“As an artist, our bubble is still relatively small, even though we think it’s really big. But in reality, there are a lot more people out there, there are a lot more opinions out there… And I think all marketing is really about learning from an audience.”
Dwaine Vassell is wide-eyed and eager – almost with a childlike demeanor – as he shares his journey as a 3D digital artist now exploring the world of eCommerce. At the moment, Dwaine is in Orlando, FL operating as a one-man-band on Amazon – he creates book cover art, administers product research, optimizes his clients’ listings, and manages their accounts – whilst in the developing stages of his own digital art business venture.
Meet Curious Dwaine
Before he met Amy and discovered AAH, Dwaine would do his work as an artist – create digital art, create files – but he didn’t know how to sell them. “As an artist, my mind was programmed to create the artwork first and then learn the business and marketing side later on,” he recalls.
But what Dwaine had then, and still has now, is a curious mind and constant hunger – to know more, to find out what’s out there. While doing his research, Dwaine stumbled upon an online show on Facebook featuring Amy Wees as a guest speaker. “She was talking about a cat litter product – how she made the product from scratch, did the blueprints, made a 3D mold, set up the Amazon product listing… and I was like, man, this is outstanding.” goes Dwaine with his signature twinkle in his eyes. “I felt like I really need to talk to her. I need to join her community.”
Diving deeper into his research and reading about one Amazon success story to another validated his gut feeling – “I need to establish an Amazon presence. They’re taking over.”
The Artist Learns The Art of Listening
“So, before I was only making products based off of my own opinion.”, Dwaine continues. “But what Amazing At Home taught me was that you should know more about your target audience.”
Following this advice, Dwaine would go into Facebook and other channels to request feedback from his audience – what they think of his artwork, what he could do better, and what they want to see more of in his business. “The back and forth interaction is so worth it to me because it has built trust and strong bonds that produced great results for everyone.”
Through AAH, Dwaine was introduced to various platforms and tools such as PickFu – which he claims totally changed the game for him. “The PickFu platform is so dynamic – they have all these cool features to really optimize any part of your business – if it wasn’t for Amazing At Home, I would’ve never heard of this platform.”
On top of PickFu, Dwaine explored several other online tools and technologies to help expand his reach – Google Trends, Pinterest, Etsy, and Facebook Ads.
Practice Makes Perfect
“The hardest part about selling is that every platform has its own unique ways to grow traffic and sell products – and every platform changes from time to time… However, I kept learning and practicing every day, multiple times a day.”, Dwaine laughed. “I was obsessed with it!”
How did Dwaine deal with all these challenges?
“I had a year-end goal for 2021, right before the holidays – I have to know five platforms really well.” Dwaine answered, “I would spend a couple of hours just trying to tinker with what works and what doesn’t work.”
Dwaine would organize his schedule by devoting hours of research on Pinterest on a Monday, then move on to Facebook ads the next day. “I practiced each day.”, Dwaine admitted. “Once I had to create 118 edits for a book cover. It went through all of these different platforms. I wanted to create as much variations based off of information I received through online marketing.”
Determination – you are Dwaine’s middle name.
The Artist Explores E-Commerce
By joining Amazing At Home, Dwaine was introduced to a whole new world with like-minded people – rookies in the eCommerce space who are just trying to learn the ropes and swing around with the least conflicts, bumps, and crashes. “Amazing At Home has created a lot of value and I’m grateful for that – but it has also created things that are also priceless,” Dwaine said.
Dwaine is referring to the path of self-discovery he took under the guidance of AAH – which led him to create his most recent venture – dinosaur-themed digital artwork that he just started selling online. “I was practicing 5 genres – dinosaurs, sci-fi, superheroes, anime, and manga. I went to my Facebook and asked which art style they want to see and 85% answered dinosaurs.”
Dwaine followed through with some research on print-on-demand products and eventually was able to create a dinosaur calendar artwork. “I also used it as a product funnel. My website is on the calendar itself. I optimized the mess out of it.” he says, “… and you know what’s pretty cool – the original designer of the Jurassic Park logo actually purchased 4 copies of my calendar! That’s like the ultimate validation, you know.” And there appears that childlike twinkle in Dwaine’s eyes once again.
Dwaine Today – and 5 Years from Now
On the outside, Dwaine is the typical Floridian – he enjoys long walks at the beach, bookstore-hopping, and coffee dates with family and friends. Still, his hunger for knowledge tells us that he’s not so typical, after all – especially when he mentions a weekly networking activity he attends in Downtown Orlando with local entrepreneurs. “I talk about online marketing, Amazon, and all types of stuff. It’s kind of therapeutic.” he smiles.
Where will Dwaine be in 5 years? “In the next five years, I definitely want to have a bigger presence on Amazon – have my own Amazon brand. A place on Etsy as well, a dinosaur video game, then set up a physical store here in Orlando. And also go into retail.”
That’s the spirit. If there’s anyone who can do all that and more, it’s people like Dwaine who ask questions, listen to the answers and practice, practice, practice some more.
Just like Dwaine, is there anything you are determined to learn, practice, and master – a special skill or platform that promises potential success? Or perhaps reading about Dwaine’s story ignited a fire inside of you? Share it with us in the comments section!