One of the struggles that people have starting as a new seller is being seen. Even if others love your work, it can be a struggle to land a commission.
We are currently planning to open public commission testing either late December or early January. As we move in that direction, we wanted to talk about some of the problems we’ve seen with commission visibility and how we plan to tackle those.
One large problem with opening for commissions in the fandom is that there isn’t one specific way to let others know. Some change profile bios to say they’re open; others create journals; some post frequently on social media about openings. While it’s good for sellers to shape advertising strategies based on what works for them, it can be difficult for new buyers to know if a seller is open.
Another issue is that most sites in the fandom focus on either galleries or commissions, not both. Because of that, it’s rare that users browsing galleries know that someone is open for commissions unless they specifically look for that information. This can unfortunately leave upcoming creators in the soup.
Plans to Improve Visibility
Commission badges. One of the best ways for users to find someone selling commissions is to browse through submissions – if I see something I like, I may wish to purchase a commission. Having a badge on a thumbnail or next to users’ names will make it much easier for potential buyers to find sellers; just by looking at a submission, they’ll know if a user is open.
Another benefit, of course, is that these badges will appear in the favorites list – all I’d have to do is look at my favorites, find a commissions badge, and BAM, I’d know where to get some custom art that I’d love.
Announcements. Getting the message out to your followers that you’re opening for commissions is important – many already love your content and are much likelier to purchase commissions.
We’ll be adding an announcement category that will allow you to reach your followers with quick messages. In order to keep announcements relevant, these will have an expiration time with 48 hours being the max.
Improved promotions. It’s still difficult to see promoted images on FN – they appear on the Activity History feed, but that’s about it. We’ll be adding a promoted gallery that can show up on users’ profiles. In addition, the commission badge will show up for any submissions by users open for commissions.
Off-Site advertising. We’re still working out the exact details for this, but we’re planning to include an option to advertise for free on sites outside of FN; upload a banner, and anyone viewing your art on those sites will see that you are open for commissions. This would be an optional feature, of course, but the more chances you have to be seen by potential buyers, the better.
Have any other grand ideas for improving visibility for sellers? Hit us up on Twitter! We’d love to hear them.
As always, thank you for all your support. We hope we can help continue making the commission process smoother for both buyers and sellers alike.