Building a passive income print shop

  • Pro

    Hello guys!

    So I'm in the middle of designing a collection of nursery prints (which I'm doing as a part of Inktober) and I'm now starting to look at the best ways to sell it, launch it, etc. My main goal is still to be a children books illustrator and I'm trying to set this up as a low maintenance side hustle, so I'm doing a lot of research and listening to a lot of podcasts these days about passive income, and I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with that or would like to discuss it.

    For instance, I'm thinking of offering this collection as digital downloads (printables), as well as physical prints by using a drop shipping company to fulfill my orders so I don't have to worry about packaging and shipping and can focus my time on actual children illustration. Does anyone have any experience with printables, or drop shipping companies?

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @nessillustration I started a society6 shop but havn't sold anything, nor have I promoted it yet. I just wanted to get it started. It is easy to setup, but not much profit on sales unless you really raise the price up.

  • Pro

    @chip-valecek That's what I heard too! That whether you do it through Society6, Etsy or your own website, you have to do a lot of work upfront to build traction for your shop before you can start to step back. So promoting a lot using social media (I heard Pinterest is especially good for prints), building a solid mailing list, building a large inventory with a lot of reviews, and eventually you can grow a large enough audience that you can start to step back and let it happen. What's really interesting to me are the ways that you can set up systems to automate parts of your business, like scheduling social media posts with a program like Tailwind or using an order fulfillment company!

  • SVS OG

    I use INPRNT and I’ve had several sales, but they are all people who I have a connection to in some way.

    Basically, even when the printing and shipping is taken care of for you, that doesn’t mean you can make money without work through these POD sites. People will only find the prints through other things you do—SEO, social media, and other marketing.

    I still think POD sites are great when you want to sell prints but can’t spare the time to do all the printing and shipping yourself. Just go in with the understanding that your prints won’t be found and bought unless you find a way to get them seen by the type of people they will appeal to. Which means marketing. Which does require time. 🤷♀

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @nessillustration I never thought of automating social media, I think you are doing a great job. You seem to have a good presence on Instagram, or at least I see a lot of your posts.

  • Pro

    @sarah-luann Hihi thanks for the warning, I do realize that! For passive income to happen you still have to put the systems in place (with marketing, SEO, etc) for it to happen. Right now I'm posting every day on social media, reaching out to influencers for collabs, trying to build a mailing list, building an interesting looking pinterest account... I have no delusions that you can just list products on a platform and hope they'll sell without doing anything! I'm researching it a lot lately and EVERYONE is very clear on the fact that passive income is not easy income. If anything it's more like delayed income, you do a lot of work first at the beginning to set up the systems so it can start paying off later. The cool thing is if you're using a platform like Etsy, when you finally get momentum going they start pushing your listings more, and that's the point where you can sort of step back and the ball keeps rolling with only low maintenance on your part, like a bit of social media and sending out your newsletter.

  • Pro

    @chip-valecek Oh nice I'm glad you're getting them! 😃 I scheduled out a bunch of Inktober posts early this month - the problem though is that I ran through my advance so after a bit I didn't have anymore to schedule in advance, I have to post them as I make them haha

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