How To: Earn a living doing what you love
Note: This is the first post in a short series designed to help artists, designers and creatives build a following and earn a living doing what they love.
We Are Artists, designers and creatives.
We love to create. We spend countless hours improving our craft. We nudge pixels and carefully adjust our vector paths. We refractor our code until it's DRY and elegant. And we masterfully clean up audio tracks and edit video.
Like the rest of the world though, we often have to do other things to pay the bills.
It isn't long though before we start day dreaming about selling the things we create. Things like icon packs, jQuery plugins, WordPress themes, documentaries or even our first EP.
We think about generating extra income to buy new equipment or go on an awesome trip. Or better yet, quitting our day job and making a living by doing what we love.
But a lot has to happen between creating a digital product and quitting our day job.
Selling our work is hard. Really hard.
It's easy to think that just because we spend countless hours crafting something others will buy it. But it just doesn't work that way. Hoards of buyers won't materialize just because we've released something.
Preparing our work for sale is a challenge in it's own right. But making more than a few sales, even when our friends and family buy copies, can seem near impossible.
The reality is though that most creatives approach the process of selling their digital goods as an art- not the science that it is. We are right brained people after all.
We need to create a following.
Sending out a few tweets or an email to friends isn't a strategy. We can spend hundreds of hours creating something special, but if we only devote a minimal amount of time to marketing it we'll never earn more than a small sum.
If a product is released on the internet and no one is around to see it, does it exist?
If we're really serious about making a living by doing what we love, then we have to recognize that the marketing and promotion side of things is just as important as the time spent creating.
We simply can't have a successful product without both.
If you're ready to step outside your comfort zone and start learning about what it takes to create and sell a successful digital product, then this series is for you.
Next in this series we going to specifically talk about:
- Why listing your digital goods on marketplace sites isn't enough.
- How to build a loyal following for your products (which = sales).
- How to use boring ol' email to convert browsers into buyers.
- How to build a simple, no-fluff marketing plan.
- And why email is 10x more effective for selling social media.