Note: This post has some swearing, so if you’re about to press play and have little people around, might be an idea to pop your headphones in!
Hello lovely human!
In short: I took Michelle Rohr’s Passive Income with Printables course.
In part 1, I told you where I started…the VERY beginning with no cash, no business and no joy in my work.
I shared how I discovered Michelle and her course and all the feelings that came up for me before I clicked the ‘buy’ button. Excitement, doubts and fears, so many reasons why it wouldn’t work for me.
Was I graphic designer? Nope. A planner girl? Nope. Did I have any idea what I could create? Nope. Social media following of ANY sort? Erm…you could take a stab at that one.
So what exactly made you think it’d be a good move to take this course Aimee?!
Because… I just had this excited gut feeling that this could be the right next step for me.
Michelle had built an incredible business selling products she loves making, she went from working in a cafe and babysitting to sharing her Life Binder with the world and welcoming in thousands of dollars in passive income each month.
Can you imagine creating for fun and then letting the income flow in? A total dream for us creatives!
I had a sense that I could make it work somehow, because she’d done it! And thank goodness that little optimistic voice won over all the scared ones.
I leapt and applied as much as I could from Michelle’s wisdom. The results: from no store, zero sales to over 1200 sales! 🙏
Do I recommend it to you? Maybe. I don’t think it’s for absolutely everyone though, and that’s a good thing!
Read on to learn:
- What Michelle covers in the course with a sneak peek of what it looks like behind the scenes.
- What I did and didn’t apply from the course
- Making my first sale! A mind-blowing moment!
- And the mindset shifts which made the biggest difference to keep me motivated and stick it out!
Unboxing the course. What a relief!
Oh thank god I don’t have to figure all this out on my own anymore. How many hours of my life will I now be able to live because I don’t have to read 500 articles and sit through even more shouty webinars.
And finally, I have other humans to talk with about this online business stuff! Because you see, no matter how much I’d try to explain, delivery guy Wayne just never got it. Totally perplexed every damn time I’d open the door. Like, really? Is it so radical to live in PJs and lipstick and never leave the house?
Learning the ropes in under a weekend
I jumped in and loved how simple it was. On average, each lesson is no more than 10mins and by the end of each vid, you know exactly what to do next.
Michelle’s all about taking the pressure off and making it easier to grow our businesses, so there’s no fluff or giant hurdles to jump. She won’t tell you to construct a big scary website, nor will she force your eyelids open and make you watch SEO tutorials.
Because when you’re starting out, you need to focus on other things.
Covering the basics in just a few short videos
Here’s what I learned:
- How to create beautiful printables using Apple Pages and Google Docs.
I decided to apply exactly what she was teaching us in InDesign, because I had a copy of the software. Nothing fancy, just the same lines, tables and text boxes.
- How to save printables in the correct formats and sizes. 📋
Don’t ask me why, I was so worried about not doing this right. 🤷♀️
- Opening up an Etsy store.
Way easier than I thought it would be, I love following video tutorials to make this kinda process fool-proof.
- How to create pretty images for your Etsy listings in Picmonkey.
I used her same ideas and techniques in Photoshop – and btw I was not a Photoshop whizz back then.
- Writing not-rubbish listing descriptions. ✍🏽
Writing felt like such a massive block for me before. But it turns out, we don’t need to be J.K Rowling to enchant our lovely customers. Phew!
- Making pins for Pinterest that people actually like pinning.
I had NO clue about this before. I was pinning drawings of cats 😽 and weird clothes. Actually, I still kinda am… but now I also pin pretty printables 🙂
- Using her Pinterest strategy to get traffic to your store so I’d never have to worry about Etsy SEO.
I still don’t know how to do Etsy SEO if I’m being really honest with you. People tend to ask me and I pretend I haven’t heard them. 🙉
- Plus so many more bonus tips to keep building once you’ve mastered the basics.
Here’s a quick video sneak peak of what’s inside:
What I didn’t do
Soooo… remember I told you I’d promised to do whatever Michelle recommended? In true rebel style, I didn’t exactly.
There were a couple of things I chose not to do because I just wasn’t ready to wrap my brain around them.
No doubt, I probably could have grown at 10x the speed if I’d done them! But it didn’t stop me from getting those first 1000 sales:
Gasp! She doesn’t have a blog? No…not until many months after starting my store and I had no strategy for it. Still don’t 😅 (I’m working on it, ok?)
- Grow and leverage an email list.
I did start an email list on Mailchimp, which you might even be on! And if that’s the case, you’ll also know I’ve been too wimpy to email you!! Even though you’re a nice human. In time, in time…
Let’s face it, the idea of growing a blog and email list from scratch can be bloody terrifying if you’re starting out.
It’s really great if you can do that stuff, but my little store proves that you don’t need to right away.
Making my first sale!
🗓️ May 2017
We were live with 2 products, me and my little store! 🎉🎈 A basic habit tracker and an hourly planner.
