An increasing number of people are venturing into online entrepreneurship, and platforms like Etsy have become highly competitive. Still, we strongly believe that there has never been a better time to achieve life-changing financial success.
Australian couple Brett and Daisy are the perfect example of how print-on-demand can help build a dream lifestyle. By the end of 2023, with just under a year of dedicated effort, the pair achieved monthly profits well into six figures.
With the start of 2024, Brett and Daisy are considering leaving their old lives behind, traveling to tropical climates, and taking their print-on-demand business with them.
If you’re excited to make 2024 the year when you achieve similar success, you’ll definitely find their story both inspiring and captivating.
Daisy Discovers POD And Spearheads The Business
For the last eight years, Brett has been involved in marketing and advertising campaigns for various corporate eCommerce businesses.
“I’ve worked with many different corporate clients through agencies, and I’m still employed full-time by an Australian company that has its own brand,” says Brett. “I run the Facebook ads, manage the financial side of that operation, and do marketing.”
Although it’s fair to say Brett has an extensive background in eCommerce and print on demand, he admits that he only considered opening his own POD store after his partner Daisy suggested the idea back in January 2023.
“I’m a disability support worker,” Daisy explained, “but I was searching for a job or business idea that would eventually allow me to travel without being tied down. I knew I wanted to start doing something online, and discovered print on demand after watching several YouTube videos on the topic.”
Overcoming A Major Design Roadblock
Brett had plenty of experience in the world of eCommerce but had never sold any physical products himself. Meanwhile, Daisy had plenty of enthusiasm but didn’t understand the finer points of graphic design.
“I’d only dealt with advertising and marketing for big brands, so I had no idea what kinds of products would sell well on a platform like Etsy,” Brett admitted before adding, “My design experience was also limited to making online ads, rather than creating physical items like t-shirts.”
Daisy also admitted to not knowing much about product design and having to research and find her best designs through trial and error.
Despite those significant obstacles, Brett and Daisy enthusiastically got to work creating an Etsy shop. However, the pair didn’t sell products in substantial volumes until they rethought their strategy.
A Change Of Strategy Makes Over $200,000
Although Brett and Daisy made a couple of early sales, the pair’s fortunes really began to change after they shifted their mindset.
“I watched several YouTube videos about product research,” says Daisy. “The best one was by a content creator called Simply Shawna. Eventually, we had set in motion a step-by-step process that involved niche research, finding out what products were selling well, and that kind of thing.”
According to Brett, everything changed after implementing the techniques they’d seen on YouTube.
“In the beginning, we were simply listing whatever design ideas came into our heads. Of course, we didn’t make any real sales with that approach. Once everything fell into place, we made $400 in April, $800 in May, and around $2,000 in June.”
For print-on-demand newcomers, those are some solid sales figures. However, Brett and Daisy continued to make enormous gains, eventually reaching an impressive $205,000 in revenue in a single month.
The Secret Recipe For Success
“The first big profit jumps came from choosing very specific niches and audiences with low competition and no saturation,” Brett noted. “We’d modify our bestselling designs for completely different audiences or add value to what was already out there. Tools like Sales Samurai and Insight Factory were also a huge help during the SEO and niche selection process.”
Meanwhile, Daisy began listing as many products on Etsy as humanly possible.
“We ensured we had a lot of volume to give us the best chance of making sales. Some stores only have a few listings, but we added around 2,000 in just eight months. At one point, I was uploading 50 listings per day. There was zero work/life balance. I basically spent six months to a year permanently uploading to Etsy.”
Experimenting With Mockups
Although that sounds like a staggering amount of design work, Brett and Daisy took a unique approach to product mockups that boosted the number of listings they could add to their Etsy shop.
“For each new design, we’d list two or three identical versions but change the mockup style. Sometimes a mockup with certain colors would sell really well, whereas the same product in a different setting, with different background colors, didn’t sell at all,” said Brett.
Brett’s experience running online ad campaigns clearly inspired this split testing system. After some time, Daisy had a better idea of which mockup styles would work best and could cut back to a single listing for each product.
“For beginners with no data, adding multiple listings of the same product can work well,” Daisy noted.
We fully agree, and it can’t be overstated that one of the keys to print-on-demand success is mastering the art of split testing and interpreting the data that results.
Making $18,000 In A Single Day!
