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.




5 responses

14 05 2008
20 Tips for new SL® Designers

[…] Leo wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptTip #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 … […]

15 05 2008

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15 05 2008
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19 05 2008
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19 05 2008
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[…] SLExchange users. If you are new into SL? business and don??t know what to do, take a time to read:https://rehula.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/20tips-for-new-designers/San Francisco The San Francisco ExaminerSAN ANTONIO and WATERLOO, Ontario , April 23 […]

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