Jess: Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Digital Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Jess Freeman, and today I’m really excited because I have my friend Nicole here today, and we’re going to talk about passive income and being productive and focusing on our business. It’s going to be really good. So thank you so much for being here Nicole.
Nicole Liloia: Thanks so much for having me.
Jess: Yeah, I’m excited. So why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself in case anybody listening doesn’t know who you are.
Nicole Liloia: Yeah, I’m really happy to be here. I am a business strategist who works with women entrepreneurs who typically want to scale up their business, create consistent income, have a steady flow of clients, and start to add in new income streams so that they can have more financial security. So I actually started out as a therapist and quickly realized that I was going to get really burnt out by one-to-one clients, and honestly a little bit bored too. I knew that I could only see a certain amount which isn’t as much as other people because of just the energy, the way it affects me working one-to-one with clients, the intensity of it. So I quickly realized I had to add in other income streams and people started asking me for help with that and now I get to help others do the same.
Jess: I love it. I love it. So I mean how do we … let’s just start at the basics, like getting started with passive income. Like how do we start scaling it?
Nicole Liloia: Right. And I think too, you know, it’s just important to address that it’s like not always passive income.
Jess: No, absolutely. Yeah. Like disclaimer, passive income’s not passive at all.
Nicole Liloia: [crosstalk 00:01:46] becomes like an urban legend.
Nicole Liloia: But I think in general … and I’ll just talk about like moving from one-to-one to new income streams. I think first of all, like one, you have to be really clear on something that you help people with. So you do have to have a niche or a really targeted area that you’re working in. And I see this happen a lot where people are doing one-to-one clients and they’re working with one type of client, and then they just start to target like a whole other market for something [inaudible 00:02:14]. And that means you’re starting a whole new business and creating a ton of extra work for yourself. You have to build a whole new audience. T
Nicole Liloia: he most important thing is really making sure that you are being strategic in this and you’re thinking about your client and audience base. You’re building it up because obviously as you need … building new income streams you often need more of an audience ,because you’re often going to things like group programs first, or courses, or books, or something that requires a lot more people to get sales. Whereas with one-to-one services you can kind of just fill those up quietly with referrals.
Jess: Yeah, that makes me think, when you’re talking about like usually like people will create these products for totally different audiences, reminds me of … My first course I ever created was like teaching people how to create their own website and it didn’t sell, and there’s probably a lot of reasons for that. But I remember a business friend of mine who was a little bit ahead of me was like, “I’m confused. Why are you creating this course? Like because you create websites for people. Why are you creating this course where they create their own website? Because then you’re attracting like these people who are ready to invest in your services and you want them to like pay more money trying to attract this DIY market, with like people who don’t have a budget at all.”
Nicole Liloia: Right?
Jess: They are totally different people. Like yeah, they might still both be in business, but they’re totally different like budgets. And I was like, “Oh, I never thought about that.”
Nicole Liloia: Right, right, right. And I see it a lot too where people are running their business and now they’re like, “I’m going to help other business owners.” And that is like, it seems easy, but it’s really not. It really is creating a whole new audience. It really is … Yes, it’s a little … yes, it’s connected. Right? Like you’re trying to help your peers do what you do, but you are going to be managing two different audiences, two different businesses.
Jess: Yeah, it’s really tricky. So I mean how do you manage the passive income in your business?
Nicole Liloia: Well, I think the first thing, one, is, Once again, making sure everything fits into your current audience so that you’re not all over the place. And also really creating a solid income plan for the year, so really breaking down how much … being clear on how much money you want to make, which, I mean I know that sounds obvious but many of us aren’t even clear on how much money we need. And then actually breaking that down into what I call income chunks. And I call it goal chunking.
Nicole Liloia: So for example, if you want to make 100 000 dollars, how much of that income is going to come from one-to-one clients? And I really recommend in the beginning that half your income come from a current source already, which is usually one-to-one clients for most of us. Otherwise, again, you’re putting yourself in a precarious position to lose a lot of income, or to be in financial stress, while you try to fill up other things.
Nicole Liloia: So from there it’s really looking at what else do you have? What else do you have in place? You can usually do like a group program of some sort, or a course, and then from there it’s really like what else is in the mix? Is it books? Is it workshops that you’ve already done that you can repackage? And really looking at how many of these do you need to sell to hit your income income goal? So if 50 000 dollars is one-to-one services, and 20 000 dollars is group programs, how are you breaking down that other 30 000 dollars? And I think the other piece too is not going to too many income streams at one time-
Jess: Oh my gosh, yes.
Nicole Liloia: … Which is frustrating but real
Jess: Yes. Yes. So my first question is, because I know someone’s out there thinking it, like do you have any recommendations of like how do I determine the price of my passive income? Second question is, then how do I … like what do you recommend for how many products do I start with? Like just one for like the first year? One for six months? Like how do we kind of navigate that?
