Branding Your Creative Business: Launching Your Brand | Faye Brown | Skillshare

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Branding Your Creative Business: Launching Your Brand

teacher avatar Faye Brown, Faye Brown Designs

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro to course


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Your website


    • 6.

      Selling on third party sites


    • 7.

      Selling in 'real' shops


    • 8.

      Selling at craft markets


    • 9.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

Following on from Parts 1 and 2 of this series of classes, this class will guide you through the initial steps you need to take to launch your brand from photography to packaging and business cards to websites.

Part 1 of Branding Your Creative Business helped us define exactly what our brands were all about, our target market and how to position ourselves within your own industries. In Part 2 we used all that knowledge and info to move forward and design our company logos.

In Part 3 - Launching your brand we will start off at looking at some of the key things you'll need to get your business started - product photography, personal websites, stationery etc before we then talk about places to potential sell your products and / or services.

Following on from this class is Part 4 - Social Media for your Business where we will then look at how to promote your brand across social media and other forms of publicity. 

This class is aimed at people running creative businesses - such as photographers, craft makers, pattern designers, bakers - people who are talented in their field but feel overwhelmed by branding and how to get started with their businesses.

Meet Your Teacher

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Faye Brown

Faye Brown Designs

Top Teacher


Hey Everyone! Thank you for checking out my classes here on Skillshare. I’m a designer and animator living in the English countryside with my young family. After completing a Graphic Design degree in Bournemouth, I started my career working in London in motion graphics designing and art directing title sequences for TV and film. 10 years later I decided it was time to go freelance, shortly before we started our family. 

These days I work on a variety of projects focusing on my passions of typography and branding. Following the success of my first Skillshare class - The Art of Typography I’ve created a range of classes all aimed to help you guys in different areas of design, typography, branding, creativity, photography and freelancin... See full profile

