Reinventing the First Invention: Telling Your Story

By • 3 years ago with 4 replies already

Humans have been telling stories since before we even began recording history. Actually, it’s been said that stories were the first invention. Stories even predate writing itself! From cave paintings dating back to 15000 B.C. and the 700 B.C. epic of Gilgamesh, to oral histories from indigenous North and South America, to Shakespeare and Harry Potter, and now even blogs and podcasts, stories have always been – and continue to be – a vital part of the human experience. Stories help us explain our world, share our knowledge and experiences, express ourselves and create an identity and sense of self.

But what does that mean for those of us who are a part of the modern day world, and the modern day marketplace? Luckily, you don’t have to be a novelist to tell a story – stories are for everyone. Yes, even you! As a Zazzle Designer, you can use stories to create an impactful store, make your designs shine, and create lasting impressions and relationships with your customers.

Tell your own story

If you own a Zazzle store, that means you’re an artist, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer – you name it! You’re a creator of something unique that can’t be found anywhere else. Guess what – you’re interesting! And your store becomes a more interesting place to visit when you share a behind-the-scenes look at who you are, where you’ve come from, what inspires you, and what you’re passionate about. Tell the story of you and how you became a creator on your Profile, and show the humanity behind the URL.

Your designs have stories, too

Every design you create is putting a little piece of you out into the world, and each of your products has its own story. It’s up to you to tell it! This is where you get to give your creation life, give it context, and create a connection between it and your customers. Where did it come from? How did you make it? What is special about it? How do you see it being a part of a customer’s life? When you tell the story of your product and design in your titles, tags and descriptions, you’re connecting a customer with it in a way they might not have thought of before – you bring the story and the product to life in their eyes and show them exactly how they can be a part of that story. Help your customers imagine the story of that product in their life even before they purchase it.

Let your customers tell their story

One amazing thing the internet has done for us in the modern day is bring us all together – to shrink the world, and to allow creators and consumers of all kinds to collaborate on an infinite number of stories. You are part of that collaboration, and your customers are, too! Make the most of the unique nature of Zazzle’s customization options, and enable your customers to be a part of your story by adding their own personal touches to your designs. When you incorporate personalizable templates in your designs, you’re letting the customer join your story and combine it with their own for something totally new, and totally meaningful.

Share your stories with the world

Here comes the part that takes confidence: once you know the stories you want to tell, you have to show them off. Every story needs an audience! Find yours by first getting courageous and putting your stories out into the world. Share your designs on social media like Facebook or Twitter – you can even start your own blog or website! This is where you can again show that there’s more to your designs than just your average shirt, invitation, or pillow – it’s a one-of-a-kind creation made by one-of-a-kind you! Who is it for? Why does your audience want to see it? What about it would interest them? This is also where your new Media Gallery in your store can come into play. If you actually own samples of your products, or have behind-the-scenes images of you creating artwork or your artwork in progress, get that camera out and get shooting! Share more elements of your design’s story in your Media Gallery right on Zazzle.

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Keep the story going

The story doesn’t end when the perfect customer connects with the story of your perfect product and purchases it. Often, that perfect customer will come back and share their story with you! This is the extra fun and rewarding part of putting your creativity out into the world. You can see any product reviews a customer has left you on the Activity tab in your profile, under “Reviews Received”. You can also follow the tag #zazzle on Instagram to see if any customers have taken photos of your designs. If you want to really keep the story going, you can thank those customers who publicly share their happy Zazzle story or highlight your favorite reviews on your own social media, website or blog. Seeing the stories of previous happy customers helps future customers see how they could enjoy your product as well.

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 How will you use stories to connect your customers with your designs?

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4 thoughts on “Reinventing the First Invention: Telling Your Story”

  1. Hi! –
    Always interested in Zazzle and so many people live told me about it.
    I worked in New York City designing kids meals and advertising and promotions and in Burbank for Warner Bros. throughout the 90s designing every kind of merchandise imaginable for Warner Bros. studio stores as well as a strong gallery operation drawing Looney Tunes characters. I was considered to be the best in the bunch buddy families that created these cartoons until we were all dismissed by the thousands by AOL.
    I’m sitting on loads of images that on it Looney Tunes but are very typically things that I could move through Zazzle through a number of different products. I meet people all the time including the summer in Colorado who tell me how easy it is and I really don’t know where to start!…
    Any help can send my way would be appreciated.
    Took my old webpage down but you can see my artwork if you Google up: “Kirk Mueller Warner Bros. studio artist”
    Thank you so much!
    Kirk

    1. Hi Kirk,

      We’d love to have you! You can get started here or get in touch with our friendly support team for help creating your store.

      Just a note, we welcome only completely original artwork to which you own full rights, so unfortunately we won’t be able to host any artwork featuring copyrighted characters such as those found in our officially licensed Looney Tunes store.

      Thanks!
      Liz

  2. Hi Liz,

    Very interesting post! You´ve just inspired me to use the Media Gallery to share stories – for some reason I overlooked this option earlier…

    I love Zazzle. I started my adventure with creating art for sale about a year and a half ago, but only quite recently discovered this place here (I regret it was so late!). I was very happy when I sold my first product. The sales still keep going and I believe with Zazzle (…and with the great advises from Zazzle team and support from the forum members) I can really make my dreams happen! 🙂

    Thank you and all the best!
    Aga

    BTW, if I could throw something into the storytelling basket: http://www.amazingjourneyart.com/2016/01/09/paintings-that-tell-stories/
    🙂

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