Understand How Passive Income Works
The reality is: passive income (at least most forms of it) can take quite a bit of work and effort in the beginning. But it pays off. Why?
Because instead of trading money for hours, which is what most freelance designers do, you’re investing hours upfront and then reaping the benefit of your investment for years afterward.
Your business models go from this: Do the work once; get paid once.
To this: Do the work once; get paid forever.
Sell your design mockups
Did you create a mockup of a design when you were pitching some new clients only for them not to go with your design? Just because they may not have wanted your design, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who may find a lot of value from your work.
See here for some of the Premium Mockup.
Build an audience to grow your passive income
Of course, if you really like the referral/affiliate model mentioned above as a way of generating passive income as a designer, then you could take it to the next level by building some sort of larger audience.
Recommend resources to your clients that generate passive income
Another less-common but the brilliant source of passive income for designers with clients is recommending certain services to your clients that then include an affiliate payout for you as the designer.
People are motivated to buy when they are facing a problem and need a solution. So, be the person with the solution! You can create walkthrough tutorials in the form of a video or ebook and show people how to create their own graphic designs or templates.
Creating a tutorial is fairly simple after all, you’re already doing graphic design. All you need to do is download some screencasting software and narrate your process.
If you already have a decent-sized following on your blog ( Like mock Location ) or social media, affiliate marketing can be a fun way to make a bit of passive income.
Affiliate marketing is when you provide a link or a shoutout to other businesses and then collect a percentage of the profit or flat fee any time someone uses your link to buy that product or service.
The larger your fanbase or audience, the more money you will make, so this could be quite lucrative if you’re a popular figure. However, be selective about who you choose to partner with.
If you refer people to inferior services or products, they won’t trust you anymore and this can ruin your reputation as a graphic designer.
Work for Commission, Not for Pay
This is a risky business move but it can potentially pay off in a large way, so be selective about when you use it. Sometimes, up and coming businesses will offer shares within the company or a percentage of profits in exchange for graphic design work Like ( Premium Mockup ).
While most freelance graphic designers would scoff at the idea (we need to pay the bills now), if a business does take off it could result in a passive stream of income that could be significant. If you receive such an offer or are interested in making one, make sure you do your due diligence and research whether it will be worth it for you in the end.
Passive Income as a Freelance Graphic Designer Isn’t Just About Graphic Design
If you want to make the jump from active income to passive income, you’ll need to expand both your mindset and your skillset. Building passive income isn’t just about graphic design–it’s about marketing, networking, knowing your audience, and being able to promote yourself. If you can do all of that, then it will pay off in spades.
More Passive Income Ideas
- Open an online store selling your goods
- Sell experiences or workshops
- Offer subscriptions to valuable resources
Advantage of Passive Income
- Reduces Your Dependency on Clients
Most of the freelance designers that I know would love to be able to reduce their dependency on client work. Sure, client work can be extremely rewarding, but there are some significant benefits in not being 100% dependent on it.
Some designers choose to pursue streams of passive income to provide some extra stability for times when client work may be slow, and others choose to work towards getting away from client work altogether.