Thinking about passive income can often feel like a dream come true. How could it not when it holds the promise of earning without having to work? Unfortunately, contrary to what people believe, passive income does not come easily. This is what they are lying to you about. In this episode, Kendra Perry clears out the misconception about passive income, laying out some sobering truths about what it means and how to achieve it. Manage your expectations and get down to some real work. Join today’s show to learn more!
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They’re Lying To You About Passive Income!
If you’re tuning in for the first time, hello, welcome. I’m your host, Kendra Perry. I’m the Founder of Health Coach Accelerator. I’m here to help you blow up that business. This episode is going to ruffle a few feathers, and I’m okay with that. I don’t mind ruffling feathers. This is something that I see all the time online, and it irks me.
I’m paraphrasing this conversation with an Instagram follower, but this follower said something like, “Kendra, I’m just getting started. I don’t want to do one-on-one because I don’t really have much time. My plan is to create a passive course so I don’t have to work much.” When people say stuff like that to me, it’s literally like nails on a chalkboard. I’m like, “Oh my God.”
Let’s start with what passive income actually is. Passive income essentially means making money without having to do work. You might think of it as making money while you relax at the spa or hang out on the beach. Is that possible? Is it possible to get there? Yeah, absolutely, but that is not where you start. This can only happen after years of testing, building your audience, and possibly having a really large budget for ads.
Here’s the problem. You cannot just start at passive income. Anyone who is telling you that is literally full of so much crap that they are bursting that crap from the seams. You cannot have passive income without putting in the work. I think the reason why people believe this to be true is because there are many experts out there selling this dream or this idea of making passive income while you hang out on the beach in Hawaii. It’s mostly a lie.
Even if you were able to get a course running “passively,” meaning that maybe you have Facebook ads running to an automated webinar that sold your course, it’s not like you just get to leave it and forget it. That course is always going to need updating. You are still going to need to update your ad strategy, and you are going to up need to update your marketing strategy because marketing is always changing and ads are always changing. You can’t just make one webinar and expect it to work forever. You’re still going to need to update your webinar probably every few months, at least every six months. You are still going to be working.
What people don’t realize is that it’s the same amount of work, if not more, that goes into setting up something that’s more passive as it is one-on-one. You probably work the same amount of hours, you’re just working on different things. This person I was talking to was like, “I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t want to work much.” They’re going to get a really hard dose of reality when they realize that they have to work just as much, if not more.
It’s actually way easier to sell high-ticket one-on-one than it is to sell a passive course. You don’t need much infrastructure to sell a high-ticket one-on-one, meaning that you don’t need fancy funnels. You don’t need a webinar. You don’t even need an email list. What I teach my students inside Health Coach Accelerator is how to sell high-ticket before they even have an email list. I show them how to set up their email list because it’s important. It’s insurance for your business. You want to have that backup. It is a great way to sell. The way Health Coach Accelerator is set up is they learn how to sell their high-ticket one-on-one before even having an email list.
You don’t need much in place. You can literally build your program and be ready to sell it. Versus if you want to sell a passive course, you need a lot of infrastructure. You need a budget for ads. You need to have a big social media following. You need an email list. You need a funnel, a webinar, sales emails. There’s just so much that goes into it. Each one of those things needs to be tested. It needs to be optimized, and this is not a fast process.
I don’t actually know anyone who has started with a passive course without any other coaching experience and who never live launched and been successful. That doesn’t exist. Even the people who are out there selling you this passive dream, I guarantee they did not start there. It took years to get where they are, and again it’s still not passive. They’re still working. They are still showing up on social media and still optimizing everything behind the scenes regularly. You can get to having a program that you sell a little bit more passively, but you never just get to walk away and stop working, and expect to be making a ton of money.
If you want a course that really gets people results and you care about the success of your students, you have to care. If you don’t care, then the program doesn’t get people results and you end up with a ton of bad reviews and refund requests. When we think about passive and just walking away, what that suggests is that you don’t actually care because you should still want to optimize it and be constantly brainstorming ways to improve the experience for your students, and that requires work. That is not passive.
What makes more sense is to create an amazing transformational high-ticket program that gets clients insane results, and allows them to have an incredible experience. Then, you use that income that you make from your amazing program to invest in something like index funds, ETFs, maybe real estate, maybe crypto if that’s your thing, and have that be your passive income. That type of income, unless of course you’re a day trader, which I don’t suggest, is actually truly passive. You can keep building that and make that passive over time to the point where you are actually just living off your investments.
What does the path look like to getting to a more “passive marketing model?” As you may or may not know, one of my sales strategies for Health Coach Accelerator is through an automated webinar. I have my organic social media and I have Facebook ads that run to a recorded webinar that pitches HCA, and then drives those people to a sales page. Yes, people do buy HCA that way. I want to be transparent with you. It is not my only strategy. I also sell through live webinars and events. I did a virtual summit in June 2022 and I did a five-day challenge in February 2022. I also do a lot of selling through my Instagram direct message.
You probably want to know, “What did it look like?” What did the path look like for me to get to the point where I’m selling HCA off an automated webinar? I’m going to describe the path to you so you can understand what that looks like. I started HCA as a one-on-one program. This is something that I recommend to all my students even if their intention is do a group program or a course. Start with one-on-one. That can feel annoying for people because they’re like, “I don’t want to do one-on-one.” Don’t look at it as one-on-one, look at it as market research.
