If you’re in the digital product game, then you know that Creative Market is a big deal. It’s like Etsy, but for creatives + entrepreneurs. You can also probably understand the excitement I felt when I got the email saying that my item had been handpicked.
This can be a HUGE boost for any shop. It means that your product will be featured for a week on Creative Market. It will be shown on various pages in the item category you chose – exposing you to lots of viewers – AND your product gets sent out in their weekly email to thousands of email subscribers. It’s an incredible opportunity and results in a lot of new sales for your shop.
From my own product being handpicked, going through other items that have been featured, and scouring the CM forums for answers, I put together a guide on how to get handpicked on Creative Market – so that you too can get a huge promotional boost for your products.
With this shop, I had only uploaded a few stock images and made two sales. Seriously, just two. It is possibly to be featured with a new store and only a few products – just make sure that those products follow these guidelines I’m about to dive into.
This scene creator was the product that got featured – and it was my first real product up on CM. I am so excited about it because I know that it’s a valuable tool and I worked so hard to make it special.
If you’re not sure what a scene creator is, it’s basically elements that you can arrange to make your own images and mockups. This one is in a rose gold theme – with lots of desk accessories and tech mockups, like iPhones, iPads, and different laptop angles. And Girl Boss Stock members get it free with their membership! If you want to try out a membership for yourself, I would love to have you 🌸
HOW TO GET HANDPICKED ON CREATIVE MARKET
It’s all about the images.
This is no joke – your featured image has to be well designed and stand out. My listing is a great example of this, if I do say so myself. It’s eye-catching, featuring a big title and interesting elements, and I think those are the keys here.
None of these products are “the norm”.
They’re not all neutral colors to match every branding. They’re not in general themes that a great deal of people can use. They’re not something everyone would be interested in. There is going to be a very specific audience interested in a spiral notebook mockup or watercolor flamingos – and that’s true for a lot of these products.
But they’re SO COOL and so different. Why wouldn’t Creative Market want to feature something that is not the same as all the other stuff on the marketplace?
My product is actually kind of the exception here – there are quite a few scene creators out there. I think putting the rose gold spin on it really helps it to stand out. I also believe that the Canva feature makes it unique. Unlike traditional scene creators where Photoshop is required, you can use my scene creator for free in Canva or any free photo editor – and you get all of the elements as images with a transparent background to download and use wherever else you need them.
I think having these two key differences helps my product stand out against my “competition” and Creative Market wants to show that off. Common items can still be handpicked if the graphics and features are good enough.
You can tell what most products are simply by the image – no guess work.
For most of these products, you know what they are before you read the title or click to the item page. You can even read specific details in some of the images, like mine. This helps huge.
Like I said before – the image is really what gets people to click. Don’t just rely on the title to tell people what you’re offering. Make sure they can see it clearly too.
Another useful thing to note: I actually haven’t seen many handpicked or featured items without the title in the image… In fact, out of the 18 on this page, only ONE doesn’t have it. It’s definitely something to think about when you’re creating your graphics – including a title and some key info could make a difference between handpicked or not.
Create graphics that stand out.
One really great trick to make your listings look more interesting is to add shadow behind your templates or images. Notice the shadow effect behind the cards in the bottom right photo, or behind the magazine, story templates, and wedding invitations. The shadow really helps to give dimension to the graphic and make it more appealing. If you’re a Girl Boss Stock member, you can use the shadows kit to create this effect.
If you’re not a member yet, you can grab the shadow kit here for only $6 OR get it included, with all of my scene creators used to create these gorgeous graphics, in the price of your membership.
They’re not half-assed.
Creative Market products get handpicked by real people on the CM team – who have seen it all. Whatever you’ve created, it’s probably been done before – whether it’s a font, a planner, or a social media template. They don’t pick the same thing they see time and time again. You need to make your product better than others out there.
The quote above comes directly from a blog post by a Creative Market staff member about how to get handpicked. Clearly more options, features, and added compatibility will help you get more sales. It takes a bit more work – but don’t half ass it. You could be missing out on profits.
One key distinction I want to make here is this: don’t sell your hard work for a quick dollar. Better doesn’t mean more for less money. It doesn’t mean you need to give away 20 fonts for $10. My main gripe with Creative Market is the fact that they allow shop owners to MASSIVELY discount their items, which drives down the profit margins for all of the sellers in the marketplace. Big bundle sales might be tempting if you want to make a fast sale, but they’re harmful long term – for everyone. If you sell a product that helps people and is valuable, charge for it. You worked hard to create it – don’t sell yourself short, literally.
Creative Market also takes a 30% tax cut (unless you live in a country with a different tax treaty). So you already don’t make the price you list an item for – you make at least 30% less. The more you discount, the less money you’ll make – so don’t cut into your own profits by underselling yourself. Create valuable products, charge what you know they’re worth, and make the money you deserve.
And here are a few extra tips directly from the Creative Market website:
I’ve done some digging through the Creative Market forums and have gathered some of their tips on how they pick items and from other users who have been handpicked. Here’s what I found:
Have at least 3 preview images, preferably five.
In a post uploaded to the Creative Market blog, they said that they almost never hand pick a product with less than three screen shots. Why? It’s not specifically stated but I can imagine a few reasons for this:
- A product with less than 3 screenshots may not have as many features or be as well thought out.
- It doesn’t look as professional or valuable.
- They probably don’t sell as well as items with more information and images.
So the more beautiful product images, the better. Also, be sure to make them the correct size – 1820 x 1214 px.
Give a lot of information about your product.
Fill out everything on the product page with as much relevant detail as you possibly can. Write a lot of tags, have an informative description, add as many properties as you can. Anything you can do to make your product look 1. more professional and 2. more valuable will help you get picked.
Keep your items well priced.
When you fill out the pricing for your products, Creative Market will give you a range of the average product price in your industry. It’s not a hard and fast rule – obviously some products will be more complex or simpler and will require different pricing. But I haven’t seen anything too out of range ever get featured or handpicked.
Price yourself competitively but not insanely high or low, either way.
Make sure you have an updated homepage.
There are over 20,000 shops on Creative Market… and only 15 handpicked spots. It’s a huge boost – both in sales and morale for the shop owner – to be featured this way. Creative Market wants to take care of people who use, love, and bring money to the platform.
If you haven’t spent the time to fill out your profile, it’s a signal that you might not be passionate about what you do and you might not be on Creative Market to stay. They want to reward their diehard shops and sellers – make sure that’s you.
My top recommendations?
Fill out your profile, try to include at least ONE killer, out of the box type product in your shop and make sure EVERY product has killer graphics.
Want to grab the pre-made shadows for your product mockups? Grab them for only $8 here… or get the shadows AND the scene creator with your Girl Boss Stock membership – you won’t regret it.
And there you have it – how to get handpicked on Creative Market. The best part? If you follow these strategies, you’ll have more than a change to get handpicked.. you’ll have killer listings that will generate sales – regardless of whether you get featured.