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$3000 one month. $0 the next. Freelancers HATE irregular income. Here's why it happens and how to fix it for good.
Last Updated February 28th, 2017

Nothing is more stressful than riding the dreaded “Income Rollercoaster.”

You might pull in $3000 one month…

…and then ZILCH the following month.

Even if you’ve done it for a while, and know things usually work out in the end, you never know when your clients will “dry up,” and that’s worrisome.


It just plain sucks, and you can’t help but think, “How did I end up in this position anyway?”

Here’s The Real Problem That Plagues Most Service Providers

At first, you might think, “I just need more clients every month,” but is that really the answer?

…because you will always need MORE clients.

I mean, think about it. Even if you mostly get great clients. There’s nothing that prevents you from riding the dreaded income rollercoaster.

And that’s the core problem.

When you run a service-based business, you rely on a single source of income. YOUR SERVICE. Even if it goes well most of the time, you’re still reliant on the endless need to get more clients.

But imagine if you had a second source of income.

A second source of income that you could fall back on when you find yourself bombarded with bad prospects.

A second source of income that continued to pay you… even if you went on vacation.

A second source of income that would pay you when you worked… and when you weren’t working.

Sounds like a pipe dream, right?


But consider this:

How Smart Service Providers Add A Second Source Of Income To Their Business

Hi, I’m Derek Halpern, and I’m the founder of Social Triggers. I’ll never forget when I relied on providing services for income. It was a bad situation, too. Even though I “worked for myself,” I still felt like I had a boss. And sometimes that boss was a dick.

The worst part?

The BIG majority of my income came from a SINGLE CLIENT!

I mean, I made a lot. But what if that client disappeared? I’d be LOST. And that’s why I knew I needed another source of income.

But I had a BIG problem:

My main client took up the bulk of my time. So I couldn’t just go find more clients.

I had to find something that would take a minimal amount of time…

And since I had a lack of time, I had to find something that wouldn’t require me to learn anything new.

So, what could I do?

I knew I needed a product. And I had a few ideas for products. But none of those products dealt with anything I already dealt with. It was in new industries where I would have to establish a foothold and I just didn’t have time for that.

What else could I do?


That’s when I had a conversation with a friend that changed my life. My friend had launched an online business that created and sold online courses. He was previously doing some consulting work, but he decided to go the “create a course” route… and he was killing it.

I know.

It seems so trivial.

You probably heard about creating and selling online courses and either decided that you’ll do it someday… or you decided that you’ll never do it…

But bear with me a sec.

My friend created courses that dealt with the same problems he solved as a consultant!

So, all he really did was this: instead of providing a one-on-one service, he would create an online course that solved the same issues his service solved… except he would teach people to do it for themselves.

At this point, I had heard about it the opportunity to create and sell online courses, but I never pursued it. I came up with all sorts of reasons why it wouldn’t work for me. Reasons like:

“I never created an online course before!”

“Why would anyone buy a course when they can get information for free?”

“Am I even qualified to teach this stuff?”

“All the good ideas are taken!”

And the list goes on and on and on.

Then, one day, I said screw it. I knew the opportunity was real. And I knew that I had to break free from the “trading time for money” trap.

So I created an online course.

And here’s what happened.

How I Made More Than $28,000 From A Simple Online Course



I made more than $28,000 from a simple online course…

…and it looked like a complete disaster.

See for yourself.

What do you see?

The videos are low quality. I had awful handwriting. And I apparently couldn’t afford a haircut…

(And what you can’t see is that I used Velcro to attach the whiteboard to the wall because I didn’t have a stand… sigh).

Clearly, I wasn’t “ready” to create a polished course.

But guess what?


I looked like hell. The course content wasn’t polished. And nobody complained.


Because the ONLY thing that matters with an online course is this: do you solve the problem that you promised to solve?

And I did solve it.

So I barely received any complaints.

I Sold This Course For About $100 – Here’s Exactly What I Gave People

This was a simple online course. And I sold it for around a hundred bucks. If I take inventory of what I delivered to people, it was this:

  • 3 helpful training videos (each helping people solve a specific problem).
  • A recorded screencast presentation
  • A worksheet that helped people implement what I just taught them

I know it doesn’t feel like a lot. And if I’m honest with you, it didn’t take that long for me to create.

But here’s the deal…

The reason why I was able to create this content so quickly, and so succinctly is because I had a TON of experience in my field.

After all, I was providing services solving these problems for people regularly. So, all I really did was pretend like the camera was a client with a specific problem… and I told them exactly how I’d fix it.

And that’s when everything changed.

