· ·

Create Passive Income on Etsy: A Beginners Guide For Coaches

A person holding a mobile with a mini trolley on the desk with miniature boxed packages saying Online shopping

Are you a coach or therapist looking to add semi and passive income to your business? I’m sure you’ve seen lots of other coaches / entrepreneurs sharing their digital products and successes they’ve had on Etsy.

Perhaps you’re introverted, exhausted with the online hustle or, like me, have to manage chronic health issues. Passive income is a brilliant option and is a great way to release some of that pressure to have to show up day after day when your energy is on the floor.

I began setting up my Etsy store a year ago, but in the true unpredictability of chronic health I wasn’t able to grow to what I wanted. But – I’m back working on it and wanted to share this guide from the perspective of a relative newcomer.

I’ll share some information on the wonderful mentors who have taught me how to set my store up, create beautiful listings and templates to sell.

*Affiliate Disclosure: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something via this link then I may receive a small commission. This doesn't affect the price you pay for the product.

If you have any questions, reach out for a chat [email protected] or check out my other blogs

Ready to open your own Etsy store? Get 40 free listings here!

Why Passive Income is Great for Introverts / those with Chronic illness

Living with chronic illness or being more introverted can bring with it unique challenges, especially in the relentless online world of coaches and entrepreneurs.

Passive income – or semi passive income – can help you grow your business without adding even more daily pressure onto you.

I’m not going to say it’s “easy money” because it takes work, but it does give you options when your energy isn't allowing you to show up or have multiple clients at one time.

For things like digital products and Etsy, I would say it’s more semi-passive income. There can be a bit of a misconception that you do a few little things and then “BAM!” that money in your sleep is happening. 

Yes that can be the case for a few (especially if you already have a large audience to sell to). But for the most part it is going to require you to continue to market, update and create new products.

In the early stages it’s a lot more effort, but again you can be flexible with this which is why it’s such a good option for introverts / low energy people who manage health issues.

Once your store is more established and products automated it becomes much less work which is amazing!

I’ve seen so many people do brilliantly well with Etsy and after that initial push are seeing these rewards, so as long as you’re patient and willing to do the work you could also be seeing similar results.

The main benefits I can see for setting up an Etsy store, especially if your energy levels or health makes your life more difficult are:

Flexibility and Autonomy

I’m guessing you came into coaching / entrepreneurship to not be tied to working hours set by others. But, what often happens is that you end up working even more hours when you start your business! Selling digital products on Etsy is another great way to pull back even more autonomy.

As your shop grows and your income increases, you get to choose how much 1-1 work, or other energy consuming parts of your business, you do. 

It also offers even more flexibility as you can work on products in your PJ’s under a blanket on the sofa at whatever time of day! Sounds good doesn't it?!

Less Energy Output

As above, this kind of passive income can save you a lot of time and energy that you’re currently having to put into your business, especially if you’re a coach / service provider.

The digital product part of your business can be used to replace your 1-1 work, and once you have your first few products up and running, the marketing aspect (creating mock ups of products and writing descriptions or posts for socials), will become much easier and quicker because you’ll have a stash of templates you can repurpose over and over.

It’s also great if your health or energy is low for a longer period of time. As a counsellor as well, I find it very difficult to see clients when my ME/CFS is playing up, but can sometimes do a little work on my products.

Diversification / Ability to Pivot

It’s always a good idea when you run a business (whether you have health / energy issues or not), to have more than one avenue to make money.

If you are solely relying on 1-1 work, it can be more difficult to remain consistent with engagement and audience growth strategies. 

I am very fortunate that the clients I work with all understand that occasionally I may need to rearrange our calls. They can do the same without a late notice fee. A lot of my clients now tend to also have ME/CFS so they really do get it!

But, if I went into a prolonged “crash” and was unable to do any counselling work at all, I would lose a significant income if I don’t pivot and diversify my business.

I love to pivot! I’m not risk averse in terms of giving something a go and if I get to the point where I think that what I’m doing isn’t sustainable I pivot. 

Faceless Marketing

I spoke about visibility as an introvert in a recent post. I touched upon faceless marketing and how this can be a massive relief for introverts or people who don’t want to be full-on visible online.

With digital products you can create a business name – totally different from your own. You can set up a store with products that are totally unrelated to the work you do as a coach or service provider!

You can post videos and images of the product itself rather than you! With paid ads you’ll achieve the growth more quickly, but if you do have a following you can set up a separate profile and direct your followers straight over!

Getting Started on Etsy

Etsy is an online marketing place for creatives, entrepreneurs, artists and small business owners with products to sell.

Setting up your Etsy shop is pretty straightforward, and the platform has plenty of guides to support you along the way.

If you’re looking to sell Done-For-You type digital products and are looking to set things up really quickly, take a look at Evelyn Weiss & Jessa Bellman who have a large collection of PLR digital templates that you can customise and sell.

They have in depth training to help you get set up and on your way. But if you’re happy to explore yourself, just begin by claiming a store – you can get 40 free listings if you use my referral (I get 40 as well, and this is something you can also do once you're up and running!)

Choose Your Niche

This may be perfectly straight forward for you if you know exactly what you’re selling. But, if you’re unsure, brain dump all of your ideas. Then, create another brain dump of all of your skills, qualities, experience. 

Once you have this, think about whether you want it to complement your current business (for example, selling therapy worksheets if you’re a therapist). Or, if you want this to be completely different. Perhaps it’s a passion project – a hobby that you love (for example, selling digital art if you love to draw and design).

You can search Etsy for current trends to help you focus on the areas that seem profitable, or search the marketplace for inspiration. 

Create Your Etsy Shop

To get started, click to claim your free listings and head over to Etsy. You will also receive an email from Etsy and they take you through steps to get help you get set up.

