Friday, July 27, 2012
It has been a while since I did a post of tips and tricks so here you go!
1. Reply to every email or message - Every email is important. Well, maybe not spam, but that isn't what I am talking about. When someone emails you a question, reply to them a.s.a.p. Whether it is a question or a comment, reply. It will build customer confidence if nothing else.
2. Always be polite and understanding - Let's face it, over any amount of time you will have a customer that is unhappy for some reason or another. The customer may not always be right but it is your job to make them happy. Sometimes it means going above and beyond. Sometimes it means loosing money. Sometimes it means a repeat customer.
3. The answer is yes - When someone asks if you can do something for them, a custom order, a modification, the answer is yes. It may mean working outside your normal realm of expertise. It might mean calling in help from a friend to get something done. The minute the answer is no, the sale is gone.
4. Mark your items as shipped - Even if it is after hours or on the weekend print a label and mark your item as shipped. You'll be amazed at your feedback about shipping fast! The only exception is for custom orders. There you should send a message letting the customer know you have their order and you're working on it.
That is it for the week. I hope you all have a great weekend! Feel free to add to the list here by leaving a comment. You can also email me at MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Some of you are no doubt savvy to buying in bulk for your art/craft/jewelry supplies. Though I bet some of you still buy at Walmart and Hobby Lobby. Sure, if I need just one of something I might run down to the store to buy it but over all I buy in bulk. It is so much more cost effective in the long run.
There have been times when I was pricing material that I could buy 2 dozen clasps for the same price as a gross(144) of clasps. I love to shop around. I also have a resell tax id which means I can actually order direct from manufacturers on many items cutting out ALL of the middle men. You'd be surprised the difference in price from retail to manufacturer direct.
The more money you can save on materials, the higher your bottom line profits will be. Do a search for wholesale materials. Check eBay before you commit to buy. See what the price difference is between a dozen and a gross is. You'll save money and add to your profits.
Feel free to leave a comment with your best deal ever, or questions, or whatever. You can also email me at MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I ended up having a great June in my Tangled Metal Etsy Shop. I averaged one sale per day. Then July hit. My average so far for the month is one sale every two days. July is traditionally a slow month on Etsy. Part of the reason is that so many families vacation in July. So, you must come up with cleaver ideas and tactics to make some sales.
Christmas in July is a great way to make a few extra sales during the month. I do not usually do a sale in my shop in July but next year I do plan to. There is a lot of marketing going into Christmas in July and that means that with a few well placed tags and titles you can let someone else pay for the advertising, namely Etsy.
July is also a good month to get into gear for Back to School. Having a back to school sale is always a great idea. Here again, you are able to, with some well placed tags and titles, allow someone else to put out the advertising dollars for you. The best form of advertising is the free stuff!
I am always looking for new ideas to help increase sales in traditionally slow times. I would love to hear what you have done to increase your sales. I run a brick and mortar in addition to wholesaling and having an Etsy shop. I am very fortunate that when one area is slow is sales another area usually picks up the slack. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email to MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Monday, July 23, 2012
Last week I talked about what NOT to do on business Facebook page. Basically, avoid anything that invokes a very strong emotion such as Politics or Religion. That is, unless you are selling Political or Religious items, then it may be alright. Today I would like to try and give you some ideas of what is good to post on your page.
On my Tangled Metal Facebook Page I try and post a mix of different things. I post a lot of pictures of my products. It is a business page after all. In addition to that I generally post pictures that are related to my genre of jewelry, fashion and accessories. I usually do not post links to my competition. Since I make chainmaille and steampunk items there are plenty of places to find cool images or stories to pass on to my fans.
Another thing I post is quotes from famous people that inspire me and hopefully will inspire others. Then there is the "fluffy bunny" stuff that I post. This usually consists of baby animals, babies and other things that anyone would consider cute. This usually gets the most shares and comments and likes.
The main point is, you should be posting a wide range of things. Things that are not inflammatory topics or images. You want to entice your fans to be active on your page so when you do post images and links from your shop you will get a better reaction.
