5 Smart Ways To Monetize Your Personal Brand With Premium Content

5 smart ways to monetize your personal brand with premium content

You worked hard to build your personal brand. You put in the hours. You’ve written articles, done podcasts, made videos; and promoted all of it on your site, your social channels, and in your newsletter.

The hard part is over. You developed a professional reputation in your area of expertise and built a following to go with it. Now it’s time to ask yourself the million-dollar question: How do I monetize my personal brand?

Well, you could pepper your website with affiliate links and banner ads. You could do sponsored influencer posts on Instagram. Or, you could even try to guest speak for a fee.

But what if there was a better way?

What if there was a more lucrative way to make money off of the very stuff that got you to where you are today? That stuff being your content, your articles, your podcasts, and your videos. The stuff you create that earns you media coverage and provides value to your followers.

People will pay for that value. You can turn your loyal followers into paying customers. You just need the right tools to deliver that premium content and manage your paid subscribers – and we’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 smart ways to monetize your personal brand with premium content:

1. Sell Access To A Video Course

What is it?

A video course is a series of online videos that teach people how to do something. Creating an online course is a great way for influencers to package what they know and sell it to their followers. 

And the best part is your video course is a digital asset, which means it doesn’t cost much to produce, maintain, or distribute.

How do you monetize it? 

If you’ve successfully built a personal brand creating content, people will pay to learn how you did it. So when it comes to video content, you could think small by creating a content writing course on a marketplace like Udemy. Or you could think big and use a tool like Thinkific to own your audience. 

Thinkific allows you to create a turnkey video streaming service to sell any kind of video content you’d like on a subscription or a one-time-purchase basis. Thousands of experts, entrepreneurs, and trainers of all kinds have used Thinkific to launch their own websites and monetize their content.

Who’s doing it well? 

Entrepreneurs on Fire: EOF is a podcast and community for entrepreneurs by John Lee Dumas who built his sales funnel through a combination of free and paid courses.

Copyhackers: A copywriting blog that offers premium courses on copywriting brought to you by Joanna Wiebe.

2. Sell Tickets To A Live Streaming Event

What is it?

Live streaming refers to simultaneously recording and broadcasting a video over the internet in real-time. With video conferencing software you can live stream a workshop, webinar, interview, presentation, class, training, or any other kind of digital event. 

The key distinction from an on-demand video is that you are broadcasting live and able to interact with your audience in real-time. This environment can add unique value because viewers can actually participate by asking questions, making comments, etc. 

How do you monetize it? 

Most social media platforms allow you to go live including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Live streaming on social media is great for promoting content and connecting with your audience. When you go live, your followers are notified and can tune into your stream if they’re available. However, when it comes to premium content that you can charge for, you need your own video platform. 

Having your own live streaming website allows you to connect with your paying customers and provide even more value. And that’s where tools like Zoom and Vimeo Live Stream come in.  

These tools provide you with a full HD live streaming platform compatible with all web browsers and mobile devices. They’re designed to help you grow your audience and generate revenue from your live streams. 

You can even sell tickets to your digital events by integrating with Eventbrite.

Who’s doing it well? 

Product-Led Summit: A digital event hosted by Wes Bush, where you can purchase a ticket to see live broadcasts and replays of the top 1% of product and marketing practitioners sharing what it takes to grow your business. 

3. Sell Subscriptions To A Podcast

What is it?

A podcast is an episodic series of audio recordings on a specific topic. They often combine learning with entertainment as you listen to interesting experts discuss a specific topic, like business, politics, history, cooking, or travel. People can download podcasts or stream them on their personal devices for easy listening.

Just as you can stream music, there are sites dedicated to streaming podcast content. Free podcasts are often found on places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon. Whereas, premium podcasts are usually hosted on websites that charge a fee to access the content.

How do you monetize it? 

Like monetizing a series of online courses, there are two routes you can go. You can host your podcast on a premium podcast marketplace like Luminary, or create your own premium podcast website to wholly own your paid subscribers. 

A couple of great tools that allow you to do this include Podbean and Patron. The former being a little more robust and podcast-specific than the latter. However, both platforms allow you to set up a professional pricing page that will make your fans want to buy.

Who’s doing it well? 

The A List: A premium podcast hosted by Dave Gerhardt about marketing, branding, and business growth. 

Fiasco: A premium podcast hosted by Leon Neyfakh about politics, power, and uncertainty.

