Do you dread interacting with clients? Have you ever considered monetizing your design skills to make money without working for clients?
Since starting Resourceful Designer in 2015, I’ve received many emails from designers worldwide seeking advice. People have sought my opinion on everything from naming their design business to my thoughts on specific tools.
The most popular questions I’m asked are about working with clients. It turns out, which should be no surprise, that many designers are introverted. And in some cases, these introverted designers have anxiety when dealing with clients. I can’t tell you how many people say they want to start their own design business, but dealing with clients is holding them back.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it. Working for yourself as a home-based designer, or as some people call it, a freelance designer isn’t for everyone. It takes a particular ability, personality and willpower to run your own business. And not everyone has what it takes.
There’s no shame if you don’t fit that mould. You can have a long and prosperous career working for someone else. Besides, working for someone else is usually less stressful than working for yourself.
But what happens when a designer reluctant to interact with clients starts their own business? Maybe they do it willingly, knowing their shortcomings. Or perhaps they’re forced due to no fault of their own. Such as after a layoff? Either way, these designers need to make money now and working for themself is their only option.
These designers have three choices.
It’s the third way I want to discuss today. Putting your design skills to work for yourself instead of for clients.
Let me preface this by saying most of the things I will mention take time. Working on client projects is your best option if you need money soon. But let’s say you do have time. Or, you want a way to supplement the income you get working with clients. Perhaps in the hopes of one day being able to forgo client work. What can you do?
There are several ways you can monetize your graphic design skills and can make money without working for clients. Here are 11 I came up with that you could try:
Suppose you like making logos, icons, and other graphics. Or you enjoy creating layouts for business cards, resumes, and social media posts but don’t like dealing with clients. Why not create and sell them on marketplaces such as Creative Market or Etsy? There’s a massive market out there for premade layouts and graphics.
What’s great about this is that once you create them, they can be sold multiple times, providing a passive income stream with little effort.
Are you familiar with Cricut machines? They’re becoming more and more popular. People use them for everything from creating custom birthday cards to printed t-shirts. Many Cricut owners rely on premade designs for their creations. I know one designer whose entire income is from selling Cricut designs on Etsy.
As a designer, you can create graphics for merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, tote bags, etc. You then sell them through online print-on-demand platforms such as Redbubble, Zazzle, Society6 or TeeSpring.
I have many designs across several P.O.D. platforms that earn me monthly money.
Are you particularly good with specific software programs, or perhaps there’s a particular design topic you know a lot about? Why not create and sell a course on platforms such as Udemy or
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