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1. Intro to course: Welcome to part 3 of branding your creative business. This one is all about launching your brand. Massive big hello to everyone and any students joining me from parts 1 and 2. For all you newbies just to recap, in part 1, we looked at defining your business and brand. Looking at your target market and really defining what your business stands for. In part 2, we looked at designing your logo. In this part, we are going to look at what you might need in place to launch your business and brand. For all you newcomers to this series of classes, hello, my name is Faye Brown, and I'm a designer and animator from the UK. I'm now a freelance designer going under my name Faye Brown Designs and I also have an Etsy business called MissPrintable selling family-friendly printables, which you can download instantly. I'll talk about that quite a lot in the courses. During this class, we will talk about your brand a lot and if at any point you aren't really sure what your brand is, then please go back and take part 1 of this course, which will really help you define what your business and brand is all about and it's really going to help you on your way to developing everything else that you need to develop for launching your brand. Let's crack on. One of the hardest aspects of starting a new business is figuring out what order to do everything in. Should I have a website before my Facebook page is ready? Should my business cards be printed and ready to go? Do I need a blog? A lot of the answers to these questions will largely depend on what your business is. For most of us, I'd say the key things to have in place when you launch is great photos of your products or images that relate to your services, a personal website, and a shop front. Depending again on your business, you may also need packaging for your products. Business cards or fliers, particularly if you go to live events like craft markets or networking events. Those are the elements that we're going to look at in this class. I originally planned to also talk about social media and publicity in this class, but it was getting way too long. It was also quite a lot of information to take in all in one go. I've now split that into two classes, so it's a little bit more manageable to digest. The next class, part 4, will introduce you to social media and talk about blogs, publicity, and marketing. Your class projects is called building your brand elements. By the end of this class, you should have some great photography of your products and all of yourself. A business card or a label design, and a website or online shop link that you can share or show some screen grabs of. It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. What should I do first? Just narrow down the absolutely important elements you'll need to start your business. I could probably say for the vast majority of you, having photographs of your products or services or of yourself is going to be a good starting point. You'll need them for your website to post on social media, your shops, publicity, etc. We will start there and in the next video, we will talk about all aspects of taking photos to use for your business. 2. Photography: Photography. We all have different businesses and some of you who need photos of products you make or your art, clothes you make. Some of you will want photos of cakes. Some of you may do online tutorials or life coaching. So good photos of yourself might be important. I'll try to cover everything you'll need in this video, starting with you. So no matter what business you're in, getting a couple of good photos of yourself will always be useful. You never know when you might need one. Even on my Etsy page for Miss Printables, there's a little spot to put a photo of yourself, and I really recommend doing this if you're on Etsy rather than using a logo in this spot. People like to see a face and feel a slight connection with who they are buying from. Especially on platforms like Etsy, where it's not about dealing with big businesses but supporting small businesses. So you might hate having your photo taken, but I'm sure we all have at least one photo we're happy with, even if it is from 10 years ago. If you teach online, people like to see who they are connecting with. On my first course with Skillshare, I tentatively put a little picture of myself on my intro graphic. Someone recommended I did this, and I didn't feel totally comfortable at first. But the more courses I took myself, I realized I actually like to see an image of who was teaching. So if you are the face of your brand, you need to be comfortable with this. Tips for good photos. Here's me on holiday with a plain background, just sky and sea, nothing too distracting in the background in a simple natural photo. Taken a few years back, looking healthy and refreshed. It's in a natural setting and it's not too setup. It's not corporate, yet still professional. You could get yourself to a studio photography session if that's the style of photography that's going to fit your brand. If your business is high-end fashion, get a better photo shoot for sure because that is going to enhance your brand message. So you could also look at locations as part of your brand story. Here is me in the sea snorkeling. It's an okay photo and it tells a story that I love the sea, but that's not really relevant to my brand. So it might confuse my brand message. If I was selling a life coaching surf service or something related to sport and fitness, a photo along these lines would work better. Again, keep the background simple. Say you make wooden toys from locally-sourced wood, a photo of you in the local woods would fit your brand message. Think about how your photo can enhance your brand. Let's move on to the selfies. Here's one of me in my little studio looking a little tired, and I'm not convinced at using selfies as professional style photos, to be honest. But then there's probably some photographers amongst you who can definitely prove me wrong. So please do. The problem I have with this photo is background is too busy. I would find myself trying to work out where the books were on the bookshelf, and it gives off the message a little bit, you haven't invested some time to have a professional photo taken. Now, I recently saw a great tutorial for taking the perfect selfie and editing it a little with some other apps, and the end result looked really good. So my point with selfies is makes sure it doesn't look like a selfie. You want it to look semi-professional. Having said this, and this would be my only rule-breaker, if your business relates to using online social media, a selfie might actually be a good choice. Here's one more style of photo I would advise against the snapshot. Here's me with a lovely snowman we built. This is just a family snapshot. It's not professionally taken, or framed and it doesn't relate to my brand in anyway. I'd also advise to keep your photo to a headshot so people can clearly see your face. If and when the photo is used as small size. So think Twitter. So key points to take into consideration for your brand portrait photo are; keep the background simple, either plane or relevant to your brand. Think about locations to help strengthen your brand message. Use a semi-professional camera. I'm not totally discarding using smart phone cameras, to be honest is some of them are brilliant, but the