How to Create a Passive Side Hustle

Do you side hustle?  I do!  I have side hustles so that I can have “risk” money for She Builds without risking any of my actual money that I need to support myself and my family. Smart, right?  

How to Create a Passive Side Hustle

One of my biggest hurdles in stepping out and creating this new, awesome if I must say, community, She Builds - was investing money. 

Creating a passive side hustle was the only way I could see myself feeling comfortable in creating She Builds and not staying up all hours of the night creating, packing and shipping products for a side hustle + creating valuable content for She Builds + tending to a newborn + holding down a 9-5.  You with me?

Marie + Me is a modern shop for moms and kids who are #boss!  Originally I started with baby onesies and a few t-shirts, and now the shop also includes a #boss collection of mugs.  And we’re just starting!! Buckle up because there is so much more on the way!!

I want to walk you through the process of setting up my passive side hustle that sells physical products.

1. Brainstorm Your Idea

Straight up, this is the beginning of your shop.  What you want to sell, the niche you’re selling to, etc.  When I formulated the idea of Marie + Me, I was pregnant with my daughter at the time.  Knowing I wanted to sell coordinating clothes for moms and kids, I researched other shops to get ideas.  I finally landed on creating products that exude confidence and tell the real story of walking in the shoes of a mom.

2. Decide On A Delivery System

So how was I supposed to deliver these products.  I definitely did not have the risk money to order in bulk from a screen printer, and I didn’t really like the idea of selling on Zazzle or CafePress.  So I started to research t-shirt printing-on-demand and fulfillment and found DTG (direct-to-garment) printing businesses that integrate with online store platforms. BINGO!!  This was my ticket.

3. Create Your Product

Once I knew how the back end was set up, I could go about creating my products.  First you need to browse the products offered by the print-on-demand company you select and choose what products you want to sell your designs on.  The company will provide you with specs on what they need from you.  Specs will include the size of the design files, types of files they accept and may include detailed information such as tips for printing with white ink.  

Then you can design your product.  I use Photoshop.  I’m not familiar with the quality of Canva when using it in this manner, but if you don’t have Photoshop, you can always outsource your work to a freelancer. Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace where you can post your small design jobs and have them done at a relatively low cost.

Finally, follow the instructions from your print-on-demand company on how to upload files and create orders.

 

4. Create Mock-Ups

Now for your mock-ups, I imagine you can use Canva to design the mock-ups since it will not be printed.  In essence, you will overlay your design onto the picture of product the design will be printed on.  Customers always want to see the final product, so although you don’t have it physically, you can “mock it up”! I use Photoshop to create my mock-ups.  The Printful (the print-on-demand company that I use) has a mock-up generator for some of the products listed on their site.  If you don’t have access to quality photo-editing programs, you may choose to specifically use the products that are available for the mock-up generator so that you can have a professional looking mock-up.

5. Choose an Online Store Platform and Open Shop

I chose to list my products through two different online marketplaces, Etsy and Storenvy.  One of the reasons why I love using marketplaces such as Etsy and Storenvy is because these places are niched to small, handmade businesses.  Customers on these sites are looking for something unique and not mass produced.  In addition, the sites have built in marketing tools to help with traffic opposed to having my own free standing store on a platform such as Big Cartel, in which marketing would solely rest in my hands. #nothankyou

BIZ TIP: Listing products on various sites creates more opportunities for customers to find your work.

There are a ton of different options.  You can create a store on your own site and fulfill orders manually as you receive them.  You can use a different site that is integrated with your print-on-demand company.

6. Share Your Shop

If your shop coincides and compliments your main business, share it there.  Create social media profiles for the shop and promote your products.  You can take marketing your side hustle as far as you’d like to go. Always remember that the more quality you pour in, the more you’ll get out.

Aukele Cockett-Askew

I help women create their own opportunities to build their dream job from the ground up.