Selling Online: Business Skills for Product Designers | Lauren Slowik | Skillshare

Selling Online: Business Skills for Product Designers

Lauren Slowik, Designer + Technologist

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14 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:12
    • 2. Deciding What To Design

      2:05
    • 3. Considering Your Collection

      2:07
    • 4. Building Your Brand Story

      2:27
    • 5. Building Your Reputation

      1:29
    • 6. Merchandising

      3:27
    • 7. Using PR as a Megaphone

      1:43
    • 8. Optimizing Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

      4:44
    • 9. Optimizing Pinterest

      3:15
    • 10. Email Marketing

      1:51
    • 11. Maintaining your Business

      3:16
    • 12. Designers for Hire

      2:24
    • 13. Finding Your Niche

      3:07
    • 14. Closing

      0:12
35 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join Lauren Slowik (Design Evangelist at Shapeways) for this 30-minute class on running your small online business. With tips and best practices for every stage — developing, merchandising, and marketing — plus ways to build your brand story over time, this class is perfect for everyone selling products online as well as those eager to get started.

We’ll walk through how to choose what designs to produce and stock, plus how to develop a collection and a brand story that reflects it. We’ll also dive into a host of marketing tactics you can use to boost sales and a framework for how to think through planning out a viable business.

Whether building an online shop is a hobby or a full time gig, on Shapeways or off, this class will help you find your niche, build your audience and see your vision come to life.

