I don't mean I am right on all point, even if I am sure many will agree on several points.
I don't also mean this by applying (and nor that it's an easy task) the below, you will be the Bill Gates of the puzzles ;)
I am only sharing my point of view, after seen many people designing puzzles who would like to be better known or gain new customers.
So let's GO:
1. Be visible, be famous
You won't make advertising for your products in the subway, nor in the streets. First because you would not afford that. And your target is not the same as well.
So how can you get advertising for low cost?
- Puzzle blogs
- Puzzle forum
- Puzzle parties: international and national
- Specific parties dedicated to such or suck logic games for example
2. A website can help....a lot!
Even if you can clearly see your puzzles through other way and from hand to hand, a website can help you for several reasons:
- Customers can buy and pay directly, so they don't spam you with emails to buy puzzles
- It's more professional. If it's your job, then you have to give to yourself the best means to be successful
- You can put pictures and description. And it's even better if their is a countdown to see how many puzzles are left to be bought
3. Keep people aware
- If you have a newsletter keeping people aware of your progress or even about news, that's a good point
- If you have social media: people like to have news about your designing progress, how the production is going on, which techniques you use and so on. And you can also give estimated time of release of new puzzles.
- If you create your own puzzle forum, you have to give some news on it. You have to keep it alive. A dead forum with old post and no new post will indicate to your customers that you're not (enough?) dedicated to crafting puzzles and they can also think you don't take care of your customers. After all, you have to take care of your walking pocket money ;-)
4. Always keep on designing
The key success is to design always new puzzles with new shapes, new mechanisms and so on.
Your customers want novely, they like to experiment new things and new approaches.
Having a good pace of new puzzles if also important. Realeasing puzzles often keeps your customers constantly aware and ready to spend some money.
5. Time is money
Obviously if you're alone to design, craft, sell puzzles and reply to your emails that can be somewhat difficult to handle...
The time you spend on replying to email you loose it as selling and designing puzzles and you already know that time is money!
If you have grown enough, you should hire some people dedicated to replying questions and shipping the puzzles. It can be the same guy or others who take care of your website and social media.
If you cannot affor hiring people ask to friends/family, they will be happy to participate in a growing business. It's rewarding
6. The customer is the king (but maybe not the king solver...)
Like in every business, the customer brings you money and can also bring you new ones, by saying good things about your puzzles. It can also, by negative things, make you loose some clients.
Bad comments can be the consequences of: you don't reply to email, you only seem to be willing to earn money and you don't act in a friendly seller/customer relationship, you don't communicate enough.
Happy customers, happy designers :)
After all, isn't it very rewarding to get nice feedback?
To finish, some links of puzzle designers:
- Kadon Enterprises, Inc runned by Kate Jones: if you like geometry, packing puzzle, quality products, you will find what you like!
- IQ Lolly: created y Patrick Chan (see my review in a previous post). Website under construction but to follow.
- Rademic puzzles: nice metal hedgehog puzzles. They like very nice with some original shapes and features
Now you reader, what are you waiting for to create your puzzles and give birth to your devilish puzzling mind??