most important thing to remember is to try and make it look like it's not been taken by a smartphone. So be careful on the selfie. Avoid the snapshot and finally, look happy, although not ridiculously happy. Look relaxed, presentable and approachable. Photographing your products and makes. So product photography is super important. A great photo of your product can help sell it. A bad photo of your product can turn people away, even if the products are brilliant. So how can you get the perfect product shots? I'll go through a few tips with you on how I photograph my greeting cards first. So here's my general setup. I have a tent of white piece of card and a pretty decent camera lens and external flash. Don't worry, I will also show you ways to photograph if you don't have this setup. Now, there's full courses on photography on Skillshare, so I won't go into the technical aspect too much, but I want to show you your options. Here's a photo I took of my Christmas card in the white tent. The benefits of using a few props is that it helps to create a scene and make it a little more interesting. Just make sure if you do this in any of your descriptions for selling, you make it clear that these products are not included. I used my Canon camera and the external flash was on but pointing up rather than directly at the card. So the shadows are subtle and not too harsh. Here's a photo I took in my tent using my iPhone. It's actually not all that bad. I cleaned it up and brightened it a little bit in Photoshop and it's okay. Avoid taking photos against irrelevant backgrounds, like this one with a radio and coffee machine in the background, and avoid direct sunlight as this creates very harsh lighting and shadows. So maybe you don't have a tent and don't want to purchase one. Here's some photos I took just on a simple piece of thick white card using my iPhone. A few props again, add a little interest. The background is simple and doesn't take anything away from the actual card design. So trying a few alternative angles can also add interest. You could also try using fabric as backgrounds to make some products stand out a little more, or try adding depth by sensor scale when holding your product, and here's the same card taken in the tent with a gray fabric background. Maybe you think the others have a little bit more personality. So I'm hoping this shows you that you can still take good photos without a professional camera. When you're setting up the scene, think about what you're selling and does this photo show off the products in the best way. Do I need a few angles to show off the product completely? For example, my Christmas cards have an inner design and message I'd like potential customers to see. So it's important to have that as an extra photo illustrating it. Third-party sites like Etsy like clean photos on clean backgrounds. If you were selling on your own website, you could look at adding more of your personality or brand into photos. Maybe if you knitted scarfs, you could take some great photos of a model walking in the woods with your scarf on. You can think of lots of extra ways to tell a story. If you design weddings station may get some of the professional photos from the day with the permission of the photographer, of course, and that could be a great way of showing your designs in action likewise with wedding cakes, dresses, and flowers. If your service is a photographer, all of this will come naturally to you anyway, but be mindful that some people don't like their photos of themselves or their children all over the Internet and in public view. So where possible, get permission from people before you put all their photos up online. If you sell prints and art, people like to see what they look like in situ. So in a frame or on a shelf, for instance. For my Miss Printables shop, I've kept this very simple. I actually just bought a few stock images of a white frame on a wall and a brick wall and changed this in Photoshop each time I have a new product. Katie set up a big shoot in her home and took some lovely photos using props to use on the high street shop, and these really add that extra touched when a customer views her products. Compared to mine, her prints immediately look more high-end and expensive. Remember, if you are selling prints, be clear on whether the price includes a frame. If one is included in the product photography but you're not sending them a frame, just make sure that it's clear saying no frame included. So you can even buy stock mockups or frames now. So if you have Photoshop, you can just place your art into position each time depending on your price point, this might be something worth investing in. I'll post up some links in the discussion sections that could be useful for you. This is obviously a brief intro into photography, but I'm hoping it has highlighted a few pointers for you. The main things to take away are; keep the background simple, plain, and/or relevant. Make sure the product is the hero. Props and backgrounds help sell the product, but make sure they don't distract from it. The photos need to look semi-professional. You don't want them to look cheap, and try to set a tone with your photography and carry it through on all your products so that they look part of the same brand. Your photography might develop over time. You might invest in more kit and upgrade, but tried to keep some consistency at the start to help build your brand recognition. I will talk about Instagram photos in the next course on social media and publicity as well. So let's start your product projects. I want you to share with us some of your product photography in the project gallery. Ask if you'd like some feedback, and I do aim to comment on every product project, and ask fellow students for advice too. Some of you will have a lot more knowledge about certain areas of this class, and others will know more about something else. So to try to help each other out as much as you can. In the next video, we are going to look at packaging. 3. Packaging: Packaging. Why is packaging important? Let's think about receiving something free to post. Let's say a necklace. So imagine your necklace turning up in either a cute organza bag or wrapped up in some nice tissue paper and a nice string, or your necklace turning up stuck in an envelope or a clear plastic bag with no extra packaging. It's the same product, but putting in that extra little touch with some nice packaging is what's going to make the customer remember you and your brand. Packaging doesn't have to be expensive. You could make some simple pillow cases for smaller products for example. You can get stickers printed quite cheaply. I got 500 Miss Printables stickers for about £25. Sometimes I print physical prints to post to customers. You can also include a nice label like Katie Clemens does with her wedding invitations. Like we've seen in previous courses, stamping your envelopes or packages. All these extra little touches will help build your brand recognition and carry on your brand message. So we will talk more about stationery in the next video. So what if your product or service is online or digital and there's nothing physical to post, maybe you don't need to worry about packaging so much, but again, think about some extra little touches. I took a great online course on surface pattern design and it was relatively expensive. But a few weeks after signing up I got a little package free to post of some of the teachers postcards and a little personal message saying thank you for signing up to the course. So this won't work if your course or service is priced lobe. If you have a high-end service, which you could send your customers as a nice little extra touch. So say you run a baking course, you could send them a cute little cookie cutter through the post or something along those lines. So why is all this important? The customer's already bought your product, but you want them to buy again. You want them to remember you. You want them to recommend your brand and business to friends and family. All these little extras can help build your following and customer base. So I would love you to share some of your ideas or your current packaging you have for any of your products in the project gallery. Or maybe you need some ideas for packaging. So let's use the project galleries to start chatting with each other. In the next video we will look more at stationery like business cards and labels. 