Are you wondering how to make money with a laser engraver?
Of all the side hustles out there, laser engraving has to be one of the coolest.
And while it’s a fairly niche discipline, it’s possible to make a sizeable profit selling personalized products that you have engraved for your clients.
After all, there are so many things that can be engraved.
From personalized Father’s Day fountain pens to laser-engraved doors signs for businesses, the market is simply huge and abound with possibilities. And the more creative you are with your business, the more customers you will attract.
But setting up as a laser engraver isn’t as simple as buying a laser and waiting for the customers to roll in.
You need to take some specific steps to set your business up for success and find your first clients.
Luckily, we’re going to tell you exactly how to make money with a laser engraver before introducing you to ten profitable products you can engrave as part of your product portfolio.
Are you ready to start earning an income with your laser engraver?
Let’s get started!
How To Make Money With A Laser Engraver
Ok, so you have a laser engraver, (or you’re saving up to buy one), and you need to know where to start.
Well, like setting up any other side hustle, there are a few things you should do.
1. Set Up Your Online Store
Even if you opt to work in a brick-and-mortar shop as a laser engraver, you will also need to set up an online store.
Because for your business to make money and grow, you need to attract customers from all over, not just in your local vicinity.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to set up an online store, and there is a range of platforms for you to choose from.
The following five are all online store platforms with integrated e-commerce solutions, making them ideal for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
Home to millions of artists and craftspeople all over the world, Etsy is the perfect place to launch your laser engraving business. You can either sell via the Etsy marketplace or by developing a custom site through their website builder tool.
Setting up on Etsy also increases your chances of being found by customers looking for laser engraving services. When looking for personalized gifts, Etsy is often people’s first port of call, and with international sales possible via the platform, it’s the perfect place to begin your business.
WordPress + WooCommerce
If you’re looking for maximum customization, and the ability to easily scale as your business grows, then WordPress with WooCommerce is one of the best solutions out there.
Not only is it simple to set up your online store, but WordPress is one of the best platforms for search engine optimization.
In other words, if you want your website to have the best chance of appearing in Google searches, then WordPress is one of the best options out there.
While it is a little more complicated than a few of the options on this
If you do decide to set up an online store using WordPress + WooCommerce, we highly recommend doing so through Bluehost. Their hosting platform makes the whole process of setting up your website simple, and their customer service is out of this world.
Oh, and to top it all off, you can set up your website through Bluehost for as low as $3.95 per month, making it one of the least expensive options on this list.
Important: We are a proud affiliate of Bluehost, meaning we will earn a small commision (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through one of our links. Affiliate commissions help support this site, so we are always grateful when our readers choose to use them. 🙂
Similar in some respects to Wix, Weebly is another user-friendly website builder designed for beginners.
If you want to get started with a free site before you commit to a paid plan, Weebly is one of the few platforms that allows you to launch an e-commerce platform without a premium subscription.
Wix is one of the easiest and most user-friendly website building platforms available to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The wealth of customizable templates and the drag and drop features are perfect for people who don’t know anything about coding or web design.
On the downside, Wix sites are not the easiest to rank on Google. This is a challenge if you’re hoping to gain organic traffic to your site when people search for laser engravers via search engines.
If you’re creative at heart, SquareSpace could be the platform you’re looking for.
Their customizable templates are stunningly designed and will reflect your creative spirit as an engraver. It’s super easy to upload your catalogue of products, too, so you can get started in no time with an appealing website.
The owners of Weebly, Square also have their own e-commerce platform.
While it packs many of the same features as Weebly, it’s a better option if you’re looking for more functionality and control over your site.
The advanced SEO settings, in particular, help you to rank on Google and get found by potential clients.
2. Create/Add Your Products To Your Website
When you’ve decided on your platform, it’s time to get your products uploaded onto your website.
If you’re looking for inspiration for what to engrave, see the second section of this post for ten awesome ideas.
You may also want to consider segmenting your site for the different clients you’re appealing to.
For instance, if you offer a gift engraving service alongside a B2B service for commercial clients, think about the structure of your site carefully.
3. Determine Your Pricing
As with any business, it’s so important to get your pricing right.
In particular, you don’t want to price yourself out of business.
When you haven’t gotten any reviews or testimonials from customers, it’s best to price your products a little on the low side.
You can always increase your prices as you go, and once people are happy with your work, they will leave positive feedback.
As an additional tactic, you should also check out what prices your competitors are charging before launching your site. This will give you a better idea of what to charge, and help you hit the ground running with your laser engraving business.
4. Focus On Getting Good Reviews In The Beginning
With your early customers, it’s so important that you receive good reviews.
In fact, you should treat good reviews like gold! Although you might not think it now, a handful of five-star reviews to a new seller are more valuable in the long-run than a hefty initial profit.
As such, focus on delivering exceptional service and going above and beyond for your clients.
Deliver ahead of schedule, add some personalized touches, and communicate efficiently to encourage them to leave excellent feedback for other clients to see.
5. Get The Word Out
At this stage, you’re ready to spread the word about your new business venture.
While word of mouth goes a long way to getting you new clients, you’ll also have to decide on a strategy that informs potential clients of your business.