Shapeways is a Dutch founded, New York based 3D printing online marketplace and service. Users design and upload 3D printable files, and Shapeways prints the objects for them and others.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi there. I'm Lauren, design evangelist for education here at Shapeways. Shapeways is as 3D printing service and marketplace, and we have a Shop feature that allows you to run an entire business using our service. You can create products that people can't find anywhere else, truly unique things that can only be made with 3D printing. This class is going to help you get your shops started on our platform. While we'll be talking about Shapeways and the Shapeways platform a great deal, this class is great for anyone selling products online or thinking about starting. We'll walk through what designs to produce and create, how to develop a collection of goods that tell a brand story, so that you can be identified as a designer with a unique voice. We'll also dive into a host of marketing tactics that you can use to boost sales and use as structure for creating a growing business. Whether building an online shop as a hobby or a full-time gig, this class will help you find your niche, build your audience, sell your vision, your business, you'll see it come to life. This class is Selling Online: Business Skills For Product Designers. 2. Deciding What To Design: The first step to setting up your online shop on Shapeways is deciding what to design. We don't have the answer for you for that but there are some strategies to help you figure that out. For one, you are your own customer, in many senses, so the things that you like to design for yourself can often be translated into great products for others. On the flip-side, you can design things for a very specific audience. For example, if you're a brand like Kurbo, you can make your little figurines that connect directly to the rest of your brand strategy. It is important to consider also what sells well. This will help you get better exposure for your products and what's nice about falling into an established category is that you can then focus on developing your brand identity. The way that your products look and function in comparison to the other similar products out there. When you're thinking about a design, put yourself in your customers shoes. What do they want out of that product? Do they want it to function properly? Do they want it to look beautiful? Do they want a little bit of both? All of these are really important considerations when you're starting off your design. What's fortunate about the Shapeways platform is you have a lot of options to try different materials to make sure that your products fulfill those needs. You can use strong flexible plastic for functional devices. You can use our porcelain for homewares and finished decorative goods. There's so many different directions to go, but the important thing to note is the material you're going to be making them out of. That will dictate how you design your piece. It's really important to think about production time when you're designing a new product. Production time is a host of different things. It starts at the sketching and testing phase, all the way through modeling, ordering a test print, photographing your stuff, and finally putting up a fully-realized product for sale on your shop. This can take anywhere from a couple of weeks, to a couple of months, to a couple of years depending on how how quickly you work. You can also make your products available in our beta program. What that means, is your customers will be able to buy your product and give you feedback on how they find that product to work. It's a really special and new way for brands to interact with their audience. 3. Considering Your Collection: When you have your own brand, you also have to be your own creator. You also have to cultivate a look. In some cases, grow your brand depending on that look. So, one thing that we always try to encourage people to do, is consider their entire collection of products when they're designing new things. When you think about a brand that's well known, something like Nike, you can also think about specific lines within their brand that match up with their brand strategy. So, you have Nike Air Max shoes, you have the Air Jordans, they're all distinct collections of designs within the larger brand. So, this is something that you can do for your own shop, and you can carry over some of your design strategies and design motifs throughout the line, to make it recognizable as your own brand. Another piece of information you can gather on the internet to help improve your line is to do some market research. Look at companies, look at designers, look at products that are trying to do something similar to what you're designing for, and try to see if they have any useful strategies around what they design. If there's a consistent functionality that goes throughout all of them, for example, those popular water bottles with the Caribbean are attached. You can use that. That's an open kind of functionality that you can apply to a host of different products to make them much more functional. You can think about what will attract customers to your shop for their first purchase, and then grow from there and think about what is going to make them a repeat buyer, a repeat seller. There's different strategies specifically for Shapeways that can make this really interesting. For one, we have the ability to customize different products on demand. So, if you make it possible for your product to be customized, your shoppers will definitely come back and make customizable products as gifts for friends and family, especially if they're a big fan. Another thing to consider is high quality. People want quality, they want consistent quality, and you want to be able to deliver that. So, when you create a brand, when you create a line, you can take those different quality assurances throughout the brand, and that will speak for you. Larger companies do this at a very big scale. But when you're making your own products, you need to be your own quality assurance as well. This will keep your customers coming back and keep them happy. 