4. Stationery: Stationary. So in part 2 of this series of classes, we looked at designing your logo along with how to develop your visual brand on other items. Looking in detail at keeping your typography consistent along with a brand color palette. We looked at a brand inventory where you could tick off any items you might need. I'll include this in this class as resources as well as it's quite useful to check off what you might be wanting. As we are talking about launching your brand and get it started in this class, I won't go into each of these items in too much detail as you will all need different things for your individual businesses. But what you probably all will need no matter what your business is, is a business card. Business cards are a very useful item of stationary. They can be used in a variety of ways from the obvious, which is meeting new potential customers, either at networking events or craft fairs or in shops, to being used as part of your packaging and promotional material with maybe a little Thank You message for purchasing. They can also be used as reward cards for repeat customers depending on your business. This works well for hair stylist, personal trainers, etc. When people are likely to come back, they can get X amount of stamps to maybe receive a free session or a discount. Even if your business is purely online, you never know what you might really wish you had a business card on you for. You might get chatting to someone who could really benefit from your services and handing over business card is the simplest gesture, and they are not expensive. You can get a starter pack of maybe 250 cards very cheaply these days. What do you need to include on your business card? The basics would be your logo and business name, a web address, and e-mail address, and maybe a phone number, possibly your impersonal name too. You might also want to include a postal address, especially if you have a real shop. You can also think about including some social media links. So your Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram handles, for example, depending on how important those are to your business. At this point you really want to think about the most important info as you don't want your card to become crowded. If all of them, this info is important, maybe look at having a clean side with your logo and company name, and all the information on the back. In terms of design, this is just a sample for illustrative purposes, but my advice would be to keep the text actually very small on a business card. So pick a simple clean typeface and you could go down to point size 6 at a push, depending on the typeface you choose, so seven or eight might be safer. Here's a few business cards I've designed, and you can see the size of the text is very small. Designers, illustrators, and photographers, you could think about using the back of the card to show off your work. Some full bleed photography or print could look really good on the back and it's an effective way to show off your work. Some printers like give you the option to have different versions of these designs without spending much extra, like on these little mini cards I got printed for Faye Brown Designs. My advice when designing a business card would be to keep it simple and clean. Make sure all the relevant information is easy to read, and that doesn't mean you have to use some massive typeface like we've just discussed. You can keep that quite small. Do remember that although seven-point text size can be hard to read on screen because of screen resolutions, imprint is not such a big issue. Before you send files off to printers, do a test print yourself. If you're a designer, you want more of a creative side to shine free, than do use your business card to showcase your talents. Just make sure all the important elements are readable. Ask for their standard business card size; this varies from country to country. UK in general, it's 85 millimeters by 55 millimeters. USA and Canada, it's 3.5 inches by 2 inches. For various other countries including Argentina, Brazil, Poland, and South Africa, it's 90 by 50 millimeters. So when you come to designing your card, maybe check out your printers first to see what size they use. A lot of local printers will print to your exact requirements anyway. Online services usually have a set template. All these sizes are actually very close to each other and also close in size to a bank card, as most people would put a business card in a wallet or purse. Another item you might need is labels for your products. So you could even think about doubling up your business card and label designs in a clever way maybe. Think about what you need to put on your label in terms of information. Do you need an extra space to add info per product, maybe a price or a size? You could look at using the mini cards from, also for labels. As part of your project steps, design either a business card or label and post it up into Project Gallery, and ask for any feedback or mentioned any concerns you have. Once you have cracked one piece of stationary, it's much, much easier to move forward on to other items you might need like flyers, postcards, etc. At that point you can look at your brand inventory and work at what other items might be your priority. Then in the next video, we will be looking at your website and what options you have from templates to designing one from scratch. 