Selling Your Work as Merchandise: How to Get Started
There are many ways to make money as a designer and a creative professional. The internet certainly makes getting clients from around the world easier, so there are more opportunities to pursue in this field. With a strong portfolio, you can even land a remote job and some of the best clients in the world.
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Other ways to make money include selling your work, either in its digital form or as tangible merchandise like prints and tees. The latter can turn into a big business and getting started is easier than you think.
Before you can start selling your own custom-designed merchandise, you need to figure out how to produce those products. There are basically two routes you can take right now. You can find a reliable print-on-demand service provider and start selling your products immediately. When a customer order comes in, you order the merchandise and have it shipped to the customer directly.
The second route is keeping the production of your merchandise in-house. You have more control over details such as the fabric used and how the colors are reproduced. However, you may not always be able to produce items due to manufacturing limitations. On the other hand, making some products for your inventory is cheaper in the long run.
Establish an Online Store
You can choose to sign up for a marketplace account as a way to start selling products immediately, but the best way to go is still setting up your own online storefront. This is because you can design the e-commerce site to really represent your brand and who you are as a designer.
The design part should be easy since you already know how to combine elements such as colors and illustrations into an attractive visual. When it comes to turning that design into a working e-commerce site and then optimizing the site for customers, services like www.bingdigital.com can help you.
Rather than doing everything yourself, having a team of web development experts assisting you through every step of the development process is the way to go. You can focus on creating great merchandise that sells while the web development team takes care of the website for you.
Tweak the User Experience
To get ahead of the competition, your e-commerce site needs to deliver the best customer experience possible. This means the checkout process needs to be seamless and easy to complete, and that orders are prepared and delivered in a timely manner. This is the actual challenge of running your own merchandise store.
Once again, you have the internet on your side. Many courier service providers now let you order shipping pick-ups online. You can also ask for prepaid shipping envelopes or boxes, which will make processing customers’ orders easier to handle.
To avoid unnecessary mistakes, try to automate most of the tasks in hand. Rather than making shipping labels manually, for example, you can print them out from Magento’s admin panel with the right plugin installed on the site.
The rest is all about marketing. Once you have products to sell, an online storefront for displaying them and taking customer orders, and a way to ship orders quickly, all you need to do is get potential customers to visit your site and start making money from selling your own merchandise.
Featured image by Krisztian Tabori