Creating your product
All materials should be original, or you should have permission to use another’s work.
Please remove all references to your camp or program. It’s in your best interest to keep your products as “generic” as possible because your buyers aren’t going to want to hand out worksheets, or put something in their manual with another organization’s logo all over it.
If there are spots where a logo formerly existed, it is best to replace it with a generic logo, like a picture of a sun, or the word ‘camp’.
There may be some things, such as policy guidelines that an organization will have to adapt, so make sure to indicate those items in your instructions.
If you are unsure how to structure or format your program material, please keep the following tips in mind to include in your description:
- A list of supplies needed
- The type of space needed (indoor vs outdoor, large vs small)
- Typical time frame to complete activity
- Whether this is a high, medium, or low energy activity (to help people determine when to schedule it within their day)
- A range of how many people this activity would work for
- Set up instructions
- A detailed description of how the activity works/ how to lead it
- Include diagrams or pictures if it will help your buyer better understand your activity
- Suggested debrief (especially for staff workshops)
- If you are including a link to reference material in your product, please be sure the link works. Please do not offer products that are essentially just a link to sell something on another platform.
Promoting your product
High quality images will help you sell your products. All images should be free creative commons images, with or without attributions. Be sure to follow all guidelines regarding usage and attribution of photos.
Here is a list of sites that provide creative commons photos:
Your best choice of photos will be available for commercial use and give permission for editing. Include the title of your product and aim to make your image “pinnable”.
We recommend that you promote your store and products on your social media platforms, including but not limited to, Facebook pages and groups, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Blogs.
Pinterest tends to be the best way to promote this type of material, so be sure to have a “pinnable” thumbnail that gives a clear understanding of your product.
Use the category selection wisely; make sure that your buyers are receiving the materials that they are looking for. It’s not good business practice to market something as being useful for a Sunday school program, when it is clearly designed for an overnight camp. This may frustrate and confuse buyers and may lead to poor reviews for your product.
Encourage buyers to write reviews for your products, one of the best ways to build your brand and entice customers is through trusted peer review.
In order to become an author on the Patchwork Marketplace, you first need to provide a resource for our community that is part of the Free Resource of the Week program.
This is an excellent opportunity to help promote your brand and give people a “taste” of your work so they will be enticed to visit your store and buy your products.
This product will be offered for free during one week of our cycle, and will be regularly sold during all other weeks.
Pricing your Product
One of the most commonly asked (and difficult to answer) questions is “how to I price my product?”
We recommend using the following guidelines to determine your product price:
- All resources (even the ‘freebie options’) are to be sold for no less than $2.00
- Around $0.10 – $0. 25 per page (this will obviously vary depending on the content)
- The amount of time it took you to create it / the amount of time it will save someone else by purchasing it
- How much you would be willing to pay for a product like this
We encourage authors to start most of their products under $20.00 with the bulk of them being under the $10 – $5 mark. Once you start getting reviews and building your brand, you can always reevaluate and change your prices accordingly.
Pricing will be a fluid thing that will change as the Marketplace grows and evolves, along with your personal brand and customer base.
Why we recommend pricing resources this way
Our intention is not to devalue the work of our authors – in fact we firmly believe that your work is so valuable that you should be getting paid for it!! After all, that’s the whole reason we created this marketplace!
Camp and Recreation professionals are so used to sharing their resources for free that, in order to create a paradigm shift, we realize that we all need to take some baby steps.
We want to make sure that our resources are within reach for even the smallest of youth groups, camps, or after school programs who have shoe string budgets but could benefit from some amazing resources, and we want our authors to get used to the idea of selling their material (because let’s be honest, we are typically most guilty of devaluing our own work!).
We think that this is a great way to ease the sector into a new way of thinking.