The amount that you will learn from working with clients in an intimate container like one-on-one is so invaluable that you just look at it as a small sacrifice that you are making in order to create an amazing program later down the line. What I did with HCA as a one-on-one program is I put 10 to 15 one-on-one clients through it, and I used it as a testing ground. I learned what they needed because you never want to assume that you know what people want and need. You only learn that from actually working with people.
I learned what resources would best support them. I started to figure out where they were getting stuck. If I had just started HCA as an online course or group coaching program right off the bat, it would not have been successful. I would have had to rework it a lot. I learned so much from those one-on-one clients that I was able to launch HCA as a group coaching program and see a lot of success.
I ran HCA for an entire year as a one-on-one program, then I repurposed it into a group coaching program. I live launched Health Coach Accelerator with Live Webinars. I’d launch every 3 months for 2 years. Only after two years did I record the webinar and start offering it as a recorded automated webinar. Why did I live launch it for two years? Because first off, you will always get bigger and better sales when you live launch. The reason for this is because there’s more engagement and energy. You can’t mimic the energy of a live webinar with an automated webinar.
When it’s live, people are engaging. It’s exciting. There is true urgency, meaning that when the cart closes, you can’t get into the program. That is true. When you move to an automated, you’re working with artificial urgency and people know it. You just don’t make as many sales. Typically when you move from live to automated, everything gets cut in at least half. Let’s say that you were selling on your live webinar at 10%. Ten percent of people who went on your live webinar were buying your program. When you switch to automated, it will go down to at least 5%, if not lower. You better be sure that you were actually able to sell on a live webinar before recording it and offering it automated.
As you can see, it was actually a three-year process for me to actually get to this automated webinar. Even then when I turned the webinar automated in January of 2022, it didn’t just sell. It actually barely sold. I went from selling 20% on a live webinar to selling like 0.3%, something incredibly low when I went automated. This is typical. It required a ton of tinkering and trying things to actually get it to work.
The first thing I did was I invested in a tool called StealthSeminar. It is an automated webinar platform, and it gives you a ton of analytics. You need analytics in order to make decisions. What I learned was that my webinar was too long. It took me about an hour to get to the pitch, to the point in which I pitched Health Coach Accelerator. What StealthSeminar was telling me is that people were dropping off at 40 minutes. They were never seeing the pitch. I actually had to shorten the webinar to the point where I now get to the pitch at 35 minutes. That helped my retention incredibly.
Everyone who watches the webinar now gets the pitch, but it still didn’t increase the sales. Then I had to work with a copywriter to improve my sales sequence email. It’s the sequence of emails that goes out after the automated webinar. It took me months working on those with a conversion copywriter. Then I had to change the title of the webinar, then I had to redo the pitch of the webinar.
From there, I noticed all my analytics for the webinar were so much better, and people were opening my emails and clicking on my emails. All that was good, but people still weren’t buying. What I did was I put something called a Heat Map on my sales page. A Heat Map will essentially keep track of where people are clicking and it records people on your sales page.
What I learned from that was only 20% of people were actually getting to the point of the sales page where you actually buy. What I learned was that my sales page was too long. Based on the recordings of people on the sales page, people were trying to click in places where there was nothing to click. They were getting stuck in places. I actually learned that it was poorly designed and hard to navigate.
I had to rewrite the sales page. I hired a designer to make it more intuitive and easier to navigate. That brought me to today, where it’s been almost a year, the sales are happening now, but still not at the level that I want. The other thing I forgot to mention is I did not do this alone. I did this with the help of my coach, Rick. It’s been a long journey, and I still have worked to do because it’s still not converting at the rate I would like.
My coach, Rick, works with a lot of six and seven-figure entrepreneurs. I asked him, “Is it always this hard?” He said, “Yeah, automated is really hard.” My experience is not unique. It’s actually typical. The other thing, to be transparent, I’m still live launching. I will live launch in September 2022, and now I’m going to be doing a monthly webinar because live webinars still always work better than automated ones, and they always will.
Am I selling Health Coach Accelerator passively? In some ways, but not really. I’m still working. I’m not working 40 hours a week. I work like 25 hours a week. That is not because I sell passively. It’s actually because I’ve hired a team. I don’t do a lot of the mundane task in my business. My passive income actually comes from my ETFs and real estate. For example, in 2021 I made $30,000 in my investments. I can report that that is 100% passive. I put it into the investment. I walked away. I didn’t look at it. I made $30,000. That is passive. My property that I bought also increased in value, and again that’s 100% passive. If I sold it today, I would sell it for more than what I bought it for.
My advice to you is to ignore the people who are preaching passive income with programs. The truth is you are way too passionate about helping people to ever not focus all your energy on making a program amazing. As you can see, it’s a long road, and in the end, you’re still working and it’s not really passive. You’re just going to be working on different things, and you’re probably going to be making way less money than if you were to sell a higher ticket program with a sales call.
My advice for you is to have your goal for passive income to be the investments that you can pursue from all the money you make with your incredible and transformational high-ticket program. That money will be truly passive. As that builds over time, you can get to a place where you can purely live off your investments and you don’t even need to work.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you love these episodes, I would so appreciate if you could leave me a five-star review on iTunes. If you are an iPhone user, you can just do it through the Apple Podcasts app. If you’re an Android user, you have to do it through desktop, through iTunes, which is annoying. If that all feels like too much work for you, please make sure you are subscribed to this show and maybe download the most recent three episodes. That 30 seconds alone helps me so much. I would greatly appreciate it. I will see you next time where I help you become wealthy AF.