If you enjoy making awesome 3D characters, environments and objects, have you ever considered making money off of that impressive talent of yours? While many 3D artists dream of working in a studio making games, movies, or commercials for major brands, for one reason or another, that isn’t always possible. Maybe you’re a student and that time will come later. That said, learning how to create and sell 3D assets online is a great side-hustle and an awesome resume and experience builder as well.
The truth is, as technology improves, 3D is becoming more and more accessible to the masses. Most people who could use 3D in their hobby or business projects lack the skill, time, and training to create their own 3D assets. For this reason, there is a growing demand for premade, high-quality 3D assets available at affordable rates.
If you want to make extra money and share your talent with the world, learning how to sell 3D assets online might be the perfect option for you.
Starting a Small Business
Before you start selling your work online, it is important to familiarize yourself with small business rules, regulations, and laws in your community and state. While we cannot give you legal advice, make sure to do some research before you start selling. Most likely, you will have to pay taxes on income generated from selling your 3D assets, so planning ahead and seeking the advice of a certified public accountant may save you a headache around tax time.
To help prime your research, you may choose to actually form a business or you might consider operating a sole proprietorship if you are in the US, in which all of the income is recorded under your personal name instead of a separate business entity. Whichever route you choose will come with advantages and disadvantages that a licensed professional can help you weigh and decide which is best.
Licensing and Software
If you have been using specific software to create your models as a hobby, there may be a chance that you don’t possess the proper license to use the software for commercial purposes. This may or may not be the case, but it is important to review your license agreement in advance to make sure that you are able to sell assets you produce with that software without running into any issues. Many free or student licenses are great for learning software because they let you use the product for very cheap, or even free, but they may not allow you the ability to sell assets for profit made under that license.
Choose Platforms to Sell Your Products On
Once you are ready to get started, after taking care of all of the legal and business aspects of things, the next step in the process will be picking platforms and storefronts that you want to sell your products in. The internet is full of such online retailers and, most likely, you will be able to post your products in many of them. Look for platforms that have good traffic flows, positive views, and visually seem like a good fit for the kinds of assets you like to create.
None of these platforms will be exactly the same, so you will have to take the time to research their submission or application process closely. Some storefronts only feature assets geared specifically to certain products, such as the Unity Store for the Unity 3D Game Engine or Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 storefront. Others, such as our own marketplace at Daz 3D, feature products geared toward Daz Studio but can easily be exported to many other 3D programs, giving users a lot of freedom in how they might use your product.
Make sure that the marketplaces you choose to sell 3D assets on are good fits for your assets so that future buyers will be satisfied with your products and rate them well!
Play to Your Strengths
So now that you’re ready to get started and have chosen where you want to place your assets for sale, you may be wondering, “What kind of assets should I post for sale?”
My best advice is to, before anything else, play to your strengths. You will know better than anyone what you are best at designing, and you should start there. In the end, you want to create professional and quality assets that customers will be pleased with. This will bring you more positive reviews and overall better sales. That said, a wise seller will also analyze trends and create products that are most likely to appeal to certain buyer groups. Your products by no means will satisfy everyone’s needs, but understanding who your audience is and what they might be looking for will greatly influence what you decide to create and sell.
Playing to your strengths, paired with diligent, research-driven choices will help you find success in the competitive world of 3D design.
Keep in Touch with Your Users
It is going to be exciting when you start making your first sales, but don’t get too comfortable and think all your hard work is over. A good seller will be responsive and stay in touch with their user base, whether that is thanking them for nice words in the review section, answering questions about the product and how to use it properly, or listening to feedback and being willing to release updates, improvements, or new products requested by users.
Remember to keep a thick skin and not let bad reviews get you down. Don’t be afraid to listen to feedback, especially if multiple users are saying similar things. Take what you can from that feedback to learn and improve, and try not to let it bring you down if it’s overly negative.
Become a Published Daz Artist
If this sounds like a fun way to make some extra money, all of us at Daz 3D would love for you to consider joining our team of published artists. We have artists all around the world selling their amazing products in our ever-growing marketplace. To that end, we are always looking for fresh new talent to join the ranks of some of the best creators in the industry.
Daz has a massive customer base, which means higher exposure of your content to potential buyers. Not only that, but as a published artist, you will get these perks as well:
- Early access to prerelease character files
- Support and advice from our internal production team
- Access to a private Published Artist forum
- Platinum Club Membership perks including 30% off Daz Original products
As a published Daz artist, you will receive a 50% commission of the net revenue from the sale of your product! For more guidelines on how to reach out to us and submit, head over to our publishing page! We truly believe in our artists and the amazing products we offer, which is why you won’t find a more supportive team to help you sell 3D assets online!
Check out our gallery for some inspiration to get you started and drop by the forums with any questions. We can’t wait to see your first submission!
Featured Image: “Cello Player” by mbcphoto
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