The following information is advice both from a personal perspective and from talking to other creator peers that have gone through similar experiences. These are not IMVU rules and should be applied generally when you have no relation to the creator you are contacting. You will learn some tips and tricks on how to interact with a creator without being left on seen, why creators might seem rude and why people with a lot of credits do not gift very often.
Creators are also IMVU users who do not hold any special status, or have any extra privileges (apart from being able to create).
The tips shared represent general information that should be common sense when interacting with users in general, not just creators, however, some advice is only relevant to creators.
1. Do not beg for gifts or credits
It is generally believed that creators have a lot of credits – this is true, but it’s not always the case.
Yes, creators earn money/credits whenever they make a sale, however from a product that costs 554cr, a creator only makes 100 credits as profit on average (or up to 200 which is still 2.5 times lower than the cost of the product).
Not every creator earns credits or money. Most creators don’t earn anything. Creators whom you know, or whom you’ve seen in the catalog make less than 10% of all people who signed up for the creator program.
Of course, there are creators that make hundreds, thousands of sales per day, but what most people don’t understand is that top creators work full time on IMVU to make an income. That means that they earn cash, not credits (and no, it’s not possible to instantly convert cash earned to credits, unless you buy from IMVU). Even so, a creator can still put a credit margin (for example, a creator can choose to earn both credits and cash from sales (IMVU allows creators to choose through a multiple of 10 – 10, 20, 30 … 100 – whether they want cash or credits:
Usually, when a creator has enough credits, they will prefer earning 100% money.
How much is enough credits for a creator?
Creators need credits to submit items. Creating is expensive, especially if you are a hair creator (considering they are creating multiple styles in various shades every week).
For an average user 10,000 credits can be enough to create a gorgeous look. For a creator, 10k isn’t very far from being bankrupt. A creator can go through hundreds of thousands of credits very easily – submitting products, sponsoring events/models, buying other products to showcase their creation better (such as avatars to showcase a dress better, or a chic outfit to make the hair stand out, or new eyebrows to enhance the eyes etc.).
“Okay, creators go through credits really easy, I understand that, but surely they won’t go bankrupt if they buy me a gift worth 650 credits.”
True. When you have hundreds of thousands, a few hundred credits is a negligible amount – but (there’s always a but) – you are not the only person asking for gifts or credits.
Every creator I know is actually generous. But we might have a different perspective on what “generosity” means. Creators I know occasionally gift people, or their customers, or do giveaways – that matters. Yea, maybe they gifted 100 people out of 500 who asked, but is it anyone’s duty to actually gift you? Nope. Even if a creator only gifts 1 people out of 1000 who have asked, it’s still more than 0. That might not make that person “generous” by our social estimate of how much someone should give away to be considered generous. It doesn’t make that person rude either.
Quite often people actually get mad when you reply to their message and decline to gift them. As a matter of fact, asking for gifts/credits/money and getting angry when someone tells you “no”, that actually makes the person who asked rude and impolite.
“Wow I asked for something for free and that person didn’t give it to me, they’re horrible.” – these might not be the exact words someone could think of, but any negative emotion towards someone declining to gift you for free, when they do not owe you anything, and most probably they do not even know you, is a very immature and rude way of talking to someone.
No one needs a reason to decline to gift you (or not answer to your message at all). It’s simply a decision, or a missed message, but whatever the case, there is no real reason to hold a grudge against someone in this situation.
2. I really like your products, you are my favorite creator and I would love a gift from you
This scenario is very similar to the one before, but it’s very special and needs to be addressed separately.
Honestly, it warms my heart whenever I read cute messages from people I do not know telling me how much they enjoy my creations. I for one like to gift people and I can’t help it, but I am biased and I am inclined to gift people who message me that they like my products.
I am aware that sometimes people send you these type of messages because they want a gift in return, but I also think about their genuine support and just wanting to make my day better to let me know that they enjoy the stuff I make.
As much as I love thinking that everyone has genuine intentions, I can’t help but notice that some people do not even have products from my shop added to their HUGE wishlists.
Fine, I get it that a handful of products in your wishlists do not have to include my stuff, even though you sent me a message saying I was your favorite creator, I get it – but when you have wishlists longer than the pit of hell, where you literally scroll for minutes without reaching the end and you DO. NOT. HAVE. ANYTHING. added from my shop there… well, don’t think that creators don’t notice this. We do. It’s rude. It’s straight up lying and using someone to buy you something.
It’s heartbreaking too. Creators are people too. We read your messages, we get emotions reading them, we make friends too, we confide in people, we share memes etc. When you get a message in which someone writes something nice, heartfelt and it’s about you and they share it with you, you get butterflies, you put a smile on and it makes your day, it does. But when the second part happens and you realize that you’re just another copy/pasted “sugar momma” that apparently has this hidden duty of gifting people whenever they want to – that breaks you. You can think about this in real life too because it’s everywhere. We idolize different people and mostly because it’s a weird, unspoken social rule (your friends like singer X, that means singer X must be cool), or for money – mostly for money. That’s why we follow the glitz and the glamour on social media, not necessarily because we genuinely appreciate that person, but because nice clothes, smooth skin, big lips and nice hair tells us that person has money. And money is the best thing in life (spoiler, it isn’t). This attitude is wrong. It devalues what that person has to offer (well, let’s completely ignore that there are a lot of social media personalities that are just doing it to show off money they don’t even have).
