20 Tips for new SL® Designers

14 05 2008

Hello Residents!

I am posting today some of  the most useful threads i´ve seen. This post is originally written by Kalley Koala and complemented by SLExchange users. If you are new into SL® business and don´t know what to do, take a time to read:

I find myself often looking at items and images posted by new designers and thinking that they´ve got a solid design or item to sell, but they are not showing it off and marketing it to the fullest potential.

Figured since I´m thinking this way. There have to be others who feel and think the same way. So, I´m starting this thread as a way for those of us who have been selling for a little while to offer tips and advice to those who are just starting out.

* waits for those few people to cry out about not wanting to help their �competition� and not having any help when they started*
If you don�t want to help out.. then simply ignore this thread� if you have any words of wisdom or thoughts.. post away.

Tip #1: Name your business. If you have a memorable business name, word of mouth will spread. Think about it if someone is wearing your item and someone asks where the got it from.. they are more likely to remember the store name over your name. It makes it easier for people to talk about your shop. It’s also advisable to have a logo, people respond to visuals and most the shops in game that are among the most popular have logos that you see and know it’s them right away.

Tip #2: It´s all in the name. If you make a shoe and call it Blue Shoe then it´s not going to be something that sticks in the memory of those you want to buy it. Come up with something catchy.

Tip #3: Have a Studio. You don´t need a large building; just somewhere that has a controlled environment. It´s easier to take photos if you can control what´s around you.

Tip #4: When photographing your item, use LIGHT. If you don´t have a studio lighting set up, don�t worry the sun works great to. Use the game settings to control the sunlight. Depending on which way your facing, I find that either sunrise or sunset works the best so you have direct lighting.

Tip #5: Use Prt Scr. Instead of taking pics in game with the screen shot tool, use the camera controls to line up your shot and then hit the Print Screen button. Then paste the image into your art program. This way you can work out the exact angle to show the product off best without the $10 fee every time you take the pic. You can also use this to get multi shots of the item from all sides and edit them together in your art program. Then, you simply upload the file for one $10 fee.

Tip #6: Make your products unique. Simple as that. Make them stand out from any other product of its kind, or better yet, take a type of product and completely revamp it to bring out a new ‘style’. (By this I mean movie players, I mean yeesh, they’re all the same with the Dialog’s Next 10 >> and Stop, Loop, Play.. Why not come up with something different and more interesting?)

Tip #7: Place your products intelligently. I would almost always opt for renting land and putting up a store, but it you rent store/mall space, rent space somewhere that has other sellers with similar products. Like attracts like and shopping cross over is your friend. Check the traffic levels. Check that places with good traffic numbers are not being artifically inflated by camping chairs. You want shoppings, not sitters. If you MUST use a vendor, group like products into different vendors so people can find what they’re looking for. Place a classified every week, even if you spend $1L to do so.Tip #8 : Pricing – If you are new to scripting and make what you think is a “wow” – have a look at the existing market place BEFORE placing it out there for L$1000 and upwards. If your product is unique and well built then you might get away with it. If it is the 23rd “wow” of the same nature that week then think about lowering your price (considerably) and start thinking about another “wow”  (When planning a “wow” – look in the market to see if one exists – if it does – redo your design to be better – if it doesnt – still redesign to be better than the design you already have, another merchant will be trying to outdo yours 5 minutes after you start selling it )

 If you do make sometihng that the market already has lots of and price it high – then people will not only look elsewhere for that particular item – they will also start to associate your name with “expensive” and avoid you.

Get a solid satisfied customer base before looking at millionaire alley.

Tip #9 : Give SOLID after sales service – If a paying customer has a problem with one of your products don’t just say ” read the instructions” . Drop what you are doing and take time to talk them thru the instructions – use the conversation to write better instructions.  ( If you havent the time – get back to them and let them know you will contact them to sort it out ). Not everybody knows SL as well as you – and nobody knows your product as well as you – it may seem obvious to you, but if they are IM’ing you then it isnt obvious to them.

If you help people out you get a rep for being helpful and people WILL take a chance on a product knowing that there is someone there to explain it – instead of saying “woah – not going to touch that – sounds way too tricky” .