Below are five excellent ways to get the word out about your laser engraving business:
Promote Your Business On Social Media
Whichever social media platform you use, be sure to set up a business profile and link to your website.
Create awesome content that shows your followers your portfolio and use it as an opportunity to reach out and engage with potential clients.
You can also pay for targeted ads to drive traffic to your site via social media. Just make sure to start with a small budget and optimize your ads before you start spending too much money.
Offer Discounts To First-Time Buyers
When people approach you in the early days of your business, it’s a perfectly good idea to offer them a first-time buyer discount.
Not only will that help attract new eyeballs to your business, but even a 10% discount can be enough to get people to pick you over your competitors.
Build An Email List
Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate ongoing business.
On your website, consider adding a call to action on the first page, inviting people to subscribe to an email list or newsletter.
You can then send special offers and information about new products directly to people who are interested in your business.
Seriously, if you ever want to scale your business, the most important thing you can do is build an email list.
Run A Contest/Giveaway
Everyone loves a freebie!
If you want to make money with a laser engraver, you need to build your audience. And one of the best ways to do that is to run a contest or giveaway.
For instance, you could give away a free, personalized gift to the winner, or a $25 gift card to use through your online store.
While it will cost you a little money in the short term, it will be worth it for the new followers or subscribers you’ve gained thanks to the contest.
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- 25 Legit Ways To Make Money Over Winter Break
10 Product Ideas To Make Money With A Laser Engraver
Now you’re all set up and ready to launch your business; you need to think about exactly which products you will sell!
Below are ten awesome product ideas to get you started as a laser engraver, but you can always add to your product line as you progress.
1. Engraved Tumblers And Mugs
Personalized tumblers and mugs make excellent gifts for birthdays and other special occasions.
Therefore, you might want to stock a range of glassware and mugs that you engrave with a personalized message upon order.
In addition to that, you could also pre-engrave some items with generic messages like ‘Happy Birthday!’
If you do this, just be aware of your stock levels, as you don’t want to carry too much inventory at one time.
2. Leather Wallets
Leather wallets that are engraved with a loved one’s initials or something similar are super popular.
A personalized leather wallet is a gift for all occasions and can be customized in a variety of ways.
Make sure you stock a couple of different leathers and perhaps even a number of styles and designs.
Everyone has their preference when it comes to wallets, and you will quickly learn which is the most popular.
There’s a good chance you will get some work for commercial clients if you engrave plaques and signage. If you think about how many signs are utilized in businesses all over the world, you have so many opportunities for work.
If you deliver high-quality, industry-standard signage to businesses, you can receive lucrative, ongoing contracts that can bolster your bottom line.
4. Leather Camera Straps
For people who take their photography seriously, laser engraved leather camera straps would make for an awesome gift.
As with leather wallets, consider the fact that people like different styles and types of leather when it comes to straps.
Again, you could offer a small selection of styles and designs in the early days, and when you learn which is the most popular, you could limit your range and focus on what sells well.
5. Watch Bands
If you want to make money with a laser engraver, customized watch bands are another great product idea.
You might consider offering a chain-link band and a leather band, so your customers have a decent choice.
Just be sure to offer a couple of options and check on standardized sizes before buying your stock.
Having options for both men and women expands your potential customer base, too.
6. Cutting Boards
Personalized cutting boards are an excellent way of creating a memento of a special day.
For instance, your clients might order them for their wedding or as a special anniversary gift for a loved one.
You could offer a range of finishes and sizes, depending on the materials that you use.
To make your cutting boards extra special, you could offer unique patterns and designs to accompany the words that you engrave.
This will help you stand out from your competitors.
Although maybe not as popular as they once were, ornaments are still a great gift idea, especially at Christmas.
You might consider offering a themed range of ornaments, depending on your target customer base.
Ornaments come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so consider stocking a nice range of options for sale on your website.
As a laser engraver, you should be able to secure a lot of business personalizing awards and trophies.
If you think of the sheer number of schools, community groups, and sports teams that dish out awards, you will begin to see the potential in this idea!
Some people will hire you to engrave a trophy or award that they already own, so this is an additional service you could consider offering for an extra fee.
9. Picture Frames
People love giving engrave picture frames as a gift. They’re common as wedding presents, but also for families and friends who want to commemorate a special event or family vacation.
Again, like many of the products introduced here, there are lots of different styles and materials you can use for personalized picture frames, so offering a range of options for your clients is a nice touch.
10. Promotional Items (A.K.A. Schwag)
Many businesses hand out promotional items to their clients to increase their brand awareness. Perhaps they’re being represented at a jobs fair or presenting at a certain function and want to take some schwag along with them.
Items like dog tags, pens, and flasks are great promotion item ideas for laser engravers, and the more options you can offer your business clients, the more likely they are to place an order.
It is more than possible to make money with a laser engraver.
There are so many options available to you, from the way you set up your business to the products that you market.
As is the case with any new business venture, just be patient in the early days. It will take time for people to find out about your products, so be flexible and consider mixing things up whenever possible with promotions and offers.
Good luck with your laser engraving business!