Nicole Liloia: Right. So I think what I like to do about the goal chunks too is really kind of put it into categories. So you might do like groups is 25 000 dollars, and then break it down into like if the group program is 1 000 dolars like you need 25 people. Does that mean like one group or two groups over the year? You know, so really start to kind of like break it down even further and look at that. And do you have the capabilities to serve that? Do you have enough of an audience? Like do you only know 10 people when you want like [inaudible 00:06:53] people in your group? You know? And that also gives you time to like work to it and know how much audience you need to build up and things like that.
Nicole Liloia: And I feel like it’s kind of the same with the courses too. I mean of course it’s like knowing your market, knowing the price range for things, and also starting out like where you feel comfortable, like comfortable selling it. Because I think that a lot of people like listen to other people about higher prices and value. And I think sometimes in the beginning you have to be just like a little comfortable and get things out there and get it to more people. And I know I made this mistake with the course too. Like I ran it once and it was really good, and I had a great amount of people, and then the next time like I raised the price too much. And it’s not that it wasn’t worth it, I just jumped it too much and I would have rather had more people in it and made the same money for something like that, so that more people were getting better results, I was connecting with more people, things like that.
Nicole Liloia: So I also think it’s about how many people do you want to support, how many people do you want to bring into your audience, and that kind of thing. And really thinking about your time too and how much time you have to devote to these areas. But I would say really, like honestly, focus on one thing at a time, especially in the beginning. So for me, I really only am selling one thing at a time. I just filled a bunch of one-to-one spaces. I may not fill any more for the rest of the year, then I’ll go into a group program. Now listen, maybe the group program will bring in some people for like one-to-one, and I might have spaces available and can sell them that, but I don’t go crazy trying to offer five things to people at one time.
Jess: Yeah, and that’s something … I mean I talk about that even just like when it comes to your website. Like, “Oh, I’m going to sell this, and I’m going to sell that, and I have this offer,” and I’m like, “I am overwhelmed by how many things you offer.”
Nicole Liloia: right , right. Yeah.
Jess: It’s just a lot. And I get that question sometimes from people like, “Well how do I sell like all these different things on my website? Like what do you recommend in terms of website strategy?” And I’m like, “Well, first I think you should lessen how much you offer because it’s going to confuse people and overwhelm them.”
Nicole Liloia: Right. I even remember just a few years ago when I was selling one-to-one services I had like three different options, and it was just like … I didn’t even like it. It was too complicated. On the call I felt confused. People needed time to consider which one, and it just like wasn’t worth it. And now like when I’m selling a one-to-one service it’s just one option.
Jess: Nice. That keeps it super, super simple. I like that. When you were talking about like you had raised your price too early, or too much too soon, I think that’s a really good thing for us to think about because, like you said, I would’ve helped more people and then you would have had more testimonials to put on the sales page and that kind of stuff. And I think sometimes we get caught up too much in like, “Well this is super valuable and so I refuse to sell it any any less.” And I’m like, “But you could just lower it a little bit and build up that awareness of it, get more testimonials-”
Nicole Liloia: Exactly.
Jess: “… So those people can talk about your program too.” Like just because it is worth this doesn’t mean it has to like be that price right out of the gate. Like maybe that’s your goal, like “Okay, I’m going to launch it three times and by the third time I’ll raise it to this price,” whatever.
Nicole Liloia: Exactly. So I think really stair stepping your way up into it and always continuing to build your audience too is so important. And I think people get distracted between [inaudible 00:10:22] I know this has happened to me too where I’ve sold and then I get like burnt out, and I’m like laying on the couch for a month after. And I like forget that I still need to put myself out there and build my audience for the next thing, and then it’s like starting from scratch all the time. And I think too, the other thing is really making sure that you’re aware of your time and your using your time well.
Jess: So I mean what is your favorite way to kind of market your passive income? Is it just like going live? Is it blogs? Do you have a favorite-
Nicole Liloia: Well, I actually like live launches. It’s a lot of work and energy but I feel like it helps me connect with people better. I feel like I show up better verbally and in person than through writing. It just never connects the same way unfortunately for me when I do content that I’m just sending them, or sales emails, or things like that, or even webinars. I think that I like things … like I just did a summer camp where we had a month long free training series, and it really just kind of gave me time to develop relationships with people and build that trust factor.
Jess: That’s awesome. I love that you are like, “This is what feels best to me to connect with people.” Like, “I don’t feel like I connect with them as well in these other areas.” Because I’m always telling my clients and my audience like, “You have to figure out like what feels good to you.” Like if you don’t like blogging then don’t blog. If you don’t like doing video then like find something else. Just as long as you’re showing up, that’s what matters.