As Brett and Daisy threw around some incredible sales numbers, we were keen to hear about the pair’s experience of their first holiday season. Q4 is typically a period where experienced POD sellers make their biggest financial gains, and sure enough, according to Brett, it was a struggle to keep up with demand.
“It was pretty crazy. We were underprepared for sure. We do a lot of custom products, and managing the orders needs to be done manually and can’t be automated. One day, we received 253 orders, and 200 of those were for custom items.”
Daisy was equally shocked by the holiday rush, especially regarding fulfillment.
“We had to have all of those items designed to be ready to ship the next day. It was crazy. We have a virtual assistant, but we still had to ask a few friends to help us get the orders out. I suppose I just didn’t realize how big the business would grow. I didn’t for a moment think our sales would double, and then all of a sudden, they doubled again.”
“When we started, we couldn’t imagine processing 50 orders a day. Yet, we averaged 120 daily sales through November 2023 alone.”
Brett and Daisy say they were astounded by the results of a successful Q4, which is unsurprising, given that at one point, they made $18,000 in a single day!
“We were both still working at our full-time jobs. It was tough, but in the end, it worked out great. We made a huge amount of profit. However, I know I’m hiring more people when we do another holiday season.”
Overcoming Self-Doubt And Embracing Challenges
As much as we love hearing about those incredible 5-figure sales days, we must point out that it takes an incredible work ethic to get there. Brett and Daisy have worked incredibly hard on their business and faced plenty of difficulties in the early days.
“I think the greatest challenge was getting consistent daily sales. All of a sudden, it just began to happen, and after that, we just did more and more. It also took me a while to overcome the mindset that suddenly, it might just stop working,” admits Brett.
“Print on demand can definitely be stressful in the beginning. You work eight hours daily creating products and listing them, but after several months, you still don’t see results. It can be difficult to stay positive, and it’s so tempting to quit,” adds Daisy.
Brett and Daisy joked that in the beginning, they would set their phone notifications at full volume so they could listen out for the reassuring cha-ching sound that signifies a new sale.
“When it happened, we would do a little celebration dance and try to stay motivated. Luckily, we’re now making so many sales that we have to keep our notifications muted,” laughs Brett.
Perfecting The Business Model
After hearing about Brett and Daisy’s incredible first year in business, we couldn’t help but ask about their experience with Printify and how it helped them grow an online business.
“Without Printify, we wouldn’t even have a business. Using Printify means we don’t have to buy or store any stock, and we never have to stress about ordering items ahead of time. Just paying for what you sell makes it so easy to get started, and integrating everything into Etsy is also really straightforward,” said Brett.
Pricing Strategies And The Importance Of Tracking
Brett and Daisy found their feet and created a template for success after watching as many tutorial videos on YouTube as possible. However, the pair want to stress that it’s essential not to just watch POD content passively but to take action and never give up.
In addition, Brett’s background in online advertising meant that from day one, he was keenly aware of maximizing profit.
“I think it’s vital for Etsy store owners to understand their finances. I see so many businesses that have no idea whether they’re profitable or not and how to correctly set prices. Understanding profit and loss is pretty boring, but it’s a really important skill.”
From day one, Brett tracked all of the profits and losses daily. It helped show the seasoned marketer whether his Etsy ads were efficient and when to pull back so that he and Daisy could divert money into different strategies.
“I have marketing experience due to my background in eCommerce advertising, and I hate the idea of running ourselves into the ground because we’re setting prices too low or not budgeting for ads correctly. I can’t stress how important that concept is to master.”
Cheers To A Brighter Future
Make It Happen Today!
2023 has been a whirlwind of a year for Brett and Daisy, who have built a highly successful POD business while still working full-time. Now that the holiday season is over, and they’ve entered 2024, the pair have had time to reflect on what comes next.
“Daisy would like to quit her job fairly soon. We may try working in the Philippines when we travel there. Our print-on-demand business will allow us to stay longer than we normally would, as we then can both work from anywhere on our laptops. We may also go to Thailand. We’ll have so much more freedom when we can work while we travel,” says Daisy.
Brett has plenty of ideas about growing their online business even further.
“I want to expand the Shopify side of things and get onto TikTok Shop using my existing skill set. I want to automate as much of the business as possible so that I can concentrate on marketing. I think a lot about early retirement and building wealth. You can’t really do that as a traditional employee, so I’m very focused on growing the business over the next three years.”
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