Episode 44 – Making money on the side

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Episode 44 – Making money on the side

44_MakingMoneyOnTheSide_450

Click here to listen on iTunes!

In this episode we explore the many different ways we can make money online as well as even automate our income to give us more freedom and a bit of a ‘buffer’ to go after out dreams without hurting our savings.

In our journey to go after our goals and find our dream job – one of the biggest roadblocks is risk. What if we fail, what if we spend our savings going after something unattainable? To alleviate this and to learn to be independent and take back control, this episode is focused on understanding many of the ways to make a side income. How to make money on the side to create more comfort financially for us, to take those risks without the mindset that our 9-5 day job is the only thing keeping us afloat.

This is more a birds eye view of the many ways we can make money, but it should open your eyes to how easy it can be and get your inner-entrepreneur engine running!

To download the PDF cheat-sheet with an in-depth overview of the many different ways to do this – go to http://www.allanmckay.com/passive/

 

Episode 44 – Making Money on the Side

 

Podcast Notes

This is a subject that is a little bit taboo but all artists can get a lot from this:

  • How to make money on the side.
  • How to earn money online.
  • How to monetize on your career and talents.
  • How to do side freelance.

[-104:30] I have been selling stuff online since 2004 when I released my 40-hour Training DVD. The very day it came out, the President of Gnomon Alex Alvarez contacted me to reproduce that DVD. For me, it wasn’t about the money, but about contributing; putting a necessary solution out there and sharing my skills.

 

WHY DO IT?

[-100:56] We’ve all been in this situation: Our current job is paying the bills. We’re getting by, but it would be nice to have a little bit of extra money, to get a little bit more freedom. We want to branch out and do something daring, but everyone has that illogical fear of “What if?” Money and finances are always going to be a part of that and it is usually a sensible fear to have: “Okay, if I quit my job and go chase my dream, I don’t have any money saved up. So, if I fail — I’m screwed.”

Having that side income, especially if it’s good and consistent, allows you to go chase your dreams: maybe it’s making a short film, maybe it’s trying to get into VFX, animation. [-99:00] It’s important to save out that extra income. Any fun stuff that you do, you can do with that extra money.

[-93:56] Artist love to make art but not always making extra money. But when you mention, “Are you interested in having a passive side income?”, they say, “I’m only interested in making money.” Artists aren’t very good at negotiating a higher rate or asking for a promotion. It’s good to have a long-term plan at your day job but you’ve got to put in the work.

[-79:46] Some people are actually happier being an employee than running their own company. They’re just wired like that. They can have stability and do their work. Having your own business takes a different mindset.

 

CARVE OUT YOUR NICHE

[-98:07] Find what’s right and what works for you. “Have your own spin on things”

It might become your career. Or, you might be able to take some time off from day job and focus on your dream. That might become your Second Train. (Let’s include the link to that podcast here.)

[-91:03] Ask your friends: What is a skill set or talent for which I stand out? It good to ask other people because a lot of the time, those are the ones you aren’t thinking of. Those are also the skills that will stand out the most when you branch out on your own. “Find what it is that defines you that you get a lot of interest in, then start hammer that big time!”

 

CHOOSE A 3rd PARTY WEBSITE

[-88:44] If you’re a modeler or a 3D person, you can sell your assets online at places like TurboSquid which is a great repository for people’s work. If you sell on TurboSquid, their percentage is 50/50. The more you do it, the better percentage you get, in favor of you, the artist. It’s worth it: You’re getting exposure, getting an income, even getting a following.

Of course, if you have a million followers, you have more choices to building your e-commerce.

[-87:52] Make sure your own the rights to that work, to avoid legal issues!

When you own something, you can sell it online, from anywhere between $10 to $1,000. [-87:06] If you’re thinking, “I’d never spend a thousand bucks on a model”, you’d be surprised how many people may need that model (depending on what you do, of course). Buying a ready model is very cost and time effective!

[-78:23] You will get exposure from selling online. There are so many benefits from selling your stuff and getting your name out there! You will get more attention from people too, so have a link to your own website (where you can sell you models for cheaper than on TurboSquid, for instance). And you can start being recognized as an artists. You may even get hired to build custom made models.

[-75:40] What if you’re a graphic designer? You can still do so much! When it comes to Photoshop, content might be oversaturated. That means it is in high demand, but also that the competition is pretty stiff. High demand — low supply. “You have to figure out here there is a hole in a market you could fill. How can I do something that stands out?” Other examples are:

  • VectorStock
  • ShutterStock.

[62:17] You can take on side freelance jobs on sites like 99Designs, Elance, Odesk (even Fiverr.com: $5 services). Just pitch on people’s jobs, they see your work and they hire you.  The money gets paid to the 3rd party website which makes it a safer way of doing business. It’s also a great way of networking and getting exposure.

 

RESEARCH YOUR INDUSTRY

[-73:45] Go to these websites and view the items that have been sold the most. That will give you a better idea about what sells, what’s in demand. Generic sells less than kickass stuff! You can figure out how to make your product stand out.

[-72:05] Evaluate your industry. 3D is not a big industry in comparison to Photoshop, for instance. In VFX, there is a split of the market between Maya and Houdini. Something like FumeFX has a minute market.

Although I don’t encourage piracy, piracy websites is a way to focus on what’s being purchased and what’s most popular. You can pick up on the trends and a hole in the market.

 

 

GET TESTIMONIALS

[-55:46] The biggest thing is getting testimonials from your customers. As a buyer, I read the reviews, so I can weigh my option. So having testimonials on your site is great! Have legitimate people who have tested your product. Later on, you can have people endorse your product.

