Below is my review of the E-Printables course by Gold City Ventures. The course was put together by Julie at Millennial Boss and Fire Drill Podcast and Cody from Fly to FI and the FI Show. I have my own Etsy shop where I sell printables so I have a really good idea as to whether this course is legit. In short, it is totally legit, and I have learned a lot from some of the unique bonus features you will only find in this course.
Also, scroll down to the bottom of the page for a special offer only for Debt Free Happens readers.
(Hint: You get a free 30 minute Skype coaching session if you purchase it using my link)
Review of E-Printables Side Hustle Course
Side hustling is something I unintentionally fell into. In a sense, the first day I launched this blog is when I technically started side hustling. The funny thing is I had no clue you could make money with a blog when I started. I just wanted to have a place to share the story of how my wife and I paid off $107K of debt in 33 months and help others do so as well.
Initially, I hated the term side hustle. I thought it was an insult and suggestion that I wasn’t working hard enough at my main job. After almost a year though of blogging, I realized that the blog was basically a side hustle that I wasn’t getting paid for. It was time to get paid.
We had previously gone from two incomes to one after paying off the debt which was awesome, but we needed to side hustle to achieve some of our savings goals.
Now, if you are thinking I am about to say I instantly monetized the blog, you are wrong. I took a resource that I give away for free on this blog and started selling it.
Through inspiration I received listening to the Fire Drill Podcast I decided that I would open an Etsy shop and sell my debt thermometer and additional finance related printables. Frankly, it took a leap of faith that this would work but there is one big reason why I felt OK trying it.
How I Started My Etsy Shop
Julie, the main creator of this course, announced that she would be leading a mastermind for anyone wanting to start an Etsy shop. To be honest, I was unfamiliar with Etsy as a platform, but I knew that Julie had been making hundreds per month with her shop at the time and if there was anyone I wanted to learn from it would be her.
I had previously interacted with her through Twitter and realized pretty quickly how approachable she was if I had a blogging question. She would always give free advice for any questions I had. I knew from experience that she loved to teach and help others find success.
This was the perfect situation for me to be in if I wanted to make some additional income.
The moment the mastermind was available I signed up right away. It turned out to be the best $200 I have spent in years.
The mastermind, while a different format from the course that Julie is now launching, was a very similar structure that gave me the resources I needed to start my shop step by step. I simply watched any video tutorials they made and set weekly goals. Within a week, I had a shop named ModernPrintableShop that was making money.
What Have My Results Been?
I have a unique perspective on this course since I essentially took the beta version of it, which was the mastermind. I do think though my results are important to consider and could provide an indication of what you might expect, although there are no guarantees.
The big picture is that I have sold $19,259.19 worth of printables and $14,043.39 of that is profit once you remove fees and marketing costs. In the first 3 months of 2020 I made more than in all of 2018 when I started.
On a Saturday I started my shop. I received my first sale the following Thursday and then another on Sunday. The next week I sold nothing. Then things started to slowly take off. Since then, I have never had a week I didn’t sell something and rarely do I not sell at least 1 item a day.
The Key To My Success?
Honestly, I put a lot of faith in Julie. Julie would provide tasks to follow and I just did what she said when it came to build the shop. I had pretty good control over the products that I wanted to make. It was other tips I learned in the mastermind that helped me create a legitimate shop that people felt comfortable purchasing from.
Other keys include:
- I made products people were searching for.
- I improved the quality of my listings over time.
- I learned how to reduce fees.
- I used promoted listings to advertise my products.
All these topics and then some are covered in the course.
For instance, one difference maker was that I decided to use advertising on Etsy to promote my products. This was all at the encouragement of Julie as I don’t think I would have considered it otherwise. Her advice on how to approach it effectively made all the difference.
Over the life of my shop I have spent $2,284.07 to advertise my products.
As a direct result of that advertising, I have sold $6,103.31 of product.
Now that is a great return on investment!
What Is In The Course?
The main structure of the course includes both videos and text descriptions. The videos are the main feature and the text description outlines the main points of the video and includes links in necessary.
What I like about the videos is that they are divided up into very specific chunks, so they are easy to reference later on. Also, seeing the written summary below each video gives you a nice set of notes that helps reinforce the message of the video.
Here is a look at the modules offered in the course. There are multiple videos per module.
The course starts with a series of lesson plans to help guide your progress through the first month. You’ll want to print these out and work through them each week. They are broken into individual weeks, but you could stretch them out further if need be.
During the mastermind I found setting weekly goals really helpful, so I am happy to see these in here.
At the end of each module there is an assignment. These are great because it gets you involved and taking action throughout the course. They are small, but usually geared towards getting you involved in the community which I will elaborate on in the next section.