Nobody knew we existed. 🍃
At first, you think it’ll never happen, I mean who would want to part with their hard-earned dollars for my god-awful…
*Pure panic set in.*
OMG, my products are SO CRAP! Now people are actually looking, I have to make them better. Like, now!
That lead to my first big AHA: make things you’re really proud of, for yourself and for your customers who’re giving you their money and putting their trust in you.
Over the next few weeks the odd sale trickled in here and there.
Climbing mountains, snapping pictures of flowers, making… moneeey?🤔
🗓️ June 2017
In Italy with my partner Matteo, we’d just finished trekking up a gorgeous mountain, near where he grew up in the dolomites.
Driving down the windy mountain roads, I…
…turned on my data. So Romantic.
Well, it did almost seem unfair, like I was doing something… bad.
This business does not fit in with the whole ‘work bloody hard for everything’ model I’d grown up with… But then again, why stubbornly stick to that old model when we have these amazing opportunities now?
How to stay motivated: do it your way.
How did I not give up about 20 times along the way?
It came down to this: use the course as your clear and simple roadmap AND travel there in your own style. 🗺️🧳💅🏽
Here are some examples of how I grew my business to fit my personality:
1. Creating products I need, that I’m personally excited to use.
You don’t have to re-create Michelle’s Life Binder to succeed. A relief, since her binder is already amazing!
At first I thought I had no ideas, that I’d have to make a store full of uninspired calendars (not because calendars are uninspiring, but because of course mine would be the worst ever to hit the internet – classic worrier thinking).
But when I took a closer look, there were loads of things I could make!
I’d already been drawing out my own habit trackers – a total mission btw when you’re using a pencil and ruler!✏️📐💦
…And I’d been clarifying my goals in notebooks.
I was mapping out hourly plans on post-its and scribbling endless todo-lists on the corners of envelopes to clear my head.
From everyday life → → → to products I love using!
And turns out, when you like using your own products, you’ll want to share them with others too.
In part 3, we’ll do an exercise to work out what you could make 🙂
Side note: I reiterate, there’s nothing wrong with making calendars if you love them and can’t wait to put your twist on them! 😀
2. I chose not to watch everyone else 👀
Sigh. Michelle is doing soooo great, everyone on the course is doing soooo great, everyone on Etsy is amaaaazing and then there’s me.
NO! DON’T GO THERE LADY!!
For me, I knew it would massively backfire if I spent any time at all looking at what others were doing for inspiration. That not-good-enough feeling really hinders my creativity when I let it.
So I decided not to inspect everyone’s printables, not to make myself feel sh*t by browsing the Etsy hall of fame, not to copy other people’s style or ideas, even if they looked like they were flying off the virtual shelves!
Because comparison-itis sucks! Now, when I begin to feel the pressure of everyone else’s ideas or movements, I’ll take an Insta/Facebook sabbatical to give myself space to…well, be myself!
Sometimes we just have to put on our blinders and keep experimenting. Put on our blinders and take the pressure off ourselves, especially when we’re starting out.
Plus, incase you didn’t already know, you are SO INTERESTING with all your quirks and the specific ways you do life.
You really don’t need to look at what they’re doing. If you do it your way, your business will be amazing. Especially because it’s a bit different.
Like this Oat M*lk for instance…I have no idea why there’s a lady in a duck costume. But I love it. Customer for life.
3. I decided not to think about making millions selling to millions
I’m an introvert. So for me, thinking about trying to make tonnes of sales to tonnes of people was so… draining, not really motivating at all.
Instead, I chose to think only about the very next person who will enjoy my habit tracker.
For instance: the other day I got a sale from a lady called Renata in Australia.
When I’m de-motivated, I remember this: there are billions of people in the world, yes. At least one of those people will love your thing. So your job is to keep moving and find that one human.
Maybe together, we will make millions 🙂 I think we can do it! But we’ll do it in our own style, in our own time, in a way that feels good for each of us.
In part 3…
I’ll go into:
- The surprising and unsurprising benefits I experienced on this printables journey
- How I use my intuition to decide what’s right for me
- Coming up with your first printable idea – it’s in you already 🙂
P.S. Curious about this course I keep mentioning?
Passive Income with Printables teaches you how to create gorgeous printables the easy way. Then, how to set up a store on Etsy selling your printables and make passive income doing something fun! Michelle, our mentor, has made over $60,000 to date selling her printables and she shares exactly how she did it.
This is my affiliate link, which means if you click through and decide to invest in the course, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Michelle has been really kind giving me this link, because it means I can share my story with you and help more people achieve the same results I have or better!
And it doesn’t have to take away from my client-work time.
I’m not a full-time biz owner just yet, but growth plans are in the works which I’ll surely share with you soon! So right now, it’s super helpful 🙂
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
P.P.S. If you’d like to hear when new posts or printables come out, you can sign up by clicking below.
All emojis in my graphics are Twemoji licensed under the CC-BY 4.0.