How I launched my Digital Shop in under 30 days | Multi-Passionate Creative | Joi Knows How
Adding a digital shop to my blog felt like the perfect next step in my business. I knew I wanted to create products that I didn’t have to physically ship myself while providing resources to support multi-passionates. From the outside looking in, it might seem like launching a digital shop is a lot of work, but truthfully, it’s easier than you think!
Let’s take a behind the scenes look of how I created and launched the Joi Knows How Shop, and learn my tips for adding a shop to your blog!
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through them, there’s no extra cost to you. I simply make a small commission from the sale which allows me to keep my blog up and running. Thank you for supporting Joi-Knows-How.com.)
Why a Digital Shop?
The first step in creating my online storefront was getting clear on why I wanted to add a shop to my business in the first place.
As a multi-passionate, I also made sure that I could highlight more than one of my creative outlets with this project. Oh, and that I wasn’t mindlessly falling victim to shiny object syndrome.
My why became clear when I realized that there was content missing from the community I strive to nurture most, multi-passionate creatives.
Where was the daily planner for creatives who have days that look different from one to the next?
Where were the T-shirts that multi-passionates could wear to feel empowered and proud to be the way they are?
When I go searching for something and can’t find it, I create it myself. The same applied to my digital shop.
Once I got clear on my why, I was ready to move on to the next crucial step.
To be sure that I followed through on bringing my shop into the world, I created a 90-day focus plan.
Truthfully, it took me under 30 days to launch the shop. The months before were spent brainstorming ideas, gathering inspo and researching. During my 90-day focus period, I took a month-long detox from Instagram.
Best. Idea. Ever.
Taking social media engagement off of my plate enhanced my focus and accelerated the progress I was able to make on launching my shop. Highly recommended.
Then, I dedicated myself to doing at least one small thing each day that brought me closer to opening my (virtual) shop doors. It worked like a charm. The key was not pressuring myself to do more than one thing each day, and using my 3-Part Focus Framework to keep me on track.
Creating Digital Products
Now for the fun part, creating products that I could sell digitally. Naturally, I was eager to make “all the things.” Then, I heard a still small voice whisper:
Easy there, tiger.
I took a step back and asked myself if there was anything I had already created that could go in my shop. You see, we multi-passionates love to create new content and often forget about the beauty of repurposing.
I remembered that back when I had an Etsy shop (RIP), I sold original photography that I printed and shipped out as art prints. For the Joi Knows How Shop, I turned those same photography prints into digital downloads, created mock-ups to show what they look like when printed, and boom.
These days, I’ve paired back to only selling merch in my shop, but having art prints was really fun too! By repurposing my crystal and botanical photography, the art print section of my shop was full of products with minimal effort. The best part? For under $10, you could download my original photography and print it out small enough for business cards, or large enough for a poster (and I don’t have to mail a thing).
What do you think, should I bring the art prints back? Send me a note and let me know!
Tip: Consider what you have already created that you could sell digitally!
The next section of my digital shop that I needed products for was apparel.
I LOVE being a multi-passionate creative and believe it’s a badge of honor. I had a vision of hats, t-shirts, and tank tops, in celebration of all of us creative-misfits!
One of my non-negotiables for starting a shop was that I never wanted to have to physically go to the post office. The Joi Knows How Shop was created to generate passive revenue, meaning I can literally make money while I sleep.
Keeping that in mind, I designed my apparel items using Printful, a drop-shipping company that offers creators the opportunity to customize their own apparel and accessories.
With Printful, the steps to design my own clothing was seamless (see what I did there? lol). First, I reached out to my graphic designer friend and let her know the graphic I wanted to use for my apparel. She emailed me back with the proper file type that could be used in on the fabric, a high-quality PNG file.
You can also create these in Canva, but be sure that you make the design very at least 5000×5000 so that the text isn’t blurred when you upload it into your design.
Next, I created a Printful account, looked through the products they offered (Oh heyyyy, vintage dad hat!), and uploaded my graphic to be applied to the items.
Printful generates mock-ups so it was easy for me to see what my products would look like when finished, and I was also able to order samples with ease.
Just like that, Joi Knows How apparel was born.
After I figured out why I wanted to launch a digital shop, dedicated myself to a season of focus, and created products, I needed to figure out how to host my shop.
I knew that Shopify made it easy to create a stand-alone shop, but I adore my website (you’ve seen it right?!), so I wanted to find an option that could integrate into my current design.
That’s when I discovered Shopify Lite and the heavens opened up. For only $9.00 a month, you can sign up for Shopify Lite which will give you the option to add products with “buy buttons” directly onto your site, by simply copy/pasting the HTML code for each product or collection into your design.
It honestly could not be easier.
Opting for this version of Shopify allowed me to add customized design elements rather than having to choose a pre-styled template. That’s why you’ll see my brand aesthetic show up so strongly on my shop page.
If you DON’T already have your own website, or if you only have a single page blog, then opting for the full version of Shopify is a great choice. It’s $29/month and you can set up an entire shop using their ready-made templates.
My Super Simple Launch Plan
Ah, the launch.
Once we complete a project and are ready to share it with the world, it’s time to launch! Exciting, right?
Well, if we overthink the launch-phase, it can become overwhelming and hold us back from what’s most important- getting the thing out into the world!
So, I came up with a super simple launch plan which included these 7 steps:
- Choose a launch date
- Create a handful of promotional graphics (again, via Canva)
- Had a “soft launch” for my email list. (This gave me the opportunity to practice talking about my shop a week before and work out any kinks.)
- Used the countdown timer on Instagram in my stories the week leading up to my shop launch along with the graphics I created.
- Reached out to a handful of friends, asked them if they would mind sharing about my launch, and sent them graphics I made so they could easily share.
- Created a 10% off discount code for the opening weekend of the shop.
- Launched that baby!!!
That’s it. You could do one step each day, which would be a simple one-week launch prep plan.
I told you, It’s easier than you think!
Tips for Creating Your Digital Shop
Let’s recap, shall we? Here’s how you can take this peek behind the scenes and apply it to your own digital shop creation:
- Start with your WHY
- Make a 90-day focus goal
- Think of content you’ve already created that you can sell digitally
- Visit Creative Market to browse templates for digital products
- Try Printful for creating your own apparel
- Use Shopify (or Shopify Lite) to host your digital shop
- Follow my steps for a super simple launch
Thanks for coming with me behind the scenes of the Joi Knows How Shop! Don’t forget to head over and take a look around so that you can see the end result.
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Thank you for reading!