Tip # 11: I’m sure everyone has they’re own tastes, and I haven’t built much of anything, (if nothing,) But as a buyer this is something I’ve noticed. If you’re making a vehicle, MAKE IT COPYABLE! Everyone KNOWS that, due to lag, or sim crossing, your vehicle will (and most likely) will go off into the ground and either 1. get away from you, 2. Make you crash and you may never get it back. I can’t emphize how frustrating it is to buy a really nice vehicle of HIGH price and then not have it anymore. Thats great that you’re allowing people to buy this as a gift, but come on! Think about it, what good is a gift if you fear loosing it? And not just vehicles, followers too.

Tip # 12: Everyone is unique. So just because your product is “one of a kind” doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t allow it to be modifiable. Avatars are a major here, Some avatar makers do not allow Mod at all, meaning either A. they have many features that allow it to be customized, B. The avatar is the same for everyone! No one likes to be the same, so think about it. If your avatar is no mod and no scripts, then guess what? You will not get many sales. Specially if the avatar is full prim. That leaves you with no way of adding jewelry or accessories to your avatar. Which means, you’re going to see MANY of the same identical avatar, or you will see very few.

Tip # 13: Any item that is mod should be copy as well. If you think that a mod item should not be copyable, think about this:
1. Say your customer suddenly IMs you asking for a copy of the item. When asked why, the customer replies that he/she tried to modify the item and messed up. People who are new to building (and people that are pros even) are bound to mess up on new ideas!
2. Something happens- the sim crashes and the avatar caught in the crash suddenly has a messed up avatar! (that happened to me once.) They will then ask you to A. fix it, or B. ask for a new one!

Thats bad for your bussiness and for your customers! Your customer is unique in they’re own way and so should your products! If they are wanting your items but have slight modifations they would be willing to preform, Its nothing against you, its just they would like to stand out and be reconized! And also, if a customer does an EXCELENT modification, they’re going be reconized will be asked where they got it!

So guess what? They’re HELPING your business!

This isn’t really a tip, but, make 2 vendors, 1 with permissions, and the second without the permissions! That way your customer has the option to get either/or so they can do as they please!

Tip #14: ALWAYS be willing to help your customer. Even if they are rude, and just don’t get it, (I work for a music company in RL, so you’re BOUND to get those customers,) try to be as helpful as you can! They can be frustrating, but just remember one thing: You’re customer may have “special needs” and may take some time to help. The more you’re willing to help, the more you’re showing good business.

Tip #15: If you deal with transparencies in your designs… whether in clothing or any other item… learn to eliminate ALL white halos between the graphic and transparency. I have several pieces of clothing that I really like the style of… but.. rarely wear because I can see that white fringed hallo at the bottom of a jacket.

Tip #16: For clothing designers… make your front and back seams match. Do this for sleeves also. Search the SL Forums until you find Chip Midnight’s clothing templates. Use them.

Tip #17: For a finished outfit’s texture. Do Not upload and use 1024×1024. SL will automatically resize and display it to 512×512 so using a larger size just slows your texture load in. Tigress has a couple outfits that I’ve never seen because even after a couple sessions of SL… the textures still haven’t loaded… LOL! If youmust work at 1024×1024… reduce a copy for upload to 512×512 and “lightly” use the UnSharp Mask filter in photoshop to off set any blur introduced by reducing the file.

Tip #18 :Make sure that your description is informative and well written. Without seeing a good description of the items (and decent pics, handled above in tips 4, 5 and 17), I am very unlikely to buy it. Particularly for items that require instructions, give your potential buyer some specifics about how it works and why it is value-added. And try to be reasonable with the “adspeak”. Talk up the item without making outlandish claims about how good it is. If it is truly THAT good, then give some evidence instead of simply saying so. For example “on the Most Popular list for the last 4 weeks…” , “over 200 sold on SLX”. Or quote a buyer review.

Say what the item does/is first, in simple terms. Then, go on to give specifics. Buyers who are interested will read on, and those who are not will move on.

And for goodness sake, use a spell checker! (Hastily proof-reads this post) It speaks to attention to detail.

Tip #19 : If you design clothing/selling, include a picture of the outfit in your “packaging”….

Tip #20 : If you are taking pictures please please do not use the “standard” SL Avatars. They are ugly! People want to look how your pictures does, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen great products be passed by because the person used what looks like a 1 day old newbie to take a picture.

So useful in organizing our “closets” and deciding what to wear, if we can look at a picture quickly

 

If your avatar isn’t “model” quality look someone up. IM people in certain groups, offer them a free copy of the item they are modeling, if you can’t afford to pay them. There are countless people that will model for you. It will make your picture so much better.

Also, in regards to the tip about lighting, learn to use Mouse Moves Sun under Client. Go into mouselook and face the sun at your avatar to eliminate all shadows. And brighten up the picture

All the credits goes to the SLEx forum members contributors: Kalley Koala, Neb Soyer, Sabrina Doolittle, Adriana Caligari, Becky Nosferatu, Sami Tabla, delicious demar, Bunnee Varmint, Cape Weary from the Original SLExchange Forum Thread.

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New Spamming/Scam Mania at SL®?

12 05 2008

Hello Residents!

I would like to warn to all of you, newbies to veteran residents who are looking easy ways to get money on Second Life®.

There are running avatars spamming your instant messages with messages promising you that will win to 5000L /25000L if you fill out a survey. They also put some suspicious link (never click if you receive it!) With some data form to fill, like your full avatar name, and those kind of stuff.

THEY WONT NEVER GIVE YOU A THING! And you will be at risk to get your avatar robbed by a hacker! All they want is to take all your lindens, and also your private information, if you have a payment info on profile, they can also take info from your credicard number! so in ANY WAY don´t click in any link sent by those people!

This is the example of a message that I keep receiving, at least 2 times a week at same time:

 

[17:27] Navarro Frischohl: heya,  want some free lindens?  we can give you some just check out h**p://freelindens.thruhere.net/ <- go there you can earn up to $l5000 right now (for not make them some traffic i took off two words, but DON´T CLICK ON IT! If you do, it´s by your own risk. I just have advised.

 

 All you can do is fill out an AR (Abuse Report) and mute those people! We can´t do much, but if you keep receiving this kind of IM write a notecard about it and send to all your friends and let them know about this new SCAMMING over SL®!





The day that Internet Killed your language.

11 05 2008

Hello residents, and all people around….

 Today I am writing about some kind of frustration I have. It keeps growing each day and each time when I see people miss typing a lot. No. it’s not only a “miss typing”, it’s purposely thingy. Not just few dots missing or accentuation. I really mean those people who uses the word “you” only writing “U” and see “C”.  I don’t know if years by years people are getting a little “lazy” to writing in lines that we can read without have headaches for understand what they are meaning, or I am getting too old for this.

Internet slang’s and language are really killing your language. my language, World language at all. Some “u c waat I mean? ” and all those creepy lines get me sick, i keep thinking if people who are behind their computers are just kids learning how to write and type… We can see this a lot in on line games, chats, even blogs, and I still keep thinking, if someday they get a job interview, they will write on they curriculum’s in those vulgar Internet language as well, and see if they will be called to start working soon as they think it will….

English is not my primary language but well, I would like to write and pass the image that I am trying to be serious. When you type correctly, the first impression you pass to others is the seriousness about what you are doing at something. What hurts more is when you are trying to talk with someone in serious issues they start typing like that, myself get lost on they purposes and meanings, and somehow, i think they aren’t really getting serious on what I am talking.

I know that this issue really depends on the each country culture and way of life… For example, at my country, most teenagers do this in some way, they say it’s “more fast and easy to type something that they want”,  but hell, if you want to type, at least do it clearly and make the next person read it “fast and easy mode “too! We, at least myself, am not obligated to see your assassination of my language. I want to read it clear, straight and no vulgar Internet slang. Less “U” words i see, better and seriousness i will think about you.

My wish was to see people typing correctly, no matter place or occasion it is… Think about when you get a job… if you work on publicity or marketing enterprises and talk or write this way like you do, you will really loose clients because of this… Take a time to learn and and type it good, if you are too rush and want to use less words to say what you feel… It’s better you take a picture of the moment you are or just keep shut…

 

Well, sorry for all this bad mood, but i needed to say this, somehow, as this Internet slang is polluting every people’s minds…





The Pet Village

6 05 2008

G´day Residents!

Here today i am to talk about some amazing, i mean AMAZING IN CAPS place. Totally relaxing, and the most cool, for people who adore pets! This is the Pet Village, build in like 6 sims, to make the most complex and beautiful place in SL history … there are real amazing enviroments, totally in japanese culture, and you can play with pets around the sim (and make they walk with you). The main laguage of the sim is japanese, so you better familiarize lol!

There are few pics i took when i took a time to relax there :

 The Pet Village
The Mainentrance, wonderful

The Pet Village
One of the enviroments that the Village has

The Pet Village
I found this place amazing

The Pet Village
Japanese Garden style

The Pet Village
Me and a fluffly cat walking around the Village… but now resting

The Pet Village
The pets wich lives around the Village

The Pet Village
And the Owner of the Village… apparentaly AFK. lol

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pet%20Village%20East/151/141/26





Tips to make your own best photography in Second Life

3 05 2008

Hello Residents!

