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Graphic Design Business 101: Top 4 Ideas to Generate Recurring Revenue for Freelance Designers and Generate Passive Income for Many Years to Come

Design Business 101 | 0 comments

Most graphic designers depend on client projects, and most of them struggle to maintain clients for the long haul. One month, you’d get pro-active, prospecting, get a few new clients, and fill your calendar. Once the projects are finished, you freak out because you didn’t have more work lined up.

It would help if you had a better way to sustain your business and grow financially when cash-flow issues arise, and client attraction isn’t working well.

Do you pay for a subscription service? Like Netflix, Google Apps, or web hosting?  These are digital recurring revenue models. Think about how much you’ve paid these companies in the past, and how much you’re going to stick with them in the future.

Not having predictable recurring income is the perfect recipe for stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights. But guess what? There are lots of recurring service ideas out there, so which one will you sign-up with and promote to your clients is the first question that comes into mind.

How to Determine the RIGHT Additional Revenue Streams for Your Web Design Company

After you’ve crafted the marketing graphics for your client, the next logical step is to determine how to increase the lifetime value of that client, instead of focusing on the next big client. Because servicing existing clients is easier than finding new ones.

You can’t just ‘have a hot looking website’ and ‘ready-made’ marketing materials, and wait for clients to show up; you need to actively put in the work to gain consistent traffic and brand awareness for your business to be successful, isn’t that so?

That’s why knowing your clientele and diagnosing their next business challenges, and marketing needs is where residual income comes into play.

Most of your clients probably don’t have the time, knowledge, or technical background to keep up the maintenance of a modern-day website. They might even lack the know-how of using the latest social media tools to attract consistent traffic & prospects into their funnel. This is where you step in as a marketing specialist and high-value business growth consultant, as a graphic designer.

Specialization pays off, that’s why graphic designers who get better at solving their clients’ problems usually tend to land bigger projects and earn lots more, from the same client, for years to come!

Ideal recurring revenue streams serve both the business and the customer, not just one of the parties. Digital services are the most practical because you don’t have to invest time and money in shipping items and warehouse deposit fees.

Here are the top 4 recurring digital services ideas you can pre-sell to your client and take their business to the next level:

1. Wholesale Commercial Printing Reseller Program

Reseller printing is when a printing company doesn’t directly print the products they sell.  They, instead, focus on delivering the best artwork and marketing campaigns they can deliver for their clients.

These printing companies no longer invest in expensive printers and don’t carry the cost of daily running and maintenance. They place orders through a trade printer that is designed for trade print resellers – like Tradeprint.

By reselling, there’s no direct cost in equipment for you, and you can offer a vast range of print products to your clients.

Wholesale printing for resellers allows you to get a huge variety of products that you couldn’t have offered before and gain huge profits from it too. Ordering wholesale often means low costs and you add any margin that you want.

2. The Membership Website Model

Companies like The Wood Whisperer Guild, ContractorSelling.com, and DanceStudioOwner.com offer access to specialized, high-quality information. They recognize that people will pay for good content. This model works for any business with a tightly defined niche market and insider information.

You can adjust this model and offer a collection of quote images and business-related graphics for Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube fans.

Create a library of red-hot customizable graphics behind a login screen and build a membership that allows customers to access it for a low monthly fee.

Another idea within this model is to offer video training for new designers and clients who want to develop their creative skills. Teach them how to use the best graphic design tools and save them time by sharing your best tips, tricks, and hacks.

3. Website Hosting Reseller

Reseller hosting (FlyWheel for example) is a plan that enables the account holder to resell web hosting services, and its ideal for any businesses looking to grow or have an online presence. You can resell virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and shared web hosting accounts.

The reseller splits the bandwidth and drive space that they’re allowed to resell to other people. You become the middleman between the hosting company and the third party account owners.

4. Recurring Affiliate Program Services (SaaS)

There is an affiliate program for almost any type of niche and business needs out there. SaaS (software as a service) models are ideal for this, though.

Here are some products and services you can promote as an affiliate and generate recurring income:

  • Graphic design tools such as Snappa and Canva
  • Email Marketing solutions, such as Aweber and MailChimp.
  • Project management software such as Asana and Monday.com
  • Social media marketing tools such as Buffer and HooperHQ
  • Website backup tools such as Updraft plus and Snapcreek’s Duplicator
  • SEO WordPress plugins such as SEMRush and Ahrefs

Recurring income is a way to grow your business and overcome cash-flow challenges associated with running a client-oriented business.

Due diligence is required when promoting any of these recurring service ideas. So, pick a reliable and reputable company that has years of experience in the industry, solid customer testimonials, and lots of raving fans. Moreover, to promote a product that prospects buy and in order to gain their trust and boost your sales, make sure that you use the product yourself so that you truly believe in it and can share your experiments and results.

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