This has to be the most exiting feature that was recently added. It has never been easier to make quality products than with the help of these templates. They provide a video tutorial and a link to an actual file that you can use yourself and customize to make your own product.
There are 6 templates provided for use in Canva and 6 templates for use in Adobe Illustrator.
Here’s an example of their habit tracker template…
… and here’s what that exact same template looks like after the course walks you step-by-step through a 20-minute video tutorial.
Just 20 minutes!
Being real though, you will ultimately be making your own products as you branch out, but I think these are a great way to get you into the process of making your own products.
Here is a sneak peak I put together of the course showing all of the modules and features. This was made when the course has launched. It is exciting to see everything that they have added since then.
*Note: Since I did this initial Etsy course walk through review the price has gone up from $199 to $247. Use the special discount code “JUNE50” for $50 off the course.
Here is Cody explaining the newest updates in the course that they just launched.
Having a group of people to build my shop along with was a critical part of my success by keeping me motivated and on track. Before going through this course, that was one of my big questions.
How can a course like this have a community?
Well, there is a Facebook group where everyone taking the course can interact, ask questions and share successes. The group is free for the first 30 days. Take advantage of those 30 days since everyone else will be starting their shops too but also other more established shop owners will be in there too. It is the perfect opportunity to build your shop alongside others and learn from those a few months ahead of you. After that, it will cost $29 a month to be a member.
Is it worth the $29 a month?
If you are actively working on developing your shop, you bet it is. That community of everyone working to build their shops is invaluable. For reference, I took 3 months to build my shop before I stepped back and let it become more passive. I don’t think I would have had the same results if I wasn’t connecting with other shop owners during that first 3 months and had stopped connecting at one month.
Plus, you get access to Etsy “experts” who will be answering your questions multiple times a week.
Now, this is where I should tell you that I will be the Etsy “expert” answering your questions. I put quotes around the word expert because I don’t consider myself one, but I know that I can give you an answer to your questions and give you some more to think about as well. Plus, in a little over two years I have put myself into the top 2% of sellers on Etsy so I must be doing something right.
After being in the group since the original course launch, I have see the added value of the Facebook group. It goes beyond community, there are additional videos that us experts make to help you. These videos are not available in the main course, you must be in the Facebook group to get access to them. These videos include extra, extra access to behind the scenes of my shop and the numbers behind it.
Also, they have added two graphic designers, who both have Etsy shops, to help you in the Facebook group provide input and feedback with design. What I love about this is that Julie and Cody aren’t just setting it and forgetting it. They are paying attention to the needs of the students and providing help that would be difficult to find elsewhere. By the way, they didn’t charge more to the current students for access to the graphic designers for help.
Also, once you reach 100 sales, you gain free access to the Facebook group which is a nce bonus!
Every week Julie and Cody do a Facebook live each week that both addresses questions of the students but also picks a topic to discuss. During this Facebook live, they also provide two prizes to eligible students. These prizes tend to be a free resource guide or subscription to a software that will help them learn more for their shop.
From what I have seen, if you are an active member of the group, there is a strong likelihood that you will win a prize one of those weeks.
One of the students in the Facebook group recently left a review that I thought was very helpful. I have been very impressed with Jennifer’s progress in such a short time so it was fun to hear her thoughts on the course and the Facebook group.
Once you have completed the course materials there are 3 types of bonus sections with a variety of content. There really is some amazing content here!
Julie has curated a number of experts in the community to share their advice in their area of expertise. Each piece of content is unique and not a repeat of what you learned in the class.
For instance, Michelle Rohr of Secret Owl Society provide a workbook related to passive income and printables. Chelsea Brennan of Smart Money Mamas provides a video on her experience of selling printables on her own website. This brings up the point that printables don’t have to be only sold on Etsy. These are products that you make and own, but they are not exclusive to Etsy. Etsy is simply a marketplace to tap into, but they can be sold elsewhere.
Also, a fellow mastermind alum, Rachel Floyd, provides a video on customer service. Rachel is unique in that she identified a need in the market for funeral program templates and has been successful in doing so. It might not be the most obvious niche, but she has done some really great work.
I also provide a video where I walk you through behind the scenes of my shop giving you insight to my numbers. You see exactly how my revenue progressed and I explain my strategy for choosing what products to sell.
This bonus material is something that I plan to return to often since I really respect all the contributors of it. Here are some of the people that have provided bonus content.
Do You Need to Be A Graphic Designer?
