Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quick & Dirty Guide - Mo' Money Mo' Problems P2: Sales Techniques for Your Side Hustle

In Part I of my 'Mo' Money, Mo' Problems' guide I talked about what side hustles artists can do, but didn't really expand very much on how to get actual buyers of your products.

So today we're going to chat about all the different things that go into selling your side hustles.

 1. Who is the Ideal Buyer?
An idea buyer is not 'everyone'. For example, if you would normally do illustrative art with watercolors and soft pastels you are not going to target industrial businesses for your side hustle coloring pages. You might instead target women's blogs to see if they'll feature your art as a paid download. Selling coloring pages to local bookstores and boutiques. Identifying your style and it's best market will increase the chances your side hustle will be profitable.

2. What is the Benefit to the Ideal Buyer?
Going with the first example, let's say that you've decided to go local with your products and have decided that the highly popular women's boutique downtown is your Ideal Buyer.
You've done some research and discovered that they're already carrying a line of professionally printed mandala coloring pages. So you decide to offer them a coloring book of your home town's most iconic sights to sell at their check out line. It's a unique product and will sell well due to hometown pride.

3. What is the Price?
One of the biggest problems that artists have is knowing what their pieces are worth, and a lot of times the formula that has been around for years produces prices that people in our current economy aren't willing to pay without some kind of assurance that what they're buying is worth it. Now, a color page, a quick logo, or anything else you're doing with your side hustle is not fine art. Don't sell it that way.

Decide on a price point for yourself. Let's say we want to sell our coloring pages at .99 cents each. Well, that's fine and all, but if I'm just offering one page at .99 cents, what is the value to the customer? They can literally go online, download a whole bunch of pages, and have each one printed off at kinkos for 10 cents a page. On nice paper no less!

So instead lets offer a VALUE: An entire 20 page coloring book unique to your hometown for $13. Offering more pages gives your product more heft and more value. Making the product about your town makes it unique, at the $13 wholesale price point, you've given your buyer the ability to price it well and make a profit. (Also, for one reason or another odd numbers tend to sell better. No idea why.)
This idea could easily be applied to any town, any where, so when you're thinking about your side hustle, always think about how you can scale it up.

4. Make the sale:
Okay so we've printed up a run of 10 coloring books for $20, maybe $30 if we went fancy on them and decided to have them collated and stapled, so now it's time to sell them. You can do this two ways - you can either do a cold call, cold message, or cold drop by. You'll have to figure out what is the most appropriate for you and for the business. Some owners are never at their place of business, and some don't answer the phone. It may take awhile to figure out who you need to talk to and when.

So let's assume you've cleared that hurdle and have the owner engaged with you. What do you say?!

Talk about the benefits of your product, the price you expect to get from it, and then let them figure out what they want to charge their customers. Something like this:

"These coloring books will be great for your customers since local pride is so huge right now. As you can see on the cover it says 'MADE LOCALLY' which immediately sparks the curiosity of the customer, regardless if they intended to purchase a coloring book or not. If you put these by the register they'd sell very quickly. Don't you agree?"

Don't you agree? 
Bam! You just sold 10 coloring books! Congrats!

Now, if you're not into making coloring books but have a question about selling your own side hustle, comment below or feel free to e-mail me at


Post a Comment