5. Your website: We'll talk about setting up shops or other online portfolios in the next video. But I wanted to focus on this video on your own personal website. So you might be planning to sell solely through Etsy or Big Cartel or Society6 or some other third party site. Maybe you're a musician and you plan to sell through iTunes. But whatever business you're in, I strongly advise you to have your own website as well. This can help with Google searches, and it also gives off the message that you're professional and serious about business. So in Part 1 we spoke about choosing a brand name and making sure that that was also available as a URL. If you can't buy the URL that matches your brand name exactly, think about words you can add on the Unlike studio designs, clothing, photography, etc, something relevant to your business and get that URL quick. Once you have the domain name, you are in a really good position to start designing a website. Now it doesn't need to be an award-winning designed website. Just needs to look professional and to do what you want it to do. So if your main focus is to sell on Etsy, then keep it simple and showcase a few of your products with links to your shop. If you're a wedding photographer then think about having a gallery and then maybe a private login for guests to see the photos from their wedding that they attended and the bride and groom can then share the password, for instance. There are obviously a few options available for creating your website. You could hire a web designer to design and help you build your website. You could try to design your own, maybe using a WordPress template, or you could pay for a service like Squarespace and use one of their templates. In the class resources is a downloadable PDF called my website. This poses a few questions and pointers which might help you decide which route is best to take. I've made this into a questionnaire so you can really sit down and take the time to answer each question. So let's take a look. What do I want the main function of my website to be? If this is the absolute go to place, say you're a photographer, people will want to see your pictures presented beautifully and anyone hiring you for a wedding will check out your website, 100 percent. Your website needs to be top dollar. I'd strongly suggest you set aside some budgets to get a designer involved to make sure your website perfectly sums up your work and brand. If you're literally just starting off and have no budget, think about a template site to start with. But when money starts coming in, set some aside for a more designed website. If your staff is patent designer, you could probably find a really nice template to work with on numerous sites like Squarespace, Dunked or Wix. Or have a go at buying a WordPress template and building it yourself. Although I think a certain amount of HTML knowledge is beneficial for taking that route. So here's a great looking site by Cara Holland of Pattern Booth, using Squarespace. Note the strong photography taken center stage, showing off her fabulous products too. For my Miss Printables shop, most of my sales come directly from Etsy searches, but I wanted a website in case people started to search for Miss Printables as the name became known. So for now I have a simple Dunked website showcasing some of the best products that I sell. Maybe your main focus is a blog, in which case you can use a WordPress template or Blogger or Tumblr to create your site. So take some time to really think about the main function of your website as this will help you realize what you need to achieve when building your site. Have I got a budget for my website? Even if you haven't got hundreds to spend, you need enough for a domain name and hopefully a basic template or holding page. Maybe as your business grows, you can invest some money back into a more comprehensive website. The next question will also determine your answer to the budget question. Will I sell my products or services directly from my website? If yes and you haven't got any background in programming, I'd get some help in this area. You want to make sure your shop is set up totally correctly. So people pay you the right amount. You get notice of all your orders and nothing goes wrong or disappears. This might mean that you have to set a good chunk of money aside to assure this is set up correctly. Perhaps you have a time frame. You might start off selling on third party sites that ease with the long-term view to also sell on your own website, avoiding listing and fees that other sites will charge. If your aim is to sell online courses, you might want to sell these directly for your own website. Consider how you will get traffic to your website. If people don't know you, they won't find you, even if your course or tutorials are amazing. So consider YouTube or sites like Skillshare to help get found and noticed. Do I need a website to launch? It might not be absolutely necessary to have a website. My advice would be to buy the domain name and get a holding page up anyway, you never know where your business might grow and you don't want to get two years down the line and realize your ideal URL has been snapped up. Equally if your business is a bit of a gamble, you might not want to invest loads of money upfront on a snazzy website design. Just in case it doesn't pan out how you want it or maybe it changes track a little. This isn't always advice people want to hear where we'll program that everything we do will be a success and I'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. But I'm also careful. You don't want to spend thousands on a business. If you can keep some costs down to begin with and then start investing back into it. So then at the end of this talk, I've also included a box called Timeframe, and that's just to help you get an idea of when things might happen. So maybe just think about the first 12 months. Say after the first three months, if I've made x amount of money, I will invest x back into a more comprehensive website. Have you already got website? Why not share it in the project gallery or let us know your plans for your personal website. In the next video, we're going to discuss how you use third party websites to sell your products and services while still keeping a strong brand. 6. Selling on third party sites: Selling on third party websites. Most businesses will either sell a product or a service. A product can be bought and paid for and either delivered or if it's a digital product, downloaded. A service can be selling your expertise, maybe as a designer, photographer or a teacher. You might offer both a product and a service. You might sell ebooks but also run a course. Working out the best place to sell your product and or service is one of the first steps to working out how to grow your brand. In this video, we will talk about a few of your options using third-party websites. I could talk in more detail about a lot of these, but I'm trying to keep this class as an overview. Please let me know if there's something you'd like more information on. Maybe I'll do an extra class or an extra video. Some of you won't be selling on third-party sites, so you can either watch this video, in case you change your mind, or skip to the next. Let's start with Etsy. Etsy is great for crafters and artists. You can now easily sell digital products on there, too with their instant download option. They charge 20 cents every time you list an item or it renews after a sale. They also charge 3.5 percent on any sale. Remember, if you choose PayPal as a payment method, they also charge a fee as well. So you must take all this into account when pricing your products. What's not great about Etsy is it's huge. There's over one million shops currently on Etsy. How is your shop going to get found? You have to get clever with your keywords on your products and product descriptions. You also have to do your own marketing. I'll be completely honest with you. I opened an Etsy shop for my Miss Printables business in March 2014, and I haven't done a whole of marketing or publicity for it. Last summer, I was featured on a site called Babyology for the food packaging download, and so a nice spike in sales. If you can get publicity to your shop, that's the key, or get in with the Etsy teams and forums. Start getting your name known in your community. Remember to build up these relationships online, they need time and effort. This post got 875 likes on Facebook, and