passive income ideas for designers

Passive Income Ideas For Designers + Ways to Earn More

Sometimes designers have a hard time finding a way to earn a little bit more money – especially freelance designers. But, while looking for another client – or waiting for one, there are ways to earn some passive income, which we will share today!

Passive Income Ideas For Designers

Affiliate programs 

There is always a chance that your favorite tools have affiliate programs: they will not bring you millions of dollars, yet a few extra bucks never hurt anybody.

For example, we know for a fact that Creative market offers a very cool referral market that you can join right now.

Passive Income Ideas For Designers

Some other apps you can try are Adobe or Flodesk. Designer-related websites are notorious for offering such programs – look into it, you will be surprised.

Design stock graphics

If you don’t have enough time to design specifically for stock markets, you can always recycle your unused materials that previous clients did not agree upon. Along with your design solutions, you can also upload photography or illustrations. You can try selling your graphics on various websites, such as Adobe Stock or Gettyimages. 

Sell your designs

If you’re not sure about the stock markets we mentioned, you can also upload your graphics to design marketplaces such as Creative Market, Design Cuts, or even Etsy. On such websites, you can sell anything, from the fonts you’ve designed, to 3D graphics.

Sell printables

Have some awesome designs that will look awesome on a T-shirt? Go ahead and upload them to the print-on-demand websites like Printful, Red bubble, Printify, or Gooten. People always look for awesome graphics to print on their belongings – especially if they are dedicated to their interests. If you are willing to create some fan art, it will also be an additional point for you.

Sell templates

Website templates, brand guidelines templates, presentation templates – anything you feel comfortable selling will definitely sell well. You can, for instance, target small brand owners that want to have a beautiful website, and don’t have the budget to hire a designer to do the job – so, they look for templates to download. Selling templates is arguably one of the best ways to earn passive income, as you can charge more for them, than for a small printable.

Share your knowledge 

Experience is valuable. There will always be people who wish to learn from your experience and skills – and they are willing to pay for it. If you have enough expertise to share with beginners, try creating e-books, or online courses that you can sell on Udemy, Skillshare, or other similar platforms.

BONUS: How to earn more from your cooperations?

Well, now that we’ve outlined some passive income ideas for designers, let’s talk about how you can earn more while cooperating with clients.

Tip #1: Become a mentor

Most often than not, clients know very little about design, and sometimes even branding. So, our very first tip would be to educate them and offer more value. For example, if the clients ask you to create a logo for them, ask if they have considered designing the whole brand identity at once. Explain why it’s needed, how it affects their brand, and how their competitors are doing it (people tend to follow the same strategy as their competitors). From our experience, if a designer explains the benefits well enough, clients are willing to pay more for designing more elements. Also, such an attitude helps to build strong cooperation, where clients don’t feel the need to micromanage every single step a designer takes: it’s all because they feel that the designer is a professional, and knows exactly how things work.

Tip #2: Be professional 

Real professionalism shows in inattentiveness to details. Things like messy folders sent to a client, random file names, or sloppy presentations can destroy a designer’s image and make the client ditch their cooperation. One of the things you can do now to raise your status in the client’s eyes is to present your logo prototypes in brand books. And it doesn’t have to take forever. Gingersauce is a professional application for creating brand books that will allow you to create brand guidelines faster, and more efficiently. Powered by smart automatization, Gingersauce embeds your awesome designs into market-standard templates to create professional brand books within minutes.

When presenting your visuals in brand books, you offer clients ready-made identities to choose between and give them little space to offer edits. Clients see your dedication to the project and the way you offer more than they hoped for. Result – clients’ expectations are surpassed, and you are in good books for further projects.

Try Gingersauce Now

The author

Josh Bloch
Josh Bloch

Josh is a multidisciplinary designer with over 20 years of experience in industrial design, exhibitions, branding, 2d and 3d animation, graphics for print and digital, illustration, and UX/UI for mobile and desktop apps.

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on twitter

Related Content

Learn Branding and Be The First to Know the News

In our newsletters, we send out project updates, branding news and tips, and more (also discounts 🤫)!

Create A Professional Brand Book

All you need to automatically create a professional brand book is a logo. Leave the rest to our wizard!

Are you sure your logo is all ready to be sent to a client?

Beautiful design is only half the deal — does it really suit the brand, though? We’ve created a short checklist for you to see if your logo is truly ready to be presented. Leave your email, and you’ll receive it right away.