Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Making Sales Happen: More Crucial Than Ever



Sales seem to be down at all listing venues.

I just left MadeItMyself's community, where there is a continually-growing thread asking does anyone ever sell anything on here? While it's a valid question for a listing venue with rare sales, an aged interface and little if any marketing presence, I've been hearing this gripe for at least a year now at other venues that usually do better. Except for the ebb and flow of sales around holidays and events, will sales ever pick up again to the levels that were enjoyed years ago?

I for one am not sure that this is likely.

 One reason is that the surge of makers entering the marketplace increases monthly, as more strive to supplement their income by plying their wares. As I have observed this trend over the past few years, it has somewhat alarmed me, but not enough to deter me from ecommerce, or any other type of commerce. I am a designer, maker and seller, for the long haul. It's who I am, not what I do, so there's no jumping ship for me when it comes to marketing my handmades, graphics, artwork, retro/vintage, supplies and creative services. Instead, there is only the motivation to make things happen, or sales that is.

Except for Etsy and eBay, and maybe a couple more venues, the seller has to work hard to drive customers to the listing site.

Many sellers don't want to do this, or don't know how. Sellers who have experience at the top 2-3 sites with automatic traffic don't want to work to generate sales at other venues. But even Etsy, with its massive traffic, is not a success for many people. More so now, the competition is crushing, where it was just overwhelming before.  Without a unique product and attention to marketing and promotion, It's easy to get lost among the sea of other sellers.

It doesn't matter if what I share next is true or not, because I am going to make a universal point.

I read that it is required (or at one time was) for sellers to participate in the selling teams at Etsy. While this is certainly a useful and desirable method of marketing, it is useless for those who need to adopt other promotion methods. If committing to a selling team does not resonate with a member, sales will still suffer. I am not picking on Etsy, but referring to any site where the crafter may be required to participate in promotion that may be successful for some, but that is not compatible for all. Time and effort is wasted and the sales are still not generated for those who are struggling at a site that may be top notch for successful listing.


It's becoming more obvious as the months wear on that no matter where we list, to realize sales we will have to find our own ways to make things happen. 

While some creatives can list on highly successful venues, sit back and do nothing except create and order pull, that is not the reality for the majority of online handmades sellers. In addition to creating products, we have to find ways to and become adept at creating sales, not wait for them and gripe.

________________________________ 
Image from Pixabay Free Images.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

MANAGEMENT: What's Keeping You From Being Rich?

Forget being rich. These 20 fears, shared by MSN Personal Finance, can keep you from simply reaching your potential. Start reaching it and you just may wake up one day in a higher income bracket. 20 Fears That Are Keeping You From Being Rich.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

CRAFTING: How To Use A Digital/Digi Stamp

I was looking around at Meylah this morning, after listing my latest product, and I ran across a digital stamp listing. I had always wondered if there is a significant difference between digi stamps and clip art, because this product looked like a black and white, downloadable clip art file. Deciding to educate myself once and for all, I found in my searches that there is one main difference between the two.

Digital stamp files are usually designed for stampers and others who embellish images for use in creative projects. They are generally unfinished, black and white line drawings, sketches or stamped images made into downloadable files. Clip art is often finished images that need no further embellishment in order to be printed and used.  

If you've ever wondered, below is a tutorial on how to access and use a digi stamp.


Resources:

http://www.cardmakingandpapercraft.com/articles-how/cardmakers-guide-digi-stamps
http://rubberstamping.about.com/od/digitalstamps/a/DigiStampsClipArt.htm


Monday, April 27, 2015

CRAFTING: The Crafts Report Magazine Renamed


The Crafts Report now Handmade Business
 
The all new Handmade Business Magazine
 The Crafts Report, published by Jones Publishing, is now Handmade Business. Download your free copy here.
LTC

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SELF-MARKETING: Say The Opposite Of These Things


Learn from successful people.
 6 Things Successful Women Never Say, at Marie Claire Mag online. I like number three about how not to say yes to everything. It's not only women, but successful men don't say these things either.

LTC

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MARKETING On The Internet:What's Your Problem?

What will it take for your Internet marketing program to pay off?

Been struggling with your Internet marketing process? Confused about all of the options, resources, business social sites and SEO advisers that are available? Maybe it would be helpful for you to back up and seriously evaluate your feelings about utilizing the Internet to generate income and extend your reach. Read what Quora members have to share about What is the biggest problem that small businesses are facing regarding marketing on the Internet? 

There are so many sage comments at this Quora page that can help give you insight into the possible sources of your problems with savvy Internet marketing. Here are a few:  

"4. They have not clearly identified what makes their small business truly unique from the goliaths or local competition that offer similar products/services. This lack of differentiation decreases the effectiveness and power of their marketing communications, because they look like everybody else."

"So the important question to ask is What specific objective does the small business owner have in mind as he or she envisions an Internet solution? Many are convinced that Internet marketing (or social media) can make a big difference in their business, but they're just not sure how. "
 
"4) Understanding that just because the tools are (usually) free, and (usually) easy to use, that using them *effectively* isn't as easy.  A hammer is cheap and easy to swing, but it's not for screwing in screws is it?"  
LTC

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

MARKETING: TheFind Merges With Facebook

TheFind Has Ceased Operations In Favor Of Integrating With Facebook

Followed a link to TheFind and found that the website has ceased operations because key members of its team are joining Facebook. There is supposed to be some sort of integration into the FB ads service. Read more about it here: TheFind Merging With Facebook.

LTC

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

MARKETING: Free 21-Day Traffic-Building Workshop

Alison Wood's 21-Day Traffic Building Challenge

Alison Wood, at Cartwheels Across The Sky, is hosting a free 21-day workshop to help build website traffic. "Consistency is key when it comes to marketing your business, so if you can take just one small step every day it will really help build your visitor numbers," says Alison. On each of the 21 days she will send you a combo text/video email, which will help you to complete one step that day. It sounds exciting, and it's FREE!
LTC