You might have your own thoughts about passive income, but I want you to have an open mind because Jenny's method is amazing.
Jenny Hansen Lane is a multi-passionate digital marketer. She helps people build behind-the-scenes passive income streams by repurposing onto Amazon without the hassle of writing a book.
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[01:06] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Hey. Hey, everyone. Carmen here. Deirdre is not able to make it, but I've got Jenny Hansen Lane, and I am so excited for this conversation where we're going to cover passive income.
Now, you might have your own thoughts about passive income, but I want you to have an open mind because Jenny's method is amazing.
Jenny Hansen Lane is a multi-passionate digital marketer. She helps people build behind-the-scenes passive income streams by repurposing onto Amazon without the hassle of writing a book.
[01:40] Jenny Hansen Lane: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. You guys have such an amazing community.
[01:44] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Oh, thank you so much. Yes. I know that you and I met in Allie Bjerk’s Tiny Offer Lab years ago. So we've been connected for a while, and you keep showing up in my feed with all these amazing things going on. And so I'm really excited about bringing this to the group and letting people ask whatever questions they have and getting into it.
So let's dive into—first of all, I want to find out, how did you get onto this whole passive income stream model?
[02:13] Jenny Hansen Lane: I think it's so interesting that you bring it full circle. We met in a course about creating very small offers to liquidate your customer acquisition. And that was really fun until COVID hit, and then the cost to acquire a customer was not fun.
And so I spent a lot of time trying some different things. I didn't have a back-end offer or anything like that, and I just decided my offer was good, and what if I wrote a book about it? At heart, I'm a bootstrapper. I'm the second oldest of eight kids. Like, I was raised by a politician. I was, like, knocking on doors when I was eight years old. So there are a lot of things that should scare me that don't. If that doesn't give a glimpse into my childhood trauma.
I decided I'm going to figure out the publishing process by myself. And so as I was studying and just really on Google and YouTube, I realized that people were making passive income by creating workbooks and other things that weren't requiring them to write a ton. So I took my tiny offer and I repurposed it into a workbook.
Then from that, it just really fueled my passion to think about what else I could do. And my kids were little and we just started making notebooks together. The first month I made $19 and I realized that was the first $19 that I had made without answering an email, setting up a sales funnel, or getting on a Zoom call. And that was enough on the spectrum to be like, what is this? And so I just kept doing it until I hit four grand. And then I was like, everybody needs to know about this. And then that's when I started really sharing it with other people.
[03:57] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, that is awesome. And I know that I went through your workshop a couple of months ago where you kind of showed the trajectory of that $19 and then how it grew. And it does take time, so we'll cover that a little bit. But I want to ask you a couple of questions here.
The first one is, what are wicked-fast ways to establish authority in your niche? Because that's the other thing that this does, instead of just bringing in income, which is great on its own, it helps establish authority.
[04:27] Jenny Hansen Lane: Yeah, I love that question because this was a byproduct I didn't really see until later when I decided to repurpose my course and put it in a book. I also researched how to become number one on Amazon. It was the same time that Amy Porterfield released her book Two Weeks Notice and Alex Hermozi 100 Million Dollar Offer. And somehow I was able to rank my book right before theirs for a couple of hours. It was enough for people to notice.
Essentially, when you publish on Amazon—as you guys know—Amazon takes our information very seriously. They know more about our buying habits than sometimes we do. And so they also take their search engine optimization game very seriously. So when you publish under your name or your business, you essentially are getting that instant authority. When someone Googles you, they see you on Amazon before your website. That's been happening to me this past month, and it really helped other people see me as an authority figure in the marketplace, and I wasn't really expecting that.
[05:25] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: That's awesome. And that's an excellent byproduct for sure. So let's talk you know Deirdre, who can't be here today, but we talk about a lot the importance of having multiple income streams. Because just like you mentioned, the Tiny Offer Lab thing worked, and then COVID hit, and it was really expensive to use Facebook ads and get new clients. It's always great to diversify, right? So why do you think everyone should have a passive income stream?
[05:56] Jenny Hansen Lane: It really comes down to the opportunity to buy your time back. I think it can be hard for us—where we love marketing—you and I can just probably talk all day about those things that we love, but it's a disservice to those people around us who love us and want to spend time with us.
So really, it's striking that balance in how I create something that is meaningful but then doesn't require me to tend to it all the time. And I think everybody needs that to experience what buying your time back feels like.
