Thursday, January 7, 2010

100 Tips to Work Your Way to 1 Sale a Day....

If there is one question I hear at least once a day, it's:


"WHAT IS YOUR SECRET????"


I don't have a secret, I work hard and I work efficiently, that's what works for me. I figured I would share some tips that I learned along the way that have helped me! These are in NO particular order, just putting down what I have.
  1. Shop banner. It gives your shop a 'JUST YOU' kind of look. Really pulls it together and gives it a professional look.


  2. SHORT announcement. Keep it Simple is the only thing I can say. No one wants to see a bunch of CAPS or scroll through a bunch of chatter. Refer them to your profile if you have a lot to say.


  3. Product Avatar. When posting in the forums, think of your avatar as your WINDOW to your shop. Being in the forums for me is like window shopping. I click if it's clean, noticeable and eye catching. You will not believe how many sales I have gotten from the Forums.


  4. Post at least twice in the forums per day. Being helpful and friendly get your noticed.


  5. Offer an opt -in newsletter for your customers to get discounts and sneak peaks!!! It builds a return customer base.


  6. Include a business card in your packages. Make sure your customers know exactly where their package came from.


  7. Have excellent customer service. When someone purchases acknowledge the order, even if it's just the automated PAYPAL shipping email add a little personal note in there!


  8. Have CLEAN and CLEAR photos. Don't take them on the floor or a dirty surface etc. Use common sense when photographing.


  9. Keep your Item Titles SIMPLE! No need to put in 198 characters, that's what tags are for.


  10. Mention WHAT your item is in your title. Sometimes the photos just don't show what THE EMILY is and people won't click if they can't see it. The Emily Pink Pearl Locket Necklace is so much easier and simple!


  11. Post your items in different categories. Take a look at what your item is. If you have something that truly fits in somewhere else, test out that category!


  12. Keep your shop uncluttered. I like items that fit together in a shop and don't make it look like a 'garage sale' of sorts. Stick to items that mesh well. Soap and Edible Cookies, don't necessarily go hand in hand. Jewelry and Clothing however does. You can open other shops if you feel you have too much going on in yours.


  13. Have wholesale policies in your Policies section. Even if you DO NOT wholesale, mention that. Having something clearly written out helps customers know right away what they are looking for. Once I put up my policies, it helped get me 4 regular accounts that constantly refill! It's awesome!


  14. Join a Street Team. I'm the Leader of the Eclectic Artisans Team and it's a great place to go for help with something, ideas, promotions, etc. I have made some great friends with this team!!


  15. ALWAYS work on your shop. Never be happy with what you have. Take the photos of items that are about to expire and re-take them from a new angle, liven them up with a prop. Sometimes breathing fresh air into your items helps them sell!


  16. MAKE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH! Did you know that selling stuff for under 5.00 in your shop is not netting you much of a profit? Think of your time, overhead, supplies, fees, etc. (I discount items significantly under 5.00 sometimes to get traffic in the door and take it out of my advertising budget). What are you making per hour?


  17. HAVE A SCHEDULE! Be sure to carve out 'SHOP TIME' daily. So that you FORCE yourself to sit and work on items. Yes, we're all busy and we all have outside lives, but if you want to TRULY make this a business, you have to put in the time. (I have 3 kids in school, gymnastics, activities etc, husband, home to run, carpools to drive, on and on it goes, but I make time. Did you know I got to bed at 3am and wake up at 6am?)


  18. Use your Featured Items. Go to the back of your shop and pick out items that will draw people back there. Change them up weekly.


  19. Put in a REAL LOCATION. While End of the Rainbow may sound cool, it doesn't let anyone know where there item is coming from if they want to buy it.


  20. Bulk up your SHOP! Have at least 2 pages of items in your shop! People like having items to choose from and browse through.


  21. Offer a CONVERSATION option for people that HEART YOUR ITEMS. How often do you heart something and then before you know it, you have buried it behind many pages? I offer to message people that heart items and let them know when something goes on sale! I have gotten many sales through this route.


