This week we posted our 50th author interview. That’s a huge milestone—for cricket players it’s a half century. Thanks to all of the authors who have been interviewed. Not only is it interesting reading, it has also become a useful pile of raw data that I’d like to start digging into. This week we’ll look at the question, “What do you do to market your files?”
By the way, if you’re an Envato author and would like to be interviewed for the blog, head over to this form. We’d love to hear from you.
Marketing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You have creative skills, but you don’t necessarily have business, marketing or customer service skills. You might not even want to develop them. But you should. And you can. In this article we’ll analyze how fifty marketplace authors are doing just that.
You need to market your work at three different stages:
- How do I get people to come to the marketplace to see my items?
- How do I get people to buy my items once they are at the marketplace?
- How do I get people who have previously bought an item to buy more?
The third question is primarily a customer service issue which we won’t deal with in this article. But to start with, we’ll set your mind at ease. Many of our interviewed authors don’t find marketing any easier than you do!
Attitudes to Marketing
Many authors freely confess they are out of their depth when it comes to marketing. In fact, two authors didn’t even answer the marketing question! Some authors indicate they do little advertising due to a lack of expertise or motivation:
- Honestly? Nothing… I’m too lazy. (Bitfade)
- Self-promotion is still my weakest point. I don’t advertise my VideoHive portfolio very well. I don’t advertise on any of the popular social and professional networks. (VideoMagus)
- I am no that good in marketing myself, I usually leave that to the professionals. I usually hope that my music find its target. (DockElektro)
- Not much… I need to work on marketing. (EAMejia)
- I must admit I need to brush up on my marketing skills. (Abir187)
Others realize they are not serious enough about marketing, but plan to get more serious once their marketplace involvement moves past the hobby phase:
- Unfortunately, I currently do nothing to market myself, or my files. Oops. I originally started with Envato just as a hobby, and it still is. (ToyBoatHouse)
- Not much really. As I don’t try to make a living out of it as explained earlier, I just do this for fun and I’m happy when I sell some of it. (SonicCube)
- I haven’t really put much effort in marketing my files till now, but since my studies are almost over I’m heading towards its beginning. (Raincutter)
Some authors rely on the success of the Envato marketplaces, and find that they get enough traffic to their items with little or no effort:
- I don’t really market my items. This is why I think Envato is doing a superb job. (Imaginem)
- The network of users of the Envato network already provides excellent visibility and return on sales. I just have to thank VideoHive for the space and opportunity to show my work worldwide. (Yocreative)
- Doh! We’re supposed to do something? I thought that’s what you guys do. (GoThemeTeam)
- Since ThemeForest is a high traffic site, I keep it pretty basic. (Cudazi)
A few authors rely on the quality of their work to sell their items:
- We find that if they’re interesting/useful (which we always hope they are) that they will market themselves. (Jigowatt)
- That is really a huge topic… But I am convinced that if the file is high quality it will market itself. Good products sell. (SimplyDo)
And, yes, a few authors actually feel very comfortable and competent with marketing:
- Marketing, for me at least, isn’t the hard part. The hard part is actually coming up with new ideas. (Palmtreep)
- There are many ways for promotion on the Internet, it’s just a matter of being creative and working to achieve it. (Urbazon)
I guess that proves that authors are as different from one another as they possibly could be! Next, lets have a look at marketing strategies, and learn from what others are doing.
Strategies for Marketing
Here are two long lists of marketing strategies sorted by popularity.
Strategies to get people to the marketplace. Here is how to get the word out so people discover your items.
- Twitter 52% (26/50). You’re probably already using this Number 1 suggested marketing strategy. But how? Let us know in the comments.
- Link to your marketplace items/profile from your own website or blog 48% (24/50). See our case study “Promote your files on your own website“.
- Facebook 34% (17/50). Create a Facebook page for your work so it is accessible to everyone, not just your friends. And don’t forget that there are “Tweet” and “Like” buttons for each item on the marketplace. Use them. And not just for your own items!
- Forums 28% (14/50). Be active in your marketplace’s forum, some popular industry-specific forums, and possibly forums of other industries where you will find potential customers.
