I am relatively new to the “print-on-demand” way of doing business and I think the biggest challenge I have had so far is promoting my shop. I understand that there has to be a balance between “informing” and “spamming”; I hope that my promotion has been perceived as the former because I have purposely held back on sharing links, etc. When I created this blog, I knew that it couldn’t be all about my shop but I also didn’t want it to be that way.
In recent weeks, I have been a frequent visitor of the forums at Zazzle and, in the process, I have met some really nice people who are always willing to help promote each other’s shop. The sense of community at Zazzle is pretty awesome. I thought it might be useful to post all the things I have done to promote my business, for the benefit of anyone in any business to know the places I have discovered in my quest to make ArtCee Designs more well-known. Helping people is one of the biggest motivators behind BOTH of my businesses and I will always, always endeavor to ensure that remains a huge part of my overall mission.
After setting up my shop on Zazzle, I:
- Created Facebook pages, one for each business, and invited people to “like” my pages. I now share the link of every new item in the store, but I also want to do “normal” posts to let everyone know that there is a very caring person behind “ArtCee Designs.” My artwork means something to me. I don’t just create designs for the hell of it. Each design I create means something because a lot of thought goes into elements, placement and colors. Some of my designs have symbolism (particularly the ones I’ve done for Café Sanctuary), but most of them are created based on the people and interests I hold dear.
- Created this Designing Life blog, but not only to promote my work. I have begun a new chapter in my life, after an extremely rough period, and I wanted to share my experiences in the process for anyone who might be facing the same journey. I have had the opportunity to start from scratch, on this brand new blank canvas. I have accepted and embraced that I will always be a work in progress…and I actually like that.
- Started adding some substance to my LinkedIn account, including a link to my shop, which also serves as my portfolio for my artwork. This will change very soon, when I am able to post some designs, and not direct people to a shop.
- Discovered a site called About.Me, which allows its users to post a blurb about themselves (personal and work-related), a picture or two and all the relevant links they want everyone to know about. It’s fully customizable and sharing all of your places on the World Wide Web is very easy (via social media apps and a place to add links).
- Created 2 Pinterest boards ~ one for ArtCee Designs and another group board for fellow Zazzlers to post their products. If you would like to be a Zazzle contributor to the group board, please “follow” it and I will add you accordingly.
- Created business cards through Zazzle and a business flyer (in Microsoft Word, complete with pull tabs) for all the bulletin boards in my community.
- Frequently visit the Zazzle forums and support my fellow shop keepers by visiting, liking and/or commenting on their stores, FB pages, etc. I offer reciprocal links when possible.
- Created a Tumblr account for ArtCee Designs and often share my new products on Twitter.
- Sometimes post new designs on my Instagram, but sparingly, of course.
- Created an account on http://www.behance.net, which allows users to share artwork and receive feedback.
- Created an account on http://www.deviantart.com/, which is another artwork site for feedback on designs. I believe they also allow you to sell things there but I haven’t had a chance to properly look into it.
- Sometimes share my artwork on my Jux blog, but sparingly.
If you have any questions about or need any help with account creation on any of the sites I have posted, please let me know. I will share as much as I know with you and I will also try to find out more, if necessary. I also invite you to “follow”, “connect”, “favorite” “friend” me on any of the sites I’ve mentioned and I will supply you with the relevant usernames, if interested.
If you have any further suggestions for promotion, please share! I hope you find this post helpful.