your time you want to put in. The more time you invest in each client, the more likely they’ll be to fall in love with your brand.
A High-Level Sales Funnel
High-ticket coaching programs warm customers up to make bigger purchases.
A coaching programs warms your audience up by:
- Making an intimate connection with your personal brand.
- Offering a ton of value in one convenient package.
- Frequently interacting with your brand.
The more you invest in them, the more they’ll want to invest in you. People who have purchased and engaged in your coaching program are more likely to continue buying from you.
Not Ready for a Full-Blown Coaching Program?
Offering your knowledge via consulting is one of the most effective ways to make money online fast.
If you’re not sure that you’re ready to build a coaching program, you can always test the waters and sell your consulting services by-the-hour.
Sites like Clarity.fm allow you to set up a free account and sell your services through their platform.