“I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.” – William M. “Boss” Tweed, Born Apr. 3, 1823.
You shouldn't consider yourself as merely the seller of only your own product or service. That's too limiting. It's too narrow.
Having a product or service of your own to sell should be seen more as an opportunity to become a trusted advisor on ALL things worth buying.
YOUR thing is just giving you the opportunity to talk about the arena that surrounds it.
Consider your services. Think of your competitors. Do they have a referral program? Would you ask them for one? Because chances are they have strengths that you do not.
So instead of struggling to service a client you aren't equipped to help, refer them to a “competitor” for a fee, and you get paid to NOT bust your ass doing unfamiliar work.
Consider your product. Look at your competitors. Do they have affiliate programs? Could you make more money by being the FIRST ONE to mention and link your prospects to their products so that you now can profit whether your prospect buys from you OR them?
Do you think this frees you to be more honest about pros and cons of all products in your field? Do you feel like this makes you more trustworthy and valuable than a sales person for one item alone?
Consider that working in this way builds you a following of prospects and competitors who look to you to help them solve their problems. You are their expert advisor.
And do you think having a large audience of people interested in certain things is an audience you could advertise all sorts of things to? Not just your own, but others, too.
They might even be a large enough audience that you could SELL advertising space to third parties. Get sponsored up and offer endorsements.
Operating this way gives you HUGE advantages against anyone else in your market that isn't diversifying this way.
How can you begin thinking this way? How can you pivot into this broad-band profit profile from the default single-focus organ grinder?
Look at all the possible decisions that people in your market can make when it comes to spending money. What can they buy? What can they read? What can they watch? Where can they meet with each other and geek out over their stuff?
How can you be in those places? How can you be between them, and the decision WHAT to buy? How can you put yourself in the position to diagnose their problems and dictate the shape of the solutions?
Answer those questions, and you've got yourself a cult – an audience of fans that genuinely like doing what you suggest. And baby, there are a billion ways to make money when you have one of those.