In this episode we talk about alternative ways you can make money as a designer. This ranges from ‘passive’ income, to full-on side businesses. Alternative income streams can support you doing what you love, and really help you to be less reliant on client work.

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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1.00] This week we’re talking about how designers can make money outside of their regular client work
[2.00] Passive income isn’t necessarily that ‘passive’, but it means you’re not directly trading your time for money
[4.00] Additional income streams can be life-changing, from paying your bills to being your full-time living
[5.30] Side income streams often let you improve your skills for your regular work
[6.00] Ian started by simply releasing some products as an extension of his work (vintage logos)
[7.00] Passive income is doing the work upfront, and hoping you’ll get paid. Often when you don’t have time to take this risk
[9.00] This stuff is not easy, otherwise everyone would do it. It takes time and practice.
[10.00] Passive income is often more scalable than client work, as you can’t physically work more hours at a certain point
[11.00] Why passive income can help you to improve your skills
[12.00] Ian was responding to his audience’s requests for new products
[13.45] Learn to react to demand you’re seeing in your audience and on social media
[14.30] A quick fire look at many of the different ways you can make extra income as a designer
[16.00] Looking at how lucrative teaching courses around your expertise can be
[17.15] The importance of understanding the terms and fine print, if you’re working with third parties
[18.00] Learn to develop a core platform that you own, and use other third party sites as the spokes that hang off of this
[19.30] Selling physical products (looking at how Jo Fallon is starting to sell chalkboards – check out The Creative Journey Vlog)
[25.30] Selling tools/supplies for designers
[26.30] Selling your most popular designs on a third party site as a print, t-shirt etc…
[28.00] Sites that run competitions for designers (e.g.: pattern designers), with voting systems etc…
[29.00] How ads can still work for extra revenue
[31.00] Often providing content around how you created your product inspires people to just grab the product as a time-saver
[32.00] Why the listeners should be putting out content regardless of direct revenue
[34.00] Looking at some of the more successful social media platforms for designers to drive customers
[37.00] Understand who you’re selling to
[38.00] The importance of packaging up your products in an attractive way
[41.30] Using tutorial ideas to create a product
[42.30] The importance of distribution for your products
[44.00] Creating multiple bits of content around what you’re selling
[45.45] Jo, who does The Creative Journey Vlog is a great example of getting her business in front of a bigger audience via content creation
[48.00] Ian talking about Chris Spooner’s tip of giving stuff away for free
[53.00] The importance of providing great customer service
[55.00] There are tons of options available these days, but you just have to go out and try them!

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