There is a lot which can go wrong when you start designing. It feels if there are so many things you have to pay attention to that you are not really sure what to do first. What you need is a plan which helps you to develop your reputation step by step.
Here are some tips to avoid traps you can stumble into as a new designer:
- Don´t start to apply for designer positions as long as you just have 2 kits ready. You need to be sure that your elements don´t have too many shadows and no stray pixels.
- Don´t try to sell the first kit you ever made.
- Don´t hope for the big money over night.
- Don´t stop to develop your skills
- Don´t be disappointed if you join your first shop and you don´t sell kits in your first night
- Don´t believe that it´s the store owner´s job to get your name out, you need to do the ground work and advertise yourself.
- Don´t think you have to give everything away to get known
Everything needs time and if you are not a natural your first let´s say 10 kits won´t be the best you can make. So what you need is practise. I don´t say that you can apply to different shops from the 11th kit you make but you can be sure that you have developed some new skills after you´ve made the first 10 kits.
The best thing you can do to learn is if you buy some kits from the best designers you know. Study these kits and ask yourself the following questions:
- What has this digital scrapbooking kit that caught my attention?
- Which elements does this kit contain? How many? How many papers?
- Why did I decide to buy that one?
Usually you decide buying a kit because you fell in love with the preview and the layouts which are shown in the store. The better your preview, the better the layouts made from the kit the better the kit will sell. That´s how it works. You buy because you love the preview or the layouts one can make with. So if your kits look ok the next step will be to work on your previews to make them look fantastic!
Be sure that a preview with hard drop shadows won´t work. You also don´t have to put anything on your preview – better you add some more previews so the customer can get a detailed look – much better than overcrowding a preview.
As a store owner with some experience in designing I can see from the preview if I see a work of a beginner or an advanced designer – the preview shows it all.
What to do next?
Now your previews are looking great and you have some experience in designing and your elements don´t have strays. At this point you need to find a shop. There are SO many stores out there so it´s possible that you will find one if you try hard enough. Buuuuuuuuuut here at this point you should be carefull. Your shop is your reputation, too. It´s important who sells at the store as well as what they sell. If a store looks like an unorganized blinking place you may have been accepted there but this won´t help you to build your reputation. So try to find a shop which fits to your style and underlines where you want to go. If you cannot find any or if you do not get accepted (yet) at the store of your dreams, create your own. In the Safari Lounge Designer Classes we show you how to set up a simple store where you can offer downloadable products.
And if you are accepted at your dream store don´t expect that the store owner promotes you enough to sell like crazy.
The store owner offers you the platform – means the software you need to add your things as well as the chance to sell with others which help you to get the people’s attention. But – and be sure that´s how it works – if you don´t advertise yourself you won´t sell anything.
I know a really good designer who could sell most probably in each store but she never really advertised herself. This was the reason why she never got that known as she could have. That´s the second piece of the paper – if you don´t advertise you won´t get recognized. If you hate it look for an advertiser but don´t do nothing.
The last point I´d like to mention is about Freebies.
Freebies won´t help you to get known. People won´t grab freebies and then jump to your store and buy your stuff. Here is why:
Some say that you need to give your customers something to “taste” before they buy. That might be but if you give them another piece every week they don´t need to buy. If they should just taste and check for the quality you offer they can do that with a little sample you keep for months until you feel that your style has developed so much that you simply have to exchange it.
Have a look at the big companies. You won´t find Coca Cola giving away bottle by bottle of their coke to let you taste – they will give you a bottle during a special advertising event but then you have to buy. Or if there isn´t an event at the moment you simply have to buy to taste it – you don´t get it for free.
So if you want to give something to taste – do it and keep it but appreciate your work and let others appreciate it so that they don´t mind to pay some dollar for a kit you worked on for many hours.
The best is though to give away a freebie with newsletter sign up. Add a newsletter to your website and when people want it they need to sign up for your newsletter. This way you can “speak” to them again.