And so I think that not only does it establish authority, but it gives you a chance to breathe and think about, well, what could I be doing if I wasn't in the rat race of having to make money? We build machines because we want to have an impact, and then all of a sudden, the machines own us. And there's nothing wrong with that. But when we have more income coming in, it can really allow us to have more time-freedom, even to be creative about what is the bigger picture of our lives.
[06:57] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, that's such a good point. It creates kind of a buffer so that it's not—all your eggs are not in one basket. I mean, that's the whole point of it.
I know that you have little kids, so when you're talking about getting engrossed in marketing and all of these other things that you and I might want to geek out over, for me, my kids are grown, they're out of the house. So it doesn't cause as much of a disruption to the family because the family is doing their own thing, right? I mean, my husband might want me in the other room more often than I am, but for you, that's a lot more. For anyone who has little kids, you really need to be present with those kids. So this also then helps you create that. And I know that you've even brought your kids onto the journey a little bit. Tell us a little bit about that.
[07:46] Jenny Hansen Lane: Yeah, so my kids are, they're funny boys. They really love—they have good imaginations. And I just was explaining the process, and they were like, so Amazon gives you money? And I said yes.
And so we came up with a coloring book series, and they promoted it. We did some social media organic marketing, and some of the stuff took off on Amazon, and they made $600, and they bought their own Nintendo switch. Right now, they're like, I'm trying to get them into it more, but I'm also trying to honor that they're little kids. But it just goes to show you that if there's a demand, then there is no reason why you shouldn't test something out and try it.
That's really been a really exciting thing for me, is for my kids to see that.
You and I grew up, that when you wanted to publish a book, you had to shop around to see what shop could print your book at the smallest rate that you could afford. We didn't even have options of going to China, so it wasn't until ‘96 that Jeff Bezos introduced Amazon that really gave us the option, ‘97, 2004 when publishing came out. So it's changed so much.
I always tell mothers that have children, like, give your kids a skill set and they'll never feel like they don't have permission to share their story. And I think our generations kind of have that where everybody in the United States, it's probably worldwide data at this point. They want to write a book, but there are a lot of people who don't ever do it. And one of the reasons is because it's either too expensive or they don't have the skill set. And so with Kindle Direct Publishing, those are just not even concerns anymore.
[09:24] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, and you bring up a really good point about. Because I've always thought, I think you're right. I think everyone probably thinks, oh, I have a book in me, I want to write a book, or it's a dream, whether it's on the back burner or whatever. But a lot of it is very overwhelming, right? To think about, oh, my gosh, how do I get this idea out of my head into a book in a format that someone will buy?
But then when you have the opportunity, which the way you teach it, I love is you don't have to author a book. You can do different things. So you and I were talking about different things. I bought one of your programs, I think the one that we're sharing today, and I haven't really dived into it yet, but what I've done is made a bunch of lists of ideas of things that I could publish. And you were saying how it's really great for people who love to ideate. So can you go into that a little bit?
[10:12] Jenny Hansen Lane: Yeah. So the really neat thing about publishing with Amazon is that you can get started with a notebook. And in this program I give you the lined interior. Amazon even gives you a template. So there's really nothing left for you except going through the steps and doing it.
You've probably all been to Target and you've bought a planner and as you went through it this past year, there were things you would change about it. Every year I change something where I'm like if I could do my own until now, because I can actually fix it.
So where the ideation comes in is that whether you're writing a book, you're teaching a course, you're running a business, you're doing one thing, and that is solving problems for people. And people want to have their problems solved in different ways. And one of those is books, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people want to read 30,000 words to have their problem solved.
And so entering notebooks, journals, planners, is really a way for you to say, oh, you have a problem with direct response marketing? Here's a worksheet inside this book that you bought on Amazon to help you get through it instead of going through hours of videos or reading a book about the history of direct response marketing. So the ideation is like, really, when you have the idea, once you have the skill set, you can publish immediately.
[11:33] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, I love that. And that's such a good point. One of the things that we've noticed in the online space over 2023 is that for the most part, people—we’re at the end of the wave, the COVID wave.
When the COVID wave hit, everyone was trapped at home. They were stuck in front of their computer. They had time to do a lot of stuff and they wanted to do a lot of stuff because what else were you going to do, right? So they put all this time into it. They bought programs and courses and all this kind of stuff. Well, now it's 2023 and people are done with that. They're burnt out from it. They don't want to look at some long term thing necessarily. They want things quick.
