This is the 12th part in a series of discussions about topics that plague the minds of many Etsians. And when I say “discussion” I mean “Do fries come with that shake?”
Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well!
LL Cool J. Ah, the ladies, they do love him, and he makes an interesting point with his hot little number.
How do you do it all? And do it well?
You have to make, photograph, post, watch, advertise, promote, and chat. You have to tend to your network, personal website, trunkt portfolio, blog, twitter, facebook, myspace, community group, street team. You have to prepare for meet ups, craft shows, trunks shows and swaps. Come on, get with it! Climb on that endless train of tasks to be done to sell just one more item from your shop! CHOP CHOP! Let’s go!
Mama said knock you out!
Or, alternately, you could step back, take a breath and remember what else your mama said: “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?! Seriously kid, here’s bus fare.” (My mother was often on her last nerve. I’m sure she didn’t mean it.)
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the seemingly endless things you might possibly maybe need to do to have a successful shop, it might be worth your time to take a few hours and go through it all, separating what is your wheat from your chaff.
Personally, I like things to be organized – yes I am aware that if my significant other were to read that statement, he would possibly stroke out, but he might also possibly be a pathological organizer. We don’t all need to be quite that tight, if you know what I mean. Once things are all divvied up and detailed, then I feel I can really think about them. Here is what I would do:
Divide up your endless possibilities (some of which are listed above) and work out some different categories for them.
Here are some sample ideas:
Production: for making, photographing and listing
Direct promotion: for paid/free advertising sites.
Indirect Promotion: for things such as social networking, if you intend to use this to draw attention to your shop (and that does not mean you use these sites to post nowt but promos…no no bad Etsian), your own blog, etc.
Your personal website: Do you have your own commerce site or other website? That is a considerable investment of time and sometimes $.
Other online shops: for hosted shops and showcases like Artfire, Trunkt, DaWanda and the like.
Offline sales: craft shows, consignment, wholesale ec.
TIP: Don’t let the task of organizing things so they won’t overwhelm you be the thing that overwhelms you. Once you have made your general categories, tackle them one at a time. Do shop production topics one week, then move on to learning about your options for direct promotions another week.
Now take your first category and do some research – search the forums here and embrace Google. Write down as much as you can for this category – even making magnificent little subcategories if you like.
Then look at all the things in this category.
Which ones are you most interested in? Which ones do you feel have the most potential to benefit your shop? For example, does twitter really have the potential to assist you in getting more sales? Do some reading on it – and not just here! Get out on the internet and read a bit. Then cross what you know about the experiences of others against your personal level of interest in doing something like this.
Why not use a rating system:
1-10 for possible usefulness, and 1-10 for your level of interest in doing it. You might even want to add a 1-10 for how easy you think it would be for you to learn this or actually do it. These ratings will help you make decisions no what things you want to tackle and what things aren’t for you. Take your top rated ones and give them a swing! As the fellow in the velvet leisure suit, holding the snifter of brandy in one hand and the bowl with the keys in the other, said to me “Baby, you will never know till you try.”
This could work with anything in your shop from improving your photography to learning about the pro’s and con’s of paid advertising. And it follows the Golden Rule of Do For Yourself. Taking on topics, and learning as much as you can about them, can give you a great sense of accomplishment, a feeling that you can tackle just about anything. You can master it all – you CAN do it all*!
So get over to that mirror, look yourself in the eye and shout it “Don’t never ever mess with the king of the sound! L.L. Cool J, the baddest around!”
* “All” now being defined as those things you have cleverly put as top priority.