- Adobe Exchange 12% (6/50). This is strongly worth considering. There is a long wait before your items are approved, but the payoff is worth it. See our case study “How Adobe Exchange Took D’Zinc’s Earning Potential to a New Level“.
- YouTube 10% (5/50). Given YouTube’s popularity, I’m surprised that more authors aren’t posting here.
- MySpace 10% (5/50). I wasn’t expecting MySpace to be as popular as YouTube, but it is still a popular option amongst AudioJungle authors.
- HotScripts 8% (4/50). ActiveDen and CodeCanyon authors definitely need to check this site out.
- Teasers/Previews/Demos 8% (4/50). One way of giving a preview of your work is a demo reel. Check out our recent case study here. What other ways to you demo your work?
- DeviantArt 6% (3/50). Learn about the Envato Authors Group for Deviants.
- Conferences/Events 4% (2/50). Two of our authors actually get out of the house/office!
- LinkedIn 4% (2/50)
- Creattica 2% (1/50). Envato’s own inspirational gallery of design work. I’m surprised this isn’t used more often!
- Dribbble 2% (1/50). A “show and tell for creatives” where you can share screenshots of the designs/applications you’re working on.
- LoveDsgn 2% (1/50). A social website for designers, typographers and all sorts of creative people.
- Craigslist 2% (1/50)
- Radio 2% (1/50). This works well for one popular AudioJungle author, but I’m not sure how feasible it would be for everyone.
- Reddit 2% (1/50). A blog where users provide the content, and other users vote on it. A bit like Digg, except that people still use Reddit.
- Bebo 2% (1/50). I’m surprised that anyone is still using Bebo. It shows just how thorough some authors are!
- Word of Mouth 2% (1/50). And finally, talk to real people. There’s life outside of the Internet! Tell a friend what you’re doing, and maybe they’ll tell a friend.
Strategies to attract attention within the marketplace. Here’s how to grab people once they are looking at your items.
- Have a clear, concise item description 6% (3/50). Check our case study “Are Your Item Descriptions an Afterthought“.
- Create collections of your items 6% (3/50). Check out our case study on using collections here.
- Keep your profile page up to date 4% (2/50). See our case study “Create a good profile page that generates followers and sales“.
- Keep uploading new items 4% (2/50). Some authors are very successful with just a few items, but in general it’s a good idea to upload new items regularly so that buyers can see you’re still alive, and your profile doesn’t look out of date.
- Submit items to Envato competitions 4% (2/50). Think of how many people see your items when the voting is taking place. And there will be even more if you win!
- Share links with other authors 2% (1/50)
- Consistently brand your profile and items 2% (1/50). Learn about consistent branding in Jeffrey Way’s screencast “Be Professional. Be Believable. Brand Your Profile Page!“
- Use useful tags 2% (1/50)
- Take part in Envato promotions 2% (1/50). There are plenty of opportunities – bundles, free files of the month, and more. Keep your ears open!
- Keep your prices reasonable 2% (1/50)
Evaluation of Marketing
How effective are your marketing efforts? That’s a tough question—it can be difficult to measure. This topic was raised in two of our author interviews:
- I have used Twitter to promote my files, but I don’t know is this helped me at all, because I still have not earned any money from the referral links I have put there. (KlepatoDesign)
- I also pay close attention to the trending of online activity and traffic sources, and track my analytics. If you keep doing the same thing each time and it doesn’t work, it never will. You need to be willing and able to change your approach completely, if necessary. And this requires you to have a working knowledge of how, why and where people find you. I engage in real conversations with people whenever possible, asking them for their unfiltered feedback and ask how I can better serve them in the future, knowing full well that I am not perfect and want to get better with every transaction made. (OhmLab)
OhmLab makes some great points. How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing?
Well, there’s a lot of information in this post. I hope you find it helpful. Take some time to process and digest it, and come back from time to time when you refresh your marketing efforts.
Which marketing comments and strategies did you find most helpful? Do you have something more to say about marketing? Let us know in the comments.