Artist Resources

Top Tips from Artist Kelly Gilleran

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Redbubble Artist Kelly Gilleran spent six months working in our Melbourne office as an artist in residence earlier this year. Here are some of her main learnings from the residency program:

1. Search Engine Tricks

I had no idea about the basics of Redbubble’s search engine before working at Redbubble. If you aren’t featured or are directing traffic to your Redbubble profile from other social media sites, the search engine is your best bet to gaining visibility, followers and sales. Tags are weighted, thus if you use 5 solid tags instead of 50 decent tags, your designs could be more heavily weighted towards the top of the search results.

I also learned that most buyers on Redbubble will search for products rather than just themes/subject; think “Taco Sticker” versus just “Taco.” If you know that one design sells particularly well on a certain product, it’s smart to set the default view on that artwork as that product, as this can boost its ranking in search results. Similarly, if you’ve just sold a design on a T-shirt, changing the default view to T-shirt could boost the visibility in both the “t-shirt” search and “trending” t-shirts section: double search weight bonus, woot woot!

2. The importance of your profile page and using collections

Using all the tools available on Redbubble is super important. Your profile page is a great place to give followers and buyers a sense of what you do, so take the time to customize the look of your page, and organize multiple collections. This can encourage buyers to buy multiple products from your shop.

If you’re promoting one particular artwork, or better yet, Redbubble has featured one of your designs, make sure you add that design to all relevant collections so when viewers are browsing, they have a chance to discover more of the awesomeness you create.

I find that when Redbubble features one of my designs, I see a spike in customers buying more than one product. They’ll purchase the featured design, and because of how I’ve setup my collections they’ll often purchase at least one less-popular design.

Also think about incorporating themes in your collection, and consider where one artwork can fall into multiple collections. Then, organize those collections so that the top 4/5 images are different in each collection. This means that viewers can see a greater variety of your work with less effort and hunting.

I try to be a walking advertisement; I incorporate my art into every outfit and I carry around a batch of stickers that I've written my Redbubble link on just in case I get a compliment!

3. The importance of social media

Using Facebook and Instagram are super beneficial when it comes to visibility and sales. Setting your default link to your Instagram profile increases sales because it means users don’t have to hunt for your profile! Furthermore, followers like to see a variety of posts on your social channels. I find that my WIP content generates more likes and followers, and product shots lead to more sales. It’s natural that you’re going to want to show off the finished artwork, but followers don’t want to feel like you’re always advertising at them (and, side note, they totally hate selfies.) Think about branding and a story arch; followers like to see process of how something goes from concept to completion and they’re more excited to support you once the work is finished.

4. Experience your own product and advertise in the real world!

Before working at Redbubble I had only purchased stickers, t-shirts and greeting cards… but after actually seeing the products in person, I find myself wanting all of it, and selling a much greater variety of product than just stickers!

You should always be your own biggest fan; if you wouldn’t wear or sport your designs, chances are a potential buyer won’t either. I’m a recent convert to the leggings, but prior to working at Redbubble my thought was “why would I want to put cheeseburgers on my legs? By the time they hit my thighs they’ll be quarter pounders.” But, low and behold, they are super comfortable, I get lots of compliments and I’m waiting on my shipment of two more pairs.

I try to be a walking advertisement; I incorporate my art into every outfit and I carry around a batch of stickers that I’ve written my RedBubble link on just in case I get a compliment!

When you love and believe in a product it’s so much easier to sell. Buying your own products not only boosts your visibility in the “trending” section on the site, but it gives you the opportunity to make your own custom product shots which can look more personal than the generic preview offered on the website. Find excuses to buy products you haven’t tried yet, like when you have to buy a gift for someone. Friends and family love to support and sport your art, and they don’t mind being marketing tools. Be smart with your gifting. I gave my sister a pair of the amazing leggings and she now wears when running races; they’re unique compared to your run-of-the-mill active wear, she’s happy to get loads of compliments and I’m happy to sell at least one pair with every race she runs.

If you're promoting one particular artwork, or better yet, Redbubble has featured one of your designs, make sure you add that design to all relevant collections so when viewers are browsing, they have a chance to discover more of the awesomeness you create.

Have some other tips to add? Share them in the comments below. 

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