Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clearing The View - If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~ Milton Berle

Well, part of taking a look at my business is what I call "Clearing The View"  The old adage of you can't see the forest for the trees I believe applies in my case.

In looking at my current shop I found myself in way too many teams on Etsy; more than I ever could truly participate in and using BNR's and BNS's for weekly business.  Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer that Teams and BNR's have their place and purpose and value the relationships that I make because of them.  Wait for it....But, I personally (and that is what a blog is - simply my personal opinion)  don't think you can count on that as a total way to grow and maintain a true business.  The time necessary to keep up with all that comes with those things takes away from time needed to bring in sales from non-sellers and time to create and make product.  Let face it, Macy's doesn't hang out waiting for the heads of Belk, or Parisian, or any number of shops to come in and buy from them.  They advertise, promote, get their name out there and vie for business.  For me personally, that means more festivals and shows, getting my work in to brick and mortar shops, increasing my FB Fan base, advertising and yes ultimately adding back in a few teams and doing some BNRs.

I am currently planning on shows for Sept., Oct., and Nov and specials in my shop to go along with them.

And let the learning begin!!! Again...:) Double checking the SEO information - boy is there a ton to learn there!  Have improved my use of Twitter and Stumble Upon but still have a long way to go there....LOL Some things just come easier than others!

Stay tuned for my next blog post because I am going to be featuring some very special Etsy Shops and Shop Owners who have been very important to me in my Etsy Journey!

Thanks for Reading,



Sunday, July 24, 2011

My First Craft Show

Well I attended my first Craft Show yesterday!  I would love to be able to tell you that it was a raging success and that I sold every item that I showed.....but that is not what happened.  It was a great experience and I learned a great deal but there just weren't the number of people coming through that I or any of the other sellers would have liked and of those that did come through most were yardsale shoppers and not people looking for real Arts.  I sold 3 pieces, and at least the pieces I sold were my good copper, brass, hammered pieces.

That said, I met some fabulous vendors and some very nice people. And I learned a lot about myself and my business.

The main thing I learned was that I need to focus.  If I really want my business to be successful, I need to focus first on making what makes my items uniquely me and stop trying to run the gamet of price ranges and styles.  Do what I love and stay focused on that.

I am going to take a quick diversion here and explain something.  For those of you who don't know, about 14 months ago I began a slow and very painful divorce after 18 years of marriage.  It shocked me and left me shattered emotionally.  Through the process I went back to jewelry making and eventually opened my shop - which has been a true blessing and a saving grace.  At the time it all began I was unemployed and have been struggling in a down economy to get back to the workplace but interview after interview left me still unemployed and took its toll on my ego. Age plus the fact that I hadn't been in the workforce for 10 years was proving to be a major stumbling block. I found the hunt for work also left me constantly thinking of my business as secondary.  So I truly didn't  have a business plan since it was not supposed to be the main focus.  Well, the need to survive and make money to live on and having done my first show has made me realize that it is time to think of my business as number one.  (end of diversion) LOL

So, the second thing I realized is I need to sit in a quiet place and think through my game plan.  Everything from what I am making, how I package it, presentation and then how to market it.  GAME ON!

I know that it will take a few months to get it all on track but what is a few months when we are talking about my future and the rest of my life?  It may seem like 2 steps forward and 1 step back but I think the step back is a worthy one and will give me 3 steps forward when completed! :)

Upward and onward as they say!  Thanks everyone for your support during this process and our journey into the world we call ETSY.  I will keep you posted as things progress



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Promote Promote Promote

Ahhh, seems like such a small simple word - promote.  But what does that mean to someone like myself who is new to the world of on-line selling? 

When I listed my first Etsy item on April 23, 2011 I had no idea what I was in for.  Not a clue (even though I thought I was prepared).  Had the shop designed, plenty of items to list, then I started to read.... and read..... and read... :)  Everything I read said you must be patient that selling on line takes time and that you must get out and promote yourself.  Two things came to mind the first being "What? You mean people just won't see my stuff, love it, and purchase?" the second was "Get out where? I am on an online community, where am I supposed to go?".
I am still trying to figure the second one out. Here are the things I have done so far;

*Joined Teams - wish I was better at participating in these; guess that comes with time as well

*Circles - Adding people whom I really like their shops and the shops they suggest

*Facebook Fan Page - So glad I created this one because it is a great way for me to share with other shops and to see what is going on with them.  Though I am still fighting the battle of how to get more focused people to "like" my page.

*Twitter - Haven't been doing this one that long and the jury is still out with me as to whether or not it helps bring in business

*BNR/BNS - I have to admit that when I first starting doing these I thought they were a waste of what little money I had and would get me nowhere - I Was Wrong! The relationships you build will be worth their weight in gold.

*Blogging - Obviously it has taken me the longest to get to this one.  Oh, not that I didn't think I had a ton of things to say.....just not sure anyone would want to listen.  I guess it is a lot like journeling - you just write it anyway.

*Stumbleupon - very new to this one and still trying to figure it out.

*Pinterest - A great way to showcase items you love, including your Etsy friends and their items as well as your own.

*Google Adwords - I have to say, I did this one because I had some free advertising bucks from them. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it did considering I don't know if my ad was any good and I was constantly updating my keywords.  I think I may have a few more free bucks and if so would definately do it again.

*Various Advertising - I have also done some of this, Handmade Spark , CraftCult - Once again the jury is still out on the true value of these for me personally.  Maybe others have done much better.

*Featured in Someone's Blog - Huge Results on this one for me.  I have had a couple of features and could never express the gratitude! Hits definitely went up on those days.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I am still searching for the best way to Promote My Business.  I will continue forward with the things I am currently doing and while trying to be patient for my business to grow will also be on the search for the "perfect" way to promote my shop! :)

Thanks for giving this a read!


Stay True!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Welcome To My New Blog

Well, finally decided it was time to face the music and start my blog.  I am hoping to  fill the space with information on my business and those of my artist friends and Etsy compatriots.  Who we all are, what we do, why we do it and what we face as we go along.  I expect a few faulters and a whole lot of laughs! :) 

I am still trying to feel my way around the business that is Internet Selling so please bear with me as I go along this journey.  As I learn I will share my ups and downs.  I have met so many helpful artists; willing to share their tips and tricks of the trade and give advice where needed and I would like to think that I have, and will continue to do, so for others.

Soon I would like to introduce you to a few of those wonderful people!!

This is just an introduction and as soon as I have something to post you will all be the first to know! Thanks for stopping by!