Since I made so much money from this course, I decided to reinvest the profits into making the course better.

I added more content.

I hired a professional videographer.

I added more worksheets.

And I increased the price of the course from about $100 to $200.

Then, everything changed.

Yes, everything looked a lot nicer.

See for yourself:

And yea, I apparently spent some money on a tie. And a haircut.

But this new course went on to make $178,684 in sales.

A SIZABLE amount of revenue.

It was all pretty ridiculous.

I was a six figure consultant, and now I was making close to multiple six figures from an online course.


Things went so well I ended up doubling down on creating and selling online courses.

And here’s what happened.

Here Are My Real Revenue Numbers By Income Source – And How They Changed

Take a look at this revenue chart…

The blue bar is income from “services.”

The green bar is income from “courses.”

As you can see, things started slow. In 2011, most of my income came from providing online services. But in 2012, things started to change. And in 2013, things completely changed. I went from focusing on providing services to just providing online courses. And I made more than I ever made ever before.

Now you might be thinking, “But Derek! You went from one source of income… to two sources of income… back to one source of income.”

And you’re right.


In 2013, my revenue was diversified across multiple different online courses. Not just one.

Fast forward to 2017, I now have 7 online courses, and I even went on to create a downloadable software product and a saas product, too.


But do you know what I love most about this entire “create and sell online courses” industry?

It’s this…

It’s the CLOSEST thing to “passive” income that you’ll ever see.

Here’s why:

When you create an online course, much of the work is done “before” you create the course. Then, when you’re done, all you have to do is sell the course.

So, take a look at this revenue chart:

I created an online course in 2012, and I continued to sell that same course over the next 3 years.

Sure, I made some updates to it here and there, but the course continued to make money… even though I did the bulk of the work in 2012.

And that’s because when you create a course, you do the work once… and you can benefit from that same work for years to come.

It’s remarkable!

Now the big question is this…

How Can You Get Started Creating And Selling Online Courses?

There’s a lot that goes into creating and selling online courses… especially if you’ve never done it before.

However, now that I’ve created 7 online courses, I believe I’ve come up with a simple system that almost anyone can follow to get started creating and selling online courses.


I put together a FREE LIVE WEBINAR that goes down on March 6th. There are two convenient times available. One at 12PM Eastern. The other at 8PM Eastern.

And I will show you what it takes to make your first $10,000 selling online courses.

I’ll cover everything from how to find an idea, to how to turn that idea into an online course, and how to start selling it. You can reserve your spot for the webinar right here:

Join the 12PM Live Training

Join the 8PM Live Training

This is a one-time event, and it all goes down on March 6th. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so make sure you register for the call right now.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll be here to answer them for you.

Over the last 6 years, I changed my business from providing services to selling courses. And I learned a lot. I also had the pleasure of working with many different students – and they are beginning to see remarkable success as well.

Now I’d like to show you how you can do it, too.

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9 comments Leave a comment

Thanks for showing the reality behind the scenes of what it takes to get it done. You just need to start. It is about the action up front and then the polishing up of the skills come later. However, this was nice to see someone showing the hardship and work it takes to make it happen.

Way to go D.


This is an equivalent to a 2 day classroom course. There are many videos, 8 lessons, licensed by the Insurance Institute Health and Safety, and the final exam is certified by the Insurance Board of Texas for 5 CEU credits.

I also have many home healthcare courses – I have many courses but need to determine how to sell them.

I have a solid background in instructional design and course creation. What I need is the best way to market and sell it. What services do you have for me that can help me? Thanks.


Hi Derek!
I was on the call today and I did not get the whole link to go and check out how much the course is. I went to Social Triggers but I didn’t want to sign up for the webinar again. Can I get the link again please?

With gratitude,

Melissa McDermott


How well could this work for art? When I teach workshops and such, students have questions or need some handholding. How could I not answer a million emails?
Also, what are you thoughts on places like Udemy or other similar sites for selling online courses?


Couldn’t you productize your service? Offer something that a customer would gladly pay you for month after month if it generates revenue?
(SAAS, lead gen campaigns, email marketing campaigns, social media monitoring, etc)

    Derek Halpern

    Yes, and you can also make it a course.


Hi Derek,

I’m going to be behind closed doors on the 6th teaching corporate training from 10 am to closing session ending at 9pm. How can I get your info. Thanks!

sarah edgar kelly

solving problems for people – that’s a great way of looking at a way of constructing a course. When I have a problem, like most people I’m short on time so I will go for the first content that will help me, paid or free.


Fantastic, but… not possible with either timings! Help, will there be a replay, another timing option, a paid mini-course replay???

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