Passive Income For Interior Designers

When I started my interior design business my goal was to never ever speak to people on the phone. My website and email were to do all the heavy lifting. I had these ideas about how I was going to run my business, but it didn't work at first.

I just wanted to create a bunch of digital products where people would just buy it like they bought cake mix, right off the shelf.

Sales were dismal.

Yeah, I totally didn't get the passive income concept. Like I made something and it didn't sell. And I had no clue why. After all, the "gurus" told me to slap up a website with a "Buy Now" button and Viola!

woman on ipad

In case you haven't noticed, there are people out there that still aren't up to date on the ways of making money online. Like they think it's still 5 years ago. And things have changed.

Because you only have so many hours in a day and can only work with so many clients, passive income is an awesome way to earn more money. But there are myths about passive income for interior designers that you need to know.

Myth #1

As much as I thought just putting things up for sale would mean that people would instantly want to buy it, I was wrong. I still had to build awareness for my brand and then my digital products. If people don't know you have something for sale, they can't buy it.

Truth #1: You have to market your passive income product just like anything else.

Myth #2

Getting rich overnight doesn't happen. While you will make money in your sleep, it's only after you've put a bunch of waking hours into marketing and making sure your digital product is something your client is dying to have. What I didn't understand was a client's buying process:

Client discovers they have a problem, client researches how to solve problem, client weighs options to solve problem, client buys solution to problem.

Here I was thinking that I didn't have to help the client through the buying process, but you must.

Truth #2: Having a sales page that speaks about the client's problem and how you can solve it is crucial.

Myth #3

You shouldn't go cheap on delivery of your digital product. While you can jimmy rig a solution to deliver your digital product, I don't recommend it. How you deliver the product says tons about how you do business. If you just patch work some PayPal button and Dropbox combo together, what does that say about your business? Cheap. And if you want peeps to value what you're offering, don't do this. 

Truth #3: How you deliver your digital product matters as much as the product itself.

Myth #4

While you could create a bunch of digital products for your design business to bring in extra income online, you need to figure out what your clients really want to learn from you, how they will best learn from you and what the goal of it all is.

For instance, if you wanted to create pre-made mood boards for the client who just needs a "look" but can take it from there - great. But there is a shelf life on that because the stores you're sourcing items from change their inventory. So if you created a shopping list with links to the items and the item is now gone, guess who you're hearing from? The client who can't find the item you spec'd. Oops.

For an item like that, you need to make it a limited time only digital product, which means this isn't a digital product you could make money on for a long time. You'll have to make new mood boards every so often for this type of scenario to account for merchandise changes.

Truth #4: Do research on how long your digital product's shelf life is.

Myth #5

The beauty to creating digital products is that they can be fairly easy to put together (unless you're creating an extensive course). That doesn't mean though that you should charge pennies on the dollar. You are saving the person buying your product something, be it time or money.

Think what you're doing for them and that will help you to see your own value.

Truth #5: The price matters. People buy first on emotion, then justify the price. That means sell to the people who will value it, not the cheap asses.

You can totally add passive income to your bottom line, you just need to think of a plan that makes sense for your business and the laptop lifestyle you wanna have as all online income is not easy money.

Here Are 3 Passive Income Ideas For Your Interior Design Business

  1. Write a book - You've got a unique perspective on design and you could write a book on how something that you're always asked about. Maybe you're the color queen of the layout master.

  2. Pre-Made mood boards - Every quarter you could create a curated mood board and shopping list. You could even create a few for the holidays. Ho, ho, ho!'

  3. Teach a class - Do it live, record it and sell it again and again. You've got lots of things to share and lots of DIYers that need your help.

There are lots of ways for you to add passive income to your design business. If you'd like to discover more ideas, then join us in the Society!

Alycia Wicker

Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in helping soulful interior designers attract clients with clever marketing strategies. Celebrity gossip whore.