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Any Designers that mentor?


Arielle Simondsen
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I've been working on a line of bohemian style clothes, and started working with mesh and have some cute stuff (I think anyway  lol  I wouldnt market anything I wouldnt wear myself), but I am not quite sure how to get my stuff "out there" and get a following.  I do fairly well with my non clothing creations on marketplace, but I would love a successful (at least mdestly huh, enough to pay the rent!) in world shop.  I just wonder if there are any designers out there who have of course been in the place I am in, who mentor someone who is working hard to make a little clothing trendy shop work.  Right now I am researching stores that sell similar clothes andmarketplaces where my things would fit in, so at least I would be around the right clientele.  But Idk now people get a steady following.  by word of mouth maybe?

 

thanks!!!!!

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It's great how you already have a specific "subculture" in mind that you're creating things for.  Without that it would've been a question with too many answers. The main idea of building a following inworld goes like this:

- Find out where your subculture likes to hang out

- Fit your shops or banners  in there and try to become an organic part of each place

Meaning, take care to select which products are sold where.  Keep the total number of products at each place low, around 5 or so, but so nicely picked that people stop and gawk. Think about how you're presenting it: shouldn't just be "here's what I have for sale" (what most people do), but instead try a "check this curiousity out" approach. Of course, teleport links or landmark givers for your main store should be there in case people want them.

It's obviously unrealistic to have a main store everywhere you want, but with this strategy you're not only building sales little by little, but more importantly, you're constantly in the field of view of your people. Over time, that builds you a name and a following.

Another advice is to find Sassy Romano and beg to become a shop-fu disciple.

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I have a tiny niche i work in, a verry small community i design for and a little group of dedicated followers.

I make mermaid outfits, not a lot, i only build when i feel like it. I have a main collection of about 250 items now after a year or 3. I think the main point in the beginning is building your group of followers. Mine is only about 100 unique residents so not a lot but they mean the world to me and i know many of them personally.

My main awesome tool is the newsletter sender, its a sort of subscribo but verry simple and verry cheap. I tend to not bother my customers too much with all sorts of advertising and treat them the way i would like to be treated. They will find that subscribo and killit! if you constantly flood them with thissummathat. Only a new release or some special will be advertised.

Keeping good relationships with your following is key.

Quality and moderation go a loooooong way. A much much longer way than you would expect.

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Vegro Solari wrote:

Another advice is to find
Sassy Romano
and beg to become a shop-fu disciple.

I laughed.  I'd already seen this thread in "General Discussion".  I'm flattered at the mention and happy to help, to the OP, feel free to pop me an IM if you wish.

There are also many others who will have lots to say, as there has been on many similar threads on marketing in the forums and in the "Second Life Commerce Merchants" inworld group.

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Arielle Simondsen wrote:

thanks everyone!  

I've set up a simple shop (on a cloud no less!) until I can settle on something better.  Have a few more things to put up but anyone who wants to peek and give feedback is very welcome to!  I realize its very basic.

No demos?  The skirt look cute, but mesh is tricky to fit.

Also, one skirt in many colors is not a shop full. Put them all in one vendor and make more skirts. MOAR SKIRTZ!

The purple shop color I arrived at night and it wrecked the colors of the skirts. I don't know if it's my settings, or the way the shop was built, but it was weird until I set it to noon sun.

 

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Nefertiti Nefarious wrote:

 

The purple shop color I arrived at night and it wrecked the colors of the skirts. I don't know if it's my settings, or the way the shop was built, but it was weird until I set it to noon sun.

 

Hi Arielle!  Just popped by your shop.  I love the cloud base.  Also thought the shop build was so cute.  I use a custom setting for lighting suggested by the designer of my skin and never change it so I never know when it's day or night in SL...lol.  Anyway, on that setting and running lower graphic settings due to the limitations of my PC, the purple shop color looked great. There has been some discussion on these forums about how things look in SL based on the graphics settings.  With so many people using a variety of viewers, settings, etc. trying to build something that looks great in all circumstances is likely a losing battle.

With that said - your clothes are really cute.  The one suggestion I would make is, as best as I could tell, all of the clothes have no permissions.  This would personally stop me from purchasing.  Clothing designers may correct me here, but I think the "standard" for clothes currently is copy/mod.  Many people like copy to be able to mix & match pieces within their wardrobes.  I personally like mod as well, especially on sculpted prims, but prefer it on all clothes in case I want to adjust the skirt length, etc.  I have personally agonized over what permissions to set on my furnishings and it is the choice of each merchant what perms they feel comfortable offering.  I would suggest at minimum copy perms.

Another suggestion is to add the permissions to your ad vendors.  Even if you choose to set no permissions (no copy/no mod/no trans) - I still think stating that on your ad would avoid angry customers who assumed what the perms would be and didn't do an edit on the ad boards.

Great start!

