Abbie Imagine set up her thortful account in 2016, and has since grown to be one of our top creators. She’s learned a lot along the way, and has laid out her five top lessons below. Read on to see what you could learn from her experience.
1) Learn Your Audience
One of the biggest things I have learned is that the customers on thortful may not be looking for the same designs as they might on, say, Etsy. What sells well on one platform may not on another, which isn’t to say either is wrong, they often just attract different audiences. It’s worth spending time analysing your stats, especially if you’re quite new to thortful, and figuring out the sort of thing customers are gravitating towards- it might surprise you!
2) Be relevant
In the same vein as learning your audience, staying relevant is hugely important on thortful. When I first joined, thortful was relatively new and I wasn’t sure what customers would be coming here for. I filled my profile with Jane Austen quotes because I love me some Jane Austen wisdom. But how many times have you gone to buy a birthday card and thought, ‘I know, Jane Austen!’ Probably never, right? That’s because it’s too niche right now: it’s not relevant to the majority. And while staying on top of trends is extremely important (and something I’m still learning to do), I will admit I’ve never watched Love Island. But that’s ok. There are things that will always be relevant. We’re a nation of animal lovers, so dogs and cats will always be well-loved by a large audience. Politics never stops and is always presenting us with new material. And then there are everyday life problems and sentiments that so many of us relate to. All of these make brilliant starting points.
3) Be you, not them
It’s an age old piece of advice ‘be unique’, but it’s so true. It’s easy to get caught up obsessing over the bestsellers: comparing your own not-so-good-sellers and then trying to mimic the popular ideas. We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s totally subconscious. But a design based on someone else’s design is never going to outsell the original, it’s always going to be a shadow. Bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason. They have given customers something new, something exciting. Be the new. Be the exciting. And you’ll feel so much more pride and satisfaction from it.
4) Be funny
It’s been said many times and many ways, but one of the best things I’ve learned about thortful is the wicked sense of humour customers here have! Very often it’s the cheekier, the better when it comes to popular cards. Have fun with your designs and it’ll show in sales.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for advice
The team here at thortful are one of the best around. If you have a worry or a struggle, never hesitate to reach out. And if thortful reach out to you, absolutely listen to their advice- they know their stuff and they only want what’s best for us all. The creator community here is also full of brilliant and inspiring wisdom. Pop on to social media and start following your favourite creators. Everyone is so lovely and so friendly, it’s one of my favourite lessons learned. Being a creator can sometimes feel both lonely and overwhelming as we sit the other side of a screen, designing away in our own little world, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow thortful on Instagram and click through to some designers. Comment on a post or slide into the DM’s (in a totally platonic and non-creepy way, of course)! I’ve ‘met’ (in the online sense) so many amazing creators off the back of thortful and I’m so grateful to thortful for curating such a great bunch.
Find Abbie’s thortful designs here.