Colorful coined rings or how about personalized metallic chains? Check out our newest sales event on Shop Lately , handmade just for you!
Valentine’s Day is a day away. As a card lover, these ideas are not only cute, but very creative. It’s one of those cards that you’ll want to keep. So break out your scissors, glue, tape and ribbons and start designing that special card!
I found some great reads this week and decided to share. Some may give tips others may jog your brain for ideas, but either way it’ll get you thinking. Here are some posts definitely worth checking out.
2. What are you REALLY selling? We all have a product or service that we’re selling, but lets get down to the real nitty gritty, what’s going to make you different? Check out this post from CraftMBA .
3. Define a “good” deed. Check out this model of “paying what you can.” Some may say this idea is great, others may disagree, but it’s all for the greater good.
4. So you have a Facebook page and you have some “Likes” now what or maybe you think having a Facebook page is a complete waste of time…hmmm…you may want to see how these Facebook features can HELP you.
5. Okay so your Tweeting every day and talking to your Tweeps. Is that all? Like Facebook, you might think this is a waste of time because you aren’t seeing “results.” Well this should be your NEXT stop…
New Year’s resolutions were never my thing. I don’t see the point in creating a list of resolutions just to only follow through the first two weeks of the new year and backslide into your comfort zone. I rather call it New Year’s goals setting and create a plan on how to achieve these goals with measurable results throughout the year. This year I decided to do it a little differently though. I follow this totally awesome producer from Atlanta’s V103, Nina Brown on twitter. Leading up to New Year’s day she tweeted about her annual Vision Board Brunch. Although, I was unable to make it to the brunch, I did do some research on Vision Boards and learned more about the idea of the Law of Attraction and manifesting your goals and dreams into reality. With that said this year I made a Vision Board, I’m still completing it, but I will post a picture of my vision for this year when it’s completed. What’s a vision board? It’s a map of what you want out of life, it uses words and pictures that triggers an emotional response from you when you look at it. It’s important to place it in a spot that you can view each day. My point is don’t just create random resolutions that diminish within the first month of the New Year, dream it, believe it, plan it and achieve it. Surround yourself with people who support you and your dreams and check out the DVD documentary The Secret. Best of luck and blessings to you this year as you walk along the path of turning your “vision” into “reality”
This post today is dedicated to my fellow artsy, handcrafters out there who create nothing, but beautiful art pieces (in all forms), especially to the who’s “Art Work” is their bread and butter J
I’ve been an independent jewelry designer for some years and have been on Etsy for about 2 ½ years. I remember when I first started out, I thought OMG…trying to grow as an independent designer is a lot of work between designing and just the business aspect by itself. Fortunate enough to have a background in business, certain things came easier than others. I remember looking through the different shops on Etsy and thinking, “Why in the world don’t my pictures look like this?” I even began to blame my camera. Then I realized after doing my “photography” homework a few simple changes and much practice did some good!
Over the years I began to take note on the items that became popular and sold, whether they were on Etsy, at craft shows and/or custom request. Here were some things that I found really helped me out over the years, hopefully they can help you to.
Social Networking Sites
I know I know, you’ve probably heard this soooo many times. In fact, you may even wonder if the time spent actually helps improve your bottom line. Here’s my take on it, it’s a tool that if you use it the right way is a superb channel to brand yourself. Now, I’m not saying to go out there and sign up for every single social networking site available—that’s just plain ol crazy! Start with this, who’s your demographic, audience AND niche? There are many different social networking sites out there and you need to find out which ones your “audience” is hanging out on. And update is regularly!!!! Which brings me to my next section…
Some of you are probably saying what’s the difference between your niche and audience? Your niche is basically your focus and the audience is who you are trying to reach. Not sure who your niche is? Well let me help you. Take a look at your sales over the past few months, who were the types of customers that purchased from you? Based on what you know, where do they live (city, suburbs, rural—not sure google their zip code), what exactly did they purchase from you? If you need to drill deeper, use Survey Monkey to conduct a brief survey. Speaking of which leads into my next section…
Take a survey of what actually sells and what doesn’t. Have a product that has been sitting for a year, well is it because of price or does it just not appeal to your niche? Produce more of what actually sells. Now I know, you want to keep that “unique” creative appeal and not create too many replicas of one thing. Well, maybe you can tailor it slightly different. For example, below is a clutch that I posted on my Etsy site at the beginning of November and it sold on Cyber Monday after it sold I received 5 emails requesting that I create additional ones like this.
