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Passive Income for Designers with Dustin Lee

How do you start generating passive income as a designer?

In 2013, Dustin Lee, the founder of RetroSupply Co., was $30,000 in debt. With a baby on the way, he knew he had to do something to support his growing family.

That’s when he took a simple idea of selling logos and turned it into a million-dollar business. Today, RetroSupply Co. is one of the most popular sites for illustrators and designers to buy new brushes and fonts for programs like Illustrator and Photoshop.

Dustin is also one part of The Honest Designers Podcast, and runs Passive Income For Designers to help illustrators and designers increase their revenue opportunities.

So how did Dustin build such a successful passive income business that has earned him more than $250k annually? We’ll uncover Dustin’s secrets to selling more products online:


Start With The 3-Step Process

Before selling any products, you first have to choose the right product. You can determine the right product by researching what’s in demand in the design community, and how you can fill that gap.

Next, make a product that stands out. The creative industry is overflowing with tools and products that give designers a leg up. How can you ensure the product you roll out stands alongside, or even above, the others?

If you’re going to be selling a product, you have to know a thing or two about marketing, which brings us to the third step: find something you love about marketing.

In Dustin’s case, he’s found a love of copywriting and email marketing. He’s curious about how the language he uses to market his products impacts sales.

When the time comes for you to market your product, find an avenue you can go all in on to increase sales and make your product known.


Choose a Niche

If you make a product for everyone, you’re actually making a product for no one.

One of the things that’s made RetroSupply Co. so successful is their ideal customer. Dustin explains that the products he’s created were all made with a specific type of designer or illustrator in mind.

Imagine the person you’d like to see using your products, and make sure what you’re selling is for them.


What Else Generates Revenue?

Beyond just the products sold, Dustin shares that RetroSupply Co. has also had additional sources of revenue. These include partnerships and webinars, and hopefully, down the road, courses.

If you’re considering starting a passive income business, think of other ways you can generate revenue with things like promotional content and sponsorships.


How to Find a Profitable Product

If you want your passive income business to perform well, you have to make sure the product you sell guarantees some level of profitability. Ask yourself these three questions to see if your product is profitable:

  1. What’s popular on Creative Market, Instagram, or design blogs?
  2. What do you have the skills to build well?
  3. Where do you have leverage?

Now that we’ve shared some of Dustin’s top takeaways to building a passive income for your creative business, we hope you’ll implement a few of his tips to build a successful business for yourself.

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