A lot of what I learned, I learned through testing out the methods mentioned in the Society6 Seller’s Guide. I suggest check out all the posts, there’s decent advice here and there.
Here are my thoughts on the algorithms (Part 2, read part 1 here):
Follow the advice from the s6 blogs– really does help. I’m serious, some of the best stuff I got from the site itself. It help me get into the mindset of being more of a product designer and less as an artist trying to get people to like my art on cups.
Think design, not art when it comes to the products. It really does reshape how you approach the products if you’re wearing the hat of a designer selling specific product design. See previous paragraph.
Work simple at first. It baffles me that some of the artwork I worked the least time on was considerably more successful than the paintings that I spent weeks on. But really, is it? Think about how the work looks like small, thumbnail size in the preview. When the work is that small and people are scrolling through, they need to be able to immediately grasp what your work looks like and want to look at it more. Having an interesting silhouette/shape to your design can be an instant draw.
Work in a series, find a popular subject matter that works with your portfolio. There’s a power in numbers and some of your best pieces/ideas might not be contained in the first iteration. Keep trying and this will not only make a better portfolio for your store, but more works will pop up in the search if people are looking for it.
Max out on those products, but only if the design fits! Nothing I hate more when I am checking out the t-shirts and people haven’t resized or limited the design to not just be a flat block or pattern or weirdly cropped artwork. Don’t do this, it doesn’t make the product appealing! Only opt for products that make your design look really good or tailor the design to fit the product.
Have an honest assessment with yourself whether people would actually want that design. Would you use that product/design? There were a few artworks that I eventually took down because I did assess my portfolio and I honestly didn’t want those designs myself. It doesn’t have to have universal appeal, but it should at least appeal to somebody, least of all yourself.
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