ETA: Just re-read Nefertiti's post and wasn't thinking "mesh" when I looked at the clothes.  I'm not real familiar with mesh clothing so that may explain the no permissions thing. (Do permissions still work the same with mesh clothing, anyone?)  In that case, I would definitely add the word "mesh" to your ad because people like me who can't see mesh would not want to purchase thinking it was not mesh.  A good discussion on this topic is in Deja's post about designating an item as mesh or not.

ETA (again):  Well gah!  I forgot that you said the clothes were mesh in your OP.  :matte-motes-bashful-cute:  Still curious about if perms differ for mesh clothing and why.

 

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well I have gone in and set the items in the vendors different, so hopefully that will help, they are all set copy, no mod no trans, and hopefully people can tell this way.  I dont have the extra lindens at the moment to re-upload a bunch more ads for the vendors to say everything on them.  Honestly I never thought of that cause I seem to be in the minority but I dont usually look for perms unless I need something to be full perm, otherwise, I never really notice.  :P  anyway, its a work in progress and I am trying to take everyones suggestions and work with them best as I can.  I also set up a group now, and set up a group gift for the first 25 people who join.  its a nice gift with five skirts.  they have five different sizes in each so I havent done demo yet, not sure how to do a demo one, I have to look into that.  I'm good at creating, not so great at the pracitcal stuff.  lol trying to learn and be better though.  :)

 thanks everyone for the input!

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Arielle Simondsen wrote:

I dont have the extra lindens at the moment to re-upload a bunch more ads for the vendors to say everything on them.

 

I disagree, I believe you do! *smiles*

The other thing I will add is branding.  When you re-do your vendors, I would suggest aiming for a template layout upon which you can show price, permissions and crucially brand name.

On every communication that you have, be it group notice, image, etc., brand should be prominent.  Think "Coca Cola", without thinking, you know that brand because you've seen it over and over and even if someone doesn't buy this time, when it's in your face enough, that brand name settles.

Every advert needs to be carrying your brand name somewhere.

 

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Arielle Simondsen wrote:

I havent done demo yet, not sure how to do a demo one, I have to look into that.

It's just a set of all 5 sizes with a texture on it that says DEMO in several places ... because even with 5 sizes of skirt, someone might not have a shape that fist your stuff.  The numbered squares used for testing sculpties works well if you add DEMO across is, and lets people see how well your textures will line up.

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Hi there -- standing in your store as I type (helping your traffic count LOL).  Here are some thoughts from a pretty old avatar who has had many many MANY shops over the years and who has probably taken more photographs  than 99 percent of the populous (long time fashion and design blogger).

Purple shop fine for me with or without shadows on. Cloud cute. A fair amount of junk in the sky (isn't there always?) so putting a globe megaprim around your cloud might be good. You can make your own 64 x 64 hollow sphere (or smaller) and adjust your textures as you like keeping out the building pad views.

 

Here are some things to think about -- my point of view only of course.

 

I agree with many of the comments made here with the top of the list DEMOS. I don't do mesh but I believe you simply make a skirt with a texture that has DEMO on it (hence not readily wearable) and use that to texture your skirt.  Even a completely empty (gray) skirt would work as long as it was no mod. Go to some stores and see what others are doing for their demos.

Most folks make their vendors square so that if you include them with your product line (always a plus) they will open correctly for folks. So 512 x 512 is the norm still. That gives you space to put your info on their and your logo.


You need your logo on your vendors and your vendor photos so people know who they are buying from :D. (Doesn't need to be huge)  When you make your new vendor photos I suggest making them on a NEUTRAL background - white, black gray etc.  So take your photos against the same neutral or flat color background. A plain white wall will work with a transparent prim to stand on so you  are up in the air.  You could put a border around them to dress them up, whatever. When you have a "template" of the look for your vendors then stick to that for the most part. Specialty items could have more fashion mag photos, but most designers agree that keeping things consistent is very good.

You need a variety of poses. You can often get those for free in hunts -- nice one. The Womens Stuff hunt is coming up in a few days (I think we can say that on the forums -- I am usually in the Answers section) so that would be a good place to get some free ones. Same with hair changes etc. Join some groups or check for free hair on the Marketplace.  It might even be good to make a few different shapes and appear to be "more models" :D.

Those are the biggies.

 

On a personal note, I really hate seeing tip jars in stores. I mean, honestly, do you see a tip jar at the stores in RL?  Doesn't work for me at all :D.

 

Best of success to you. It is always fun to have a shop. I would look for one that is 25 prims to start. Small is good and costs very little that way. Pick out your favorite items, make new vendor photos and go forth. There are plenty of places where you can rent a small shop for $50 to $100 a month. And it is fun to look through the classifieds and see what is out there. I often do that just for fun. A good way to spend a day and you learn a lot.

When you look for a shop be sure that you can teleport TO your shop and not just to the center of the area. Then you can apply to some hunts and let people find you that way.

It is a step at a time and the important thing is to enjoy each of them.

 

 

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