We have a welcome sequence when people join our group and our world and we get replies a lot. And one of the replies we got today was she wanted bite-sized snippets about things like sales and marketing, easy to digest, and easy to implement. And so that speaks to that. I mean, we've seen the trend. I'm sure you've seen the trend. And so what you're talking about here, Jenny is awesome because what you can do is take your program or take your method and turn it into bite-sized things in some way.
[12:48] Jenny Hansen Lane: And you know, there are a lot of us, if we're course creators, we're already asking people to get a pen and paper. Why not just give them that with your logo on the front and rank your business on Amazon?
I recently won a contest to have a cover created and the artist said, why aren't you using Jenny Hansen Lane? And I said because Amazon is going to rank whatever I put on there. And so this new project I'm testing out, it hasn't published yet, but I'll tell you guys about it. My Facebook group is called the Income Stream Money Makers Movement. And that is going to be my pen name. That's going to be the name of the book that I put out there.
So then when people type that in on Google, not only will it rank on Facebook, but it's going to rank on Amazon too. And that's going to establish authority. Like, oh, this group, this movement has a book behind it. And so I'm really interested just to see what that does for my lead-gen of my Facebook group.
[13:42] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, I think that's excellent. Well, and when we talk about that too, we talk about SEO for websites. So when you publish something, and you have your website there or it's the name of your business that is the same as your website, that boosts your SEO. It boosts your domain authority.
The more trusted sites that point to your website boost your domain authority. It makes you look like you know what you're doing because you do, otherwise, trusted sites wouldn't be pointing to you. So getting published on Amazon, that's increasing that, which helps your SEO overall. There's more to SEO than that, but it's a really good point.
[14:24] Jenny Hansen Lane: And just to top that off, think about what you want to be known for and do something around that keyword or that topic and rank for that. That's even better, right? To be established authority for something in your niche.
[14:38] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yes. I love that. So tell us how your life has changed with passive income this whole journey. And how long has the journey been? Can you kind of give us a tour of the journey?
[14:51] Jenny Hansen Lane: Yeah. So, I would say that my results are a little bit more accelerated than others because of my background in marketing. And if you're listening to this, like, oh, Jenny, I have a background in marketing, then this could be a really good fit for you, and I'll tell you why.
My first book was published January 4, 2022. And then, in my first full year I made 40 grand. And then, my first full January of 2023, I made eleven grand. And my husband—we got married a little bit later. So we're older parents, but our dream is to have more rental properties than we do kids. We have one more, and then we're there.
Having a behind-the-scenes income really has allowed us to expedite that process a little bit faster and kind of cash flow some of the other things that we're working on. And one of the biggest things that's changed is that I don't make a decision at the grocery store on price now.
Like, I'm not buying the imitation crab; I'm just going to get the crab because my kids already know what it tastes like because I took them to the beach. So little things like that where it's like, what is the time freedom and how am I going to buy back my time in a way that makes sense?
Another thing that's really changed for me is that it's really allowed me to help other people publish. And just that mindset, once you get a notebook up, the confidence that comes into your sphere is really incredible. And people ask, how did you—because I uploaded 200 books in 30 days because I didn't know what I was doing.
I was like, you get a notebook. You get a notebook, you get a notebook! I didn't know that there was a way that you could look up the demand. And so once I did that, I really got to know the ecosystem of Amazon and how that works in marketing, which made me a better marketer. So there were a lot of things that were happening. But the biggest thing is that I have a little bit more peace because I have more time freedom.
[16:55] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, that's awesome. Well, plus, you introduced it to your kids, too, even though—and I love that you're respectful of the fact that they're kids. It's like you want them to get into it. But because they made $600 on that one book, I think that's a great entry point. And even if they get into something else and do something for a while, that seed is planted. So that's something that I'm sure that they will do in the back of their mind, or it'll stay in the back of their mind when they're ready to do it.
[17:23] Jenny Hansen Lane: You're right because my seven-year-old will say, Mom, can you just go sell more books so we can do this trip? Okay. Why don't you go make the book, son?
[17:33] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah.
[17:33] Jenny Hansen Lane: So they're getting that.
[17:35] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yes. Well, and that's a cool example there, too. What if your passive income paid for your annual vacation with your family or a couple of vacations a year? I mean, even that, that's excellent. It's just something different, something that's coming in, something that you don't have to—like you said, you don't have to answer an email. You don't have to create a funnel. You don't have to do any of that because Amazon does all that for you.