Craft Show 101
My husband can attest to how many craft shows I’ve done, to only come home frustrated, tired and only selling a couple items. My advice is to be selective in which shows you participate in. You want to participate in shows location wise that are directed to your target audience. Ask yourself this– how much promotion is being done by either the show promoter or the venue that’s planning the show? What’s the crowd type that will attend, are they artsy, conservatives, young, etc;
These are just tidbits to get the juices flowing and thought process rolling. After all, hard-work is must, but sometimes it’s about working smarter not harder.
Being an avid reader of many blogs, there are a few that I absolutely love and read on a daily basis. Not only have the helped me shape certain ideas when it comes to my Etsy business, but they give endless tips and knowledge on how to make your craft business even more successful. Here are a few of my favorite ones. I hope they help you as much as they help me.
An old friend from my MBA program introduced me to this site. One of my favorite articles on this site is Laura’s 8-Step SEO Strategy. In this 8 step strategy, Laura breaks it down to the nitty gritty, including how to measure what your target audience wants and how that affects your rankings in search engines. This is a must read for ANYONE who has an online business.
My cousin turned me on to this site a few weeks ago and I’m officially addicted to it. The “Biz Ladies” section just has a plethora of information from great books to read on having your own craft business to marketing tips. It also has all types of DIY ideas to trendy city guides.
This is just an all around great craft site. Great for ideas and to connect with other crafters. You get to see the amazing work artsy people create. Absolutely love this site.
Determined with a challenge, Sheena Matheiken wore 1 dress for 365 days. How did she jazz up this basic black tunic dress? Check out her “Uniform Project.”
Have you started counting down your shopping days yet? Check out The Pink Locket picks for Gifts under $20 for everyone…
This is a big topic for many crafters. A lot of times we do giveaways and donations to organizations and events. Although, many of my handmade crafters see this as a great deed, sometimes it may be a hit or miss as far as gaining new business. Personally, I’m almost always willing to do giveaways and donate items and I always give my BEST item or create pieces especially for these functions. Handmade News posted a great article on this and included ways to be creative about it so that donating and giveaways can be potential new business for you. Check it out!
Get Recognized by Donating Items
August 04, 2009 | By Kristin Vogeler
Many of us simply don’t even think about these methods of advertising, but don’t ever overlook them again! Here’s the scoop: donate items for gift bags, door prizes, auctions, and raffles. Raffles and auctions in particular are great because you can be certain that the advertising is spent on customers who like your product or service.
If you’re unsure how to get into the loop, it’s easy! Skim through local papers and magazines for any events or festivals that are doing raffles and such. Consider joining a team-you can be the first to hear about any upcoming donations. Some local teams will let you donate items even if you aren’t a member. Also, donate to the same events year after year to save time finding places to donate your items.
A common problem I see with donations is when people donate “destash” items or items they don’t want anymore. Don’t do this! I know it can be hard to giveaway brand new items you put money into or items you like, but it’s worth it in the end-if you don’t even like the item, your customers definitely won’t either! You want items that are are going to grab attention, not turn off viewers.
You can even advertise to people who don’t bid on your items at auctions or buy tickets for raffles by setting out business cards by your items. The hosts of most events will even most likely set them out for you if you won’t be attending the event. Another great way to advertise is to attach a coupon to the back of all items you donate; it is a great way to make a sale!
These methods of advertising are sure ways to get your name out there, and probably get you sales in the future. Get out in your community and do what you can to get noticed. Remember, use your better items, send out business cards with them, and attach coupons-everyone loves a discount!
Photo courtesy of indiecraftdocumentary.blogspot.com