New business launch!
Lisa Middleton Griffin last edited by
Wow, that is great news. Sounds like your marketing efforts have really paid off. I do have an Etsy shop by it is in vacation mode as I didn't have the time to devote to it as needed. You are correct in that it takes a lot of effort to keep happy customers finding and returning to your shop. The mailing list is a great idea too! Helps to promote new merchandise as well as sales/events.
Hope you have continued success with it.
@NessIllustration I have been doing a little of everything (been paid to design t-shirts, an illustration, several fine art commissions, logos, you name it) Since I was starting to get paid, last year I started working on setting up and learning about business infrastructure. I created a website and set up an Etsy shop. I connected the shop to my website and printful account for shirts, and a different printer for fine art prints. I set up a square account and used it for sales at a craft fair. I connected it all to paypal and banks and registered for a business, so I did all of the infrastructure things in order to prepare for future possibilities. Then I had to populate it to see if it would work.
So I started by posting what I have the most of, which is fine art prints which are expensive to produce and hard to sell soooo I have sold practically nothing online (my website sends mixed messages), and small stuff at the craft fair. I may have gone about the whole thing backwards.
A year and a lot of podcasts later I have learned that I need to 1. find my brand and stick with it (people consistently tell me that they like my paintings, and LOVE the comics and cute stuff) so I need to curate and re-work my website with and audience in mind; and 2. Get a good social media strategy so when I launch things, I will have an audience. 3. figure out what products my work is best for.
I think I am getting closer to a vision, but some health and time challenges have set my time-table back. So I was just soooo happy to hear your success story! That gives me courage that maybe I can find a plan that works! And a blueprint to try. Thanks for giving us permission to check out your strategy. If I have questions later I hope that I can ask. Your stuff is darling! Thank you for sharing!
@juliepeelart Wow what a story!! It seems you jumped in head first, and I really respect that You'll find what works for you! There is no one size fits all answer after all. I also had to do a massive shift in my audience and product after my last attempt at a business. Back then I thought "I like drawing cute stuff, so I'll make nursery prints. Perfect!" I hadn't thought that by doing this my audience would be moms, a group I don't know anything about, cannot relate to, don't know how to talk to them or their needs. So it was all over the place! And when I thought about doubling down on research and effort to really connect with moms, I wasn't feeling up to it. So I had some soul searching and realized I really wanted to serve other creatives. Clipart is my way to do that! And I LOVE crafting, but I've had to put it aside for years to focus on illustration. Now I feel that I want to go play in that sandbox again, so I decided to do clipart for crafters. Everything has flown so much easier since I decided that! Sure it's been a lot of work, but it feels right and I'm always motivated to find new ways to grow the business. I have an endless list of ideas! I wish you the best of luck in figuring out what you want to create and who you want to serve, I'm sure you will decipher it I also suggest you do some research on Etsy to see what's out there, and what ygou could see yourself doing. Kind of like the dream portfolio assignment, but "dream Etsy shop" instead hihi
@NessIllustration Thank you for your encouragement! One thing you said really helps me a lot. The idea of connecting with your audience and knowing their needs can point me in a direction. I have had lots of people give me suggestions of what I should make and one has been to make digital clip art, (Sillouette or Cricut type) but whenever I think about it I get mental hives because I have a different experience with crafts. I stink at them! I don't know the lingo, or the process or even how I would test the files. I suppose I could learn, but starting where I already have a passion is a great point. People also have suggested Nursery art to me, I feel kind of neutral on that one, it could maybe work. What I really like is art that is clever or funny and usable. People suggest cards too, and I wonder, does anybody do that anymore? But if it were a funny card that would be cool to make (now I am chasing my tail again.) I love your idea of a dream Etsy shop assignment! I am going to try it! Thank you!
@juliepeelart Your comment made me chuckle! Clipart was a perfect fit for me, but for you the idea of looking into crafts is as uninviting as the idea of looking into parenting was to me hahaha I think you're on to something with the clever/funny/usable idea. There is a big market for that!! There are huge shops that do funny cards, funny mugs, funny t-shirts, funny totes, etc. If you have a knack for creating clever new designs that tickle people pink, it literally has the potential to go viral! You can do some research to find a niche that's perfect for you, there are several. Like cards and stationary, or maybe specializing in gift items. At any rate, there's definitely a market for the fun, clever and funny! If that's what you love to do, it's a very viable idea business-wise.
Here are some nice shops that are killing it!
T-shirts and apparel: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ThreadAlive?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=678071926
Funny kitchen and bath prints: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KITCHENBATHPRINTS