Anyway, a lot of people associate creators with huge stars, but the problem is that they are seen as a big money fountain (or credits in our case) that somehow should ignore all the negativity around them and just gift everyone all the time (because what else would you do when you’re “popular?” God forbid you live your life peacefully, that’s a no-no in the internet world).
We notice your messages, we know when you simply want a gift (better just ask for it than lie in a very obvious way), or when you’re genuine.
A general life advice is to speak your mind. Even if it’s something negative and you need to share it, do it, but make sure it’s not your written frustration (otherwise you could just keep it to yourself), but something that can help both you and the other person you are messaging (modern world calls it constructive criticism).
3. No hello
Do not simply write “hello”, “hey”, “how are you?” to a creator you do not know.
It’s not illegal, it’s just that the message doesn’t have any value and chances are the creator will completely ignore you – either because they miss it (because they get a lot of messages like that, or they are simply waiting for more information).
I know from my own experience that it’s too much time consuming to reply to “hello” messages to strangers. If I do, the conversation will 100% go like this:
User: How are you?
Me: Good, you?
User: I’m good too thanks.
Me: Good to hear.
And that’s it. They will probably message me again in a few days with the same “hello”. I’ve done this more times than I can remember, I just gave up trying to reply. Sometimes they remember what they wanted to ask a few days/weeks after the first message. If someone wants to talk to a creator, wants to befriend them, take a photo, work on a collaboration, they should specify their scope in their message.
It’s frustrating enough to have a conversation like 2 robots, but wait, there’s more! Creators usually get a lot of messages like the one described. It’s not a general rule for creators (after all, it’s not mandatory to know whether someone is or isn’t a creator before contacting them), but it should be a general rule when interacting with someone. Be it IMVU, work, Tinder or anything else, you should state why you are contacting someone whom you do not know and not engage in a simple conversation that would take another minutes/hours/days for you to state the intent of why you are writing.
- Want to write to a creator to help you with a product that’s not working? Message them.
“Hey, I bought your “Green Baby Dress” and it’s not working well with my “Anna Black” hair. Could you help me out?”
They will respond. They will most likely ask for more information so they can test it further.
- Want to write to someone you do not know to make friends? Message them.
“Hi, I saw your avatar picture and it caught my attention. I noticed you are from Ireland, I’d love to talk to you more and maybe hang out. How are you?”
It’s a huge improvement from just saying “hello”, waiting for the other person to reply (that’s IF they reply) and asking a bunch of questions that might seem uncomfortable when someone doesn’t know why you are talking to them.
- Want to start collaborating with another creator? Message them.
“Hey, I really love your style. I have a collection in mind and I think your style would fit perfectly. I am wondering if you would be interested in collaborating with me on a Spring collection? I’d love to make some pastel dresses and maybe you could help me with matching jewelry? Please check out my shop and let me know if you like my style and would like to discuss more.”
Seems hard, but it isn’t – not when you are honest and genuine with your intentions!
Stating your scope won’t guarantee an answer (for various reasons: the person missed your message, isn’t really interested, or is named Shiva and has a 10-seconds memory and forgets to reply), but I promise you, it will make your messages more successful in terms of the reply ratio you get!
4. Can you make me a product for free?
It’s plain and simple: rude. It’s having the expectation that someone, a stranger, owes you something and also treating the creator like a tool, instead of a human being. What’s more, it’s not enough to state what you actually want. You can actually get away with a custom product “for free” if you are nice and honest – but that means that you have to write what you actually want/need:
“Hello, I like your style a lot! I have an idea in mind and thought you were the right person to ask – I would like a green T-shirt with a zebra print on it in your style, however I do not have credits or money to pay you. It would mean the world to me if you could make a product like the one described, but I am also aware that you might be busy, or it might not be in your interest to create this item. If there is any way I can pay you back for the T-shirt, I would gladly do it. If you like the idea, please let me know how I can be of help. Have a great day!”
5. No gifts that aren’t added to their wishlist
No one wants unsolicited gifts – products that creators/recipient of your message have not added to their wishlists.
Some people gift their products hoping they will reach top pages (no, it doesn’t work like that at all), others to get more recognition. Unless it’s an event the creator is part of, no one wants unsolicited gifts. It’s like spam, but worse because it takes up space from your inventory too.
I regularly get gifts from unknown people – and not just one product, but a bunch of them – that I never asked for. That could be understood if the person didn’t have anything on their wishlist, but when you have a huge wishlist (like I do :D) and get a bunch of gifts with products you never asked for… it’s so weird to the point it’s actually impolite.
It’s probably not their intention at all to be rude when gifting people random stuff, but it is very, very odd.
Imagine if Santa had all the resources needed to get you whatever you wanted, but instead of giving you the doll you wished for, you get a dinosaur costume in an infant’s size. Bad Santa.
