I was asked by a graphic designer if starting an infographic business was a potentially profitable business idea.
Infographics have become quite popular of late and his idea was to create these visually interesting images and sell them to online businesses and marketers as a source of income … hoping that the revenue generated might turn into a full time income.
So the real question he seemed to be asking was this: would the demand for such a business be strong enough to support me full time?
In case you are not familiar with infographics, they are a single display image with information added that typically is a synopsis of a process or a set of data presented in a visually appealing way and giving a snapshot at a given moment in time.
Here’s the description from Wikipedia.org: “Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.”
Here’s my take on infographics:
A custom infographic designed for a particular purpose of a particular business is quite valuable if the designer is good at his craft and knows how to use the design to lead the viewer to a particular belief or action.
Such a design might lead to additional interest / sign-ups / conversion etc at a business owner’s web site … if done well. It can be worth quite a bit to the business owner if he/she is ultimately able to enhance sales because of it. Some business owners have paid hundreds of dollars to designers for a single custom infographic.
A generic infographic that is sold to whomever will buy it won’t command near the price that the custom design will fetch. That seems obvious of course.
I’ve seen these infographic images sold as PLR offers in packs of 10 for around $10-15 on occasion. The only interest I have in buying generic infographics is if they come as PLR so I can modify them to be specific to my business needs. I (at the very least) want to add my own name and business name so that as the infographic gets passed around online (via Facebook, Pinterest, and at other social media sites, I get some exposure and hopefully a back link for my business from it.
I would imagine you could make a business selling either one or both types of infographics if you have an eye for design and can choose the infographic topics, data, and images that will be of interest to the prospects within a niche. Very specialized niches may present a problem for the infographic creator … in which case he would be wise to require that the client provide the necessary purpose, content ideas, and data (content) so that the designer can create the appropriate images to convey the desired message.
A word of caution: Anyone can slap some text boxes and images on a background, add some data, and call it an infographic – just like anyone can take some PLR worthless content, put their name on, add a cover graphic and call it an ebook. I’m not talking about or suggesting that you do this. Your career as an infographic designer will be short-lived.
Being a real graphic designer actually means that you know something about art, salesmanship and, surprise, graphic design!
It means that what you create is done with specific purposes and goals in mind. It means that you understand how choosing and arranging specific graphic elements like colors, textures, spaces, typography, symbols, images, and copy work together to portray a visual story or message for the viewer and ultimately the image is instrumental in getting that viewer to take some kind of preferred action.
What I’m saying, long-winded as usual, is that anyone can throw some graphics on a background and call it an infographic. True graphic designers will make a custom infographic that will enhance his client’s business and be worth the extra money it costs to have a custom image crafted.
As usual with any attempt to create a full time income, it would be best to validate the business model first before going whole hog into the infographic design business. Whether a full time income can result will depend upon both the demand for this type of product as well as the designer’s skill and ability to actually create and sell his infographics for a profitable ROI (return on investment). My guess is, it would be smart to also figure out how much of each kind of infographic – custom and generic – one can sell and how many hours of work each type would require.
Custom infographics will typically only be sold once. If you focus on generic infographics you will be able to sell the same graphic multiple times; but of course, the selling price will be substantially less than you will command with the custom version. And don’t forget that some infographics will require that the designer spend some time in the niche to become familiar with the types of information that would be useful and of value to people within the niche.
Any of you graphic designers that would like to add a comment or contrary view, please speak up!
To your online business success!