i've had many a friends & strangers, alike, asking me how i got started with my shop. they are disgruntled & discouraged. they want sales, but they aren't coming. now, everyone goes through these sale slumps, but i wanted to do a little series on a some ways you can increase your sales...and how to keep them.
do i know it all? ha. no. but i am willing to share what worked for me!
ready? let's do this.
be creative & unique.
i honestly believe that if you don't have at least ONE item that is unique to YOUR shop, then you are doing yourself a disservice. i realize that people may take your ideas, but keep working hard to keep something only YOU offer in your shop.
work hard to find your niche, and when you do, pursue it and put all your crafty energy towards it. create your brand and stick with it. this doesn't mean your products can't change or your shop can't take a different direction, but be true to yourself & true to your brand.
social media is your bff.
twitter, facebook, blogging ((!!!))
- twitter is just fun & i think it really helps you network with other crafters! if i have a question about if something is a good idea, where to get a certain product or a shop recommendation, my twitter community quickly comes to the rescue with great ideas & encouragement.
- facebook: what a great, quick way to share with your customers a sale, promotion, or new product. plus, the etsy app for facebook allows your shop to be on your facebook page! easy peasy & convenient.
- blogging gives your customers a look into your personal life & into the behind the scenes of your work. you can make it as much business or as much personal as you want, i generally do about half & half. i think i like blogging because it reminds my customers that i'm human.
i talked ilene into joining twitter a few months ago and these are her opinions about social media:
boom. moving on...
i think this should go without saying, but there's obviously some slack that needs to be tightened. if you want sales & return customers, be nice...and i mean really nice. i think customer service ((and affordability)) is what keeps my customers coming back. i rarely have someone buy just one thing from me and not return. bottom line, they are buying something from you. they are keeping you in business. they are supporting your handmade shop. why wouldn't you be thankful & nice?
also, follow up. this could be a brief etsy convo, tweet, or an email. make sure they are satisfied with their product and maybe see if you can do anything else for them.
you are your own walking, talking advertisement. ((allora handmade talks about this here)) most of the time, chase does the hard work for me ((the talking, not wearing products!)), but when people stop you & compliment you ((which will happen, because your products are handmade & GREAT!)) you can say "thanks! i made it! here's my card." most of the time i get sheepish smile and say "thanks" and chase says "she made it, you should buy one." i love his bluntness. :)
giveaways are a GREAT way to get people really excited about your products. yes, it is sometimes difficult to GIVE away something you worked hard on. the up side is this: there have been multiple times that i have entered a giveaway, didn't win, and purchased that product. also, the exposure is great! i like to do giveaways when my sales are low and i want a boost!
((speaking of giveaways...stay tuned for a fun giveaway announcement. here's a hint: two day extravaganza!))
this entails a few things. don't get discouraged & just keep doing what you love, is one.
the other? no one likes a negative nancy. don't bash other sellers or products on twitter or on your blog. you never know if a future customer is reading, thinks you are rude, unfollows you & won't want to buy something from you. i've been that customer before.
and for the record, being positive doesn't mean you can't be real & honest.
pricing is SO hard, but so rewarding when you get it right. i know the stress. how high is too high, how low is too low? i want to make lots of sales, but need to make a profit.
bottom line is, people want a good price, but they don't want to pay pennies.
customers want to buy something and spend a decent amount on it, so that they feel special. if people didn't want to pay good money for cute items, anthropologie wouldn't be in business. also, i don't think prices like 4.99 are good for business ((they weren't in my shop, at least)) unless it's a sale item. round your prices and make sure they really reflect your hard work, creativity, and cost to make. don't jip yourself.
a friend of mine has even gone so far as to say that when she doubled her prices, her sales increased dramatically. crazy thought, no?
tomorrow: part 2! see you then.