6. Free credits messages
Scams. Scams of the cheapest order. This should go without saying that no one on IMVU wants to be scammed by 12 year olds who think they might hit jackpot tricking people into putting their username and password on a weird asdf.ghjk website.
7. Can you be my mommy/daddy/dog?
Do not message people you do not know asking them to take part in roleplaying. These types of messages are 2 in 1: people usually want gifts, but they’re not stating their genuine intention. If you want to socialize with someone, start with the basics: invest time and effort into knowing the person you are talking to.
8. Can you tell me what product you were using in the catalog icon for product X?
This message is not disrespectful, but it’s on the “blacklist” because there are high chances the creator doesn’t know either.
You might still try your luck, especially if it’s a recently submitted product. If you are looking for lashes, eyes, poses, beauty marks, face animations and other things that are hard to see in a 100×80 pixels image, they might not know either. Mesh heads, hairs, outfits are easier to detect and if the creator has an idea of what the product might be, they will search for the item and help you.
Keep in mind that creators, especially popular ones, have thousands of products in their inventory. Thousands, literally, so they might give up helping you before even trying because it would be time consuming. Looking for straight, long black hair? That creator might have 20 similar products in their inventory.
You can however post in the discussions where there is a special thread “What product is this?” where users help each other detect the wanted products from reference pictures.
9. How do I create?
There are so many articles on IMVU on how to start from scratch, so many YouTube videos, so many 3rd party tutorials – why ask someone specifically? It’s obvious you are not waiting for a simple answer such as “you do this” and it’s done.
Imagine you are a doctor with 20 years of experience and someone comes to you and asks you “how do I perform a brain surgery?” – well, where do you start? Do you start with basic anatomy? Do you tell them about the tools used to perform surgery? Do you start talking about types of brain surgery? There is a lot of information to cover.
Creating is a whole process that takes a lot of time to understand and even more time to master. Even if someone is nice enough to tell you the basic steps, it wouldn’t be enough for you to understand what it means and no one is going to sit and patiently explain to you how IMVU and creating work. Let’s assume there is someone who is kind and patient enough to explain everything to someone – it will still be too much information to process all at once, you would need to take notes and try it out yourself. It’s not going to be a simple answer, a complicated answer, or a full website – you would still need to try it out yourself, maybe seek some advice, read more tutorials, read the IMVU creating Terms of Service, even find a mentor etc. – it is a full process.
Yes, someone can help you with the process of learning how to create on IMVU, but it wouldn’t be enough for you to understand everything all at once, so no one bothers to answer this question (except for sharing some useful links and tutorials at best).
You can find a mentor that could explain basics to you, but they would still have to show you how work is done (shadowing), how to use the client, best practices, maybe they would need to teach you how to use a graphics program and still you would still have to get things done yourself.
So no, messaging a random creator and asking them how creating works will not answer your question – you either indulge yourself in long hours of learning by yourself, or find a mentor that can guide you faster and accelerate your learning process.
I have a mentoring program available here for different levels. It could help you develop the skills necessary to have a successful shop faster.
General content library – https://create.imvu.com/
Getting started (the process of making an item) – https://create.imvu.com/article-categories/get-started/
Basics (software, bundles, IMVU editor, making money) – https://create.imvu.com/article-categories/basics/
10. Please attend my virtual wedding/event on IMVU
These messages are quite cute, but creepy at the same time. It’s enjoyable to watch others roleplay, however if I do not know you, I would be reserved in accepting a random invitation. I would be pleased, but there’s also a high risk I forget, simply because I don’t know you and it’s probably not on my priority list to remember to attend the wedding or similar events. Even so, wish you lots of love and happiness! <3
Do message creators when:
- A product you own from them doesn’t work/stopped working
- You would like a recolor for a product already submitted in the shop
- You would like to know if they make custom products
- You want advice on creating
- You really like them and want to let them know about it
- You have a modelling event and would like to invite the creator
- Have a business opportunity
- You simply want to socialize with them (but remember the “no hello” tips)
Creators are people too. Treat them like you would treat anyone you would interact with – with respect.
Did you know?
The “no hello” rule is actually encouraged in work environments and has a dedicated website – nohello.com
This is because experienced people are generally being messaged by a lot of people for help, advice etc., and it makes it easier to manage your work, than having to reply to a bunch of people every day “hello” and then wait for them to get to the point.
Extra – some of my funny “conversations” with people I’ve never met:
*names blurred to protect their identity against possible harassment or hate*
*I am aware people don’t know and don’t usually care what you are on IMVU, how busy you might be etc. – the screenshots are to emphasize many random messages that might explain why some people choose to ignore messages*
The tips covered in this article can be applied anywhere. When I was an engineer at Microsoft, it took me a long time to become good at what I was doing. I had to talk to a lot of people and ask for help because I had to get things done every single day. My communication and persuasion skills skyrocketed because I learned how to talk to people to be able to get things done.
It might be a lot of information covered, but as always, the advice shared can be adapted and implemented in every situation, virtual or real life. ♥