071: Passive Income for beginners with Rosemary Watson
Passive income isn't just for graphic designers
The words "passive income" mean different things to everyone, but most people think it only has to do with graphic designers. On this episode, Rosemary Watson talks about being a photographer and starting her passive income streams.
She breaks it down in a way that allows you to start small and just get your toes wet. Once you create your passive income stream, it does take effort to market it and make money, but you'll be surprised just how much you can make from photos you already have.
Rosemary believes that you should approach your brand, business, and marketing as one whole picture. Everything you do reflects back on your overall brand. She started as a portrait photographer, shooting her sister's graduation photos, but as she began to work with industry professionals, she realized women businesses owners needed a lot of support running their businesses.
There are so many moving parts to starting and running a business. Rosemary helps her clients by offering it all: brand identity, online content, photographing, and graphics. She has one VA that works with her and together they handle every piece for their clients. Most of her clients are virtual which allows her to reach more businesses. She has a way that captures the vision for your business in all aspects - online, emails, studios; every single piece of your business should be cohesive according to Rosemary.
Passive Income: What is it
It is NOT passive! You can get money from it forever, but you have to continue to market it to keep the money coming in. It is typically a digital product that you create once and then continue to resale it for as long as you want. Passive income can range from a big course or simple styled stock photos. Styled stock is a photograph that you’ve curated, not like a landscape, and then sell to people online. You can also do graphics, icons, and fonts. Printables are another great source for passive income. You can make it a side hustle or a full time business.
Photographers and passive income
A lot of photographers feel like they are in the service industry which can be hard to create passive income, but Rosemary believes that every photographer can shoot styled stock because everyone has their own viewpoint. You don't have to make the styled stock your main source of income but maybe it can help pay off that next camera lens. People need photos, and it is easier to go buy them than it is for people to make their own. So their is room for everyone.
It does take effort
Putting it all together does take time - getting props, styling, shooting, editing. As photographers, you probably already have tons of photos you can use. If you feel overwhelmed with all that you're doing, just put a few of those photos up and see what you can make with minimal effort. Maybe it is just and extra $50/mo, and then ramp up your marketing and add more in the coming months. You may be finding yourself reaching a cap in your photography business with how many you shoot a year and all the editing you have to do. Starting a passive income stream and building it slowly, allows you to start adding cushion to your service based business. Scaling your passive income side can be done in so many ways. Look for the gaps and just start filling in.
Getting started with passive income
Rosemary does believe in having a list, but more importantly she believes in having an audience. If you're starting from scratch, go to the places that have the audience already like Etsy and Creative Market. Anywhere there are human beings is a social media platform. You can begin building relationships and audiences on these platforms before you have a list. Again, it takes time and effort to reach out to each person and build that connection, but it will be huge for your business.
3 things to get you started
1. Don't get discouraged, just start (everything won't be perfect at first)
2. Use platforms like Creative Market and Etsy to get started
3. Find your audience
Rosemary's Time Management Tools
With a big family (6 kids!) and doing all the things for her clients, Rosemary and her husband balance work and life in their own way. They both have always worked from home which has allowed them to share home responsibilities easily. She admits that she works all the time, even while watching tv with the kids, but she can easily shut it off when one of her kids wants some one-on-one time.
Things we mentioned
Rosemary Watson is the brains behind Rosemary Watson | Productions, a creative studio that helps women build businesses through many different mediums. She loves creating all types of content for all sorts of places online, but none so much as Instagram. She lives with her husband and six kids in a suburb of Phoenix, renovating the home she grew up in. You can find Rosemary every day on Instagram, on her live video show on Facebook, chatting with her tribe in her Facebook Group, The Instagram Collaborative, and on her micro-podcast- Listen + Lattes.