 

GET PAID

[-54:35] Make sure you’re getting paid through authorized services: Stripe, PayPal, etc. Most of the time, these sites are legit, but just make sure.

[-39:58] OTHER POTENTIAL REVENUE STREAMS

  • With Photoshop, you can also do t-shirt printing, which is a competitive market.
  • Doing writing for magazines, print and online.
  • Featured tutorials pay a higher rate.
  • Selling your artwork on DeviantArt.
  • Public speaking (college, conferences) will give exposure, as well as pay.
  • You can sell your talk.
  • Teaching: night classes, if you have a day job or online (CGSociety, etc.)
  • Consulting.
  • Doing training.
  • Selling models (see above).

 

PAY ATTENTION TO THE TRENDS

[-50:41] Looking at tech trends is a surer way to get started. Say, if you purchased a 3D printer and started creating work. After you work out a process, build a website, look into shipping and start selling your 3D models. “Things will organically start to grow.”

I just bought a drone because it’s a cheeper way of shooting (than renting a helicopter). A friend of mine earns $6,000 as a Director of Photography, working 4 hour days, because he owns a drone. “Just having the tech gear is enough to get you work.”

[-44:15] VR is obviously the big thing right now: Halo Lens, etc. “Look for those the new tech coming out. How about I figure it out, get access to it, so I can start to learn it and become an authority on it.” Holographs, Projections are trending right now, but there aren’t many people doing it. Create some material and put it out there. If you know this stuff, it’s enough for you to get work.

 

PUT YOUR STUFF OUT THERE

[-34:35] Don’t be a perfectionist at the cost of your side business. Make sure to release your product — instead of trying to perfect it — then see where it goes organically. “It’s better to get something out there, then revise, revise, revise.” That way you can get customer feedback as well.

“You need to be in it, to win it. But you need to initially get things going and see what happens.”

 

HOW TO SET YOUR PRICE

[-31:15] Selling on websites: If you’re trying to decide if you should sell on your own site or other site, consider your options. Sites like TurboSquid already have followers. They are considered reputable, so you will build up your name. In the beginning, it’s worth it to forget about the money part.

Once you have a following, you can launch on your own. The downside, it may turn into a full-time gig.

[-26:11] Choosing a price: You have a choice: Charge as at high rate and get a knee jerk reaction and no sales. Or you can choose a risk-free price ($12 per tutorial, $19 for a lesson for instance), so people don’t think twice — they buy it on the spot! “When it comes to pricing, you’ve got to think about what works best for the type of audience you’re trying to get and what you’re delivering.”

 

BOTTOM LINE: KEEP CREATING GREAT CONTENT

I want to be able to do something I can stand by, for years after. If I feel that way, the product will continue to sell and you will build business relationships and friendships.

“If you forget about the money aspect, and see it as: Okay, this is a way for me to get a little bit back but I’m doing this for other reasons. I’m doing this to network, build name, my brand, to meet new people, to open up new doors — whatever your motivations are — it’s always better to do it for legitimate reasons. You should never be apologetic for making money, but you have to have the right mentality behind it.”

[-15:??] “It’s better to do something that you love and you care about, and you want to share that information.” People can tell when you’re making that content. “Keep it legit and  make genuine stuff. If you make good stuff, people will want to buy it.”

[13:40] Don’t let the quality suffer — and your audience will follow you. “If you find your audience and you’re able to continuously give great value, great content to them and your life, they’ll always be around, follow your work and consume your stuff.”

[-12:05] Don’t be apologetic for making money. Money creates freedom. Who knows this may become your Second Train?

If this is something that interests you, do let me know. To download the PDF cheat-sheet with an in-depth overview, got to http://www.allanmckay.com/passive. Leave a review in iTunes, with a hashtag #VFX1 (to determine a winner of my contest).

 

Quotes from Ep. 44 “Making Money on the Side”

“If you forget about the money aspect, and see it as: Okay, this is a way for me to get a little bit back but I’m doing this for other reasons. I’m doing this to network, build name, my brand, to meet new people, to open up new doors — whatever your motivations are — it’s always better to do it for legitimate reasons. You should never be apologetic for making money, but you have to have the right mentality behind it.”

“If you find your audience and you’re able to continuously give great value, great content to them and your life, they’ll always be around, follow your work and consume your stuff.”

“Keep it legit and  make genuine stuff. If you make good stuff, people will want to buy it.”

“You’re a victim of your own success. But it’s a good thing! Why not exploit that?”

“Find what it is that defines you that you get a lot of interest in, then start to hammer that big time!”

“Suddenly you’re doing something that you really love instead of slaving away at your staff job.”

“When it comes to my product, I prefer to over-deliver than under-deliver.”

“Just having the right tech gear is enough to get you work.”

“Finding your niche is really important and you can do all of that, on the side.”

“That way, suddenly you’re doing something that you really love instead of slaving away at your staff job.”

“You have to figure out here there is a hole in a market you could fill. How can I do something that stands out?”

“You need to be in it, to win it. But you need to initially get things going and see what happens.”

“It’s better to get something out there, then revise, revise, revise.”

“When it comes to pricing, you’ve got to think about what works best for the type of audience you’re trying to get and what you’re delivering.”

“That’s a big mindset change: You you’re not physically working for something, and the reward is that you get payment for it and it can become passive income.”

 

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1 Comment

  1. Billy Jones says:

    Awesome Podcast man, I have hooked up with a few of the freelance online business you mentioned , guru.com, elance.com and would like to start bidding on online work. Could i bother you for a Generic bidding template as i am not sure how to word my Initial bid email. What are the do’s and Don’ts when applying for online 3D work?
    Cheers

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