Stop Overthinking and Start Selling: 6 Tips For Opening an Online Shop
Whether you’ve decided to sell your design resources online full time, or just thought it would be a great outlet to allow you to do what you love most, opening an online shop can be somewhat daunting. For starters, the Internet is packed with free stock images, fonts, themes, and mockups, so what’s left for you to contribute, right? Wrong.
Why Open a Digital Shop?
If not for any other reason, selling things you made with your own two hands (or mouse, or both) is an incredibly satisfying feeling! To know that someone scrolled through dozens, if not hundreds, of Photoshop actions, and finally decided to buy yours, is a great reassurance that you are pretty awesome at what you do.
Ego boosts aside, seeing your work out in the world, or even just knowing that your resource is a part of someone’s design or presentation halfway around the globe, is a cool reminder that this planet of ours really is just one big community.
And let’s not forget the reason many people decide to sell online: it’s a great way to make money while wearing your pajamas. (That’s just an expression. Never work in your pajamas. More on that later.) Unlike a brick-and-mortar shop, an online shop doesn’t weigh you down with many expenses. Your products are files; they don’t expire, and they don’t take up precious square footage. If you create great products, they will essentially keep making you money.
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s discuss the how. I’d like to share some tips I’ve learned along the way for entering the big and wonderful world of online markets.
1. Make Only What You Love
Put your heart into what you make, and it will show, both in the product, and in its sales. Create something you believe in, and the right customers will come along. That being said, always do your best to read up on design trends, and listen to client feedback. Remember, you’re still making to sell, and your aim is to make your product relevant and desirable.
2. Fill the Gap
Selling your work allows you to fill a void where you see one: if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why aren’t there more stock photos of clowns/caterpillars/cruise ships?”, opening a shop will provide you the chance to offer that supply where you see a demand.
3. Done Is Better Than Perfect
With a million articles out there on “How to create your brand” and “How to find your niche market,” it can be tempting to try and introduce yourself as a fully-established company before you actually take the plunge and open up shop.
Face it: you’re going to stumble here and there along the path to online superstardom. Only by beginning will you learn which products sell and which don’t, which products you enjoy creating, and which promotions are most effective.
4. Stop Pinning, Start Creating
If you, like me, sometimes find yourself wasting hours searching for inspiration, only to be overwhelmed by the beautiful work other people made, then my advice to you is: stop.
Block out a chunk of time during which you’ll look for your inspiration (set a timer if you must), and get to work.
5. Bring Your “A” Game
If you want others to take you and your business seriously, you’ve got to take yourself seriously.
- Put up only your best work. Quality trumps quantity, so only display products that you’re proud of.
- Take the time and put up a great photo of yourself, one that reflects you and your shop. No blurry, awkwardly cropped photos of you from your cousin’s wedding.
- Respond to your customers promptly, whether it be to thank them for a compliment or to offer technical support on a product they purchased.
- Never work in your pajamas. Working from home presents many opportunities to procrastinate, and before you know it, it’s one in the afternoon. This one’s up for debate, but I believe that you should get up, and get dressed—it’s an excellent way to ensure that your day will be a productive one.
6. Connect with the Community
Creative Market is not just a market, it’s a community full of talented and friendly designers and other creatives, with so much to say and offer. As a new seller, you can learn a lot by participating in the discussions, keeping updated on the blog, and even by reading comments left on products. People here are more than happy to share their knowledge, and you can learn a lot simply by making some friendly connections. Sometimes, these connections lead to exciting work opportunities!
Go For It
Simple enough, right? With no more excuses, and this list of handy tips, I hope you’ll decide to open up an online shop, and sell your creations alongside me.
I’d be interested to know, what tips would you give to aspiring shop owners? What do you enjoy most about selling online? And… do you work in your pajamas?
Shelly Laslo is the owner of DrawBabyDraw Designs, where she sells handmade design resources which give your work a unique, one-a-kind charm.
Header image created using iPad & Macbook 9 photo mockups.