Zazzle designing and promoting are tough to combine for many designers. But to get our products out there, we have to promote them. As much as we may hate the idea of being pulled away from the designing part of our jobs, promotion is essential to finding customers. After all, we are in this business to sell our designs.
I’m not going to tell you that doing promoting my way brings sales, but it does motivate me to advertise and that is half the battle. Doing it. Because I am in the Promoter Store program, I rarely promote products that are not my own. This is a time constraint thing and not because I dislike other designs. This page is about promoting my own products.
To say I am technology challenged is a huge understatement. My kids make fun of me when I text something to the wrong person, or take only one photo with my iPhone reminding me that I don’t have to get the film developed! Old habits. I didn’t grow up in a throw-away digital world.
Using the internet to put my product designs into the world has been a challenge even though I have all the basic social media accounts. It’s a challenge because I honestly don’t like using most of them, even for personal stuff.
I’m also horrible at looking at stats or analyzing where my sales come from. I know I need to do it – one day I will.
My Favorite Ways to Be Social Online
The trick for me has been to find a social outlet that appeals to me. I’ve done Twitter and don’t see the point. I’m not interested in reading everyone’s tweets or finding people to re-tweet hoping they will re-tweet me. Instagram is not the place to promote, for me anyway. I do share things there, but infrequently.
I have three FaceBook “stores” for weddings, seashells, and everything else. I post products there because it’s easy even though I get very low (I mean like single digit) views.
Now, for what I do like.
Back when I began at Zazzle (2007), I started a WordPress blog (this one you are reading) without even understanding much about blogging. It sounded like a fun way to share my seashell photography, even though I lived far from the beach at the time. Over the years my writing skills have improved simply by writing on the blog often. I’ve learned about photo sizing, making links, and writing enough to get readers. Recently (last year) I added a section to this blog for advertising my Zazzle, beach and seashell invitations and gifts. I already had blog views, so it made sense to put my seashell and beach-related designs on the same site.
Pinterest is the only social site that is useful for me. I use it to store my favorite knitting patterns and yarn, or save recipes I have made and like. Adding my Zazzle products to that space seemed like a good fit. The one thing that irks me about Pinterest is that they make changes constantly to their platform. We must always adjust to what they want when loading products there.
It comes down to not stretching myself paper thin trying to do it all. I’m one person trying to design, organize my Zazzle stores, do everyday life, and find time to do some promoting somewhere in there. You know what I’m saying.
Here’s What Motivates Me To Promote My Own Zazzle Products
What is a better motivator than seeing a nice bunch of sales listed in my account? Nothing. First of all, selling a product means it will automatically get a better ranking than anything not sold. It will be more likely that a customer, when searching for that type of product, will find mine among the others at Zazzle that are similar. A sale also tells me that someone liked the design enough to buy it! If one person liked it, others will.
I like what I make.
It used to be that I made a lot of wedding products. Everyone knows there is money in weddings. But I never liked doing that because weddings were not my thing. When sales fell, I decided to get away from weddings. I still have the designs, but they are not my main focus.
As the years have progressed my abilities to design have improved – or I’d like to think so. I also feel more in tune with what customers are looking for from me. My main focus is beach themed stuff, and I know there is a lot of that out there, but I strive to be different. I live in Florida, as do millions of other people, and I know they like beach-related products. Beaches are popular and ocean scenes and the feel of being in a tropical paradise will never die, unless all beaches disappear. I know there are potential customers out there who need my stuff! Yes, they need it! It inspires me to create and advertise.
My Simple Day-to-Day Promoting
I hate to be tied to a schedule, but in general here is what I do each day to promote.
Check sales first thing – of course! I’m fortunate that I do get sales every day. Worthwhile products (not old discounted stuff that even I don’t like) that have been sold will get posted to Pinterest, shared on a FB page, and / or added to a blog page made for that subject, if there is one. I might be inspired to start a new page on my site.
Because Zazzle now allows us to show various colors for the same product, if I am able (depending on the design), I will change the colors on the product that sold. This makes more choices available for customers next time they come across that item. This is the second thing I do, and goes along with the first, which increases new products in my stores. I will promote those products the following day. If you don’t have any sales, do this anyway with some of your newer products. Or find other ways to update older stuff. Updating is very important. Check tags and descriptions and give customers more colors to select.
Which brings me to the third thing I do to promote. Look at yesterday’s new designs (try to make something every day) and promote those.
I consider all these things as being part of the promoting process. Time spent at my sites (including Zazzle stores) is always worthwhile. Sometimes I also write blog posts, which usually have nothing to do with Zazzle, but posting frequently will bring blog readers who may in turn see my products and become interested enough to investigate further.
These are simple things but I feel they are good for me at the present time. None of this overwhelms me
What I Don’t Do, But You May Want To Do
I know that Zazzle has sales, and I get the e-mails with the coupon codes for us to use, but I find that to be too time consuming and brief to keep up with. Maybe I’m wrong in thinking that way, but for now I just can’t handle it. Instead I add a link to Zazzle’s coupon page at the top of my product pages.
There are people like Mark Highton-Ridley who has Nifty Toolz for us to use to promote, but I am so clueless that I just don’t get it. I have to do what I can handle at the present time. Lots of designers love his tools, so check it out.
You may read this and think I am doing things the hard way / wrong way, and it could well be. But I have to do what works for me. And you should do what works for you. In the end, it’s all about the customers we hope to find. Next year I could be doing things totally differently.
More Information About Promoting Your Zazzle Products
Here are some links to pages that have more information about promoting Zazzle products. Remember that we can’t do it all, so pick and choose what appeals to you.