  22. Fill out your Policies. People want to know your 'rules'


  23. Fill out your Profile. Customers want to know about you and who you are! Link to your social networking sites too!


  24. Keep it Professional! No one likes to here you being whiny in your announcement or other portions of your shop. So and So left me negative feedback because they don't like me. X and X is copying me, I'm the real deal. ThIs CoUlD GeT AnNoYiNg To SeE aLl OvEr ThE PlAcE tOo.


  25. Get Offline! Sitting there refreshing your shop and email is not going to magically get you a sale! Type up a small flyer, staple some business cards to the bottom and paper your town! Put them up in coffee shops, grocery stores and the like!


  26. Have your Shop URL in your return address labels. It's a moving billboard as it travels from your post box to it's destination.


  27. Keep your email, shop name, shop link consistent. You want to know that you can be found easily if they can't remember it all.


  28. Buy your Dot.Com to your Etsy shop and have it redirected there. Use your Dot.Com on ALL your advertising. This way if you ever want to make it on your own, you already have the traffic going to your dot.com.


  29. Have a shop Stamp made up. I use this stamp on EVERYTHING! I put it inside of my bubble mailers, boxes, bills etc. Stamp up the world! How many people do you know that re-use these packaging materials?? go ahead and let them advertise for you if they do!!


  30. Keep a blog. You can reach people that are just blog reading and have never even heard of your shop before! You don't have to chat shop all the time! Just photos of random things will work too!

  31. List Daily. This is a MUST to stay on top of the searches. If you list at least 3 items daily (or relist) It will help you that much! (I personally like to spend about 3-5.00 a day minus the weekends)

  32. Take some days off. I work Monday-Friday and my weekends are for my family. That way I get some 'sanity' time too!

  33. Try social networking. It won't be the be all end all, but it could get your name out to new people that have never heard of the handmade market before!

  34. Ship Internationally! As soon as I opened up my shipping to Worldwide, my business GREW! Now over 80% of my sales leave this country!

  35. Step outside of your COMFORT zone! If your favorite color is pink, you will notice your entire shop start to go pink! (that's my problem!!!) try things you don't like too! I HATED gold when I first started and never ever used it, now I probably use it and sell it more than the silver colors! haha!

  36. When listing new items, spread them out throughout the day! DO NOT LIST THEM ALL AT ONCE! You will catch different people online throughout the day this way and not just bottle it all up.

  37. Carry your business cards! When someone comments on something you have made or asks what it is you do, hand over your business card! It's the easiest way to spread the word! Talk it up! If you love what you do, it will shine through!!

  38. Try your hand at Craft Shows! You will meet other vendors and can trade tips! Do NOT give up after just 2 or 3 shows. Give yourself a chance to do about 10 and then calculate from there. REALLY look into the shows you do too! Don't stick to just one type.

  39. Think ahead! Think like the stores do! Have your Valentines Product in December, St, Pats stuff in January! No one is going to buy it in December, because they may worry it's too late! Get everyone thinking AHEAD!

  40. Take a Class! Better yourself at your craft by taking a class and learning something different you can add on to your shop. Photography? Web Site Building? Use your business expense money for this!

  41. Fix the Expired! Do you have a boxful of expired items?? Go through them and revamp them! Add to them, take away from them! Make them into something new and photograph them differently and list it! You never know!

  42. Check your tags! Are you using the colors of the items in them? Your target Market? Scents? Fabric?

  43. Get inspired! What always works as an inspiration for you? Take a break and do it! For me, it's the Playroom! Cleaning up, I always find the textures, colors, noises and the like so inspirational! I head in and organize and always come out with ideas! Sometimes a trip to the Art Museum or Children's Museum is all I need! A fun day out with family and enough to recharge me!

  44. Spread Your Wings. Test out other markets if one isn't working for you. Try a couple listings on Ebay, if anything it gets your name out there for people to Google. (Since you can't put links in your listings).

  45. Find your Niche. If you are doing jewelry try and STAND OUT! Have a signature item or items and work them out!!!

  46. Set Goals! and Stick to them! Try having a simple goal and when you reach that, make it a bit bigger and so on.

  47. Keep a Notepad and Pen Handy! This is perfect for when you have an idea and assume you will remember it later! You NEVER will! haha! This way you jot it down or sketch it out.