4. Sell A Digital Download

What is it?

A digital download is an intangible product or media asset you can sell repeatedly online without the need to restock your inventory. These digital assets often come in the form of interactive content like tools, plug-ins, or widgets, or downloadable files like PDFs, plug-ins, and templates (i.e., Google Doc, Powerpoint, Excel spreadsheets, etc.).

One of the most popular and easiest digital assets to sell is an ebook. It’s an “electronic book” (usually packaged as a PDF document) you can download to your computer or mobile device to read long-form like you would a regular book. 

On the other spectrum end of the spectrum is to create your own SaaS product. Although, that requires a lot of time, effort, and money to develop and support. 

How do you monetize it? 

When it comes to selling and distributing digital products there are a number of tools you’ll want to consider. Depending on your needs, you probably don’t need a full-blown eCommerce platform with conversion optimization analytics. You’re better off using a simple transactional experience like the tools below offer:

  • Easy Digital Downloads: This tool lives up to its name. From ebooks, to WordPress plugins, to PDF files, they make selling digital products a breeze. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a WordPress theme designed for selling digital products.
  • Gumroad: This powerful tool is priced and designed to grow with your sales. Not only does Gumroad have all the features you need to market and sell your digital products — it’s free to get started, and always affordable.
  • Sendowl: For more complex digital downloads, Sendowl comes with a variety of features and useful automation, like expiring links and auto-generated license keys, to power your products.
  • Sellfy: Whether you’re looking for a turnkey website or you just want to embed a checkout page on your existing site, Sellfy is your headache-free solution. It comes with everything you need from discount coupons to built-in email marketing. 
  • Ko-fi: This tool offers a completely different approach to monetization. Instead of charging people a one-time fee or a subscription, Ko-fi offers a friendly and free way for your fans to support you with a simple donation. You’re paid directly with 0% fees. 
  • Rebrandly: While the other tools allow you to charge for and distribute your digital downloads, Rebrandly provides you with the insights you need to evaluate your influence and reach. It gives you the ability to shorten, brand, and track the links you create to your premium content and see who’s clicking and sharing.

Who’s doing it well? 

Rob Walling: As an entrepreneur and influencer, Rob Walling has helped thousands of startup founders through his books, podcasts, conferences, and essays.

5. Sell Membership Subscriptions

What is it?

Another popular way to monetize your personal brand is by selling membership subscriptions to an email newsletter or private social media group. 

  • Email newsletters are recurring emails that provide subscribers with useful content you create or a roundup of useful content you curate. 
  • Private social media groups are great places for sharing, discussion and networking within a niche community. 

How do you monetize it? 

You can monetize these member-based communities by charging a subscription fee, using sponsors, or both. The key is you have people’s permission to send them content and offers. And once you have someone’s permission, you also have their attention, and the opportunity to build a relationship.

Here are some tools you’ll want to consider:

  • Patreon: This tool helps you build direct relationships with your most engaged fans. You offer them benefits like exclusive content and access to your community for a monthly subscription.
  • Substack: With this tool you can start a newsletter, build your community, and make money from subscriptions. Publishing is free, with no limits. Substack only makes money when you do.
  • LaunchPass: This tool provides you with everything you need to launch a paid subscription group on Slack.
  • Facebook Subscription Groups: This tool provides you with everything you need to launch a paid subscription group on Facebook.

Who’s doing it well? 

Kevan Lee: Kevan is the VP of Marketing at Buffer. In his monthly newsletter he writes about branding, marketing, tech, and team-building.

Wrapping It Up 

Whether you have an established web presence or you’re just starting to move your business online, with the right content delivery tools you can successfully monetize your personal brand. 

And there are more ways to generate revenue than just using banner ads and affiliate links. You can:

  1. Sell Access To A Video Course
  2. Sell Tickets To A Live Streaming Event
  3. Sell Subscriptions To A Podcast
  4. Sell A Digital Download
  5. Sell Membership Subscriptions

People will pay for premium content that provides them with value. You just need the right tools to deliver that content and manage your paid subscribers. 

So, what are you waiting for? 

It’s time to turn your loyal followers into paying customers. 

About The Author 

GregRoth

Greg Roth is the Head of Marketing at UniTel Voice and the editor of the blog Startup Stockpile. As a marketer and an entrepreneur, he loves helping startups discover new tech they can use to grow their business.

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