I did not start selling tutorials to make my ornaments for a long time…I was afraid to.
I was afraid that it would kill my business.
I was afraid that no one would want to buy my finished ornaments anymore.
I was afraid all my ideas would get taken.
I was afraid I’d create a zillion new competitors on Etsy and eBay.
Plus, I didn’t really know how to create or sell a tutorial, and didn’t know where to go to figure it out.
It just seemed way too risky, and so, I remained in what I thought was my comfort zone…even though I knew that I couldn’t really increase my income beyond what I was physically able to produce.
My fear of selling my skills ended up costing me tens of thousands of dollars.
How do I figure that? Well, my income TRIPLED when I finally bit the bullet and did it. And so, those few years of hesitation cost me dearly. And, not only in the form of moola.
I’ve been selling my patterns now for about 2 years, and what it has done for my business is immeasurable. If you’ve been thinking about taking the leap into selling your own crafty skill-set, here are just a few ways that big step can benefit your business.
1. It gives you a passive stream of income.
Creating a great tutorial or pattern takes a lot of work, there’s no doubt.
But, it’s work you do once…and then you get paid for it over and over and over again.
Etsy, Indiemade, and many other shopping cart platforms let you sell digital items now, automatically – so the moment someone buys, your tutorial is delivered straight to them. You don’t have to lift a finger.
I will tell you straight up… there’s nothing quite as amazing as seeing a payment notification pop up on my phone, and knowing I don’t have to rush off to my office to ship anything.
Not only that, but you can sell unlimited copies of your pattern, with no further work for you. Imagine seeing 20 of those payment notifications pop up in a day…and no on-set of panic to accompany it.
Imagine 50! Imagine as many as you can possibly conceive, because that is truly the only thing that can limit your digital opportunity in our lovely World of Online.
2. It adds value to the time you spend coming up with new ideas & creating new designs.
I always get so excited every time I think up a brand new product idea. I love the brainstorming, the experimenting, the designing and creating. I love putting that new idea out there and sharing it to my Facebook page and my email list, and I love when there is a great reaction to it from my audience.
But then it’s time to hustle and make more of it. And more. It’s time to become a human machine and PRODUCE.
And after a little while, that new design isn’t so new and exciting anymore. I’m ready to move on to the next thing!
Do you ever feel like that?
When you’re a creative type, most of the joy is in the creation, not the production. At least, not once that production starts heading down Mundane Boulevard.
But, after putting so much time and effort into a new design…to only make and sell a few of that design does NOT make sense for your bottom line. This is where so many of us crafters meet our glass ceiling.
Unless… you package that design up into a new tutorial. Then, you can sell that baby over and over, forever…and meanwhile, you’ve moved on to your next big idea.
3. It opens up a whole new world of possibility for your business.
Around the time I began selling a few of my patterns, I also started writing little short and sweet tutorials for my blog, for free. I’d never given away my ornament ideas like before that, but I figured those tutorials would help to attract people who might be interested in the patterns I was trying to sell.
Those little tutorials started attracting more traffic than I had ever seen on my site before…ever. When I realized that, I started writing free tutorials for some of the ornaments I was actually selling in my shop. And you know what? I started selling more of those ornaments. Even though I was flat out telling everyone exactly how I made them!
When I stopped being afraid to freely share my ideas and designs, I started attracting SO MUCH MORE to my business. More everything…visitors, followers, sales. The more I gave, the better my business did.
I’m honestly not sure if I’d have ever learned this enormous lesson had I not begun trying to sell my patterns in the first place. And over time, creating patterns (both free and paid) has grown into a huge part of my overall online presence… it is even how I’ve been able to build up a large email list and social following.
And what’s funny is that it has never hurt the sales of my finished products (which was one of my biggest fears).
People who have no desire to make something themselves, aren’t going to bother trying. And the people who DO want to make something themselves, are going to try and figure out how, anyway…whether you help them or not.
May as well help them, right?
Have you considered (or are you already) selling patterns or tutorials for your designs? If not, what’s kept you from doing it?