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Humor Group (Read 3599 times)
Scott_235570
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Humor Group
Jul 2nd, 2013, 7:18am
 
Hello!   I’m new to GCU but am blown away by the awesome work the site hosts.  Inspiring photography, creative designs and beautiful illustrations. You all rock.
 
With over 20 years experience in the freelance humor market I’m excited about building my own site at http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/scottnelsongreetingcards. As the review process moves forward my hope is to have an additional dozen uploaded in the coming weeks with seasonal work to follow.
 
As I check out all the bells and whistles the site offers it’s hard to miss that self marketing is a huge forum topic for the talent here. Although I have only just started to promote my small showings of designs independently I’m wondering if like minded talents have collaborated their efforts together under a different store front while keeping their own store up and running? As much as I anticipate marketing my Scott Nelson and Son cards to the world I can see how collaborations with other humor artists under a different store name would be beneficial to all involved.  Personally I'd much rather spend my time marketing a large pool of funny cards then a few dozen designs of my own.  
 
Can anyone point me towards current GCU sites that are marketing numerous artists under one umbrella or is that a no no here because of double posting?
 
Thanks for reading and happy card making.  Smiley
Scott Nelson
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cheryl_133782
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #1 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 8:21am
 
Thus far there are no groups of banded artists although this was mentioned in the last few days because of the change in commission. It would be one hell of a job dividing up profits in a group of artists as to who sold what amount, discounts, bulk orders, percentage of commission etc.
 
Not my idea of fun.
 
Cheryl
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Scott_235570
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #2 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 9:11am
 
Thanks for replying Cheryl.  I agree.  Anything that makes payment issues an issue would become a concern.  But if each artist associated is still paid per card said individual sold there would be no difference to how things are done now from the GCU payment center regardless the Umbrella store name.  
 
Additionally...  I know BOX cards are a huge money maker.  Especially around the holidays.  I could see GCU benefiting from people buying in bulk at one site.   Be it humor, photography or illustration a customer might be more apt to "one stop shop" in this "I want it quick" world if a very specific style of card was grouped together in selected stores willing to lower their margins for the sake of more sales.
 
Once again, I'm new to this group and trying to learn the lay of the land.  I'm sure many of these items have been talked about at length long before I came.  Not sure if the mission statement of the original GCU lays all these things out anyway.  Do they want customers to linger around and see all the cool cards or do they want the quick in and out sale?   Just seems like with %'s paid being a huge topic for the group anything (new ways to market)  that'll boost customer convenience will help some of us overcome the new challenges.  
 
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Penny_134243
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #3 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 9:46am
 
Quote from Scott_235570 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 9:11am:
Thanks for replying Cheryl.  I agree.  Anything that makes payment issues an issue would become a concern.  But if each artist associated is still paid per card said individual sold there would be no difference to how things are done now from the GCU payment center regardless the Umbrella store name.

Additionally...  I know BOX cards are a huge money maker.  Especially around the holidays.  I could see GCU benefiting from people buying in bulk at one site.   Be it humor, photography or illustration a customer might be more apt to "one stop shop" in this "I want it quick" world if a very specific style of card was grouped together in selected stores willing to lower their margins for the sake of more sales.

Once again, I'm new to this group and trying to learn the lay of the land.  I'm sure many of these items have been talked about at length long before I came.  Not sure if the mission statement of the original GCU lays all these things out anyway.  Do they want customers to linger around and see all the cool cards or do they want the quick in and out sale?   Just seems like with %'s paid being a huge topic for the group anything (new ways to market)  that'll boost customer convenience will help some of us overcome the new challenges.


 
Hi, Scott,
 
Welcome to GCU.  I think that the "Umbrella" store that you're suggesting is already in place; it's Greeting Card Universe.  
 
As you sell cards, you'll see that the email notifications that are sent out will tell you how the customer found your cards.  Many times you'll see that your card(s) was found via an internet search (MSN, AOL, Google, etc.) for a specific search term, such as "graduation card for firefighter."  Or you may see that the customer did an onsite search for "orange bridesmaids cards."  Sometimes you'll see that the customer was browsing through the category Birthday, etc.  
 
Since each store "owner" has his/her own email address and payment method set-up, as Cheryl said, it would be a nightmare to try to divide up the monies at the end of the quarter.
 
I do believe that there are a couple of stores that are set up with a mix of artists, but earnings are donated to charity, which is really only one payee.
 
As for "box" sales, GCU does offer some really great pricing on bulk orders, all cards the same.  And also, discounts for mixed orders of different cards.
 
I hope that this helps!
 
Penny Smiley
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Scott_235570
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #4 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 1:25pm
 
Hi Penny:
 
Thanks for commenting.  In your message you wrote... I think that the "Umbrella" store that you're suggesting is already in place; it's Greeting Card Universe.   Although I know what you're saying I think it can be looked at another way.  When you walk into a clothing store they probably sell pants. The pants all come in various colors, styles and sizes.  When you find a pair you like you look through the rack that fits you and hopefully find the size you want.  If the price is right you buy them.
 
