Most of the questions I’ve received about selling on-demand are about increasing sales and helping people find your products. The way to do that is to promote your shop and designs through your website and social media so here’s some tips.
Where to promote
You should have your own standalone website, even if it’s just a page that directs people to your store/s and social media. It’s much easier to have one place to direct everyone. If you already have a full website, think about how to integrate your on-demand products. You might make a slide for your homepage slideshow, add promo boxes for each store, put the site logos in your footer or create a big page linking to each product category on all your sites, like mine. If you sell products directly, you might add to the product pages informing people that they can get more products with this design on-demand.
This one should be obvious too. You’re probably already sharing your work on social media so think about how to promote your on-demand products. I’ll have a list of ideas and topics at the end. Which social media sites you should use depends on which ones you enjoy using most and get a good response from.
Whichever you use, post good images and try not to bore people with constant updates. Use things like Instagram’s Stories to share offers so they don’t clog up your feed once they’re over. I personally find hashtags to be more trouble than they’re worth but they can help you find more people to follow and interact with. Most on-demand sites have a social media account for designers so follow that for tips and promo opportunities.
Blog or Tumblr
While social media is great, it’s very temporary as once a post disappears down the feed no-one is likely to see it again. A blog or Tumblr is a more permanent space where your posts can be found through web searches and will help boost your rankings with Google as they love new content. You don’t need to write in depth articles (like me…) – though they add a lot of value to your site – just quick updates at least once a week. Tumblr is quick and easy to set up and gives you a readymade audience to connect with through tags. If you want more control, try WordPress or Blogger. One major tip – buy a domain name and use it! That way if you decide to move your blog, your audience will automatically come with you.
All of the above rely on people finding you and checking in on what you’re up to – if you can get them to sign up to a newsletter then you can send them the news. The best way to get subscribers is to offer something in return – maybe do a giveaway or send new subscribers a digital freebie like desktop wallpapers, printables or an ebook. Once you’ve got them, try sending a monthly newsletter at first with sales, new work and other news. Don’t make it all about sales and try to include something they can’t get elsewhere, whether it’s a peek at new designs or just your favourite web links. I recommend Mailchimp for newsletters as it’s very easy to use.
Press & Blog Features
A feature on a popular blog or in the press can send you hundreds of new visitors that have never heard of you. Ask your followers what blogs and magazines they read and search for sites that feature similar work to yours or cover a theme that matches your work. Contact them and hope for the best. As the editor of Super Cute Kawaii, I urge you to please read my tips for getting featured on blogs before submitting your work to sites. Most on-demand sites have featured designer interviews too – keep making new work and join in the community to get their attention.
If you sell products direct, design some flyers promoting your on-demand stores and include them in your orders. They’re especially great for me in the UK to send to buyers in the US as most on-demand stores are based there and they can save on international shipping.
Ideas of what to post about
- Special offers – everyone loves a sale but hates the constant promo emails so save them the bother and promote the big sales direct to your followers, especially at times like Black Friday
- Your newest design – try to add something new at least once a month
- Seasonal designs – both the big ones and all those silly national days for donuts, pirates or whatever else matches your style. Look for calendars online and prepare in advance.
- Themed post – round up a few matching designs or products by colour or subject or product theme (eg things for the kitchen or for taking on holiday)
- New products – on-demand sites add new products regularly so make sure they’re enabled and looking good and promote them
- Behind the scenes – show your process, your inspirations or where you work.
- Product photos – use those big offers to order your own products so you can take photos. Encourage your followers to share their pics too if they make purchase.
- What are people buying? Share some of your most popular products
This is part of a series of posts about selling on-demand: