This post is part of our Best Next Step series, where you will hear from creative business owners like you, who are wondering what to focus on next. The background stories and questions are from all kinds of businesses in various stages of growth, and I share my ideas for how to proceed forward most efficiently and ambitiously. Today we’re hearing from Lisa Orgler Design.
Lisa Orgler Design
Below are screenshots of Lisa’s website and Etsy shop:
I am a garden designer and illustrator. I often use my illustrations to teach garden design on my blog and through products, plus sell stationary products that incorporate the garden and food. Currently, my products are sold on Etsy, retail and wholesale, but I mainly market through my main site.
My business has been in different forms over the last 10 years. I originally focused on food illustrations, but I recently began teaching landscape design at a University three years ago, so finally made the switch to garden design on my blog instead. My challenge has always been combining my illustration skills with my landscape design background. I feel I’m getting closer now, realizing that I can teach illustration techniques for the landscape design industry, plus teach design skills using illustration. All of this in my quirky style…
As my next steps/goals would love to:
- Write a book on landscape graphics (in a fun and quirky way) (maybe in the next couple of years)
- Streamline my products for wholesale (be more selective and take out some of my older items) (within the next year)
- Start printing more of my cards professionally (I might be doing one set in the next few weeks!)
- I’m struggling with the idea of whether to license my artwork (and keep running into closed doors) or move forward to just create my own products. I want to create my own path, rather than relying on someone else to say yes or no.
I don’t need this to be a full-time job, since I teach 9-months of the year, but I may want to teach less in the future to focus on this.
I currently promote my business through my blog or personally connecting with shops. I use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Google+. I focus mainly on those in the landscape design industry, though also connect a lot with other illustrators (since I’ve been involved in Lilla Roger’s MATs class). Pinterest and LinkedIn seem to push the most traffic my way.
My site visitors are on a growth trend. I moved my blog from Blogger to Squarespace a few months ago, so have had to rebuild.
In terms of sales. On the Etsy site, sales are very low. I make most of my money from people contacting me directly for logos, illustrations and presentations (which I share on my blog). I have also increased my wholesale business (slowly). One last income source is art fairs. I only do two a year, but make a decent profit at each one.
This is interesting…I put so much effort into my Etsy site and it really doesn’t push a lot of sales my way. Hmmmm….
Lisa Orgler Design’s Best Next Step
Thank you for entering our Best Next Step giveaway – hooray, you’re a winner! My thoughts follow (read them with a grain of salt, since I only have a brief outline of your business and challenges right now).
What is Your Goal?
It has been fun following along with your business, and I’m glad to hear that it feels like you’re getting closer to merging your two interests as a business.
I like the idea of licensing your artwork, and I think you should look into that before you give up on it. Have you considered showing your work at Surtex or another show where people can see your work and consider licensing it?
From what I’ve heard, writing a book isn’t going to be much of a moneymaker, but certainly could increase your authority in your industry and enable you to attract more interest.
It sounds like the Etsy shop is more trouble than it’s worth, and Etsy isn’t likely driving much traffic to your website. You could probably quit that and use the time on other aspects of your business.
The objectives you gave me look less like goals, and more like steps on the way to a goal. If you’re not clear on what your goal is, start there, and that should make the next step easier to choose. For instance, do you want to quit teaching and move into illustration and garden design full time? Are you leaning more toward a career in garden design, or toward a career in illustration, or do you want to be sure to keep both things up equally? Is there a certain amount of money you’d want to make to feel confident moving ahead with Lisa Orgler Design?
For each of your four listed objectives, think about why you want to do each thing. Would it be fun? Would it make money? Is it something people say you “should” do, but you’re resisting? Make your choices based on where you want to end up, and make sure they’re things you can realistically do and things you can stay interested in.
Thanks for the chance to learn more about your business. I hope this all makes sense, and I encourage you to clarify what you really want out of Lisa Orgler Design, then adjust your next steps as makes sense.
Are you ready for the next step?
If you’d like the power and experience of the Aeolidia team behind you, please get in touch! We would love to untangle your business priorities and take a few tasks off your hands so you can do your work. Contact Aeolidia – we never bite!