THE LK BLOG
THE LK BLOG
Are you still in the business of trading your time for money? Do you have any products or services that you are selling that that create passive income? Meaning do you have to spend time making before and after every single sale? If you don’t have any passive revenue streams, you can only gain more income if and only if you spend more time creating. This can be great for a while… until you can’t keep up anymore or you are forced to work on your craft for money and you get burnt out. This is the worst. Something you loved so dearly now feels like a trap. It’s time to start selling passive income products on Etsy.
This was me five years ago, trading time for money. It was December and I was sitting in front of my computer screen personalizing custom prints. I remember having 35 prints to design in one day, I knew I had to design them because Christmas was coming and the cut off days for these customers getting their print was just around the corner. After that Christmas season, I vowed I was going to close my Etsy Shop because it wasn’t worth missing another holiday season with my family. Being too busy holed up on my computer, trading my time for money wasn’t worth it to me. I began to hate designing, something I had once loved and craved for the stress relief. It was now one of my main sources of stress.
So how do people get out of this hamster wheel of trading time for money and sell products or services that create passive income streams even on Etsy. Handmade doesn’t have to mean made by hand for hours and hours until you burn out and stop. Don’t let this be you! You have to take action though. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The number one reason why people don’t create passive revenue streams? They don’t give themselves any time to step off away and actually create the passive income product.
Imagine how it would feel if you weren’t trading your time for money. What if you had something that held value that you could share with others. What if it was scalable once you had done the work up front? Imagine what it would be like to be on vacation with your family and look at your Etsy stats and proudly announce “I made $600 in revenue toady!” I do this in my house to anyone that is willing to listen. What would it feel like if you took a look at that $600 and knew there was nothing else you had to do after the sale? You may be at a point where that seems unreal, trust me it felt unreal to me just five years ago!
There are two approaches you can take to get your time back. The approach you take can be fluid, meaning you can shift from the first approach to the second over time if you like.
The first approach is best to take if you are really passionate about a craft that does take your time to create the product, for example hand made pottery. If you are a potter and love creating and sharing your handmade work with the world then you have to think about spending the time you create wisely. The best thing you can do for yourself is evaluate your business. Are you creating within boundaries? Are you stepping away from physically creating to allow yourself rest and time to be with those you love? If not, then consider this economic principle I learned at business school back in the good old days of 2007. This business principle has made corporations billions of dollars, let’s apply it to our shops! Supply and demand, and more specifically scarcity.
How can you increase the demand by decreasing the supply of your product? Doing it in such a way that you communicate the scarcity of your product, being so passionate and an expert at your craft that people are drawn to the chance of owning something you create. They understand that there’s not an endless supply of your creations and that creates a sense of urgency to own something that you have created.
Tactically there are marketing strategies you can use to communicate this lower supply to increase the demand for your product. Some Etsy shops create a launch. They create buzz around when they will open up their listings for sale and communicate that once the product is gone… then that’s it… the product from that batch is gone and no more are available from that launch.
Makers have become really good at showing the process of making these items on their social media and or email platforms. Imagine watching the maker mold and create a mug, glaze, fire and present the final product that’s ready to be included in the launch. It draws customers in and they are excited and ready to purchase for a price that’s exponentially higher than the mug they see on the shelf at let’s say, Target. People crave connection and they spend a premium for things they are emotionally connected to.
When you employ this tactic of lower supply you must increase your prices. Increase your price above what you “think” people will be willing to spend. Remember often people associate price with value. They think the higher the price the better the quality. When you are selling in this way reaffirm this mindset. Charge a premium and deliver a product that exceeds their expectations. Use quality materials, package it with care, put a hand written note inside the package, etc. These customers will be raving fans and come back for your next launch to purchase for themselves or a friend. You’ve created a connection with your customers and they will be drawn to your brand.
You can now spend less time making because you have control, you have a cap on what you are creating. Increasing your price means you are making more profit per item and you can afford to gain back your precious time.
The second approach you can take is adding passive income products to your existing Etsy Shop or opening a new Etsy Shop that contains passive income products. Now remember, products that give you passive income require a lot of work and strategy up front; however, once you create them correctly they can bring revenue in for days, months, or even years to come. They are the kind of thing you look back on and think, “I’m so glad I put the time in years ago, because now I’m reaping the benefits both financially and with freedom of time.”
So first, what could you enjoy making that also happens to be a form of passive income? Here’s five examples to get your creative juices flowing. These could inspire you to open a new shop or they could also give you ideas of something you could add to your existing shop. If you want to see my journey over the past 10 years download my free Etsy Success Roadmap, or download other free resources to get started on opening an optimized Etsy Shop. Now, let’s dig in to these five passive income products you could sell on Etsy.
Templates that customers can customize themselves. For example, invitations. Etsy sellers create invitation templates for birthdays or weddings. The customer can plug in their own information and download then print them for themselves. Genius! Templett enable you to create templates that gives customers the ability to customize. Here’s an example from Etsy Shop Stickearte
Printable art is an amazing way to create a product once and then offer it as a digital file to customers once they purchase. You can easily create pieces of art from your own art work like watercolor paintings. You can also create digital art with tools like photoshop, or a free online tool Canva.com Sites like CreativeMarket.com have graphics that you can purchase to use in your Digital art. This way of creating is becoming so accessible! Here’s an example from Etsy Shop Articraft
PDF Patterns are an amazing way to use the skill you have and teach others how to create works of art. Are you an avid cross stitcher or someone that loves to sew? Are you spending time creating cross stitch masterpieces for people or beautiful pieces of clothing? Could you take what you know and create patterns of your items? I’ve even seen artists create paint by numbers of their own art so people can have a pattern to follow as they paint. The patterns could be passive income as you could list them and offer them as digital downloads, you would no longer have to create for each sale. Here’s an example from Etsy Shop MatryoshkaDollShop
Photo editing preset are amazing passive income products on Etsy. Are you a photographer or someone who is passionate about the way your photos look? Do you use software or an app like Lightroom? Have you purchased filters that you’ve used on the photos that you’ve taken and they didn’t look quite right so you adjusted the filter and saved it? Well, you could sell your presets that you’ve created. It seems like everyone uses a preset these days, people want their photos to look even better than when they took the picture. They even want this editing ability within the convenience of their phone. You may have that exact skill. Selling presets would require work up front to create; however once they are done you could bring in money while you sleep as they sold. Here’s an example from LouMarksPhoto, owner Sara has sold over 300,000 presets in 5 years!
Printable Planners are a great way to provide people an easy way to organize their life. Are you someone that loves to be organized? Do you find yourself craving tools to keep you organized and can never quite find ones that work for you so you create your own? Perhaps you could replicate the things that keep you organized and sell them. Printable planners are a way to do this. Put in the work up front to create planners and other organization tools like budgets or meal prep planners and then offer them as digital downloads. Here’s an example from PrettyPinkPlanners
Creating these digital products that create passive income can have a very low entry point, it doesn’t cost you much money to get started. You invest your time up front and then see the benefit for years to come. There’s very low investment from a material perspective so it’s easy to get started. Remember, it only costs you .20c to list an item on Etsy.
Once you take a breather and think about a product that could bring in passive income this is where you’ll see a massive shift in not only your business but in your life. The time you get back once your passive income product is in place is priceless. When you stop trading time for money you gain freedom. Freedom of time. Time to spend with those you love. Remember, creating passive income is anything but passive action. It takes time upfront to create and optimally sell them within your shop. But once you do, then you create income and you get to spend your time with those that you love most, and that’s the sweetest success.