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7 Easy Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd

RetroSupply March 31, 2021 · 8 min read

You might have noticed Creative Market is becoming more competitive.
Competition is great. It means more high-quality options for customers. But it’s also a challenge for shop owners. It makes it harder to stand out from the crowd. The good news is there’s a simple way to make your shop stand out. It’s not complicated, but it does take a shift in mindset. But it will make your shop stand out like a glimmering, unforgettable jewel among other shops.
Here’s the secret to making your shop stand out from the competition:
Be different.
I don’t mean this in a superficial way, but in a fundamental way.
Make your products differently (instead of making “me too” products).
Share your products differently (instead of just sending the mandatory tweet and Facebook post.
Create preview images differently (instead of modeling your favorite shop).
There are hundreds of different ways in which you can be different. In this article, I’m going to share seven ideas to help you can make your shop different (so visitors remember your site and become customers).

1. Do the Opposite

Lazy Boy Arm Chair
It can be tempting to see a successful product and then make something similar. After all, if it’s selling well for them, why not make one yourself?
Creating a product like a best-seller is tempting. It’s tempting because it’s guaranteed to generate sales in the short term.
The problem is that you’ve just become a “me too” brand. Meaning, you run the risk of becoming like the generic supermarket brand. At first you’ll make sales but it’s no way to make a lasting business. Why? Because you’ll blend in with the mountains of other similar products.
The result? Potential customers can’t remember your brand and don’t have brand loyalty.
So how do you avoid becoming a “me too” shop and still take advantage of trends in the market? Do the opposite of your competitors when you create a similar product. For example, let’s say your competitor makes a product called The Ultimate Hand Painted Flower Clip Art Kit.
Instead of making your set in the same pastel and spring colors why not make one with an Eastern theme? Picture creating a kit with exotic red and orange flowers displayed on a black matte background. See what we’re doing here?
We’re getting a successful idea and then taking it in a different direction. The result is a product that is desirable to the market and unforgettable.

2. Outwork Your Competitors (Add descriptions, extra images, demo videos, freebies and more)

Lazy Boy Recliner
One of the easiest ways to make your shop stand out in your prospects’ minds is by getting them to spend more quality time with you. And when customers spend more quality time on your shop page, they’re more likely to make a purchase.
So how can we persuade our customers to spend more time at our shop? The easiest way is to provide more cool, useful, engaging content.
Let’s look at another example: imagine you’re selling a branding mock-up kit.
Here’s some content you could include to take more of your customers’ time:

  • Detailed copy with lots of bullets (so your product benefits are easy to find)
  • A free download of one of the mock-ups (so they can try it out)
  • A product tour video (so they can imagine using your product)
  • An in-depth PDF with tips for using the pack

Is this overkill? Absolutely not. Think about the last time you were making a purchase. Imagine you’re a coffee fanatic shopping for a new roast. You would happily read the details on the back of the bag, get feedback from the barista, read the display copy, and taste a sample. See what I mean? When you’re thinking about making a purchase the product becomes fascinating. You can’t get enough.
Give your customers plenty of content to consume and they’ll buy more of your products.

3. Get Personal

Connections between people
Did you know that it cost 5 times more to get a new prospect to buy than a customer (according to this Forbes article)?
In other words, it’s way easier to convince existing customers to buy then to convince new ones. Take advantage of this by reaching out to your existing customers.
Here are some easy ways to reach out:

  • Send them the occasional message on Creative Market when you release a product you think they might like (do this by searching your Notificatons > Sales area)
  • Follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Dribbble and interact in a meaningful way
  • Ask for their feedback on new products

This kind of personal interaction takes a little more time, but the people you reach out to will remember you. A single meaningful interaction like this can result in a loyal customer for years.

4. Use The Squint Test

Squinting eye
This is a trick I learned while studying how to create high-converting landing pages. The Squint Test a powerful way of making your product stand out. Test after test proves it works, and it’s easy to try out.
Here’s how it works:

  1. Look at your product in its natural environment. As a shop owner, that means surrounded by a bunch of other products competing for attention.
  2. Now, squint your eyes until the page becomes blurry. Does your product stand out from everything else on the page? If not, you might consider tweaking your cover so it stands out more.

Here’s an easy way to do this:

  1. Take a screenshot of the Creative Market page your product is most likely to be seen on.
  2. Open the screenshot in Photoshop.
  3. Place your product cover over a random product on the page (so it looks like your product is there).
  4. Now squint your eyes (or use Gaussian Blur) to blur the image.

Save this template and use it to test your cover whenever you make a new product.