that month my sales go up by 75 percent. Now, I'm quite happy with what I'm making on Etsy at the moment, but it's pocket money really. It's not a living. I've done very little to market my shop, and most of my earnings are through passive income. The printables get downloaded and I don't have to do anything once I've listed the product. So this is nice, it's nice pocket money at the moment and I'm working on ways to get more exposure for the shop. I've also spent a lot of time filling the shop with over a hundred items. It's early days, but I'm starting to see this work and my sales are growing. My point here is don't expect to suddenly get sales once you open an Etsy shop. It's a slow burn and you have to start and we have to work on getting people to your shop. A few pointers to get you started are, when you list an item, you get the chance to write a description. Make this clear and detailed. This will help show up in Google searches. You also want to give the customer answers to any questions they might have in this section. Think about your size, material, shipping info, etc. You also get the chance to enter up to 13 keywords, and that will help your items show up in Etsy searches. Each tag can have up to 20 characters, so be specific to get more hits. Don't say green on its own for instance, people don't search for green. They might search for green gemstone or green knitted hat. You can do a certain amount of research yourself here by playing in the Etsy search box and typing words. It will come up with popular searches straight away. I've just typed in printable here and it came up with some of the most popular searches. That's not to say if you type printable wedding in your keywords, you will come up on the first page. There will be thousands of hits for that, so just try to be as specific as you can if possible. You get the chance to upload five images. Try to fill those spaces. We have different angles or variation so people can clearly see your product. You can divide your shop up to 10 sections to help you manage your products and help people find what they're looking for. In terms of making your shop visually appealing, make sure your banner looks on brand and try to coordinate your photography so it all looks part of the same shop. Maybe include a logo on your thumbnails, so if your items get pinned on Pinterest, people start to recognize your logo and brand. You can also write your web address small on each image. This is a very brief intro to Etsy, but hopefully it will give any newcomers a good start. There's also featured listings and promotions you can do within Etsy, so lots to think about. In the discussions panel, I will post up a link. If you open up a shop through that link, you will get 40 free listings, and so will I. Thank you in advance if you do do that. Etsy isn't the only way to sell your products. Similar sites in UK is Folksy, which some friends have had good success with. Much of the same principles apply on Folksy: good descriptions, images, etc. Many creative businesses sell through Big Cartel, which rather than charge commission fees, set monthly fees from free to about $30 based on how many products you want to sell. You can choose from a number of templates, so that can help carry your visual brand more effectively than some of the other sites that have more limitations. Similar to Big Cartel is Shopify. Shopify charge between $14 and $179 per month depending on your needs. There is also a credit card charge. But the beauty of this is that it's all sorted for you. You don't have to worry about the logistics of setting up a payment backend on your personal website. We will meet Jen Whitman in the next class when we talk about Facebook. But basically, she built her Facebook page up and was getting loads of orders. She decided to open up a shop on Shopify to help manage her orders and organize her products so it was easier for the customer. Then you just have to worry about the delivery of the products and filling your shop. Again, you need to do promotion for your shop, but Shopify allows you complete control over your goods and pricing. In the UK, we have a site called Not on the High Street. You have £199 joining fee plus a 25 percent commission on sales. You go through a process to be approved to open a shop. This keeps their products at a certain quality, and they also make sure they don't have too many shops selling the same thing. As we saw earlier, Katy sells her lovely prints for Not on the High Street. You have to price your products accordingly as their rates are quite high. But they also do a lot promoting and marketing for their sellers. I'm now going to go through a few Print on Demand sites that will be ideal for designers and illustrators. I know from the previous two courses, we have quite a few service patent designers here, so these sites will be good for you guys. You could look into sites like Zazzle, Society 6, and Redbubble. They involve uploading your designs in a few different formats or using downloadable templates, and they will superimpose this on product's images for the shop. When someone orders, they simply print as in once. There's no excess stock. You can set your own royalty rate too. Whitney Daniels has a Zazzle shop full of her designs. Now, there's a certain amount of upfront work involved with these sites. You can download their templates for each item from cushions to lampshades, and make your designs fit within the different sizes and restraints. It's a great way to see your designs on products. This site then sets a base rate of how much an item will cost to produce and print, and you get to set your royalty rate on top, so whatever you want to make from each sale. Those of you who took Parts 1 and 2 might remember seeing Jen's branding projects in the gallery for her new business, Alphabety (phon). She recently opened a Zazzle shop full of her Alphabety designs on bags, notebooks, blankets, etc., and they are looking fab. Whitney also sells her designs on Society 6, and this works much in the same way. You set your own royalty rate for each item and hope someone finds your products amongst the sea of products on there. Julia sells her designs on Society 6. It's quite good as a portfolio, although she's found most of her sales do come directly from promoting her shop or getting featured somewhere. It's hard for people to find you on these sites. Here's another Society 6 shop from Anne Abrey (phon) who has three separate shops for have fashion pattern and artwork. You aren't limited to only have one shop. If you have a couple of brands that work separately from each other, this could work well. What I'd say about going down this route is be prepared to do all the promoting of your shop and driving people to your store. All they are great for is seeing your designs in action and ordering some products yourself for promotion. You avoid all the upfront costs of getting cushion covers printed or phone cases produced. All that is dealt with and you can purely just enjoy the designing. But again, don't expect overnight success. There are many more print on demand sites available to you. Even Threadless offer you a chance to open up your very own shop now. But we're going to move on to photographers, and there's a lot of stock photography sites you could look at to supplement your income from paid jobs like weddings or birthdays. So sites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, etc. I