Getting sales with the Low Hanging System is largely a numbers game. The more designs you have, the more likely you are to find winners that resonate with your audience.
Coming up with fresh design ideas isn’t always easy, though. But I hope this post can help make that process a little easier.
There are two main techniques that I suggest for coming up with new designs. And, in most cases, these are the techniques you want to use.
In the past, I’ve talked about other strategies, which are also effective – I just don’t necessarily recommend using them as your go-to strategies.
But, especially if you’re feeling stuck or as if you’ve exhausted all your options with the first two techniques, the additional strategies can provide the inspiration you need to boost your shops’ inventory.
That said, let’s take a look at this compilation of strategies for coming up with new design ideas, starting with the two strategies I recommend most.
SpotNiches is a super useful tool that’s helped me make A LOT of sales.
SpotNiches gives you specific phrases that people are searching for and tells you the number of search results that each phrase has on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
It also lets you sort by “opportunity” so you can find the niches with the most searches and the least product results, which translates to niches with high sales potential and low competition.
This way, you can cater your new design ideas to these untapped, under-serviced niches and get more sales.
You can learn more about SpotNiches here.
2. Phrases you can apply to multiple niches
Coming up with phrases you can apply to multiple niches is the quickest and easiest way to add a bunch of new designs to your shops.
Here are a couple examples of phrases you might use:
Keep calm & _____
You could turn that into…
Keep calm & scrapbook
Keep calm & dance
Keep calm & eat pizza
Keep calm & whatever, basically
Instant _____ just add coffee
You could make that…
Instant accountant just add coffee
Instant plumber just add coffee
Instant teacher just add coffee
Instant [INSERT ANY PROFESSION] just add coffee
As you can see, the phrases are simple and you can plug a ton of different words into the blanks.
After coming up with a few phrases (check below for ways to do this), you just need to have a list of keywords that fit the context, and BOOM – you’ve instantly got loads of new designs that appeal to a variety of customers.
To help scale your designs, my assistant and I created a master list of keywords pertaining to a bunch of different categories, including…
- countries & nationalities
Just pick the category or categories most relevant to your phrases and start churning out new designs. You can check out the master list here.
3. Weird holiday guide
There’s something to celebrate literally every day of the year, whether it’s National Spaghetti Day (January 4), Draw a Picture of a Bird Day (April 8), or Hug a Vegetarian Day (September 27). And all of these odd-ball holidays present opportunities for unique design ideas.
For example, for Save the Rhino Day coming up on May 1st, you might make a design featuring a rhinoceros, helping to raise awareness.
Or, for Bird Day on May 4th, you might come up with some fun designs aimed at people who have birds for pets.
So the next time you’re stumped for a new design idea, check out which wacky holidays are coming up and make designs that fit the celebrations.
You can check out a list of these types of holidays in my weird holiday guide (updated for 2019).
4. Text-based designs
I’ve had fun playing around with this technique and it’s super simple to implement.
There’s a free tool, WordClouds.com, that lets you turn words or short phrases into pretty word-cloud designs. Here are a few word clouds I created using a list of words I associate with happiness.
Any designs you make using the tool are 100% yours and you can use them any way you want.
To learn more about how to use WordClouds.com to create colorful text-based designs, read this.
5. Look at memes
Memes are funny bits of text, usually with an image, that get passed around the internet. So if you search for memes about a particular niche, you can find lots of good ideas for designs.
Just pick a niche, such as pit bulls, and then do a search on Google Images for something like funny pit bull memes or funny memes about pit bulls.
As you can see, there are lots of cute and funny phrases here.
You obviously don’t want to take someone else’s phrase word-for-word, though. But you can use niche-specific memes as inspiration to come up with phrases of your own.
6. Examine your surroundings
In the Low Hanging System Facebook group, people have shared how their surroundings have inspired them.
For example, people have posted saying they saw bumper stickers that gave them great design ideas. Or they’ve seen signs around where they live that triggered suggestions.
Look through catalogs you get in the mail, or pay attention when you’re out shopping or sightseeing, and you never know what you might find to spark an idea.
You could also get ideas from funny things your friends or family members say, especially kids – they do say the darnedest things after all.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled and you may find some awesome design ideas right under your nose.
7. Check out t-shirts
More people sell t-shirts online than mugs and if you search for something like “niche + t-shirts,” you’ll find different results from your “niche + memes” searches.
Again, you don’t want to steal anyone else’s exact idea. This is just another way to find inspiration based on what other people are doing.
8. Pay attention to what gets shared on Facebook
You likely have at least one person on your Facebook friend list who likes to share memes or other types of catchy photos and videos.
Start paying attention to that stuff and checking which posts are getting lots of engagement (likes, shares, comments). You can also check niche-specific Facebook groups to see what people are posting.
You can usually find really good ideas by doing this. And if the content is getting positive engagement, that could translate into sales for you if you create designs based on the posts you see.
9. Visit funny websites
There are so many funny websites that can provide really good design inspiration. Here are a couple of examples…
Check out these sites and others you might know to find unique phrase ideas.
(NOTE: The content on these sites can be controversial, so just keep that in mind.)
10. See what people pin on Pinterest
Visit Pinterest.com and type what you’re looking for into the search bar – for example, funny pit bulls. Then, check out the posts with the most repins because that shows you that people are interested in the content and they are responding well to the posts.
11. Take action to break out of a creative slump
Lastly, if you’re stuck for new design ideas, you may be in a creative slump. If that’s the case, I wrote a blog post a while back outlining 33 ways to start feeling creative again.
The strategies include the following:
- Write in a journal.
- Go outside and do something.
- Do a fun but mindless task that stimulates creativity.
- Talk to friends, family members, or a mentor.
- Set up Google alerts.
- Comb through your content archives and past social media posts.
- Help other people with things they’re working on.
- Work in a different location.
- Change your routine.
- Follow inspiring people on social media.
- Put together a list of inspirational quotes.
- Do the “30 Circles” test
- Watch or read something that makes you smile or laugh.
- Be a tourist in your own town or city for a day.
- Organize your workspace.
- Combine past ideas in a fresh way.
- Create a folder for half-baked ideas.
- Approach the problem or topic from a new perspective.
- Stimulate your senses.
- Challenge what you think you know to be true.
- Engage the right side of your brain.
- Play the “Word Association” game.
- Create a mindmap.
- Break the issue down into smaller parts.
- Turn off distractions, like your phone, for an hour or so.
- Write down a “brain dump” of as many ideas as you can think of.
- Create a list of your favorite things.
- Break out of your comfort zone.
- Actively practice positive self-talk or recite a positive mantra.
- Take a nap.
- Imagine if your creative slump were permanent…
- Do what creative geniuses do (e.g. sleep facing north like Charles Dickens, count coffee beans like Beethoven).
You can check out the blog post here for more details about each suggestion.
And if you’re still feeling stuck for fresh design ideas, you can check out the Low Hanging System Design Club, which provides you with 100 new designs each month, 50 in black text and the same 50 in white text.
I hope this post helps you continue coming up with great new design ideas! Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it. Thanks!