Saturday, April 24, 2010

Monthly Newsletter Article: Tips for Turning Your Time Into Money

After last month's article about making sure you get paid for the time and energy you put into making and selling your crafts and ideas, I received quite a few emails asking me how it's even possible to make enough money to cover the time an artist/crafter puts into their work. So this month, I'm sharing some tips to help you leverage your work time into money.

Tip #1:  Draw once, print multiple times
Are you leveraging your artwork to it's fullest extent?  Once you have created an original drawing, painting, photograph or collage, brainstorm about how you can use this one piece of art in multiple ways.  Here are some ways you could make money over and over from one piece of artwork:
  • Sell the original work.  (But be sure to keep a photo or scan of it for your files!)
  • Create postcards or prints or notecards using the image
  • Create fabric with the image
  • Create scrapbook papers/supplies with the image
  • Put the image on t-shirts, tote bags or other promotional items, using Print On-Demand websites like, Zazzle, etc.
  • License your artwork 
Tip #2:  Project Design
Let's say you are an expert at making little dolls.  How could you turn one doll into a machine that pays you over and over?  You could:
  • Sell the original doll
  • Sell a tutorial for making the doll to a publisher 
  • Sell patterns and/or tutorials for making the doll in your online shop or at craft shows
  • Teach classes on how to make the doll
  • License the doll design to a doll manufacturer
  • Take unique photos of the doll and use the image for income as discussed in Tip #1
Both these tips will help you find ways to create once and then get paid over and over.  The great part about this is that many of these ideas create passive income for you, which allows you to make money when you sleep!  Once you start setting-up your business with these ideas in mind, I think you will start to see how you can make a profit on the time you invest in each piece of work that you create.  If you just sold one original piece, it might be difficult to charge enough for the time and effort you put into the original work, but if you implement some of these ideas, you will find that you can make more than enough to cover your costs.

 I'd love to see some brainstorming in the comments today.  What are some other ways you can work once and get paid multiple times?

Editorial Note:  The subject line of your newsletter stated there were five tips for working smarter.  This was an editorial error. I am hoping you found these two tips helpful!