I think everyone’s passion in Second Life is taking pictures of your best moments in Second Life. We can find tons of models, but we can’t find tons of PROFESSIONAL photograpers. I mean by photographer as :

– Have a good sense of perspective, use and abuse of the editing tools that professionals image editors gives to us, and of course, the ability to be creative in using poses.

You can make your own photo book, using this tips that i find helpful to myself and my crew, and i would like to share with you people who wants to start having some business around Second Life.

  • AVOID the most freebie poses that already seen in most of the freebie products, and everywhere. They don’t really impress and there is a few that we can say “it’s good to use”. The rest is a pure terror! Those “gothic atitude” is a photograpy chaos.

 

  •  Studios or Spheres – Try to find those with gives you lots of varieties and resources. Use them with responsability, to not make your picture with hundreds of useless particles, colours, fogs and backgrounds. Ah! about the backgrounds, taking a picture above a photo of a EIFFEL TOWER PHOTO is nothing glamorous.

 

  •  BE CAREFUL WITH ACESSORIES! Bracelets not attached well to your arms, or even worse – giant bracelets, blinging piercings, bad attached gadgets, flying necklaces, and other incredible funny stuff are a big danger when you are modeling! Taking a few minutes on a stand pose to attach all of them well before a photography section! This will be good for you, i can tell!

 

  •  Clothes – Attention! A quality book requires quality clothes! So, for a great professional portfolio with 2 or 3 sets, stop being a poor guy or girl and invest yourself in good simple combinations but glamorous, and choose the best way to have your own fans or customers. Famous stores and international ones are the best choice, make mistake with those products it’s almost impossible to, unless you are a redneck commanding your avatar, LOL (nothing against them) 

 

  • Lights enviroment – The most important step for a big diferencial! Put your computer graphics to the most high you can, and abuse of the all ilumination you got. If the enviroment you are, are badly iluminated, try use the lighint tools that the studio can give or those face lights that you can find almost everywhere. What it doesn’t really count is those dark pictures with a dead looking, like you can see in most of the noob photo albums.

 

  •  Photo Edition – Perfect photos just turn perfect when you edit them. Using Photoshop or any other photo editor guarantee you a great final effect. The biggest diferencial is, you can see when someone is professional or not just seeing how they can use those image editors well.  This is really important, more advanced your knowledge, more efficience will be at the end!

 

  • Angles – Girls or boys, DO NOT try to inovate too much and try to be those liberal cibernetics. It sounds like a joke, but the quantity of girls showing their undies under the flexi skirt is incredible. Don’t use strange, badly or funny angles. Don’t do the most exagerated thingie, do care about the products you wear and make you avatar look professionaly wonderful. Taking a picture of yourself in side looking, or the sky appearing could be romantic but it doesn’t really gives any value to any merchant who are looking for models to use their products to sell.

 

  • The Sets theme is always opcional. But i always would like to see them than just see a simple studio blank picture. Try to find a great and different place you ever seen, but always try to match with the purpose of what you want, and start working! It’s always good to take a look over the place you are before you take any picture. The great quality of the place textures always count. Try to avoid those newbie mainlands with nothing to offer but just big newbie advertising wich gives you a really bad looking on the picture. In this case, you can try those mobile studios where you can find in Animation Islands, There is a lot of varieties, so don’t use your NOOB STANDING POSES!

Do you think this is all complicated? You don’t have abilities to edit your own image? Your avatar looks like a terrible monster on the picture ?

Calm down, just because of it you cannot think that you can’t be a star!

There are lots of GREAT PROFESSIONALS over the Second Life ® wich works only with this kind of business, and books confeccion! We know that we find lots of types of so called “photographers” but nothing just some bad edited image, and they also think windlight is perfectly for image edition! No! If you really take a look on the Search you will find good photographers. If you have doubt in any photographer you found, you can ask them to show thei past works, portfolios and talk with them! Say everything you want and need for a great photo book! And of course, ask them to make the best they can, because you are paying for it.

Who desires to be a model, besides that beauty can be done for everyone, don’t give up and invest on the best way you can. The Model carreer is a real thing over the Second Life®, but not much explored by people.

 

A Futuristic theme Photo Set.