Stable Income

How to productize your motion design services and diversify your income for more time, predictability, and cash flow

The holy grail of freelancing lies in diversified income streams

By Shea Lord |
October 22nd, 2022
Stable Income

How to productize your motion design services and diversify your income for more time, predictability, and cash flow

The holy grail of freelancing lies in diversified income streams

By Shea Lord |
October 22nd, 2022

Read time: 4 minutes

The biggest fear around freelancing is not having a reliable income.

Inbound marketing, outbound strategies— nothing is bulletproof. Freelancing is risky. (Though I would argue so is being employed by someone else…)

  • Putting your money in stocks is risky, but we’ve accepted as a society it’s the most responsible way to save for retirement.
  • A 401k is low-risk because smart brokerage companies know how to diversify your investment portfolio.
  • Likewise, as freelancers, we can minimize our risk of financial instability with a diversified income.

One way to do that is by productizing your services.

Productized services have 4 core properties.

  1. Defined scope (automated or limited)
  2. Defined timeline
  3. Defined price
  4. Defined outcome

Thanks to the clear definitions of the product, it’s easier to sell and easier to deliver.

Motion products for individuals

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, and look at it from a few new angles.

1. Sell project byproducts on a digital marketplace

You’re already making them. If you can set aside time to extract and package them, you’ll slowly grow a massive library of elements. They can be packaged and sold on, Envato, Motion Array, IconScout (LottieFiles) etc.

  • Vector Illustrations, rigged characters, animated Icons, Lottie animations, animation presets, transitions, texture and matte assets, .mogrts, et cetera.
  • Price: $5-$30

2. Upsell: asset bundles

As your library of byproduct assets grows, start bundling them together to create a slightly more expensive and useful product.

  • Price: $15-$50
  • Tip: check out the top-sellers for ideas. Create seasonal packages with a few tweaks. (Hat tip: John Flip and Motion Hatch)

3. Create niche assets

Make niche-specific customizable assets targeting content creators: YouTubers, streamers, course creators, amateur filmmakers.

  • Lower-thirds, subscriber animations, course templates, green screen backgrounds, 3D sets, logo animation templates
  • Niche ideas: make-up channels, art streamers, gamers, financial, health, fitness
  • Price: low-ticket ($20-$100)

4. Skip the marketplaces

Sell direct through a paid ad campaign on Meta or YouTube. Unless you have a big organic following. If you’re a big shot, or plan on becoming one, sell to them for free.

  • You can run campaigns for as little as $5. The tighter the niche, the cheaper they are to target.
  • Hook-Gap-Solution: “Want to launch your streaming channel but don’t know where to start? Here’s your cheat code. Skip the n00b phase and get a pro channel style with this bundle of must-have streaming assets. Fully customizable. Professionally built by me. Crazy cheap.”
  • Tips: Show off your product in the ad. Don’t be clever, be clear. Don’t get fancy, be real.

The price is [cost of ad spend required to get a sale] + 20%.

  • Will require testing + good product-market fit.
  • Once you get the formula right, it will make money automatically 24/7.

5. Upsell: Help them customize it for their brand

Someone buys your assets and decides it’s too much work, they don’t have time, or they want a tweak they don’t know how to make. All you need is a landing page that offers three tiers for customization with clear definitions for scope, timeline, and price.

  • Level 1: Customer gives you pre-defined assets to fill in the template. You drag-n-drop and export.
  • Level 2: Add in a 4 sec logo animation. 0-1 revisions.
  • Level 3: All of the above plus a larger asset bundle.

Generate bigger leads: “Looking for something more? Let’s chat.”

Motion products for businesses

6. Content Packages

Prescribe the content, the style/complexity, and the requirements from the client to make it happen in a specific timeline for a specific price. Whatever you can make in a day’s work. Price: day rate x2.

  • Example: 1x 60sec video, plus 5 social posts (extracted from the explainer)
  • Style: uses a template and generic assets you have pre-built/rigged
  • Requirements: Brand logo, fonts, 200-word script, photo/video of the product.

7. Build packages for paid ads

Build presets and templates specifically for online advertisers.

  • Peruse the Facebook Ads Library for ideas
  • Upsell to retainers for regular batch ad creation (one of these makes me $6k per month for about 10hrs/week)

8. Upsell: Campaign management retainers

  • Learn media buying or team up with a media buyer to start an SMMA.
  • Help create and manage those paid ads for a fixed monthly cost.
  • Important: to keep this super limited in scope, the client needs to provide the strategy for the campaign.

Generate bigger leads: “Want a pro to craft your campaign? Let’s chat.”

9. Toolkit Packages for Clients

Immediately upgrade the work of a business’s internal team by building an After Effects or .mogrt toolkit.

  • A generic kit might have: intro, outro, logo, bug, L3, date block, source block, quote screen, chapter title
  • Consider what kind of client you’re targeting.
  • Build it once, alter it for different industries.

Generate bigger leads: “Need something more custom? Let’s chat.”

Motion design training

10. Mini-course

Take a project you’re proud of and break it down. Reverse-engineer the process for the viewer. Think: Holdframe workshops.

  • Make this cheap enough to be an impulse buy.

11. Course Bundles

Build enough of these workshops and bundle them for a discounted price.

  • Total value: $150. Bought together: just $89.

12. Full Course

Use a platform like Kajabi or Teachable to launch and scale your own course.

  • Utilize your unique perspective on your work or the industry
  • Target students a few steps behind your own journey

13. Upsell to in-person coaching or group training

For scalability, use a one-to-many model.

  • Group coaching allows you to work with more people.
  • That said, some businesses will make it well worth your time to make an on-site visit and work with their internal team

“None of you are going to do this.”
—Chris Do, 2018, to me and a room of about 40 workshop attendees after explaining the concept of productization

Some of us did. Godspeed, y’all.