  48. Keep a listing File. Keep order of all you list, how many times you renew it, what it cost to make....etc... this way you can track what EXACTLY you profit is after fees and such!

  49. Keep a Code File. If you offer discount codes to customers, on blogs, on social networking sites. Keep a discount code guide or file somewhere to log WHAT the Code is, Where you posted it and WHO has used it. This way you will know EXACTLY what type of advertising is working for you!

  50. DO NOT BLAME THE ECONOMY. It's so easy to blame others for why we are not selling, don't let yourself off the hook! Look and look deeply at ALL that is in your shop and make sure you are TRULY doing all you can to make your shop a success. NEVER take the easy way out. Owning your own business will NEVER be easy!

  51. Use your Advertising Dollars WISELY! Those 7.00 top of the category photos may look like a great deal, but do you know how many things you can LIST in your SHOP for those 7.00?? How many project Wonderful Ads you can run for those 7.00? Think, before you move! (I speak from experience, I spent over 20.00 when I first started here, doing those Etsy ads).

  52. Have a wide range of prices in your shop! People from all walks of life shop Etsy and you never know if you may have just missed a sale because all your prices are in the same bracket. Have smaller items that can be more inexpensive and larger ones too! From Magnets and Cell charms to Original Artwork and the like!

  53. Use your Analytics! Have you hooked up your google analytics yet? Use them to your advantage! Find out where most of your sales are coming from and send your advertising dollars there! IT will really help! Have major cities that seem to buy from you ALOT? Try a craft show there, an Ad in a local paper there, THINK IT OUT!

  54. Take advantage of being Promoted!! Were you in a Treasury? Featured in a Blog? Promote the HECK out it! Social Networking Sites, The Public Forums, Your Blog, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! Let your customers know you are LOVED!

