Well… this year was nothing if not interesting.
Despite the near-shooting, the total lack of comic-book-related guests, the stifling security lines in the heat, the almost-not-being-able-to-take-down-my-booth… it was actually one of my best years ever! I saw lots of old friends and met quite a few new lovely people! Almost a hundred of you cool kids went and liked my Facebook post about PCC! It was insane!
So thanks, Phoenix, for being my hometown despite the fact that your con was… less than stellar. I’ll be back, as always, next year :3
How I did it:
So I’m at the point in my career where a few (literally a few, I’m not much of a role model) people stopped to ask how my booth was doing so well in the mire that was PCC 2017. So I suppose I’ll do a write-up here on how- and why- I did so well. I do no fanart, so getting 300 buttons pushed out through a single indie artist booth is pretty successful. But as much as I love glowing over all my rad friends that came out this ‘con, I also had a really key point covered for this year’s convention: marketing. My brand was so on-point this year, y’all! Just take a look at my booth:
Having that many neon colors in one block of artist alley booth really helped me stand out from all the dramatic black-and-primary color schemes you see at these gatherings. Note that both projects, Re:Bomb! and They Have Issues, use very different colors, but the one thing they all have in common is a super bright layout (although I’ll admit that as the creator of THI, I did insist on some of my signature pink making its way in there), so I was able to easily divide my work into two handy categories and people could still tell it all belonged to me.
Next up: freebies!
So… I won’t lie, freebies SUCK. Make something cool, and maybe a 30% return rate will reward you. So I had 300 people walk off with buttons at PCC… And 69 new sessions appeared on my site (Google Analytics is a wonderful thing). So I had about a 23% return, which really isn’t bad, but it also means I lost 231 buttons’ worth of time, effort and cost to the void of marketing. And marketing of this type is really a double-edged sword; the advantage is that having a sign labeled “free” at your booth enables potential readers to walk by, pick something up, and be able to engage with your product when they’re ready, without feeling pressured by you. The kicker is that having a sign labeled “free” at your booth is that little Jimmy Jones can skip by your booth, grab a fistful of free buttons, and you’ll be lucky if mommy manages to wrest them away from him before they end up in his mouth. 5-year-olds are not valid readers for webcomics, but it also looks bad on you if you yank your products outta the little free-loader’s hands.
Essentially, freebies entice your readers to check out the comic. So,