6 CREATIVE BUSINESSES YOU CAN RUN REMOTELY (other than V.A.)
It’s no secret that I’m an advocate for working for myself. I love being my own boss and not having to answer to anyone. It’s been over five years since I quit my day job and I’ve never looked back.
Over the years, I’ve learned a ton and my business model has evolved a lot in the process. I’ve gone from selling my handmade soap at craft shows to being a business coach to being a content creator (with several odd jobs in between).
The biggest lesson I took from all my trials and errors is that choosing the right business model is everything. For me, that means having a micro business that I can run from anywhere in the world using just my laptop. This is my definition of freedom. Working wherever and whenever I want while doing what I love.
In the past five years, I’ve been able to explore many different passions thanks to this business model. Simply put, it leaves me with more time than did commuting to a 9-5 job or having a brick and mortar type of business, where I’d have to be present all the time. This means I get to be creative and pursue whatever brings me joy.
It’s becoming increasingly popular to adapt to this freedom-based business model. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are looking for their ticket to this lifestyle. And many are stuck because they’re not sure what they could do to make money while utilizing their creativity.
So I wanted to write this post for those of you who are still wondering what you could do to earn money while working remotely from anywhere. I realize that most people tend to always start this type of list with Virtual Assistant because it’s the easiest place to start. However, since you’ve probably already heard about being a V.A. a million times, I won’t bore you. I will specifically focus on businesses that appeal to those who are creative at heart and wish to turn their real passion into profit.
1) Web Designer
To be a web designer, all you need is creativity and willingness to learn. I used to think you need years of schooling to become a website designer, but that’s really not true. If you’re a quick learner and have an eye for design, you can master this skill in no time without going back to school.
I realized this when I first became an entrepreneur and needed a website. I was starting out, so I did pretty much everything myself at the beginning to save money. At the time, it seemed like a pain, but now I’m so grateful for that because I acquired so many new skills!
I’ve redone my own website many times and changed hosting platforms at least four times. That gave me so much experience in creating websites that now I offer that as one of my services. As with any business, it’s best to pick a niche so you can be an expert in your particular field. For example, after all my experiences, I found Squarespace to be the best platform for hosting websites, so I focus on Squarespace web designs specifically. You can do the same thing with anything you like.
This is another one of my passions, but only recently I started monetizing it. I always had this idea that if you chose to be a photographer, you needed a physical studio to work from, so clients could come see you for photos. Not true! There are so many other avenues to make money from photography without a physical location.
One of my favourite ways is selling photos through stock sites. With an increasing demand for all kinds of stock photography, anyone can be a photographer. It’s fun and comes with zero stress (in my opinion). You simply take photos, edit them and upload them to sites like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock and then wait for the money to come in.
I have to warn you though, this isn’t a very quick way to start earning lots of money. It takes time to build your profile. It also requires that you really master your skill of photography as well as the use of relevant keywords. It took me some time to get good enough before those sites started accepting my photos. However, I do this purely for fun and I don’t expect it to pay my bills. At least not yet, maybe some time in the future.
There are plenty of people who are already making a living this way, so don’t think that it’s not possible. If you’d like to learn how to do this better, there’s a really awesome class on Skillshare you can take, which will teach you all you need to know to make money from your photos. You can use this link to get 2 months free! That gives you plenty of time to go over the class and many more. Once you’re there, just look up Photos that sell: Passive income with the photos you already have PART I. Make sure to check the following series too.
This is another creative business idea that’s fun and fulfilling. Again, you can easily run this business totally remotely if you wish. There are a lot of options in this field, so don’t limit yourself.
You could draw and create surface pattern designs for example. All you need is your laptop and software like Illustrator or Photoshop. Think how fun it would be to see your designs printed on things like notebooks, leggings or décor pillows. Of course, the list goes on.
You could also create illustrations on paper and scan them into your computer (which is what I currently do). Then you could sell your drawings as digital prints on sites like Etsy, Creative Market or Society6. Again, there are so many ways you could make money as an artist. All you need to do is explore and pick what you’d like to do most. I recommend checking out this class for more ideas on this topic: Freelancer Tips: How To Sell and Showcase Your Art Online.
By now you’ve probably caught on that this list a bit biased. I’m listing all the things that I do myself :). Well, the best thing I can do is tell you what I know!
Writing is just as open to different possibilities as any form of art. You can either write fiction books, non-fiction books or become a copywriter. This falls under the digital marketing umbrella, so it can serve a lot of people. As you know by now, there are plenty of people running online businesses. Even the businesses with physical locations need an online presence.
Do you think that all those business owners are expert writers? Umm…nope. Many of them are looking to outsource the copywriting to experts because they have no clue how to do it themselves. So if you’ve got what it takes in this area, know that there’s a lot of opportunities to make money from writing. If you need some extra guidance, check out Jeff Goins' site. He’s got plenty of helpful tips on how to become a well-paid writer.
5) Social Media Content Creator
Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means any business owner who wants to stay in the game needs to be present on at least one social media platform. However, many of them are very reluctant to use it because they’re not very good at it.
Mastering social media isn’t easy and many entrepreneurs simply don’t have time to do it or don’t even want to. That’s why many of them started to outsource this task to someone else. This is awesome because it’s another opportunity for you to make money online!
Creating content for social media can be fun and rewarding. Plus it lets you use your artistic skills too. When clients hire you for this job, they’ll often want you to design graphics as well as create the caption for each post. It’s pretty easy to do though since all you really need to know is how to use tools like Canva or Easil. Knowing Photoshop is a bonus but not a necessity.
What’s great about this field is that it can be applied to any niche. You could be a wellness coach, a business coach, a life coach, a dating coach and anything else you can think of. If you’re a good listener and can give good advice, you might want to think about this option.
What’s even better is that you can package your expertise into an online product that you can sell over and over again. Many coaches nowadays make most of their money from selling online courses. The beauty of that is that you only have to create a course once, then you can sell it over and over again. You can add to it and update it regularly, but that doesn’t require as much work as creating it in the first place. If you've always wanted to create your own course but don't know where to start, check out Katherine Hocking's E-COURSE LAUNCH FORMULA.
If that’s not something you’re interested in doing though, you can still make good money by coaching people one on one using Skype or something similar.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to work from anywhere. If you like to travel a lot, all you need is a Wi-Fi connection and off you go!
Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you started your freelance business yet or are you still in the planning process? What type of business are you in? Comment below!