Marketing Tips for Makers
Over the past (almost!) 10 years, the Spoonflower community has grown into a family of designers, crafters and makers. You could consider Spoonflower a melting pot of talent where one artist’s strength in design supports another artist’s strength in making. We love seeing these collaborations grow and we’ve even gotten to know some of the small business owners on a personal level through the Meet the Maker series on the blog. If you’ve ever considered taking the steps to owning your own business, you won’t want to miss these words of wisdom our maker community is sharing today!
This is it! You made it to the end! You will find that your journey in surface design is never ending, as there’s always something new to learn and improve with every turn. That’s also what can be so rewarding about this creative pursuit. If you’re serious about sharing your designs with the world and not just making art but making art that sells, you need to get serious about marketing your work. It’s something all creatives feel a little weird about at first. “You mean you want me to promote…. myself?!” Yes! It’s extremely validating and rewarding to be able to earn compensation doing what you love, not to mention seeing the things others go out and create using your fabric.
Whether you’re entertaining the idea of creating surface designs full time, maybe starting a handmade business using fabric you designed yourself to make things, or if you’re well into a creative business venture already, all your hard work will be in vain if you don’t go the extra step to promote yourself and your body of work. Spoonflower makes it easier to be successful with things like commission bonuses, frequent payouts to your Paypal account, distribution on external platforms and more. Today on this momentous last day of the #12DaysofDesign series, we’ll explore exciting ways to benefit from selling your designs, effective ways to market yourself, and even how to build a physical portfolio you can take with you to expos and conferences. Let’s dive in!
To get started selling the designs you’ve uploaded on our site, there’s no need to sign up or do anything differently, all you need is to make sure you are a verified seller on our site, and that your Paypal information is updated in your account. You can update that by logging in and clicking on “My Account” under “My Studio” and selecting the “Spoondollars” tab. Why sell? We’re glad you asked… [Read more…] about 12 Days of Design: Day 12 Market Yourself
Today, a local business owner here in Durham, Annie Franceschi, stops by the blog to share how she used Spoonflower to create the perfect custom pashmina to commemorate the three year anniversary of her business, Greatest Story Creative. Learn how she did it and how you can apply the same technique to celebrate the next big event in your life!
My name is Annie Franceschi – I’m the Owner and Creative Director of Greatest Story Creative – a Durham, NC-based branding agency that helps you tell your story in your business and your life. Some say you can wear your heart on your sleeve, in this post – I’d like to tell you how I figured out how to wear my business!
I’m celebrating three years in business and I was planning a party with clients and friends. For the party, I knew I wanted to do something special to commemorate the history of the business and everything I’ve learned from it so far as an entrepreneur. Since what I do is so much about telling people’s stories, I thought it’d be great to create a dress with snippets of those stories. But then I realized, I’d rarely wear something like that again. Then it hit me: a pashmina! [Read more…] about The Business Idea You’ll Want to Steal: Telling A Story with a Scarf
We like to think of The Academy of Handmade as a support system for makers. As longtime fans and sponsors of The Academy of Handmade, we’ve been proud to see so many artists and crafters thrive, growing their small businesses through this amazing recourse. Sharon Fain, founder and director of the Academy of Handmade stops by the blog to share how using Spoonflower custom-printed materials can help give your business an edge against competitors, so you can thrive too!
You may have noticed some exciting additions to your Spoonflower experience over the past few weeks: subtle restyling changes, new product releases, Bulk Discounts, and, perhaps our most anticipated addition, the launch of Spoonflower Pro. We wanted to take a second to go “back to basics” and give you a few tips and tricks to help keep your designs visible in the Marketplace.
Two of the most important (and sometimes overlooked) steps when creating a design are 1) giving your design an accurate and descriptive name and 2) adding a design description. There are dozens of designs floating around the Marketplace with titles like “IMG” or “Image”–and that ain’t helping nobody. Don’t let yours be one of them! Adding an accurate title and description allows your designs to be found by including important keywords that shoppers may use when searching the Spoonflower Marketplace.
For example, if you’ve created a beautiful mermaid design, but don’t have the word “mermaid” in your design name or description, it will be much more difficult to find.
So, what makes a good title and description?
Be sure to include important keywords in your title. What colors did you use? Is there a specific theme or surface pattern you drew inspiration from? Don’t forget to Include those, too. Let’s use Mermaids in Purple as an example: While purple is a predominant color there are also other predominant colors in the design a shopper could be looking for. The design name could potentially be “Mermaids in Purple and Pink” or “Mermaids In Purple Swimming with Cats.” Whether someone is searching for mermaids or searching for cats, they would still come across this adorable creation.
Now that you’ve thought about your design name, it’s time to write up your description. Here you will continue to include keywords pertaining to your design, but you can create a more robust description. Don’t be afraid to add a little whimsy and be creative!
Our friend Jumping Monkeys hit it out of the park with this description for “Cute_Retro_Robots.”
“You’ll find the lost members of Rosie’s family floating on a creamy 50’s retro backdrop. The background features the ever popular mid-century boomerang design with a few atomic symbols tossed in for good measure. Ideal for children’s clothes, quilting and other cute projects.”
Your description could include the inspiration for the design (robots), the style (50’s retro), color (creamy) and ideal uses for your pattern.
Don’t forget to add tags to your designs! This is another crucial step to ensuring your design is searchable. You may choose up to 7 short phrases that describe your design and Spoonflower will rate your tag for its strength; the stronger, the better! If you find that your tags have low tag strength we’ll suggest related keywords. You can also add up to four colors from the suggested color options which match to your designs.
All of these optimizations work retroactively, so make sure to update your existing designs, as well as new designs you’ve just uploaded. You’ve put a lot of work into your design, now make sure the descriptions get noticed and help you reach more shoppers. Who said you can’t teach an old design new tricks?
Want more information on how to achieve success selling on Spoonflower? Check out all the handy resources in the “Seller” section of our Help page. There you’ll find articles on how to become a verified seller, how to promote, tag, and how to handle (everyone’s favorite subject) taxes.