Your shop is ready, your products look great, so now it's time to promote yourself! We love the incredible designs that you create on Shapeways and we do what we can to promote you via our blog, the Holiday Gift Guide and our weekly newsletter. To get the most success for your products you can't just rely on broadcasting, you need to go where your audience is.
The first step is to tell your friends, using your own social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and your own blog or website if you have one. The next step is to go beyond your social networks, and spread the word to blogs and magazines, people who have a bigger reach than just you.
With your tags and description you already know who might be the best person to buy your product, so it's time to think about where they lurk. Which blogs do they read? Which blogs cover products similar to yours? For example, if you made something related to gaming or memes, reddit is a great place to feature it. Made something arty and gorgeous? Tumblr's your best bet. Does your product have moving parts? Making a video helps to bring it to life. Posting it on YouTube exposes it to a whole new community of viewers, and you can link your video back to your shop, and embed it directly into your product page.
Here are two great excerpts of ideas from our community members, read their full posts for more details.
Think about which blogs would be interested in your product, and send them a short email tailored to their audience. Save them some time by writing it in the way they would write an article, make it short and to the point and include clear images. Try to make your text interesting, tell a story with it and explain what you created and why its cool.
I wanted prototypes of the models printed, pictures for galleries ready, videos, various other networking and popular sites covered and a website all ready for the first day of my designs going 'public' to the world.
Have any tips to share? Post them in the comments, and let us know what you do to make your holiday season fruitful!
Merchandising is all about designing for the occasion. You already have products, you simply need to tweak them to appeal to holiday shoppers.
People usually shop with one of three things in mind: type of gift, price, and recipient. Knowing this, you can make it easier for them to find your products by tagging your products according to potential recipient, theme and occasion. Tagging is the fastest way to help you hit different categories.
Read Tip #3 on discovery for more about tagging your products. Tags relating to themes and occasions can be as broad as holiday, christmas, Valentine's, mother's day, fathers day, birthday, even just the simple tag of gift will help you get found in search. Tags relating to recipients can be broad too: men, women, parents, children, hostess gift, secret santa, teacher, stocking stuffer.
You can also use the description and photos to highlight gift ideas.Gunter Art and Design shows how his jewelry is perfect for a girl by using his own girlfriend in his photos.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of seasonal gifts! Ornaments, hostess gifts and decorations for the home are all popular choices. This great snowflake generator from Kimotion Arts is a perfect example of an inexpensive ornament that makes a great gift. A lego snowflake? Perfect for the man, child or techie in your life!
Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Share them in the comments!
To celebrate the launch of the Shapeways Gift Guide and the impending Black Friday avalanche of traffic to your Shapeways shops this weeks Tag Tuesday is gift. Tag your designs with gift to help people find your designs that are suitable for giving this holiday gifting season. Over the course of the day we will take a look back at the tag gift and will try and include more in preparation for Black Friday. We will be doing some promotions over Black Friday so ensure your shop is ready with tags, descriptions and images, yes images!!!!.
Following are a few products in the Shapeways shops tagged with gift, what are yours tagged with?
Personalization is one of the most popular ways to make a gift special. Not coincidentally, it is one of the greatest things we can do with 3D printing! Luckily, it's easy too.
If you have a model that can be personalized, you can turn it into a co-creator. Good models that could be personalized include rings, tags, keychains, company logos, business card holders, and iPhone cases. The list is endless!
Making a model into a Co-Creator is easy. On your My Models page, under the description there is a link to make this model a Co-Creator
You will get this pop-up where you can specify what is able to be customized on your model whether it is adding text, adding an image or even changing the size. You also indicate how long it will take you to make these changes once someone has ordered your model.
Best Practice Examples.Kaetemi makes this customizable keychain that can have custom images.
This is the what the customer sees for kaetemi's model:
Another example is Ovidu Opresco's ring which is able to be customized with text and for ring size.
We're always trying to push the limits of what is possible with 3D printing here at Shapeways, introducing new materials and encouraging innovation. However, sometimes to grow, you have to let things go.
We've noticed that you haven't been as excited about glass over the last year, and we have a great opportunity to use these glass 3D printers for research and development. This means we will soon be bringing you new materials to replace glass!
Please note that December 6th will be the last day we will be offering 3D printing glass, so you have three weeks to place your orders.
What does this mean for you?
If you're a designer who has glass models available for sale, glass will be removed as a material option starting December 6th. You can, of course, still offer them in other materials. All you have to do is ensure those materials are enabled on your product page. We recommend testing these models in new materials before making them available for sale.
If you want to buy glass products, make sure you do so before December 6th to ensure delivery by the holidays.
Lastly, given that we will be using these machines for research, let us know what materials you would most like to see next!
