Are you sometimes worried how you’ll get by should you get sick? Do you dread going on vacation because being away from your computer also means you don’t make any income? And how do you feel about running out of project work? It’s scary, right?!
To me, it always felt intimidating to not have any income at some point. It actually happened. A few months into working as a freelancer in a cold and rather depressing February, not a single client request reached my inbox. No one seemed to care I was available for work. Having all that time made me think about the differences between businesses and freelancers. Businesses often sell products. Freelancers sell their time. If the demand for the product grows, businesses can produce and sell more, make more revenue. But as a freelancer, a solopreneur, if you become more in demand, how do you see yourself meeting the demand for your time?
But let’s get back to my dry spell back in that cold February. I was in no place and had no interest in producing products, but I realized there were many businesses that had the needed infrastructure to do so. All they needed was creative input. The answer to my problem seemed simple: instead of trading time for money, I wanted to trade my knowledge, skills, and talents, bumping up my earning potential by creating work that could scale. I needed to find partners that produced on demand and that would pay me success-based royalties.
Royalties are never a quick win. It’s not that you’d do something and see the remuneration in your bank account immediately. But it’s most certainly soothing to get that $60 USD after you spent a day hanging out at the pool, or receive a $200 USD remittance when, once again, no one seems to be bothered to reply to your emails for something you produced two years ago.
Should you run low on client work, don’t panic. It’s normal for every freelancer to experience good and bad times. Even the most successful solopreneurs experience moments when no work comes in. But instead of seeing it as a bad omen, see it as a chance to produce some work that will pay off over time. Now, and with so much time on your hands, let’s create something that scales. Here are some ideas of what you could do to build up multiple income streams and help supplement your income:
If you have an eye for aesthetics and know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or even Keynote or Powerpoint, then set aside some time to create templates. In recent years, the standard for how a CV looks have changed and even people applying for jobs outside the creative industries now need a beautifully designed CV to help them stand out amongst the other applicants. And it’s not just CVs that need to look great with a good template: cost estimates, invoices, pitch decks, and keynote presentations need to be beautiful too! Not everyone is as visually gifted as you are, so this might be your chance at generating some scalable income.
A good outlet to sell templates is Creative Market . Before you open Photoshop and start crafting the next bestselling CV template or keynote slides, you should check out the platform and look at what’s already available, what’s popular, and what sort of assets seem standard as add-ons in the bundles that sell well. Of course, how you present your files matters too, so compelling sales text and eye-catching cover images are both a must! If Creative Market doesn’t feel like a perfect platform for you, why not try Gumroad ?