On a side note, I want to share something that struck me while taking the course. When we started the mastermind there were only 2 of us that knew Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Julie was not one of them. In the beginning, she made her printables using Canva which is a free online software. By the end of the course, I knew that she was trying a trial of different Adobe products and self-teaching herself the software.
When watching some of the videos I thought it was cool to see Julie using Illustrator and teaching me some stuff! It proved right there that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to be successful with Etsy printables. I knew that already after seeing some of the amazing stuff the others were making in the mastermind, but this sealed the deal.
Don’t forget though, the Facebook group has two graphic designers that will provide feedback on your shop so that is a valuable resource right there!
The Course Shows You How To Make Printables For Free.
While the course may not be free, the course does a great job at providing resources that allow you to make printables without buying new software.
That is really important because it understands that you have already invested in the course and makes the effort to limit your costs.
Now, it might make sense to eventually purchase a subscription to some Adobe products, but it is not required. Honestly, having built my own shop, I don’t think my success relates to me using Adobe products. I think it has to do with making products that people want to buy. If I have a bad idea for a product, Adobe won’t save it. It either resonates with buyers or it doesn’t.
The course doesn’t just give you resources that are free though. It provides both free and paid for options which gives you room to grow in your shop. Ultimately, it focuses on giving you a variety quality resources for you to implement as you are able and see fit.
Since the initial course launch Julie has added content that further reinforces how to use free resources such as Canva.
Who The Course Is Perfect For
The course is great for anyone who is planning to or wants to start a shop in the near future. The key here for me is that I want you to buy the course, take it and start a shop.
What if you already have an Etsy shop?
If you have already started an Etsy shop but are a bit lost or not having success I would also recommend this course for you. It would allow you to walk through your shop and look at all aspects of it to improve it. What I love about Etsy printable shops is that you can constantly improve them. You can easily change listings, update graphics or add and remove products. It is OK for it to be a work in progress, so I definitely think the course can help someone who has already started a shop.
Who The Course Is Not For
Just to be up front, if you don’t plan to put the work in, then don’t buy the course. There are no guarantees with starting an Etsy shop, so it takes legit work to make it successful. Don’t misunderstand me though, it is my most successful side hustle and easier than others.
On a similar note, it is easy to get caught up in a course launch and want to be a part of something big only to realize later you really didn’t need it or plan to do it. Maybe you just thought you would strike it rich, so you took a chance. Just make sure that when buying it you are doing so for the right reasons and not because everyone is doing it or FOMO.
If you are in major financial distress, then don’t buy the course. $247 is a lot of money that could better go to paying bills or feeding your family. Focus on getting that situation straight first and then come back. In the meantime, you can always start a shop yourself and search for free reference materials on the internet for help. It just won’t be as conveniently packaged as this is.
I think it is OK to be in debt and still buy the course, but I would recommend you have positive cash flow and be working through a plan for pay off the debt. I would have balked at paying $247 for a course when we were paying off our debt. Considering how it has worked out for us though, I would totally do it knowing what I know now.
If you are a seasoned Etsy seller making thousands per month then this is probably not the course for you. Not saying you wouldn’t learn anything new, but it probably won’t drastically change things although the bonus content by other successful sellers is beneficial.
Where The Course Could Improve
Overall, I think it is an amazing course, particularly for the price it is being sold for.
I guess the one big issue I have with it isn’t really about the course, it is more so about the side hustle itself. As I said earlier, there are no guarantees that you will have a successful shop. It is totally possible that you “do everything right” and it just doesn’t really work out.
Now, I don’t believe that you could do all the work and not get something out of it. Even if you didn’t make a penny, you will learn new skills and learn from this experience. That can be pretty invaluable at times and would allow you to be informed as you approach new side hustles.
Your side hustle journey will evolve over time, so those skills will be put to good use.
Special Offer From Debt Free Happens!!!
For anyone that purchases the course using my link that you find below, I will give a FREE 30-minute Skype coaching session on whatever you want. We can review the progress of your Etsy shop, other side hustles you might have or your debt payoff progress. It is your choice!!!
Also, don’t forget to use the special discount code “JUNE50” for $50 off the course.
Why I Recommend the E-Printables Course by Gold City Ventures
In short, this course gives you exactly what you need to build a successful Etsy shop. While I have repeatedly said there are no guarantees your shop will be successful, I can guarantee that your shop will be much more likely to be successful because of this course.
I honestly don’t think my shop would have been successful without the mastermind I participated in. Even if I did make the same products, the mastermind was the difference maker.
When you combine the lessons, the Facebook group and the bonus materials you have a fantastic resource here. The course will guide you step by step to building your shop and give you an honest chance to make your next side hustle a success!
See you in the Facebook group!!!