Nicole Liloia: But you do need to show up still-
Jess: But you do need to show up. That’s the thing, you can’t just be like, “Well, I don’t like this so I’m just going not going to show up.”
Nicole Liloia: Exactly. Exactly. So I think that that is really important. And also just like looking at your time, you have to be super effective with it. So you can’t be multitasking. And that’s why things like working on one income stream at a time are good. Like I go all in, I sell the one income stream, I’m delivering it, and then I can be working on building my audience, nurturing them, preparing them for whatever my next sales period launch is going to be. And I like it that way because then it means like I’m not starting … I see a lot of business owners be like, every month, “Well, I need to fill two client spots and I need to sell 10 courses to hit my income goal each month.” And it’s like you’re starting from zero every single month and to me that’s very stressful.
Jess: Yes, and not productive because you’re just scrambling-
Nicole Liloia: Yeah.
Jess: … All the time, like trying to fill these spots. Yeah. It’s not conducive.
Nicole Liloia: Right. Right.
Jess: If your clients ever come to you and they’re like, “Yeah, I’m trying to fill this and I need two spots, and 10 spots of that ,and whatever,” like what advice do you give them besides just like, okay, focus on one thing?
Nicole Liloia: Yeah. A lot of times we ended up decluttering their business. So a lot of times the business owners that I work with didn’t start out to be business owners. They started out like me, health professionals, or web designers, or something else where they were really good at a service and that’s their strengths, and now they’re not as good as like the business side of things, and being strategic, and having that mindset. So it really is making sure that they are …. first of all that we’re really decluttering their time so that they have times you add in focus on new things, and sort of remove some of those one-to-one clients and one-to-one services so that they can open up space to work on their business. A lot of times it’s looking at like money leaks and where their money leaks, where their time leaks, what are they doing that’s not bringing in results, were are they inconsistent, things like that.
Jess: I love that. Super important, I love that. Makes me want to like go look this afternoon, like, do I have money leaks? [crosstalk 00:14:17] I love that term.
Nicole Liloia: Right. And I think it’s surprising to them because I do think like the people that I work best with are really busy people, but that also tends to be like a thing where people that busy block them from working on this, because they’re like, “Well, I’m too busy. I’ll be less busy later and then I’ll work on really creating financial security with other income streams.” And the reality is like you’re probably overworking yourself if you’re [inaudible 00:14:45] there’s something wrong in the foundation of your business.
Jess: Oh my gosh, yes. Like, “I’m too busy to work on this.” Okay, well like if you don’t work on this then what’s going to happen to your business?
Nicole Liloia: Right. Yeah. So I think a lot of the time clients come in expecting that suddenly we’re just going to add more to their plate, and it really is first kind of realigning everything.
Jess: Well this has been awesome. Do you have any last tips you want to share, any resources that you can shout out for our audience?
Nicole Liloia: Yeah. I think that if you really are busy in your business and you know that you need to shift things, make sure that you’re looking at one, your schedule. Be really consistent with your schedule. Create a master schedule where the things you need to do are in there every week, and like kind of repeating, or at least you know how much time you need to put to certain areas each week. And then really make sure that you’re using those time blocks to batch things, which is working on the same task multiple times, creating a lot of content. I know you do that obviously you were just saying with your podcast. [inaudible 00:15:49] a bunch of podcasts today,” so that’s a great example. Or you know, prepping a lot of social media content and really staying in that one mindset and not multitasking.
Nicole Liloia: So I recommend everybody grab my batch like of boss cheat sheet at Nicole [inaudible 00:00:16:04].com/batch like a boss, where they’ll get a list of 20 tasks that they can start batching in their business and really starting to feel like a boss, and not everyday being like, what am I doing, and trying to switch from task to task, which, look, I still do that once in a while myself but it doesn’t feel good.
Jess: Right. I totally feel way more productive when I’m like, “I’m just going to sit down and like do …” like I’m going to do this, and I know my brain doesn’t have to switch back and forth between email, and slack, and projects, and content, and like all the … By the time I get to the end of the day I’m like, “wWat did I do today?”
Nicole Liloia: Right. Exactly. [crosstalk 00:16:40]
Jess: … Effective. Whereas like yesterday I spent all day on like one client project and just didn’t do anything else, and like got so much progress done on the project, and was like, “I was super productive today, and like did all this,” and really “all this” was one project.
Nicole Liloia: Right. Yeah.
Jess: So it’s awesome. Thank you again for being here. I will make sure and put the links to your website and everything in the show notes so we can go download the cheat sheet, and thank you so much.
Nicole Liloia: Thanks for having me.