  55. You Have To Pay To Play! You are going to have to spend the money on fees, supplies, business cards etc. In order to make money. The one thing I always hear is 'I can't afford to list everyday' If you start selling more within a month of this new practice, you most definitely can! .60 a day is worth it is you give up something in your daily life. Fast food? Coffee? Do you really need it EVERY DAY? Think about what you are trying to do!
  56. Use your Categories!! You get 10 of them, USE THEM! Let you customers navigate your shop SO MUCH EASIER, by giving them categories!
  57. Shop your items! Do a search for some of your items and see where they come up in the listing process. Do they POP against the others on the same page? Are they even on the first 2 pages? If not it's time to re-think and fix it up and then renew it.
  58. Accept PAYPAL! No matter how many other forms of payment you accept, if you don't accept PAYPAL, you are DEFINITELY losing sales. No matter if you have hundreds of sales already, can you imagine the THOUSANDS of sales you could have?
  59. Look into your Shipping Costs. Be sure you are shipping out your products as low cost as possible. Many people will be turned off by the price of shipping. Break it down: Envelope, Tape, boxes, tissue paper, Delivery Confirmation, Postage....everything and be sure you are right at that number.
  60. Buy a New Camera! Think about what kind of camera you are working with. If you are not satisfied with the photos you take, take your camera to a camera shop (not the camera counter at Best Buy or Target) and see what they say about the type of camera you have and the photos you are trying to take. It may be time to invest in some new hardware!
  61. Use your E-mail Signature! Be sure that your signature has a photo of your product or your banner and a link to your shop with a 1 line description of what you sell. Make sure it is on EVERY e-mail.
  62. Do giveaways on other peoples blogs! It will bring traffic to THEIR blog and TRAFFIC and NEW Eyes to YOUR shop!
  63. Repeat Buyers! When you sell something, offer those customers an incentive to come back! I have coupon codes on the back of my business cards! Anything from Free Shipping to 3.00 off!
  64. Clean Out Your Home! Do you have a lot of unused supplies laying around??? Open up a supply shop and be sure to have a link to your regular shop in every listing and in your announcement and profile! This way people that are only searching for supplies will be led to your shop and possibly buy something! It's also a great way to rid yourself of extra 'stuff'
  65. Paper Your Car! Magnetic Paper is very inexpensive and a GREAT way to draw in business! Make signs up (Or buy them!!!) for your car doors with your shop link (your Dot.com is so much easier to remember than adding in the Etsy part) and the back of your car too! I even bring my signs with me when we rent a car for longer drives out of town!!
  66. Sticker Your Car! Have a vinyl sign made up for your back window of your car in a BOLD color and be sure to stick it on there as soon as you get it!! There are always people bored at stoplights and almost EVERYONE has the Internet on their phone! Many a time, I have sat in the passenger side seat and seen a link and typed it in! You never know what business it may bring!
  67. Stick It TO ME! Use your leftover magnet paper to make Magnetic Business Cards and a Magnetic Sign. The sign Will have your Shop Name and Link and the Words TAKE ONE! Then put your business cards all around the sign and put all these up whenever you park your car! It really works!!! (check you analytics and you will notice that town pop up in a few days!)
  68. Donate to Church, School, Community Fundraiser sales! Add a couple of your items to these places and your business cards attached to the item and watch your traffic BOOM!
  69. Shout It Loud! Have your laptop fit with a skin that has your shop URL on it and take it out all over town! I always have it at the coffee shop, bookstore, airport, poolside! Check it out!
  70. Make a Treasury! Making up a treasury and them messaging those that your include in it, will bring in traffic to your shop from the people that you message and those popping into your treasury! You help others and yourself!
  71. Yard Sale Season. Do you have garage sales? Yard Sales? If so, set up a table of your items there too!! Make sure it's seperate so that people know it's not 'bargain' basement! I usually set up my show tent and put the table under there. It won't net you many sales (remember the bargain hunters are out) but it WILL bring your traffic and maybe a sale along the way!
  72. Visit the Chat Rooms. Head in and just let everyone know you are new and people will help you along! (DO NOT play Featured Seller or other such games!! Just go to CHAT). This way you will get a new group of people to look into your shop and you just may get a sale!
  73. Have a Home SALE! Do you know other artists in your area? Invite them to join! When an artist wants to display their work, the gallery has a showing, do the same thing! A small intimate party with goodies for sale. If you have 3 artists showing items and each of them invites all they know, you are bound to get a good crowd!
  74. Host A Giveaway! Host a giveaway on YOUR blog for your readers from another shop and you will get traffic AND help a fellow crafter!
  75. Take Custom Orders. Everyone wants to be a designer, give them that option! This is an opportunity for more money and you may get a few new ideas!
  76. DO a Link Exchange! I offer free goodies to those that host a photo of my items and a link to my shop on their social networking sites or blogs! It really helps bring in new eyes!
  77. RELAX. Don't obsess over the same things over and over again. Sometimes stepping away from it all will help you come back renewed. We ALL get into funks and slumps and stepping away will only help you!
  78. Have simple, detailed descriptions. Keep it clear and simple. Don't put too much in there as people will scroll past and may miss pertinent information.
