The Benefits of Making a Creation Story
Written by Heather Bailey, invaluable member of our Maker Success Team.
Take a gander at our home page, CustomMade.com. Notice the entire section devoted solely to unique creation stories? It’s the part of our homepage that’s constantly changing with new creation stories—and updates to ones in progress—added all the time. You’ll always see something different in that spot. Creation stories are a great way to showcase you and your talents. So, let’s talk about how to create the best story.
What exactly is a creation story?
Once a customer has accepted a proposal and the project is underway, the maker (you) will have the option of writing a creation story. A creation story is simply a way of connecting with the customer while you create their project. You, as the maker, are encouraged to post photos as the job progresses and write a few words about your process. Your customer is invited to follow along from beginning to end as their custom item is brought to life.
Why make a creation story?
On the surface, a creation story serves to update the customer about your progress with their job. But really it is doing much more. By giving you the opportunity to go into detail regarding how you are crafting your pieces, creation stories also serve to attract new customers. A potential customer visiting the site for the first time might be intrigued and delighted by the work you’re doing and decide immediately that you’re the maker they want to work with.
These stories also serve to establish an emotional connection with the customer. Going in-depth about your creative process serves to deepen the bond the customer will have with that piece and, in turn, with you. Creation stories help educate the customer as well. For example, crafting a ring by hand is a pretty labor-intensive process. However, that fact is often lost on the customer. By giving them the opportunity to follow along, they gain a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the process. When you opt to do a creation story, you turn the mundane act of buying something into a completely unforgettable experience for the customer, and you’ve fostered customer loyalty. When that same customer wants something similar made in the future, they’ll remember their custom experience, and want to work with you.
And remember: a creation story that is updated frequently will spend a longer time on our front page, giving you more exposure to potential customers.
What is a good creation story?
A “good” creation story is easily to spot. Below are links to three examples of great creation stories that makers have added throughout the years. Take a minute to scan through them and see what they each have in common:
Did you notice the common element? Beyond explaining their creative process, these makers make the experience very personal for the customer. By taking a casual tone of voice, they are engaging with their customer as well as other potential customers who view their stories. The entire experience looks fun and exciting.
Basic Tips for Creation Stories
- If your camera has a date and time stamp that it automatically puts on photos , make sure it’s up to date. If you’re photographing something you’re making now and your camera is stamping the photo five years in the past, this looks a little fishy.
- Be sure to photograph every step along the way — beginning, middle and end. One photo of the finished product is NOT a complete story, it’s the end.
- Add a little personal touch. In the example link above, Sara E. Lynch makes light of the burn she got while crafting the piece, calling it her “battle wounds.” Designer Paul Michael talks about how he felt bad cutting into the album to make the ring. These little touches add so much value to the story and serve to humanize the maker, something that is often a challenge when transactions take place entirely online.
Creation Stories open a fascinating window into the maker’s world by allowing people to see the custom process (almost) first hand. For more information on how to do a creation story, check out our help section on CustomMade.com: http://help.custommade.com/maker/communicating/what-are-creation-stories/