One of the most significant upsides to being a content creator (besides being your own boss) is the flexibility in your earning potential. There is no set salary or cap, which can also be a little scary when wondering how you will pay your upcoming bills.
The good news is as you continue to develop your skills, you can create products and services to generate passive income by leveraging business assets. For example, you will develop your own style or brand identity along the way.
Branding has become evident on social media platforms, especially on Instagram. When a feed has a specific look, it’s often referred to as an “aesthetic.”
As creators find their look, they often create photography presets that allow them to quickly replicate the look over and over again. For example, some people go for the dark, moody look, while others might have bright-colored summer vibes.
The creative possibilities are truly endless, and because photography presets are digital, they are easy to sell.
Let’s look at photography presets and why they are one of the great passive income ideas for 2022.
What Are Photography Presets?
Photography presets are basically customized filters, similar to many built-in filters on many camera apps, Instagram, or your phone’s camera app.
Presets can be created in various ways, with Adobe Lightroom being one of the most popular applications. Which makes sense as Lightroom is the industry standard for editing photos.
If you have edited photos in Lightroom, you are likely familiar with the sliders that allow you to change:
The sliders are already adjusted to create a predetermined style with a preset. Using the preset eliminates moving the sliders to mimic the same style. For example, the preset may automatically make your image look vintage or maybe dark and modern.
Anyone can apply your unique preset to their photos with one click, achieving stunning results. One thing to note is even with the preset, images might require minor adjustments to dial in the preset to its full potential. Every photo is different, and results may vary due to lighting conditions, camera settings, etc.
A huge benefit of using photography presets is that they dramatically increase your workflow’s efficiency, which is why they have become popular amongst content creators who don’t want to spend the time creating their own.
What is Passive Income?
A passive income stream is generated from a product or service that requires minimal effort beyond the initial setup. Photography presets are a great example of passive income.
Once the presets are created, there is no additional work to be done with the product. Of course, you will need to set up an eCommerce page to sell the photography presets.
No income stream is entirely hands-off. There will be times when website maintenance or answering customer questions is required.
How to Create and Sell Photography Presets
Selling photography presets is a relatively simple process, and anyone can do it. The beauty of this business model is it requires minimal setup time and money.
With so many photography niches, the opportunities to expand are infinite. Some popular examples include:
- Food photography presets
- Wedding photography presets
- Travel photography presets
- Drone photography presets
Of course, you need to create the presets that you will sell. You might even have some ready to go from your current workflow.
Basic Steps for Creating Presets
1—Find Your Style
Do not go into Lightroom without having an idea of a theme. When someone is looking for presets, they are after a specific style. So, creating a product representative of the artistic touch you add to your photos is always best.
The photography presets should be authentic; you don’t want it to look like you went on a preset creation frenzy.
A good start is to look at your existing content and ask yourself:
- Do my photos have a theme?
- Is there a market for my style?
- What can be improved upon to make the theme better?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas; you want each preset to be unique while still being cohesive with the other variations in the bundle.
2—Create the Photography Presets
Once you have edited a series of photos that fit the theme, it’s time to convert them into photography presets.
- In Lightroom, add all of the photos into a collection.
- Now, click on each image and then hit the … in the upper right corner. (It may also say ‘Preset’ depending on what version you’re running).
- A box will now appear, prompting you to create a preset name.
- Click save, and now you have a preset.
- Presets are located under ‘Presets’ > ‘User Presets’
Adobe also offers a brief video tutorial on how to create photography presets.
3—Prepare the Photography Presets for Sale
To sell your preset collection, they need to be saved in a ZIP file. This file is what will be sent to the customer via email upon successful checkout.
How to create a ZIP file:
- Locate and select the preset files on your desktop.
- For MAC: right-click, and then select ‘Compress.’
- For Windows: right-click, and then select ‘Send to’> ‘Compressed (zipped folder).’
- After creating the ZIP folder, save the file with an easily identifiable name.
For example, use your name or brand followed by the pack’s name.
4—Sell Your Presets
Alright, you have identified your style, created presets, packaged them up, and now it’s time to sell them! There are many avenues from which you can choose to sell your products. Some of the options include:
- Building a website
- Selling through a Shopify Store
- Listing presets on digital marketplaces like Etsy
The best approach is to build your own website because this reduces fees and gives you more control over the process. You don’t need to be a website developer; there are website builders like WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix.
Your website should be captivating, clean, and focused on the results your preset pack will produce, Include before and after examples, a good title, and a description.
Here is an example of my store.
Ready-to-build websites are a great choice because they offer features like built-in plugins for eCommerce stores, email marketing, SEO, and much more.
5—Marketing and Building Your Passive Income Stream
As you have probably learned as a creator, you will wear many hats, and now is the time to put your marketing hat on. Photography presets are visual, making them a more straightforward product to market.
The best tool you have is your social media accounts. There is a significant chance that at least a portion of your audience will become customers because they want to create photos like yours. Use your reach to sell your presets.
The goal is to capture their attention and get them to visit your website. They may even buy multiple bundles depending on what you offer.
Instagram has become a popular outlet for selling photography presets because of its visual nature and built-in business tools.
Can I Make Money Selling Photography Presets?
Absolutely! Some creators are making six figures from selling their presets. The key to success is creating stunning presets, and an efficient sales funnel. The best photography presets will speak to anyone trying to replicate or build off your creator aesthetic.
Ready to Start Selling Photography Presets?
The content creator economy offers numerous ways to make passive income. This extra money can help to fuel inspiration for new projects or be saved for a rainy day.
If you are looking to diversify your revenue streams, the Lost Creator Academy teaches you everything you need to know about selling your own product.
Aside from teaching you how to become a world-class content creator, I cover topics like:
- Choosing a product
- Getting your website up and running
- Creating a digital store
- Marketing best practices
- Email sequences
Interested in content creation but don’t know where to start? Check out my brand new 10 Day Creator Challenge here!
Let’s get lost in the next one!