5. Give Something Away for Free (That You Could Actually Sell)

A gift with ribbon
In sales and marketing there’s one word that is more powerful than just about any other.
What’s the word?
If you guessed FREE you’re right! People love free stuff. The desire to get something for free (that is perceived as valuable) is irresistible.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to give something away for free.
The Wrong Way
Give away something disappointing. For example, tell people you’re giving a way a pack of free stock photos and then make them all super small low-resolution files.
You’re guaranteed to disappoint a lot of people, or worse, make them angry.
The Right Way
Give away something so good you could legitimately charge money for it. The best way to do this is to just get a product (or part of a product) that you typically sell and make it free to download.
You’ll earn loyal customers and active the law of reciprocity.
Pro Tip: Include a note in the file that gives customers a coupon or other good reason to buy something in the future.

6. Be Consistent

Box Television
We humans love predictability. Whether it’s watching our favorite show each week or ordering the same item at the Thai resaurant we love.
Make your shop consistent and watch customers come back on a regular basis to see what you’re up to.
Here’re some easy ways to make your shop more consistent:

  • Post a new product on a regular schedule (so customers return to see what’s new)
  • Be consistent in your branding
  • Include the same style instructions
  • Organize files the same way for all your packs

By making things nice and predictable for your customers, you’ll find that they come back again and again. Plus, they’ll buy more often because they know what to expect.

7. Be “That Guy”

Upside down illusion face
My good friend Jonathan Mead once told me a marketing tip that has stuck with me.
He said, “People have one spot in their brain to categorize you.” What did he mean by that? He meant that people tend to think of people and business in a very simple way. For example, people might categorize your shop like this:

  • That watercolor effect shop
  • That retro shop
  • That brush script font shop
  • That mock-up shop

When you read this list, do certain shops pop into your mind? It means that they’ve gained mental real estate in customers’ minds. When customers are looking for a certain type of design good again that shop is the first place they’ll go.
So choose a logical progression for your shop. Maybe you’re the hand lettering girl; maybe you’re the movie poster effects guy, maybe you’re the minimalist WordPress theme group. Don’t worry about being put in a box. You can always expand into new things. But start by gaining a foothold in your customers mind. Let your shop stand out by focusing, instead of being that random shop that jumps on every trend just to make a sale.

How do you make your shop stand out?

I’d love to hear how you make your shop stand out from the crowd. Share your techniques in the comments below. Or, if you’ve used some of the ideas I mentioned, tell me your story. How did it work for you?
Dustin is the owner of the best-selling Creative Market site, RetroSupply. Visit his site for shop owners to download the free guide The Top 5 (Dirt Cheap) Tools I Use to Create All My Passive Income Products.

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About the Author
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RetroSupply

RetroSupply makes brushes, textures, fonts, and templates for retro-loving illustrators and designers. Our products are made by a full-time team of creatives for use in Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Affinity.

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16 Comments
  • Love this article! Lots of good tips. 6 years ago
  • Awesome post, Dustin! Lots of great tips - I especially like the squint test - smart way to make sure your product cover stands out. Thanks for sharing :) 6 years ago
  • Great tips! Thanks for sharing! 6 years ago
  • Great article. Very informative I am going to make some free goodies tonight. Thanks for sharing. 6 years ago
  • Thank you so much @Kate @Alexis Goodrich @Roberto Rizzo and @Kamrul Hasan ! So glad that you found the article useful! 6 years ago
  • Great article, useful tips that I will definetly use. 6 years ago
  • Great article! Thank you @Dustin Lee for sharing this useful tips! 6 years ago
  • Anonymous
    Thank you for this article. I am currently in the process of finishing/getting serious with selling things on shop. By next week I will be posting my new product, and these tips definitely helps which I will apply as well. Thank You for sharing your insights @Dustin Lee 6 years ago
  • Great Ideas! Thank you. 6 years ago
  • This is a great article @Dustin Lee, definitely worth the read! I think you hit the nail on the head about free products. It's surprising how little high quality stuff is available for free when it's such a great marketing tool if applied correctly! 6 years ago
  • thanks, i hope it works 6 years ago
  • Hello guys! Thank you so much @Kate @Alexis Goodrich @Roberto Rizzo and @OzPhotoshop Actions ! So glad that you found the article useful! 5 years ago
  • Very informative article. Thanks for sharing. 4 years ago
  • Thanks for the tips, I am in research phase of deciding if I want to create a shop and this was very helpful. 4 years ago
  • Dustin, thank you for sharing experience! 2 years ago
  • Thank you very much for the tips. God Bless you 2 years ago