Shapeways now has hundreds of thousands of 3D models just waiting to be 3D printed. Sometimes it can be a little hard to find exactly what you are looking for (unless you design it for yourself). Giving your design a descriptive title will help people find your product in both Shapeways and Google search, adding your model to a category is essential to them appearing in the galleries and adding tags makes it easier for people to discover products around a very specific theme.
To help make it worth your while to head in and tag your products, we are going to feature a new tag every Tuesday, and so, Tag Tuesday is born. This week we are featuring products tagged meme.
Categories & Tags. How can you help us help you get discovered in search? Categories and tags! On the model edit page, under the material picker, you can choose two categories to put your model into, and then create an infinite number of tags.
Categories are the indisputable "what" that defines a product, and they are mutually exclusive or at least have one primary purpose. Tags will still be used to share other attributes, like the occasion (e.g., holidays, gifts), suggested recipient (e.g., for him, for her, for mom), qualities (e.g., geeky, whimsical), or even potential uses (e.g., driving, photography). The wider the net you can cast, the more potential buyers you can catch!
Two great examples are jewelry and homewares. For a bracelet you would choose the categories Jewelry and Bracelets and then create tags to describe them: the color, the style and who they might appeal to.
Best Practice Examples. Kevin Wei has done a great job with the Cosma Silver Bangle using these tags: art, arabesque, architecture, facet, filigree, floral, lace, lattice, mosaic, romantic, silver, white, Valentine's day. These tags describe his design, and even suggest which occasion it might be appropriate for.
For a coffee cup, the categories For Your Home and Dining are perfect. For the Aero Cup, Kioro Design has used these tags to cover a broad range of searches: art, for your home, dining, ceramics, coffee cup, cup, espresso cup.
The more tags you use, the more likely someone looking for something like your product will find you. It is not redundant to use both the tags coffee cup and espresso cup, it just increases the chances that someone will find it in search, either on the Shapeways site or using a search engine like Google.
Do you have any other tips for getting found in search? Any questions? Feel free to share them here!
Stay tuned for next week's tip: the role of personalization and custom gifts in 3D printing.
As people rebuild their lives post Hurricane Sandy, the Shapeways team and community feel passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts. 10% of your purchases on Shapeways.com today will go to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort. Additionally, products tagged "Sandy Relief" signify that the designer has pledged to donate all of their profits from today to relief efforts.
We want to thank each of you for participating and have highlighted some of our favorite products below.
A firefighter in Queens NY, where there was a fire on October 29th. (AP, via Atlantic Wire)
With so many in distress in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, including several members of our team who are recovering from damaged homes, our thoughts go out to everyone affected. We were very lucky to emerge relatively unscathed, but we know there are still many without power, food, and homes.
As people throughout the Northeast rebuild their
lives, the Shapeways team and community felt passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts.
This Thursday, we will donate 10% of our sales revenue to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort: $0.10 on every dollar anyone spends on Shapeways.com (excluding markup) will go to Sandy Relief.
Shop Owners, we hope you will join us in our efforts! We've heard that some of you would like to donate your markups to charity for the day (big thanks to Shapeways community member Michiel Cornelissen for starting the conversation). We invite you to join us on Thursday by pledging to donate your markups for the day to Sandy relief.
We will supercharge your efforts: by tagging your products Sandy Reliefnot only will you be pledging to donate your markups, you will secure a spot on the Shapeways homepage as we'll be featuring those products from Thursday to Sunday.
We know there is still a lot of work to be done, but we hope you will join us in doing what we can.
This week we'll be sharing suggestions on function and form, namely how to choose the right materials for your products. If you are making a product for yourself, it's great to have unlimited choice and to be able to experiment with various materials. But if someone is buying your product, you want to help them choose the best material for your product so they have the best experience possible. For example, your customer probably wouldn't want a ceramic iPhone case or a wedding ring in Frosted Ultra Detail...
To get started, when you upload your model to your shop, all materials are automatically
enabled. It is important to check if all the materials are
appropriate. Ask yourself:
1. Does my design meet the design rules for this material? 2. Would this product make sense in this material? 3. Do I have all materials selected still? If so, can I help customers decide by limiting the choices?
To select materials for your product, the easiest thing to do is to make a material selection when you are editing your product page for markup, description, or other details.
Overall, there are three things to keep in mind: design with the material in mind, use images that reflect the material options, and less is more.
We had over 70 entries to the 3D Print Contest for iPhone 5 Accessories with so many fantastic designs it was really hard for us to chose a winner among the high caliber of entries. There was one design that really caught the eye of the Shapeways team. As soon as we pulled one out of the 3D Printer to test it out, everyone was in love...
The product page is great but we really had to share a video so that everyone could see how the design captured our hearts and won $500 worth of Shapeways 3D Printing for the designer....