Society6 is probably one of the most popular print-on-demand sites. It’s no wonder that some of the most talented artists such as Andreas Lie and Evie Seo choose to sell their artwork there. In fact, according to their blog, the top sellers are making more than $5,000 in a month, so it’s definitely possible to be making money on Society6 as a freelance graphic designer.
Steps to Making Money on Society6
Society6 used to be all about art prints. However, they have since added over 30 products, from apparel to floor pillows. Many customers have praised Society6 for their product quality and customer service, so rest assured that anything you upload will be well taken care of.
Society6 also runs free worldwide shipping promotions, which is great if you have a global fanbase. Even if you don’t, such promotions can boost your sales by making your designs more affordable to a wider audience.
Unlike other sites that require you to reach a minimum payment threshold, Society6 pays you every month through PayPal no matter how much you make that month, but note that it might take some time for a transaction to clear. Nevertheless, seeing that commission paycheck in your account will definitely increase your motivation and confidence as a graphic designer. Also, you retain all rights to your work so you can sell them elsewhere with no issue.
Unfortunately, with so many artists on Society6 it’s hard to get noticed — let alone make money — unless you are good at marketing and promotion. Based on my experience I find that designs based around pop culture and trends tend to be more successful, but don’t be afraid to find your own niche.
If a design you created is really good or popular it might even get featured on Society6’s main page, with some of the best pieces promoted on their social media as well (with over 700,000 followers on Instagram and 10 million monthly viewers on Pinterest).
BUILDING A COMMUNITY ON SOCIETY6
Society6 is about building a community of artists and designers, so why not be part of it by liking and commenting on other people’s work? Like other forms of social media, the more active you are on Society6, the more followers, promotions, and sales you can gain.
My Society is a good way to discover fellow artists, follow their work, and get up to date with the latest news. Society6 regularly runs showcases and collections to promote artists and designers. It’s a wealth of inspiration and will motivate you to create more successful work.
UPLOADING YOUR WORK TO SOCIETY6
You can sign up for a Society6 account right now. However, verification is required to sell your work on their products and get paid. It is a one-time process that must be completed through PayPal and costs $1. As such, you need a PayPal account with at least some money in it. Once you are verified, it’s time to upload your designs and start making money.
Society6 has recently updated the interface for their Artist Studio. While everything looks cleaner, functionality wise there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. You have the option to adjust the default markup and control the prices of your Art Prints, Framed Art Prints, and Canvas Prints, but I’m not sure why you can’t do the same for the other products.
Let’s upload a design. Unlike other print-on-demand platforms such as TeePublic or Redbubble, most products on Society6 require different minimum dimensions to ensure a high print quality. If your goal is to enable all products, it’s recommended that you start with a horizontal asset that’s 15,000 x 9,000 pixels, a vertical asset that’s 8,000 x 12,000 pixels, and a square asset that’s 12,000 x 12,000 pixels at 300 dpi.
Make sure that the design doesn’t infringe any copyright, otherwise your account might end up getting suspended.
Once done you will be taken to a similar page as shown below, where you can add artwork details and adjust how the design will look on each individual product.
A major issue I have is how glitchy the mockup system is, especially for apparel. Even when I uploaded the design as a PNG file on a transparent background as recommended by Society6, the issue still persists with the update.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the artwork is framed on a white background instead of a transparent one, so you can’t really tell how it looks on a shirt. Furthermore, the shirt color is stuck at grey — hovering over a color doesn’t do anything. You are left with guessing suitable colors and hoping for the best, which is certainly an exercise in frustration.
Otherwise the process is quite straightforward. Don’t forget to publish the design for everyone to see and buy. From there you can go to your account to manage posts and track earnings, among other things.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIETY6
I have been selling on Society6 since April 2017 and made around $70 so far with no promotion whatsoever — which is quite low. That said I haven’t uploaded any new work after 2017, mainly because I’m not a fan of their interface.
In addition, I feel like my design style isn’t very suitable for Society6. Their best sellers seem to be more artistic and illustrative, while my work tends to be cartoony. I’ll probably need a different approach from what I’m currently doing for other print-on-demand platforms such as Design by Humans and Redbubble. However, I don’t have the time right now so Society6 is on my back burner at the moment.
Nonetheless, Society6 is one of the more popular ways for a graphic designer to make money and earn passive income. Keep posting high quality work and participating in the community on a regular basis, and you are bound to see sales in the long run.