4. Building Your Brand Story: So you've established your collection, you've started thinking about your brand look and your motifs and your style, but you want to think about at this point how to turn that process into your brand story, how to create a compelling story of you, the designer, and your products that your customers are going to want to share. First, decide on a mission statement or a brand theme. What do you want people to think of when they think of your brand? It doesn't have to be complicated. If you simply make jewelry because you're excited about how it looks, that can be part of your brand. If you simply make drone accessories because you love flying, make that part of your brand story. There's no one way to do this, but what's most important is that you are truly enthusiastic about the reasons for making your products. When establishing your brand, it's important to tell the story of you as the designer. People are shopping with you and from your unique products because you're one of a kind, because you're an independent designer. You're not a big company, you're not a corporation, and so the interaction with you and the customization of your products, that is what your customers are looking for. So you can use the Internet as a platform to tell the story of the creation of your products. You're a designer, you're smart, you're artistic. I know that you can copy down the things and the steps that you've taken to make your product successful and tell that story to your customers. There's excellent platforms for this on Shapeways itself, and you can use social media to augment that story. For example, you can Instagram a print that you've just received in the mail from Shapeways, pin it to your Pinterest board, and then have it automatically post on your Facebook fan page. So, you're telling your brand story very thoroughly and across many platforms and hopefully reaching lots of different people, and at the same time you're being very authentic. This is your process, you're sharing it with people, and it's helping to support the brand story that you want to create. When thinking about creating a logo for your brand, this doesn't have to be really complicated either. You don't need to go and spend $600, $6,000 on a fancy custom logo. For one, I know for sure there's a website out there where you can find out how to make logos all on your own, skillshare.com, or you can think about just a simple symbol, a photograph, a monogram, your name. It doesn't have to be complicated but you want it to be something that you're going to be proud and happy to put on all of your products, and you want it to be something that's going to communicate the values of what you're making to your customers. 5. Building Your Reputation: There used to be an old saying, "On the Internet, no one knows if you're a dog or a person." But that's really not the case anymore. That was the old Internet. The Internet now, everyone pretty much knows who you are, and part of that accessibility for brands is being able to establish trust with your customers. I know it seems strange, but that's a huge part of shopping with small designers is knowing that they're going to respond to your needs and your requests in the way that they can. Like I said in the previous lesson, you are in a big corporation, but you are providing a service. So, one way to continue to have loyal, excellent customers is to build your trust with them. I'm going to talk about some strategies to do that. Trust is crucial because it builds word of mouth reputation between your loyal customers and potential new customers. Be prompt when responding to inquiries from your customers on your shop. I know it seems trivial, but even small comments can really help customers feel confident that you're listening to their problems and helping them with their products. Since you're oftentimes making things specifically for one person, these unique products need to match their expectations of what you're making. Probably, the most important way to convey that you're a person making these things and not just a robot behind a computer, is to use your Shapeways shop description to create a picture of you and the shop that you run. This is the front window of your store and it's the first way that new customers are going to find out about who you are and why you're making the products that you do. 6. Merchandising: The first step in marketing is merchandising. This relates very closely to when you are creating your brand identity and when you're choosing how to design your products. Merchandising is the act of picking the types of products you are going to make. How you photograph them, what materials you offer things, and all of these are considered. You need to think about them as a cohesive whole as well as individual products. Merchandising is going to help you create a visual shorthand for your brand that's going to carry your story to all your customers. This will make your job as a marketer for your own products much, much easier. Some strategies around merchandising. For one, you want to set a calendar. Obviously, there's some big times during the year where people tend to buy gifts. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, holidays of all sorts. You want to keep those in mind when you're merchandising your shop and highlight gifts and objects that are going to sell well during those holidays. You can also coordinate that calendar with some of your other marketing efforts so that you have a cohesive story no matter when people come to visit your shop. Another huge piece of marketing and specifically of merchandising is creating, engaging, and visually appealing images of your products. Once again, there are tons of strategies for photographing products, and Skillshare is an excellent place to get further information on how to do really in-depth lovely photographs of your products. First order of business is you want them to be informative, clear, and visually appealing. That will depend on the product you're making. If you're creating jewelry, I highly recommend getting a model to wear that jewelry. It will help answer questions like, how big is this necklace? How big are these earrings? What does it look like when someone's wearing it? A 3D render is not the same thing as a real picture of the real thing. So, I really recommend to order at least one of each of your products and photograph it out in the real world. When you have the model in place, right in front of you, you definitely want to provide different angles. Obviously, something like an iPhone case, it's pretty self-explanatory how that works. People are rather familiar with it but there may be aspects of the design that they aren't aware of, and you want to be able to show that to them from every angle. Another way that you can think about these multiple shots is also telling your brand story. You can get a model or create a scene where your products tend to fit within that kind of motif, and that will help both convey use and functionality of your product, as well as the larger brand story on your efforts to merchandise will become consistent across your products. Another really amazing option on Shapeways is the ability to provide the same product in many different materials. This is a really exciting thing that I think a lot of both shop owners and customers maybe aren't always aware of. So, having photographs, showing the full spectrum of that product and all of the different materials in which you offer it, could be really helpful in making a sale. Perhaps the customer didn't realize that you had a product that was available in more than one type of material. A nice photograph showing all of those materials together to compare it would be a really wonderful sales point for that. Another way to think about photographing your products is, it's an investment in your business. If you don't invest in your business, then other people won't either. So, it's really important for you to make sure that people get a good impression of what your products actually look like. 7. Using PR as a Megaphone: Though we've seen a big change in how small companies can advertise in the Internet, there is definitely something to be said for