sell illustration videos and some photos on iStock. In some of my best months, I've made about £200 from it, but my sales have slowly gone down since they changed their payment structure in a very competitive market. Again, there's a lot of people already on these sites, so your image getting found in searches can be hard. You could look at opening a shop on Creative Market and selling packages of photos like textures. Also for illustrators and designers, this is another option. I have a little shop on there and my comic book scrap papers are quite popular, for instance. This site tends to attract creatives more. Now, let's look at selling a service via third-party sites. If you do online tutorials, you have quite a few options these days. You could upload your tutorials to YouTube and hope you hit the big time with lots of hits, and start making money from ads or sponsorship. Makeup tutorials are big on YouTube. These videos had over one million views and two million people subscribe to her channel. That's not to say you will automatically get those kind of views. Or you could upload your course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. With these, you get a certain amount of money for each signup. There are other sites like [inaudible] where you have more control over your branding and pricing. The downside is that you have to do more promotion to get people to your course. So you will need to sit down and think about where you want to place yourself in the online course market and how it fits with your brand. Maybe you'll join me teaching on Skillshare. The biggest takeaway from this video I think might be, don't suddenly expect overnight sales to come flowing as soon as you open a shop or upload a course. It will take time to build up a following and get noticed. On the other hand, make sure you set your delivery times clearly. What happens if a popular blog suddenly picks up one of your products and you get a hundred orders overnight, and you've promised a 2-3 day turnaround. You never know this might happen, so be prepared for that, too. This was a lot to take in. I'm hoping that although this video hasn't focused on one third-party site in too much detail, you'll now be buzzing with ideas about what might be the best fit for you and your brand. Share your ideas in the project gallery. If you've already got an online shop or selling through another site, share your links, take a screenshot. We want to see your brand in action. Let us know your thoughts. So you're happy selling how you are at the moment, what's your plans for the future? 7. Selling in 'real' shops: Selling in shops. You might want to sell your products in real shops. So much is sold online these days, but there's nothing quite like seeing your goods on a shop shelf. If all those with physical products to sell, here's a quick guide to selling in shops. Selling in high street shops. How does it work when you get your products into shops? If you're approaching a big high street shop, let's say, something like Target in the US or Paperchase in the UK, your picture will need to be seriously good to get noticed. Most people, for shops like this, are found at trade shows or via agents. So for greeting cards and stationery, maybe people would exhibit at progressive greetings live in London. Now, I won't go into too much specific details as you will all have different businesses, but this particular exhibition is big for the greeting card industry. A friend and I visited a few years back, and you basically pay for a stand where you can show your designs and cards, and potential buyers will walk around, make notes, and either speak with you directly or contact you after the show about stocking your products in their shops. So maybe this would work in a similar way for other industries. The great thing about progressive greetings is they also have a section for newbies where the stands are smaller and less expensive. This is great for those who don't have much budget to stop. This is one way to potentially get your products into the bigger shops. But if you're just starting out getting your products in a major high street shop, although not unheard of, is not easy. Another more personalized approach is to simply walk into a local or independent shop with some samples, and politely ask if you could speak to a manager or arrange a time to talk to the manager to see if they would be interested in stocking your products. Or maybe you could try to make contact beforehand via post or a phone call. But sometimes it's good just to show up and speak to someone face-to-face so they can feel more of a connection with you. The first time I saw my cards for sale was in a local independent shop, and it was a really great feeling seeing your products on the shelf, and I did exactly that. I went in with some samples and spoke to a lovely lady owner of the shop. This approach will work better for independent shops. High street shops will mostly have their stock dictated to them by a head office. Your other option is to send some samples of your products to shops, and don't always expect them to be returned though, and don't always expect to reply. By all means, chase them after a week with an e-mail or a phone call and ask them if they received them okay. All the times, try to remain polite when dealing with shops. Maybe your product might not be right for them in April, but come November they might remember your fabulous communications and products and think that they might like to get in touch again. Pricing. When it comes to price, you have to be prepared to sell to the shop for less than you would expect the product to be bought for, as the shop obviously needs to make a profit too. So if my cards have a recommended retail price of two pound 52 for a pound, the shop will probably not want to pay more than one pound 20 per card. It also depends on how many they buy. If a shop ordered 500 cards, you would look at lowering your bottom line price. You just have to work out how much each product costs to produce in terms of time and materials or printing cost with cards, and figuring out how much profit you want to make on each item. If you approach a few local shops, be honest with your pricing and recommended retail prices. Be consistent and honest. Sale or return. Another option is for you to do a deal with a shop on a sale or return basis. So I'd probably only advices for new relationships so that the shop doesn't have to commit too much on a new product. It can become logistically hard work to figure out how to invoice the shop, etc. So sale or return works on the premise that the shop can return any unsold products at no extra cost. I did this with one shop over the Christmas period once. The manager was worried about taking on the Christmas cards as she thought most people would have already bought their cards. So I offered her to take few packs without payment and then just pay me the agreed price on any that she sold within that period up until Christmas. She was much happier doing that as she wouldn't be left with a load of unsold stock getting dusty for another year. So this works best if there's a time frame involved. Say after a month or two, you might want your products back to sell elsewhere if they aren't selling in that shop and you weren't making any money from them just sitting there. Another shop we are seeing more of lately is where you rent shelf space. Things British has a few shops