Meet Jarod — a Zazzle Designer and Associate who has a background in IT and owns the Zazzle store J32 Designs and website J32 Design, where he offers business card designs ranging from minimalist to unique and creative. Jarod enjoys the outdoors and lives in the beautiful country of New Zealand with his wife and 18 month old son.
Tell us a little about you!
I was born and raised in Germany, just outside Berlin. Since I was a teenager, it was always a dream of mine to travel to New Zealand. In 2005, I was able to make my dream come true and I traveled through the New Zealand’s north and south island for a year. During this life changing experience I met my wife, to whom I am married now for ten years. For the first four years of our marriage we lived in Seoul, South Korea and moved permanently to New Zealand in 2011, where we live happily with our 18 month old son. I love the outdoors, going hiking and fishing.
What is your background in?
My educational background is in IT. Everything that I know about design is self-taught, by reading books and blogs, as well as watching video tutorials and learning from other designers.
How did you get started with Zazzle? How did you hear about us?
When I moved to South Korea, finding work was difficult and I was looking for something I could do online. This is when I stumbled up on the print on demand concept. I got started on the first POD site I came across and just a few weeks after starting there, other designers I talked to at the time recommended Zazzle as the place to be. Because I had a hard time getting started at the other site, I decided to give Zazzle a go. My whole experience was so much better with Zazzle, I never looked back. It took me a while to find my way around and learn how everything works, but I stuck with it thanks to the designer community in the Zazzle forums, who were a tremendous help, especially in the beginning.
How do you promote Zazzle products and what tools do you use? How do you choose what products to promote? Which areas do you find the most success in?
Most of my promotional efforts go into my website j32design.com (http://j32design.com/) and social media. While I am promoting on the common social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I have found Pinterest is the one which works best for me. I promote my own designs as well as the work of other great artists, using either mockups or Zazzle product images and link directly to Zazzle or my website. I have found that using well created mockups for your presentation can make a big difference in being noticed and standing out from the crowd.
What new Associate Program features would you like to see on Zazzle?
As a designer and an associate I would like to see improvements made on statistics. I would like to see where visitors to product pages come from, what searches in the Zazzle marketplace/search engines they are using to find my products. Knowing what people search for and where people come from would be great input in what to promote.
What advice would you give to a new Associate starting to promote Zazzle products?
Do your research on what methods work for a certain social media site and do not just start posting blindly. For example, is the use of hashtags beneficial on this site? Should I use images and if so, in what way (long images for Pinterest)? Should I clean out my accounts with posts that have no or little engagement? Once you start posting, try to engage with the people that follow you, like or comment. If someone comments on your post to compliment your work, thank them. If someone follows you, try to follow back or visit their profile and like or share some of their posts. Finally, if something doesn’t work for you try something else.