traditional public relations or PR. Doesn't need to be a scary word, PR, it's really just the way that you present your company to larger platforms that we'll talk about it. In this case, we're going to talk about how to create a pitch that you will then give to a press person in order to create a story about your service or your products. If you get the opportunity to speak with a publication, or a writer or reporter, you want to be prepared. The best thing to have when you do this is a pitch. A pitch is the initial story that you want to tell the reporter, it's the reason that you think your products and your shop are news worthy. It also helps to do some research on the news organization or the reporter that you'll be talking to you about your products. You definitely want to kind of tailor your pitch to the interests of the audience of that particular news outlet, for example, if you are pitching to a fashion tech blog you would definitely want to play up the fact that your products are cutting edge fashion tech accessories and they absolutely have to be part of everyone's new wardrobe. This pitch wouldn't quite make the same sense if you're pitching to a gamer blog or something like that, so, you definitely want to make sure that you're pitching to the right audience, and the right reporter, and the right news outlet with the right story. If you do connect with the reporter and get a story written about your product, it's really important to stay in touch with the reporter and follow-up. You can tweet at them, you can retweet the story, there's a lot of different ways that you can stay engaged. But this is probably one of the most important, because once you have a connection with press, there's a chance that you could continue to get press coverage in the future. 8. Optimizing Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: Hello. My name is Eric Ho. I'm the Social Media Specialist at Shapeways, and today, I'm going to teach you some tips and tricks to leverage social media to promote your online business. One way to start promoting your Facebook brand page on Facebook is to start sharing visual and engaging content through Facebook posts. Usually, text posts don't do as well as the photo post or video. Sharing a photo on Facebook usually gets three times more engagement than a standard text post alone, and sharing video posts on Facebook usually gets five times more engagement than photo post alone. An engagement on Facebook usually counts as a like, a comment, or a share which is important to growing and extending your reach. So, whether or not you're selling model airplanes, or you're a dog fan. For example, I sell 3D printing Thorgis, do a simple search for Thorgi groups, and join all of them. Share your content on those groups. Engage with people, and audience, and like-minded individuals on those groups. Facebook groups are a great way to build a new audience on a more personal scale. It becomes more authentic. You're promoting your product as yourself in a human being versus a brand. One way to start promoting your products on Facebook is running a Facebook.post, which are essentially, surgically segmented ads. Say, if I was promoting sneakers, I'd run a promoter post where I'd target my audience, whether that's 15 to 25-year-old males, who live in the United States, or you can get even more specific than that. People who like Nike sneakers or Adidas, and begin serving ads to a very specific audience group that will actually care about your content. Now I'm going to go into one of my favorite listening platforms which is Twitter. The reason I like Twitter is that imagine the Internet as a giant cocktail party where you could join any conversation based on the topic you care about. By doing a simple search on Twitter, you could search race cars, and you could see all the tweets of people tweeting about race cars, and you could jump into those conversations by simply replying to those tweets. A random stranger could comment and jump into your tweet, and that way you get your name out there. You almost have a direct communication channel to anyone who has a public Twitter account, whether that's a A-list celebrity, or a publishing company, or a blog that covers your specific business. So my favorite platform to use in 2015, I've got to say is Instagram. What's great about Instagram is that there aren't many advertisers using Instagram. There aren't a lot of people pushing out an overabundance of content, so it's not a crowded platform. Experience is very visual and open for users to share and tell your story mostly behind-the-scenes in a very visual and thoughtful way. Just like with Twitter, take advantage of Instagram search. Search specific hashtags that relate to your business. Jump into those conversations. Begin commenting on people's photos, letting them know that you have a specific product offering that relates to the interests that they're posting about. Always link to your website and your profile on Instagram. That's a great way for users who land on your Instagram profile to learn more about you and check out your website. One hack that I've been using on Instagram is you could direct message photos to anyone. Same thing with Twitter which just launched an open direct message, a feature where if it's enabled, you could literally send a direct message to any Twitter account. This could be Keanu Reeves or a big brand like Pepsi or Beyonce. Same with Instagram, you could send a direct message photo to a blog like Mashable, or BuzzFeed, and they could potentially pick up your content. It actually shows if they've read your message or not, which is pretty cool. So that's a little trick that you could take advantage of. I think video is going to be the future. People's attention spans are getting shorter, and people are spending more time on a mobile device. So if you see platforms like Facebook, and Snapchat, and Twitter, Periscope, it's all very video-focused. Video storytelling is very compelling, and it has a more emotional connection to your customers. So keep that in mind, Internet. 9. Optimizing Pinterest: When you're starting with Pinterest, you want to ask yourself a couple of important questions. For one you can think about whether or not you have a very visual product, you want to make sure you have eye-catching, visually appealing images to pin onto Pinterest. Another odd question is to ask yourself if your customer base is primarily female, Pinterest has done a great deal of research to discover that the vast majority of their users are women. So, whether that means the products appeal to them or appeal to the people that they're buying for, Pinterest is a great place to the access that target market. Another great reason to use Pinterest is, it is a sharing option that's built into your ShaPeways shops. So, you can share directly to Pinterest from your shop. The images are always anchored on the original web page where they were first posted. So, when a pinner is interested in a product that you've pinned there, if they click on that image, it's going to take them directly to your shop where they can then go ahead and purchase that item. Main things to keep in mind when you're using pinterest, for one you want