Just over six months ago, we brought you a Seller Story from Kyle T Webster, an illustrator, graphic designer, and app maker who uses Gumroad to sell custom Photoshop brushes. At the time, he was selling a set of 26 brushes, and it was already taking off. Kyle now offers a handful of new products, including Kyle’s ULTIMATE Photoshop Brush Pack 2. We decided to check in with Kyle and get updates on his projects, work, strategies, and more.
It’s been six months since your Seller Story. How have things been going?
Better than I ever could have dreamed. Gumroad has completely changed my business model.
How so? What was it like before?
For the past two years, I have been seeking out more opportunities to sell digital products to transform the way I do business. Rather than rely solely on commission work in my design and illustration practice, I have been finding passive income streams generated from the sales of prints, apps, and so on. Thanks to Gumroad, I am finally able to sell my custom brush sets and reach the global audience I have been trying to reach. I can say, with confidence, that Gumroad has given me a great leap forward towards realizing my goal of earning 50% of my salary each year from commissions and 50% from product sales.
What new products have you come up with?
After the success of my first brush set, I set out to truly reinvent the wheel and make the best Photoshop brushes of all time (literally!) by exploring every possible trick in the book to emulate natural media. The result is an additional 60 brushes that cover every medium: watercolor, gouache, acrylics, oils, dry media (pastels, pencils, chalk), and ink. I offer the brushes as a full set, or in smaller groups for those who only want certain tools.
Your watercolor bushes are amazingly authentic. Do you have a favorite brush? One that you use almost every day?
These days, I draw most often with the ‘Go Gritty 2’ brush from Kyle’s Inkbox (included in the Megapack and in the Drawing Set). I have also been playing around a lot with the various gouache and pastel options for color work. I am working on two new watercolor brushes at the moment to include in a special painting set. Watercolor, I have found, has been the most difficult medium to reproduce digitally, but I am proud of what I have achieved so far in this regard - thank you for the kind words about those brushes!
Any new marketing strategies since we last checked in? Still studying your analytics?
Yes! In addition to my videos that advertise the brushes, I frequently post illustrations on blogs that are created exclusively with my brush sets. I note this in the art and this leads to more sales. I also have experimented with giveaways and this has helped immensely with traffic and more sales, as well. Analytics help so much - I can focus my marketing efforts on the areas that continue to generate the most hits. Lately, this has been Tumblr.
Any numbers you want to share? For instance, how your conversion rates compare: profile page vs. product page. Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Tumblr.
Direct hits are still at the top of the list with Tumblr a close second, followed by gumroad.com, and then my own website. Here are some numbers:
Product Views: 122,000
Sales: 7,905 sales / $37,000 gross
My Profile page gets more views and sales than my Product page ($5530 vs. $831 in past 30 days).
Have you used any of our newer features? Pre-orders, offer codes, etc.?
I still use discount codes from time to time to bump up sales numbers and get more traffic to my pages if things slow down a bit.
It’s been a while, and a lot of things have changed on our end. How are we doing? What could we improve?
Gumroad is great. It has really changed my life, as I said, and it is hard to find any fault with the site, but if I had to be really, really picky, I would suggest a redesign of the profile page that would perhaps show all products on one page (thumbnails?). Sometimes, users come to my landing page and do not realize they can scroll left or right to see all of my products if they are using a really narrow browsing window. I might be missing out on some sales because of this - not sure.
What tips do you have for other sellers?
Find the sweet spot for pricing and use a lot of creativity when promoting your products. I have had great success with my video promotions on YouTube and Vimeo and I use this on my product pages and embed them in all of my blogs, etc. - they are fun and funny, but also really showcase the products in a way that makes it clear to the buyer that the quality is high and the tools are truly useful and unique.
What else are you up to? Illustration projects, classes?
My studio life has been busier than usual, and it has made it challenging for me to release my next brush set! But, it is coming soon. I have been working hard on editorial illustration assignments, some logos, and a couple of advertising jobs. I also teach three art classes at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and it is something I really enjoy.
To learn more about how to sell Photoshop Plugins on Gumroad, see our guide.
As always, we love hearing your feedback — feel free to get in touch.