Essentially we can look at GCU as a large clothing store with tons of pants but the pants that I want "might" be in the front of the store or in the back of the store. Heck, they might even be mixed in with the shirts and socks.  So sure.  I can eventually find the pants I want but lets say one manufacturer organized a bunch of bell bottoms and put them all one rack in that same store.  And lets say I was going to a Brady Bunch reunion show and needed a pair realllllll fast. I would probably run over to the that rack first.  Especially if that Bell Bottom company sent me some advertising and said, "Scott, in the event you need to look like Peter Brady come to our store and look for our rack".    
 
I'm not saying that this idea would work without question. Yet I am saying after reading a lot of the messages about commissions artist will need to do something to keep up with the new standards GCU is looking for.  And as a newbie I'd rather change my  marketing right out of the gate then let it fail and have to change it later.
   
Thanks,
Scott (AKA: Peter Brady)  Grin  
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Penny_134243
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #5 - Jul 2nd, 2013, 2:00pm
 
Quote from Scott_235570 on Jul 2nd, 2013, 1:25pm:
Hi Penny:

Thanks for commenting.  In your message you wrote... I think that the "Umbrella" store that you're suggesting is already in place; it's Greeting Card Universe.   Although I know what you're saying I think it can be looked at another way.  When you walk into a clothing store they probably sell pants. The pants all come in various colors, styles and sizes.  When you find a pair you like you look through the rack that fits you and hopefully find the size you want.  If the price is right you buy them.

Essentially we can look at GCU as a large clothing store with tons of pants but the pants that I want "might" be in the front of the store or in the back of the store. Heck, they might even be mixed in with the shirts and socks.  So sure.  I can eventually find the pants I want but lets say one manufacturer organized a bunch of bell bottoms and put them all one rack in that same store.  And lets say I was going to a Brady Bunch reunion show and needed a pair realllllll fast. I would probably run over to the that rack first.  Especially if that Bell Bottom company sent me some advertising and said, "Scott, in the event you need to look like Peter Brady come to our store and look for our rack".  

I'm not saying that this idea would work without question. Yet I am saying after reading a lot of the messages about commissions artist will need to do something to keep up with the new standards GCU is looking for.  And as a newbie I'd rather change my  marketing right out of the gate then let it fail and have to change it later.
 
Thanks,
Scott (AKA: Peter Brady)  Grin

 
Hi, "Peter,"
 
Your analogy about searching through a variety of clothing items to find the perfect pair of bell-bottoms is a good one.  It can be (sometimes) acceptable in a brick and mortar store, but online, customers tend to want to get what they want and move on to the next thing on their to-do list.  So, for the most part, customers come here and search for what they want, rather than browsing through tons of cards.  This is not speculation on my part; Mindy has told us this many times.
 
Having a store with many different artists won't change that, unless all of the artists can drive a lot of traffic to that specific shop.  (And I'm not saying that it can't be done.)  But once in your shop, a customer can use the search bar at the top of the page and then they are no longer in your shop, but out in the "universe."
 
As you spend more time here, you'll come to realize that the majority of our customers do not recognize that GCU is a collection of individual shops and artists.  Most of us will have a story about a friend, family member or customer who thinks that they have purchased one of "our" cards, but actually it was from another artist.  It happens.
 
As for (what I think that you're talking about) a collection of artists who are submitting to one store.  I think that someone from GCU will have to make a determination on that, if it's allowed or not.  I am, alas, just a lowly artist.  Wink
 
For my opinion:  I think that having one email address for the shop would be problematic.  I do understand that you're thinking that all of the artists could pool their resources, sell more cards and thereby reach the threshold each quarter.  But think about getting a return for edits, decline, etc.  How would those situations be handled?  Who uploads the cards?  And, again, would GCU allow that?
 
It just seems to me that a collaborative shop would be way more trouble than it would be worth.
 
So before you can say, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia," that's my 2-cents, for what it's worth.
 
Good luck with your shop, Scott!
 
Penny Smiley   
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Scott_235570
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #6 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 7:11am
 
Good stuff Penny and you're right.  The only way it would work is if all the artists who joined actively advertised for the store.  While reading the forum yesterday I spotted one thread idea in which people would join a group and each day a different person would promote said group.  This is essentially the same thing I have in mind but the cards are very specific (humorous illustrations) and the group would be small.  My hope would be the patron would see that style of illustration and then if they wandered into the universe they would come right back because that style is the reason they came.  It would/could work with many other groups but if the site is not set up to post multiple artists under one title then divide the pay... it would be time consuming and pointless.
 
Thanks again.  Smiley
Scott
   
 
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Doreen_137017
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #7 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 8:19am
 
Quote from Scott_235570 on Jul 3rd, 2013, 7:11am:
Good stuff Penny and you're right.  The only way it would work is if all the artists who joined actively advertised for the store.  While reading the forum yesterday I spotted one thread idea in which people would join a group and each day a different person would promote said group.  This is essentially the same thing I have in mind but the cards are very specific (humorous illustrations) and the group would be small.  My hope would be the patron would see that style of illustration and then if they wandered into the universe they would come right back because that style is the reason they came.  It would/could work with many other groups but if the site is not set up to post multiple artists under one title then divide the pay... it would be time consuming and pointless.

