A couple of weeks ago, the Rebubble HQ in Melbourne played host to the globally popular Dribbble Meetup. A free event where designers and artists can meetup, learn, and mingle with like-minded people to help invigorate the design scene by developing a closer community and sharing ideas.
About 50 designers from around Melbourne watched Blaz Robar, a popular Melbourne Dribbbler, speak on the topic of “Passive Income for Designers.” All the while scoring free swag and consuming some of Melbourne’s tastiest beer and wine, and chomping on New Orleans’-style food.
Redbubble is no stranger to the challenges of being a designer or artist in this big, bad world. Everyday we hear stories from creative people from around the globe who want to know how to market themselves, sell better, or just be better. Hell, half the Redbubble team sells their work online. That’s one of the many reasons why we have this blog.
Passive income is something every artist would like. Whether it’s the cash that’s attractive, or more creative control is the appeal, what’s clear, is that most don’t know how to get there. While Blaz’s presentation highlighted that reaching these goals ain’t easy, he did emphasize that with a little research, goal setting, time management, and persistence, you can net some extra cash on the side, or even (gasp) financial freedom.
Blaz explained that it starts with your personal brand, putting your work (and yourself) out there, and getting people to know what you’re about. In Blaz’s case, he got started by spreading the word about his custom Photoshop templates, website templates, and Photoshop plug-ins through his official website, which currently has 137,000 users and 38,000 email subscribers.
He went on to say that the key to building an audience is to simply start creating and designing your products to sell, and not overthink it. He explained that even with a considered personal brand and some products to sell, one still needs to push their products and self-promote. There are a plethora of options on the Internet, and some will relate more than others. But he said that “Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Redbubble, Pintrest, Google SEO, your own blog, CSS Mania” are a good place to start.
Blaz expressed his love for selling digital products by saying, “Selling digital goods means you can sell one product endless amount of times over, to anyone in the world.” When you think about it that way, you almost can’t afford not to do it.
As designers and artists (especially the digital variety), we’re always looking for ways to be more time efficient and make our lives easier while creating. If you can come up with solutions to help increase the efficiency of designers, they will buy your product. They key is in what to build, and how much time and effort it saves that will will determine how successful it is. A handy way to remember the value of your work to others is, “one designer’s trash, is another designer’s treasure.” If you were to boil it down to five simple points that will help you track your progress, Blaz would recommend:
- Build an Audience and a personal brand.
- Set goals for your desired passive income.
- Ship. Fix. Repeat
- Keep your eyes open opportunities
- Stick with it
At the end of the meetup, the people we met and conversations we had reminded us that being a designer or artist is a beautiful thing. The event reminded us that while we don’t take things too seriously and often have fun, we passionately want to make the world a more beautiful place through our respective design disciplines, and most of all, we want to help each other out. That is why we, at Redbubble, enjoy invigorating and helping the design and artist communities around the world. And we hope you can help us do that too.
As with all free event nights, it takes a bunch of committed people and special brands to donate their time and products. The night simply wouldn’t have happened without the help of the cool Redbubble staff and our sponsors, who are all shown below.
And of course, without our incredible volunteers the night wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did. so thanks to you all.
If you like what you see and want to be involved, or would like to attend the next meetup, it’ll be in February after everyone is back from their holiday season. For more details, check out the video below and this event page.