her digital empire, Episode 4

Requested Topics From Member


Today we are going to cover what I think are some of the most important things I wish I would have known before getting into the industry, pros and cons of the industry, and what your potential earnings could be! 


Dive right in to the podcast to learn more!


Hosts & Guests

Erika Belvin

Jesse Belvin

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Requested Topics from Member:

These questions are from Lue Williams, so shout out to her for the great questions!

What do you wish you would have known before getting into the industry?

I had multiple stages in my business with graphic design and web design. I started out part-time while my husband was the full-time breadwinner for our family.

I started learning all the skills I know really early. 

When I was in middle school, I learned about HTML stuff and really got better with it when MySpace came out. 

The cool MySpaces had really cool coding, so that’s where I learned that. I was just doing it for fun back then.

I didn’t realize I could make money doing coding until I married Jesse.

One of Jesse’s friends asked me to code their website, so I did and they made $45,000 that year from that website. 

After that I learned more about marketing, and how to sell my skills.

I slowly raised my prices, and I made about 1-2k a month, which was fine because we didn’t need my income.

I started marketing on Instagram, where I had one lady reach out to me, she sold hair extensions. 

I had bought clip in hair extensions before so I knew there were people to buy that product

Then I also started selling printables on Etsy, which never sold, but at least I started somewhere.

I made my first printables on Canva instead of photoshop, like most graphic designers and uploaded them to Etsy.

If I had the same knowledge that I do now, I wouldn’t have started just randomly selling on Etsy because the target audience is so big. 

I would recommend making sure you decide who your target audience is, and make sure they are an audience that is going to buy.

If you decide to target an audience that doesn’t buy on Etsy a lot then you may not make many sales.

Whenever people ask me about their target audience, the advice I would give is to research numbers on Google.

For example, I shouldn’t try to sell to nail artists because nail techs don’t need marketing because they can show their unique designs, whereas hair products and hair stylists need to market because hair all looks pretty much the same. 

Another thing I would focus on is the companies people can make money on like UpWork and Etsy. I would have started there, instead of trying to find web clients. 

It’s so much easier to find people if you don’t have to reach out to them cold, and figure it all out yourself. 

Pros and Cons of the Industry:


  • You make your own hours.
  • You can book whenever you want.
  • You don’t need to request time off.
  • If you are having an off day, you can rearrange your day.
  • You can set up your business to bring in passive income. 

Passive income is just waking up and having $300-400.


  • Awful clients
  • Feeling disrespected
  • There’s a cap on income
  • You can get overwhelmed
  • If you are scaling up your business you can run into scheduling issues and not having the time to make a custom experience.

Potential earnings:

Your earnings are going to depend on if you are going to want to hire people, are you going to have people working underneath you so your time with clients can be more productive? Or are you wanting more of a passive income? 

If you want more of a passive income, you can learn to do coding, edit photography, develop your own wordpress, make presets and sell those. 

It’s hard for me to give you a number of what you are going to make in your first year because there are so many things that go into it. 

When I first started out there were lots of quick jobs to make some money, but I was working more on a longer term success instead of making quick money. 

I didn’t want to just throw some products on Etsy and have a few sales, I wanted to make sure I had the right audience and built my shop how I wanted it in the long term

I changed my ideas a lot about what route to take. Some of these changes really brought a lot of success, like deciding to start my wordpress.

It is possible for the average person to create a successful six-figure business in their first year, but it is a case by case thing. 

I learned you need to have the ability to respond quickly, I noticed our slowest days were when i was not by the computer responding to people.

If I sit and talk to people, and respond quickly, I will make more sales because people want to buy the product now.

I also remember when I wanted to buy something, I would reach out to like 10 artists and just wait for one to respond, whoever responded first was always the winner and I bought from them. 

You need to learn the traits to have success, like being on time, responding quickly, and being willing to deal with difficult people

If you want to start out, you can learn more about graphic design through Her Digital Empire JV. We also have Varsity to learn how I did what I did. 

Overall, just make sure you focus on your audience, research others in the market, and just go for it!

Don’t forget to subscribe to us on ITunes and leave us a rating!

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