  79. Leave Feedback in a Timely Manner. After your customers have left your feedback, be sure to do theirs as soon as possible. Sometimes they are new and really want to build that up!
  80. Open Yourself Up. Head over to the Critiques section of the Etsy forums and open yourself up to a brutally honest critique. You need to really know what people find fault with in order to be successful. We are ALWAYS critical when we find a problem at Target or Sears or the like correct? We should want the same from our customers!
  81. Make up a portfolio of your custom work, listed items etc. Use something purse sized, so you always have something handy to pull out when needed. Keep a sheet of your wholessale requirements tucked inside too, in case a shop keeper asks!
  82. Shop Yourself Out! Call local businesses that carry your type of items or somewhere your items would fit right in! Call on them and see if they would like to meet about carrying your line!
  83. Get Local. Local newspapers often run Free if not super cheap ads! Try it with some kind of incentive! (BOGO, Free Shipping Etc.)
  84. Change Your Backround. Change up your photographed backround every now and then, it brings a new 'look' into your shop inexpensivly!
  85. Stay Positive! It's so easy to get down and doom and gloom when you don't get the sales you want, but just keep thinking you are BRAVE! You are putting yourself out there to be judged by the masses! Just use this time to work on making it better!
  86. Delivery Confirmation. Spend the money and get it on your packages! Your customers will feel more secure, as will you! It's an easy way to be able to find out what has happened to your package!
  87. Packaging. Be it an old Mac and Cheese Box, Toilet Paper Tube or Pretty little box, just make sure it's STURDY and will get your product to your customers SAFELY! If you used recycled packaging, just be sure to mention it to your customers and offer and Non Recycled version too!
  88. Do some Research! Read magazines, websites and the like to find out what the hot colors and trends are! Don't go overboard, but a few pieces could bring in the crowds that are googling just those terms!
  89. Give a little something! Are you in a sales slump? Try and offer a gift with purchase and provide your customers with a photo of what they get! It will help draw in lookers and buyers! (don't do this ALL the time, just when you need a bit of a boost!)
  90. Don't Leave Gaps. I have this trouble, but look at all your sections and see which ones need a boost! Do you have 4xs as many earrings as anything else? Do some of your sections say 0 items? Bulk and even them out!
  91. Have outlined and detailed RETURN POLICY. Make sure you have this information somewhere. You will always have a FIRST unhappy customer and then with no set policy in place, you will find yourself scrambling around at the last minute.
  92. MOVE IT TO THE BACK! Have a lot of product? Move your customers to the back of the shop where it often gets neglected, by having a sale on the back pages of your shop!
  93. Hearts are Good! Remember getting hearts can be a good thing! They don't necessarily lead to sales, but there are people out that SHOP other peoples hearts and they can find you that way! Try and get hearts by participating in the Forums, Chat Rooms and such!
  94. Keep it Organized. You will notice that the more organized your studio is, the easier it is to create, ship, photograph, list etc. You will be more productive the easier it is to find things. Organized chaos can 'work' for you, but is it truly working?? I label as much as I can and I keep it as clean as possible. To test my theory, I ask my husband to come in and find something for me and if he can do it in no time, I know it's just where it should be.
  95. Get Noticed! In this economy, ALOT of people are looking to creative ways to make some extra cash! Get the handmade market NOTICED! Approach your local town paper or magazine with your story and you just may get featured! BONUS if you know other local artists in the area too.
  96. Respond QUICK! Be sure that you respond to convos QUICKLY! If you can't get to them within 24 hours, leave a note in your annoucements so that your customers will see that. Most purchases online are impulse buys and if you can't answer the question quickly, they will move on to someone that can.
  97. Offer Exlusives! Offer limited edition items and you will notice people scramble to them! Just be sure to retire them when the product is all gone! If you keep bringing them back, your customers may not believe you anymore.
  98. LOVE WHAT YOU DO! Make what you love to work with, not just what sells! LOVE LOVE LOVE what you do and it will shine through in your work and when you talk about it. TOo many people research what sells and go for that. That's not a way to build a business.
  99. Look at Your Hearts. Go through your shop items and see what doesn't have any hearts and has been listed for several months already. Try renewing it if you have not done that yet. If you have, try revamping that item and then renewing. Sometimes breathing new life into something will get it noticed. Maybe even just a new picture.
  100. Follow My BLog. Alright, this may not get you a sale, but heck you never know!

Good Luck Readers!!!

5 comments:

EDC Collective said...

Great tips. I already do many of them, but you had some other good ideas to try.

AWE Shop said...

Michelle, where did you get your laptop skin made? LOVE it!!!!

:D Deb

lucie said...

thanks for sharing. i am trying to build up my business, and would love to be as successful as you. great read x

shawnasie said...

Thanks so much for listing these great helpful tips. I am opening my shop next week and need all the hints and tips I can get!

Shawnasie
www.shawnasieshear.com

shawnasie said...

Thanks so much for listing these great helpful tips. I am opening my shop next week and need all the hints and tips I can get!

Shawnasie
www.shawnasieshear.com

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