Name Your Shop

You may choose to stick with your name, a business name or something that feels good for you. Try to make the name descriptive or that will resonate with your target audience. One of my stores is callede “Your Biz Tools” as it’s aimed at entrepreneurs / female coaches & therapists.

First Listing 

As part of the set up it asks you to upload your first product. You can do this and put it into draft if you just want to get things set up. See below for creating listings.

You’ll be prompted to add your bank details and then you’ll be able to work on setting your storefront up!

Create The Look of Your Shop

Time for the fun part! Create a storefront that’s engaging, clear and represents your brand and your products. If you join Secret Weapon you’ll get some brilliant templates to create the header for your shop. Otherwise, head to Canva and create a banner that’s 1200 x 300. Canva themselves have lots of templates you can choose from.

Take a look at my store for an idea of what a banner can look like – Your Biz Tools 

Shop Manager Dashboard

This is the hub of your store. Once you log in you will see the stats for your shop – how many people have viewed or visited your store, as well as orders and revenue.

It also gives you a checklist of things that need your attention, opportunities to speak to someone at Etsy for support with growing your store and more.

It’s from inside the dashboard that you can access your listings and add new products. You can manage finances, integrations, orders, messages and more!

Create Your Product Listings

The listings you create to show on Etsy marketplace are like a virtual shop window! It’s important to use good, high quality images and mock ups to display your products.

Creating videos are also encouraged as they stand out more to potential customers. I tend to add effects to a static image in Canva, or a scrolling effect of different images or pages of the product.

Once you’ve added the images, you need to then write a description of the product – this is your sales pitch! Use your copywriting skills to create an enticing description that will pique your audience's interest.

For me that would be directed towards other entrepreneurs / service providers. If I was listing some templates for social media, I would include language like “Save time & Energy with these beautiful ready-made social media posts”

You also need to clearly outline what the digital product is and its features. Perhaps you offer different sizes or styles. Or, you have a template option that is fully customisable that they can use to create a branded lead magnet or journal etc.

If you’re not a fan of shouting about how great your products or services are – now is the time to push through that! You need to let potential customers know why they need your product and what is so good about yours! To be honest, I find this easier because my store is based on itself, not me as a person.

Create Offers & Attract Loyal Customers

Firstly, be confident in who you are marketing your shop towards. If you’re a coach / therapist for example, ensure that it’s clear how they can find you on social media or your website.

Encourage them to sign up to emails by offering free gifts, and use these to nurture. Potentially this could mean that your audience can grow alongside your shop!

Offer exclusive discounts to those who follow your shop or buy from you. Repeat customers are a treat! There is a marketing part in the shop manager dashboard where you can create exclusive offers for people who favourite items or buy from you.

Product Creation and Design

As mentioned earlier I use Canva to create my designs. There is of course the option for PLR products (like Secret Weapon) to help you save time and energy. Or, if you are looking to sell finished products not templates, you could buy products from shops like mine to revamp and sell on as downloadables.

For example, I sell journal templates. With these you can fully customise and then sell the finished product. You’re not permitted to sell on as a template (that’s what PLR memberships provide). 

Be really strict with your time here though. It can be too easy to spend hours (days) working on things and then feel like you’re never getting anywhere with filling up your store.

Ensure that your digital product is easy to use, with clear instructions. For each of my products I include a PDF with download instructions and links.

If you’re creating and selling templates, remember to only use the free version of Canva for these, because not everyone has the paid version.

Create good quality products, and ones that you know people are looking for.

Be prepared to respond to any queries from customers and potential customers, and have a FAQ section set up – this will save you time I promise!

You can choose to set up ads through Etsy and they have lots of tools and mini trainings you can watch to help you get set up as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Final Thoughts

Creating passive income by selling digital products can be a great option for introverted and low-energy entrepreneurs like you. 

When you create and sell digital downloads that are tailored to your expertise or passions, you can increase your business opportunities without compromising your energy.

Have patience – things do take time in the early days until you get established and have a good number of listings.

Be consistent, but be mindful that you’re not overloading yourself. 

Get yourself familiar with the Etsy shop manager, use their tools and resources to help you grow your store!

I'm not a pro with Etsy yet, but these were the steps that I've taken. Once you get into the swing of things, become organised with your products and selling tools, you'll be able to grow your store and start to get those notifications pop up on your phone (This never stops feel exciting!)

For more in depth information on selling on Etsy, you can also check out Sadie's posts – she has lots of really helpful articles in her blog

Happy creating – please share your shop below once you're up and running!

If this post helped or you enjoyed reading it, please share one of the images below as it really helps my blog – Thank You!

Open laptop on a desk with equipment around it
A woman sat on sofa with open laptop. Black & White image
Lady sat on floor with open laptop resting on legs.

Meet Lynsey

Lynsey Wall, Coach & Mentor at Coach Writes. About me - A headshot of Lynsey smiling. Wearing a black t-shirt, blue framed glasses. Office walls behind her.

Hey there! I'm Lynsey, a coach, counsellor, and mentor for low energy, introverted or low confident female coaches & small business owners. With over 5 years’ experience of running businesses, and over a decade as a tutor and trainer, I've learned the value of effective time management that energises you through working with your energy.

I've lived with chronic illness – ME/CFS since 2011 and since then I re-trained as a counsellor, and achieved a distinction for my MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice; all while running 4 businesses! I want that for you as well & it is possible with the right support and pathway to success.

Improving your mindset, finding acceptance and developing a solution-focused approach to achieving your goals is my passion. Blending mental health support where needed, as well as a supportive space and methods to manage your work more effectively.

If you'd like to know more about working with me, you can email [email protected] or find me on socials (links in the menu)

Have you seen my online store Your Coach Tools? Find DFY templates & more!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *