The First Big Mistake Most Hand Lettering Artists Make
The first time I ever made money from hand lettering, it was the coolest thing ever.
Someone commissioned me to create a piece of art. They had a phrase they wanted me to hand letter, and I spent many hours on it.
When I was finished, I mailed the original to them.
I made money doing something I loved.
It opened my mind to the possibilities. What I had to offer was valuable enough for someone to open up their wallet and write a check.
That’s a great feeling.
But shortly after, I started to feel discouraged. I’d made some money, but not a ton. After doing some basic math, I realized I’d need a similar transaction to happen dozens, if not hundreds, more times in a year to sustain myself and pay my bills.
How in the world was I going to make that happen?
“Maybe it’s not possible after all.”
I’d made a faulty assumption: that all of my revenue would come from a single source.
Maybe you’ve made the same assumption.
Your Revenue Doesn’t Have to Just Come From a Single Source (In Fact, It Shouldn’t!)
You’ve worked with a few clients, made even sold a few products, and you’re wondering how to go from a couple sales or clients here and there to something that’s actually sustainable.
You do the math and conclude the number of transactions you need is unrealistically high. Now you’re discouraged.
But the key to sustaining yourself as a freelancer, small business owner, or entrepreneur is diversified sources of income.
As you go, you want to put effort into creating systems that continue to serve you. That’s not to say you can’t ever leverage your time, but as much as possible, you want to build assets that keep generating revenue.
Over time, you will build up multiple flows of income. Virtually every hand letterer you know who is making a living for themselves has multiple sources of income—not just one.
Now, maybe you knew this already, but most of the people who already know this still make the mistake of trying to build up these multiple flows at the same time.
This is the fastest way to burnout.
Don’t Try to Create Multiple Flows of Income at the Same Time
Instead, you want to build up systematically, create one flow, ensure it’s sustainable, and then move on to the next one.
- Client Work.
These are three ways you can make money from hand lettering. Each of them breaks down into a multitude of different revenue-producing assets.
- Within client work, you could create commission artworks for companies.
- Products could be t-shirts, mugs, or posters featuring your designs.
- Teaching could be lettering workshops, writing a hand lettering book, or producing an online course.
The list is endless.
Once you understand that you don’t have to rely only on repeating the one thing you’ve done to make money, you’ll feel relieved of all that pressure.
Set Up Income Sources in the Right Order
There is so much you can monetize around hand lettering, but if you try to do things out of order, you can end up burning yourself out or killing your passion for lettering.
I want to simplify the process of making a living as a hand lettering artist for you to reduce overwhelm. No more guesswork, no more stress and no more anxiety.
I’m going to take you deeper into what it looks like to make money with hand lettering through three unique sources.
Oh, and I’ll also take you behind the scenes of a $16,250 hand lettering job I did for a client (yes, you read that right) and walk you through the proposal.