to consider how to categorize your pin boards, they can tell a story about the products you make, your brand story or the services you offer. Your main goal for a pin on Pinterest is to maximize exposure with three pins, comments, and likes. You can follow all the same tips for visually appealing social media that we've suggested in other platforms like Twitter and Instagram. In fact, it gets really fun when you can reuse some of the images from those different platforms across platforms. It actually creates a brand consistency across your social media and that's something else to consider as well. Just like with Facebook and Twitter, it's important to engage with other users on Pinterest. So, if you have followers that seemed to really like your stuff, highly recommend digging into their boards seeing what they're into, seeing what their re-posting, seeing what of yours that they've re-pinned. It's all part of that social media cocktail party and pinterest is an excellent way to share visual content across people with very similar interests. Because the platform allows you to follow not just individual opinions but also specific content within their pin board. So, I don't have to follow everything that somebody pins. You can just follow one board that's focused on say, what the jewelry they make or the services they offer and this is where it can get really nicely granular and you can start to figure out which of those boards on Pinterest is performing the best and tailor your content from there. So, it's all a learning process and what's nice about social media, is that you're getting instant feedback from your audience about what's working, what looks good, and what's popular. Your main goal for opinions to maximize repins, comments, and likes but it's also important to think about Pinterest over time, you don't want to abandon your boards and you don't want to suddenly mass post 500 new pins all at once. I usually recommend keeping all of your social media unified, so if you post something to Instagram, you can augment it maybe post a few more pictures of the same product on Pinterest and then tweet a photo from Pinterest onto your Twitter account. That way everything comes together and again it's telling your brand story across social media. 10. Email Marketing: If you want to create your own email marketing campaign, you want to start building an email list. There are lots of services out there that do this, and again, Skillshare is a great place to find even more strategies on how to use email marketing. You can look up their video with MailChimp, which is an excellent free service for getting an email marketing campaign going. It's also a really great strategy to try to get included in other email marketing campaigns. This is when all of the other marketing tactics that we've been mentioning can come together quite nicely. So, if you do your niche research, if you find communities on the internet, and you find news outlets or bloggers that are covering the types of products that you're making, you can pitch to them your products and your merchandised shop to be included in their email marketing campaigns. This is a really wonderful scalable way for you to grow the reach of your business without having to create a big database of your own contacts. That being said, if there is an advantage to having your own database of customer information, but you want to be responsible about that, and you want to make sure that the customers want to be included in those outreach. The nice thing about email marketing campaigns from other bloggers, is most likely they've done their due diligence, and they have a willing audience of excited people receiving their marketing content. If you do end up establishing a email marketing strategy for your business, you want to schedule reoccurring emails generously. For your customers, you don't want to spam their inbox with lots of information that they already know about your business, and you also want to give yourself some time to create content that's going to be valuable and interesting for your customers. Again, if you keep sending the same things, it kind of means that you don't need to send that weekly email, you could maybe bring it back to once a month. This way you'd have more time to design, more time to merchandise your shop, and have a higher-quality email marketing strategy in the end. 11. Maintaining your Business: So, we've talked about what to design, who to design for, how to market to those people. Now, you want to think about how to keep this all going. For one, you want to give yourself plenty of time. A business doesn't just spring up overnight. Though you may have an overnight success in one of your products, you want to use that momentum should grow the rest of your business, and not rely on a single product, or a single flash in the pan. So, there's a couple of strategies around this, they're very loose and very high level. For example, there's lots of lessons on Skillshare, and other learning websites about how to create a business plan, and a marketing calendar, and things like that. You find that you're putting a lot of energy into those types of efforts through business. I recommend doing some more research into how to do those effectively. It may seem like small pieces of effort along the way but I really highly recommend keeping track of the time you spend on each step of your business. How much time you invest in social marketing, how much time you invest in designing, how much time you invest in merchandising. This will help you understand what's effective and what to scale back on. So, if you create a really elaborate social marketing campaign that ends up not doing as great as you hoped, and you can at least go back and look at what didn't succeed and try to continue those strategies while leaving behind some of the strategies that didn't work before. So, your business is going to grow and build over time and you need to give yourself chances to try new things. Especially on the internet, especially with 3D printing, especially with mass customization. This is all new and exciting stuff, and we're figuring it out along with you how to make the best business for these products. An additional reason for keeping records on the time you spend and the investments you make in your business, is being able to price your products accurately. You want to be able to pay yourself, you're the designer or proprietor. So, you need to figure out what your hours are, and how much work you're putting into this in order to pay yourself properly. When talking about pricing it can be challenging to think about what exactly should I charge for my products. There's a lot of psychology involved in how to charge for things and the price that you set for your designs. But the best way to approach it is to think about where your customers are buying, the price points that they're interested in, the materials out of which you're making your product which will help dictate the price point for sure and also the perceived value of what you're creating. So, when you create a piece of jewelry that is made out of plastic and then another version of the same piece of jewelry that is made out of precious metal. It's going to be perceived that the precious metal piece of jewelry is much more valuable than the plastic. So, you want your price points to reflect that. Because Shapeways has a dynamic pricing algorithm, you're always going to get a slightly different starting price for every model you make. So, you want to have a strategy around where you want your products to fit in that price point. It doesn't have to be the material or the exclusivity of the object, it can just be how very unique it is. For example, for this Fitbit clip, these are the only people making these things right now. So, the value is that this is the only place that I can get this accessory for my tech. You can make that obvious, by making it part of the product description as well as your shop. Then, the value will be clear and customers will be happy to pay your price points. 