Sarah Miller is still in college (and plays soccer for her school) but that hasn’t stopped her from starting a pretty cool side hustle: painting custom pet portraits.
She’s done 300 paintings so far!
But the business isn’t without its challenges. As a freelance artist, she’d like to raise her rates, expand her marketing efforts to land new clients, and figure out how to make her work less of a time-for-money tradeoff.
To help me brainstorm some ideas for Sarah, I invited Don the Idea Guy back on the program to join us on a call.
As you might remember, Don is a creative genius and in this episode he definitely doesn’t disappoint. Together we walk through a dozen different ways Sarah could take her operation to the next level and open up new income streams.
Even if your business has nothing to do with painting wiener dogs, I think this conversation will get your gears turning because the broader strategies can apply to lots of different business models.
Among the suggestions:
- Raise prices for the custom work.
- Create off-the-shelf prints for the most popular breeds (from the library of work Sarah’s already done).
- Use print-on-demand marketplaces to instantly expand inventory and sales options.
- Her various upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
- Partner with influential pet bloggers and Facebook group administrators.
- Partner with pet-related stores w/ a low-tech coupon code-based affiliate program.
- Partner with other pet-related Etsy sellers to cross-promote each other’s products.
- Tap into your database of existing customers for upsells and referrals.
- Turn the preliminary pencil sketches into other product offerings and maybe even adult coloring book templates.
- Teach others the skill of painting on Udemy.
I think you’ll like it!
Here’s an example of Sarah’s work:
And if you want more Don the Idea Guy, he’s been on the show twice before:
- Side Hustle Idea Brainstorming: The 7 Rules of Business Idea Generation Plus Live Listener Q&A
- How to Avoid a Conflict of Interest Between Your Side Hustle and Your Day Job
Check out the show and let me know what you think!
Or use the player app above to listen right in your browser.
- Freshbooks.com – Start your 30-day free trial today!
- Sarah Paints Pets on Instagram
- Don The Idea Guy
- Sarah’s Etsy Shop (inactive)
- How to make money in college
- Proud Dog Mom blog