now in London where you simply rent a shelf or a few shelves from him and sell your products over a period of time, maybe a few weeks or few months. You can use the shelf as you wish to sell your products at a price you dictate. The shop makes its money from the rental charge of the shelves, and now they deal with all the sales, and I pay you at a time agreed. The benefits of this is that you keep all the profits, you just pay the rental fees. You can also guess the customers that will walk into a shop like there's someone who really appreciates a handmade quality and willing to pay a little extra, perhaps. Exclusivity. If a local shop wants your products exclusively within a certain mile radius, you can up your wholesale price. So they might ask that they are the only shop selling your product in a certain town or within 10-mile radius of someone. If you do agree to exclusivity, maybe just agree to a short-term contract to start un-testable to. If they aren't selling your product and asking for repeat orders, then you will have missed an opportunity to sell elsewhere down the road. Stay on brand. I'd also advise you to think carefully about the shops you approach. Do they fit in with your brand and message? If you don't agree with some of the shops policies or you think the other products they sell don't compliment your products, don't be tempted to just sell here, there, and anywhere. Depending on your product or business, I would strongly advise you to try and get some products in real shops. Maybe they will let you leave little business cards next to jewelry display which might bring in more customers. There's a nice feeling seeing your products in shops. It can also help other to grab and test your business. You can make a big deal saying you were stocked in x, y, and z shop. You can write blog posts or social media posts about where you are stocked. So why not tell us about your experiences of selling in shops if you have already, either in the discussions panel or on the Facebook group. Yes, we do have a Facebook group and I'll post up the link. Please come along, say, hi, introduce your business and share anything you'd like in there about your projects. We've got our products selling nicely in shops. You might also be thinking about selling at craft fair. So let's check out the next video. 8. Selling at craft markets: A lot of you might be thinking about selling at craft markets and this is a great way to reach an audience and gauge customer interest in your range of products. So from a personal point of view, I've done a few local craft markets at local schools and not had a huge amount of success. The biggest sellers for me were some pocket mirrors I had designed rather than the greeting cards, but it's all a learning crafts. A lot the school markets are made up of children who'd been given some money from their parents to spend, so next time I do one I'm relying my products more towards children. So think about who will attend a particular craft market and whether your products will suit. If it's a weekly or monthly craft market, pop along to a couple before you decide to sell there, so you could do some research. If you go for a higher end craft market, you will no doubt get customers who are really looking for some quality unique products. So the tables will cost more at these ones. So the school markets a table costs about 10 pound or $15 and a handmade market in my local city of Winchester in UK, the tables cost about 50 pounds, which is about $75. If you are going to be selling at one of the higher end ones, if you're selling greeting cards, you need to work out how many you need to sell to cover your costs, and then you want to make a profit on top also. So I spoke to Tina Devins who runs the business Dreaming on a Star. She does a craft market every week in Ireland called the Strandhill People's Market. She shared her top five tips for selling at craft markets. Tip number one, smile and engage with customers but no hard sell. Tip number two, have items at different price points and this is great advice. I think it's definitely where I went wrong previously. Tip number three, use markets as market research, try out different things to see what people will buy. Tip number four, spend time on the display and always try to improve it. Yes, you have to think of this as your brand out in public, is your display communicating all the right messages about your business? Tip number five, reward repeat customers with discounts and special treatment, et cetera. Tina also has some more good advice and she advises to go easy on yourself. It is scary putting your work out there. Your work is a part of you and it feels like you're exposing yourself to acceptance or rejection. You feel vulnerable. My first market, I was so nervous, I needed to bring a friend along for moral support. But with experience my confidence in my work grew. I could do markets anywhere now. I even run my own craft market. Connecting with customers face-to-face is a wonderful thing. It's really special to see them happy and smiling at your work. It's a joy and privilege. I think that's great advice. Your first few markets will be a learning curve and you'll probably end up finding your groove. Don't forget to take along business cards or other takeaways like fliers, this is a good way to get repeat business and new customers. Maybe a visitor would know somebody who would love your products, so they might take a card to pass on to them. Also take into account seasonal festivities early on, people will start buying for Christmas in September or October and think ahead for any products that would work well for special days like Mother's Day and Father's Day and make this part of your display maybe a little sign saying Mother's Day gifts so 10 percent off, et cetera. So again, I'd love to hear your experiences of selling at craft markets, whether it was right view or wrong view or whether you are thinking of doing one. 9. Final thoughts: You should now be well on your way to getting your business and brands established and recognized. Please do upload your projects into the gallery so I can see them all, and comment and give feedback. It's a great way for fellow students to start interacting with you as well. If you've worked through all of the parts of this class so far, you will have a clear understanding of your business, your brand, your target market. You will have a logo designed and a good idea of how to move forward with all the other visual elements of your brand. From this part, Part 3, you should now have some good product photography of pictures of your products or of yourself. You should have a website or be selling through a third party website, and you should also have a business card or a label designed. You might also have some packaging and some ideas for where else you could sell. So with all that behind us, we can now really start to promote our businesses; shout about it, get publicity, and start getting noticed. Part 4 will be along very soon, where we will talk about setting up your social media pages, what social media to actually use, blogging, newsletters, and getting publicity. In the meantime, I will look forward to seeing all your brands developing further in project galleries. Remember to join us in the Facebook group too for some extra chats and some useful links that I post up. That is I hope you are enjoying the classes and I will see you again soon in Part 4.