12. Designers for Hire: So, at this point, if you're running a successful Shapeways shop, you've got a social media strategy, you've got a marketing calendar, you've got all these stuff under your belt, you actually have a whole new skill that you can market on Shapeways, and that is that of a designer on Shapeways. A lot of Shapeways customers are really excited about making custom products, but they don't have the design skills, or the software skills to create the models that they want, and that's where you come in. You can offer your services as a designer for hire on Shapeways. There's a couple of quick strategies to make that, a fun and really exciting way to collaborate with new ideas from customers that you might not have ever expected. For one, you can be confident that you understand the Shapeways platform, especially if you have your own successful product line, you can definitely advertise. If you're highly experienced with things like laser-sintered nylon, or wax model casting, there are definitely people out there who are looking for your specific design skills. When you're marketing the services that you offer, you want to be clear about what your specialty is. Do you prefer to design products? Do you prefer to design characters? Do you prefer to design homewares? Do you prefer to model any mathematics software, and do mathematical visualizations? There are tons of different ways to approach 3D designing, and different customers are going to be looking for different skills. So, making that clear, as they're looking for someone to use to help them execute their design, we'll make your life a lot easier. One of the most frequent questions I get is how to price your design services. This is an age-old problem that has a very difficult answer which is, "I don't know." Each person is different, each project is different, but you do want to keep in mind, some of the same factors that you keep in mind when you're setting your prices for your own models. How much time did you spend on the project? Did you leave time in the process for revisions and changes? Did you also schedule documentation of anytime you are consulting and not necessarily designing? All of this counts as design services, and so, you want to keep track of that to give yourself an appropriate price point. From there, whatever you're comfortable charging on an hourly or piecework basis is up to you. There's actually a lot of discussion about this, there's tons of freelancers out there who deal with these questions day in day out, and there's even a wonderful section on our forums for designers for hire, who are looking for advice on how to price and handle different client issues. 13. Finding Your Niche: An excellent example of a shop and a business that has taken advantage of niche marketing is our partnership with Hero Forge. So, there's a huge gaming community out there, they're very active on the internet. Within the gaming community, there's the board game community and within that community, there's even further different types of board games that each group of fans tends to play. Hero Forge is a really wonderful, look at that industry and how they can make products that that niche is really interested in and board games, you often have your own symbol, your own avatar. Hero Forge allows you to realize your avatar in 3D space and have a one of a kind designed object to play your board game with. So, this is a really specific use case, they take advantage of the materials that Shapeways uses and the fact that all of our products are created on demand, that means that you don't need to order 10,000 of your little figurine in order to make it worthwhile, you can just order one. Hero Forge has really tapped into this and so I think they're an excellent example of taking not only niche and using it in their marketing practices, but actually from the very start to establish their entire business and their customer base. The challenge of selling to niche communities is finding them and marketing to them. Luckily, if you have an interest in making products for niche community, you're probably in that community yourself, and if you're not it's really easy to get involved. You can use a simple Google search to find some major blogs or forums around that niche community. A really popular example on our site is the model train world, there's tons of model train enthusiast creating new models, ordering models, requesting custom designs for a miniature of their own house or their own town for example, so there's a very large market there and there's lots of different avenues to connect with those people online and on the internet. The best way to start of course, Facebook pages, fan pages, specific discussion blogs, newsletters. There are a plethora of different ways you can get connected with these people, but the best way to do is start the conversation online. Once you have an established connection with that niche community, you can start to even go and meet them out in person. There's all kinds of events around niche communities. You have model train conventions, model aviation conventions, drone conventions, BronyCon, on and on and on, there are so many different ways for you to get connected. I would say the best way especially if you're making tech accessories and 3D printing, is to find a mini maker faire near you. They are all over the world, they're very inexpensive to participate in, they're usually community-driven and you'll usually meet not just people that are interested in technology, but also people that are in your community that are from your neighborhood, from your town that you might be able to connect with and grow your business alongside them. Regardless of which niche you find yourself to be a part of, connecting with them and creating a community around that topic takes time and energy, and you want it to be something that you yourself are truly excited about as well. But once you do connect with those communities, they tend to be incredibly loyal customers, they have a great deal of good things to say about the designers that make products just for them. 14. Closing: So, thank you for joining us, and listening to our tips for running a shop on Shapeways. You are just like thousands of other shop owners and there are lots of people discussing the best strategies on how to sell your new products. Thanks so much.