Thanks again.  Smiley
Scott
 


 
Hi Scott,
 
Here's a thought ... you would gain much needed promotion and backlinks, if you were to create a HUMOR Greeting Card Group on Facebook and start enlisting people like Tom Rent and other humor card artists to join the group.  Then you are posting humorous cards in one place and at the same time promoting yourselves to potentially millions of people who don't know about your cards ... just a thought  Wink
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Penny_134243
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #8 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 8:47am
 
Hi, Scott,
 
I think that Doreen is on to something there.  Smiley
 
I was just looking through your shop and noticed that you're adding artist notes, which is great!  A couple of things to consider is to make sure that your card titles are keyword rich, since card titles are the main search item.  So, make sure that you're using words like: birthday, dogs, cats, cake, funny, etc.  And also your cards will be even more searchable if you add those keywords to your artist notes.  Basically you're reinforcing the keywords in your title with the keywords in your notes.  You can edit those titles and notes in the 'manage cards' page.
 
There's a lot of talk in the forum right now, due the the changes that were made, but don't let that sway you in any direction.  We all started with one card and we all have to slowly build from there.
 
Penny Smiley
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Scott_235570
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #9 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 9:15am
 
Thanks for the idea Doreen.  I checked out Tom Rent's cards and although fantastically funny-- not illustrations.  Regardless, that idea is sound and outside of annoying your social media connections with a "buy my stuff" pitch... it could eliminate the roadblocks the GCU payment issues might cause.  Smiley   An alternate web site that directs actual orders  to the GCU sales links would also help with the separation of each artist.  This way promotion of said site is very specific to the carbuyer I want to reach.  
 
Penny: can key words be changed after approved?  
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Penny_134243
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #10 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 9:35am
 
Hi, Scott,
 
The only thing that can't be changed by the artist after a card is approved is the category.  Cover image, title, keywords,notes, are all editable, so feel free to make any updates that will help your cards.
 
The category can be changed, in some cases, but only by the Review Team.  You would have to send an email and explain why you would like the change, like a new category was added that would be a better fit for your card.  If the reviewer agrees, the card will be moved.
 
Good luck!
 
Penny Smiley
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Doreen_137017
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #11 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 9:49am
 
Quote from Scott_235570 on Jul 3rd, 2013, 9:15am:
Thanks for the idea Doreen.  I checked out Tom Rent's cards and although fantastically funny-- not illustrations.  Regardless, that idea is sound and outside of annoying your social media connections with a "buy my stuff" pitch... it could eliminate the roadblocks the GCU payment issues might cause.  Smiley   An alternate web site that directs actual orders  to the GCU sales links would also help with the separation of each artist.  This way promotion of said site is very specific to the carbuyer I want to reach.

Penny: can key words be changed after approved?  

 
True, but when marketing oneself, always think outside the box.  Humorous cards are humorous cards, customers like good humor and don't care whether it's illustration or not Smiley  Also, you aren't seeking to annoy friends/family those are separate areas of social media, you are marketing to attract customers for humorous greeting cards.  Do what feels right, just don't limit your options for growth. Doing that puts a stop sign in front of your marketing efforts down the line. Smiley
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Scott_235570
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #12 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:28pm
 
Thanks Penny.    
 
Doreen, I agree what you say in theory but as a lifelong "humorous/juvenile/cartoonist" artist, I tend to be protective of my own brand. It's who I am!  I love photography and enjoy those cards but I don't market my ideas that way.  I love writing wacky jokes and drawing my silly critters and goofy people. Thus I am attracted to the same style of art when I walk into a store and very rarely buy a photograph card no matter how funny it is.  Why put effort into something you don't have passion for?  Or better yet-- why not support something I've invested 100% of my being in.  My idea for a store is the art will be in the same style of I like any other artist associated will also be in that same "look".    No being closed minded and limiting my options.   I just want to market what I Love.   Smiley      
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Doreen_137017
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Re: Humor Group
Reply #13 - Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:40pm
 
Quote from Scott_235570 on Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:28pm:
Thanks Penny.    

Doreen, I agree what you say in theory but as a lifelong "humorous/juvenile/cartoonist" artist, I tend to be protective of my own brand. It's who I am!  I love photography and enjoy those cards but I don't market my ideas that way.  I love writing wacky jokes and drawing my silly critters and goofy people. Thus I am attracted to the same style of art when I walk into a store and very rarely buy a photograph card no matter how funny it is.  Why put effort into something you don't have passion for?  Or better yet-- why not support something I've invested 100% of my being in.  My idea for a store is the art will be in the same style of I like any other artist associated will also be in that same "look".    No being closed minded and limiting my options.   I just want to market what I Love.   Smiley

 
Makes perfect sense to me  
 
And I do understand what you are saying.  I am classified as a Master Class photographer and though I love photography, I find it often difficult to find photographic imagery by others that meet my 'high standards'.  I tend to be very, very picky about image quality ... just kind of happened without me realizing it after years in the profession  Grin  So, I have greatly expanded over the years my love of all things creative, but I too find myself drawn to certain styles and not to others ... isn't art wonderful that way Smiley
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