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Last year taught us one powerful lesson. You can’t trust a full-time job or a single source of revenue to get you through a crisis. So now the pandemic is easing in Australia, why are we all just going back to our old habits? 

Single source of revenue could mean a single point of failure for your business (Image: Canva)

Like addicts running back towards our habit, we’re all running back towards the safety of a single source of income or a full-time job again. But when you’re a small business owner and a digital marketer, focusing on just one thing could be very dangerous. So how do you diversify? 

  • Consider diversifying your marketing beyond just one channel
  • Consider diversifying your income from just one source
  • Consider one of the five ways you can look for extra revenue 

Let’s dig down on that. 

Shooting a single arrow doesn’t make a great archer. Using a single marketing medium doesn’t make a great business. (Image: Canva)

Marketing through one digital channel is dangerous 

If you’re a small business, chances are you’ve spent most of your marketing money on Facebook over the last 5 years. It’s the obvious choice because it’s inexpensive, gets good reach and is easy to use. But if that’s your only source of marketing, you’re putting a lot of trust in just one platform. 2020 showed us that relying on any one thing can be dangerous. In fact, 2021 showed us that trusting any one platform, even Facebook can have ramifications that you could never expect. Ask anyone who had their ads account banned this year. Or any news-related website that completely lost its Facebook presence for more than a week. Or anyone who had their Facebook account hacked and lost not only money but any possibility of ever marketing on the platform ever again. Consider looking at splitting your marketing money between Facebook and other channels like YouTube, Google or even Twitter. And while we’re on the topic of vulnerability, 

Diversification multiplies the opportunities and helps mitigate the risk (Image: Canva)

One source of revenue is a risky way to fly through business 

While the side hustle is a great way to add some extra coin to your full-time job, if you own a business, a side hustle isn’t really suitable when you’re already working god-awful piles of hours on your existing business. This is when you may need to consider looking at other things that are close to what you do that let you draw more money out of the stuff you already do. Let’s say you’re a web designer. You can diversify into graphics and social media management. Or if you’re a copywriter, you could look into developing yourself as a voiceover or proofreader. If you’re selling cosmetics, then consider selling accessories alongside your main line of business. The aim here is to find something really close by to what you’re doing now that doesn’t cannibalise what you’re already doing. 

Finally, what kind of strategies are there for the business that wants to diversify its revenue streams? 

It might be as simple as running workshops and classes to teach others what you do. Or you could run live events online or offline to get people to see you perform or speak. But if you really want to get strategic about it, here are the five ways you can really explore what it takes to find that extra source of revenue. 

  • Explore whether a new business model could be helpful. This could be via expanding into a new type of customer, by solving new problems or even just updating the solution that you offer your customers.
  • You could always take advantage of the fact that you have existing customers and find new things to sell them. This is the smartest way because you already have a relationship with them.
  • Use technology to make things run faster, smoother or more efficiently. The time savings can translate to cost savings that can either be passed on or used to fund other items on this list.
  • If you’re an expert in your field, it’s time to use that expertise to innovate in your industry rather than simply just repeating the same stuff over and over again.
  • Expanding into new markets can grow your revenue opportunities by a lot. But it can also cost a lot to get into those new markets. And remember, not every market is the same as yours. 

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Dante St James is a digital marketer in Darwin, Australia. He is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Lead Trainer and podcaster on digital marketing in Australia.