I hope this helps. I welcome additional tips from you. I also welcome questions. Leave a comment or send me an email: MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Friday, July 20, 2012
There are a couple of things you need to avoid when it comes to Facebook and Twitter for your business. Religion and politics. These are huge topics that can alienate your audience. Stay away from them at all cost. That is, unless your business is selling religious or political art!
If you run out of interesting topics I have come up with a few for you:
|Mamma and baby Otter|
|Very Old English Wall|
Of course there are many other things you can post. Witty quotes, funny pictures, and the like. Just shy away from anything that might offend someone. That is it for today. I hope you all have a great weekend!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Yesterday a reader posed the question of: What is the difference between Treasury vs Favorites vs Circles? So I thought it would be a great topic for today's blog.
A Treasury is a Etsy member curated list of items. There are 16 items featured in a Treasury, or at least there should be. The one that creates the treasury generally has some type of theme in mind. Treasuries are a great way to share otherwise unseen items with people. Normally at least the 16 people in the Treasury will see the other 15 products. There is always a chance that a Treasury will be picked by an Etsy staff member to appear on the front page for one hour of the day, giving hundreds if not thousands of views.
Favorites come in two different ways. You can favorite an item and it is much like bookmarking it. Favoriting a shop will add them to your feed on the right side of your activity feed as in the picture at the top of this article. When you favorite an item or a shop it will show up in the feed of anyone in your circle. If someone in your circle favorites an item or shop it will show up in your feed.
Circles are the "social" aspect of Etsy. When you add someone to your circle, you will see what they favorite in your feed. When someone adds you to their circle, they will see when you favorite an item or a shop. Using circles are good for a couple of reasons. First, it is free advertising. Second, it is a great way to see items you'd never see otherwise.
That is the basics of Treasuries, Favorites and Circles. Let me know if you have any questions by making a comment here or emailing me at MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Jeep has been around since 1941. Though they were not always called Jeep. They used to be Willys-Overland GP(General Purpose). They started being manufactured during the time of the Second World War. GP eventually became jeep which eventually became Jeep. Since they began being called a Jeep they have not changed their name and have become an American Icon.
Over the years I have had several businesses. One of those businesses has been the same type of business for almost 27 years. I started out as Chainmaille By Eric. Over the years I have partnered up with several other chainmaillers and changed my company name several times. Had I kept my original name I would have been much better established. Tangled Metal started 2 years ago by the looks of it, but I started the company 27 years ago.
Too many people change the name of their business over time. And by doing this they never really get established. What if eBay had decided that their name was just stupid and changed it to something like Online Auctions a year after they started. They would have lost a lot of creditably. Fortunately they kept the name and are now the largest online auction site on the web.
The point I am trying to make is that once you have a name, keep it. Don't end up with a 2 year old business that has been in business for 27 years, like me. This is branding at its best. Get a name, use the name, brand the name and don't change it.
That is all for today. I am easing back into the routine of blogging and would love some suggestions for future blog posts. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email to MarketMyShop@gmail.com
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Time, it would seem, tends to slip by if you're not careful. Here is my dilemma. My brick and mortar shop is open Wednesday through Sunday. So, my weekend falls on Monday and Tuesday. I am usually pretty tired after running the shop all week and just want to relax on my weekend.
Unfortunately, as many of you know, having a relaxing weekend when you are self employed is oftentimes just a dream. On my weekend, I usually end up restocking all that has sold in the shop and Etsy along with filling orders for my wholesale accounts and distributor.
All of this gives me little time to write these days. I have written more than once about how to organize your time so I should have this down, right? Well, it would seem I need to start taking my own advice and make a list for each day.
I have one eBook done and for sale in my shop: Facebook Ad Guide For Etsy Shop Owners and I have 5 more eBooks waiting to be finished with another 3 or 4 being bounced around in my mind. Hopefully if I can manage to get on a better schedule I can make all of them happen.
This just goes to show, I am human, too. I procrastinate. I don't always make the best use of my time. I have a lot of unfinished products, both with Market My Shop and with Tangled Metal and with The Curious Crow. All that I can do is take my own advice and try to do a little better each and every day.
How do you find time to make everything happen? What tricks have you come up with not to fall behind. I would really like your input on this topic. So, leave a comment here or send me an email: MarketMyShop@gmail.com