So if there was one thing, and we talked about a lot of different things, but if there's one thing that you wanted to tell people about, why to do this now and not wait, what would that be?
[18:11] Jenny Hansen Lane: I would say the opportunity cost is really the advantage of learning this skill set. Because once you're able to publish, there's something that happens when you, I don't want to say when you take the cloak off or when you take the glasses off or anytime that we do something hard, we transform ourselves. And I believe that's true with books.
And so I would actually promise any of you that once you publish a book, you will get a slew of ideas that you're like, wow. And that only came because you took action, and it transformed you, and it gave you confidence. And so your mind is opened more. Albert Einstein said “imagination is more important than knowledge.” My kids tell me that all the time.
The quote is longer than that. But truly, when you have the skill set, it allows your mind to think about more options. And when I had that first $11,000 check hit my account, and I didn't get on one Zoom call, I knew that this had to be shared with other people because I'm not even teaching marketing on Amazon. I'm making books.
So there are probably some people within the sound of our voice today who are an expert in a topic that no one is talking about on Amazon. And there are just thousands that could be made when you just meet up with that customer, and you speak their language.
[19:31] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yes. I love that. Awesome. So I want to ask. I know we've got Lei watching and anyone who's watching the replay. Lei, do you have any questions for Jenny or people watching the replay? If you have questions, please drop them under the video, and I'll make sure that Jenny sees the questions so she can answer them. But we'd love to answer questions, I guess. What's one of the frequently asked questions you get?
[19:56] Jenny Hansen Lane: Well, something that people don't know about is that you actually could sell your book income stream when you build it. And if I had known that when I started, I would have put really important books that I loved under my brand name in a different account because after hitting eleven grand or 40 grand in one year, I would have loved to flip that account, sell it, buy a house out full, right? Instead of just a down payment. And then do it again.
There's this ecosystem of passive income that can really turn into more. I always tell people, don't put all your eggs in one basket, but if you needed to find a way to make money quickly, I would tell you to publish books before doing a YouTube channel, before doing reels, or even getting on TikTok, because my own experience, that's where it accelerated.
[20:44] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yes. And so what you're saying is that obviously someone have to learn this more, but you would publish something under maybe a standalone entity so that you didn't, not that you don't care about it, but that you would be willing to part with it. I never knew anything about that either. That's like flipping, flipping businesses.
[21:06] Jenny Hansen Lane: Yep, exactly. Yeah.
[21:08] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Very cool. So exciting. I'm excited to dive in. So, I've dropped the link here to Jenny's website, https://www.notebookprofits.com/same-day-publishing where you can grab or get involved with this whole process. It's a very affordable course. I've got the course. I can't wait to dive in. And then please, anyone watching the replay, drop your questions under the video or tag Jenny in the group. She's in our Facebook group. So thank you so much for being here, Jenny, and thank you for sharing your wisdom. And Lay says too many questions to open the can of worms. Yes, there's a so. And that's why Jenny's teaching everyone. And I love the fact that, I guess, how did you discover to do this? That's one thing.
[21:59] Jenny Hansen Lane: I was just googling how to self-publish and I found YouTube, and people were like, oh, you could do this thing called low content. And I'm like, what is that? And it was like, just notebooks. And I was like, I buy a lot of those at the store. What if I could put my own cover on it? I just tried it, and it was addicting, and I didn't stop.
[22:18] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Awesome. I love that.
[22:21] Jenny Hansen Lane: I can't wait to hear your ideas, like, in a couple of weeks or months to see what comes out of this because you're an ideator by your marketing nature.
[22:31] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, well, and I love what you said too, that you go, you look at a planner and this is true for me. First of all, I love planners. I would buy them, but I'm not one that follows through and uses them, really. And a lot of that is because it doesn't fit my brain, my learning.
So the fact that you could create one and go, okay, this is my idea for this year or this month. And it's like, oh, I could make that better by doing this and create another one. I mean, that part is super exciting. Like, you could do so many different things. So this is an exciting topic. Everybody, please take advantage of it. Please connect with Jenny. She's also got a Facebook group. Can you mention the name of the Facebook Group one more time?
[23:09] Jenny Hansen Lane: It's Income Stream Makers Movement.
[23:13] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Income Stream Makers Movement. Awesome. Look it up. Get in there. Get in Jenny's world because she's awesome.
[23:18] Jenny Hansen Lane: Thank you, guys.