Friday, May 13, 2011

Do's and Don’ts Part II - Advice from a 2 year old

Two year old Etsy seller that is.  It's my 2 year Etsy-versary!  Hard to believe since it's flown by so quickly.  This blog post is Chapter 2 of my first post last year and is just a tad more brutally honest.  To read Part 1 click here.   I will make an effort to do this every year in hopes you will find this interesting and can learn from my mistakes.

Treasure Trove Necklace by Sora Designs

1. Don’t tell all your secrets. I’ve learned the hard way to not share every little detail of your business, suppliers, marketing techniques, etc.. as what might seem like a good natured question one day can and will become something might come back to haunt you.  

stretched silks in my studio
2. Do share just enough/be selective.  I’ve learned that sharing bits of the creative process of my silk artworks has proven to be quite interesting to others and helps create excitement and a positive buzz about my wearable art scarves.

Grumpy, black faced sheep by Maid of Clay
3. Don’t think you can please everyone.  Some people are just unhappy, period, and nothing you can do or say will be good enough.  One time I spent so much time re-painting a piece for a customer, that I lost an entire 3 days of productivity, not to mention staying up past midnight in the freezing cold (back when my studio was outdoors) in order to make them happy.  It still didn’t work!

At Your Service by FredMorseArt
4. Do work hard and everything in your power to provide excellent customer service without totally overextending yourself.  I would have saved myself a lot of time, energy, and stress had I simply issued a refund in that case and moved on.  However there have been cases when something like an extra rush or extra touch has made all the difference (but it didn't take 3 days). 

The Trail by Painted with Light
5. Don’t blame the world when sales are dry.  It’s not the responsibility of the sun, moon, rain, and/or web site hosting your product to magically bring in traffic and sales just because you put it out there.

Traffic Jam by gckimmitt
6. Do look to yourself to drive traffic and sales to your store.  I’ve noticed a direct impact on my views and marketing efforts when I am highly involved.. with Etsy teams, forums, treasuries, Flickr, blogging, FB, twitter, tagging images correctly.  It’s hard work!  But I just see it as the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.

Kittie Beats by the Barber Shop
7. Don’t ask if you can’t handle the truth!  (lol - I just couldn’t resist the Jack reference).  But really, if you ask for any opinion or critique of your product or shop,  don’t be taken back if someone gives you negative or harsh constructive criticism. After all, you did ask!

"Who Wears it Best? FB Voter
8. Do ask questions that you actually want to hear the answers to.  I ALWAYS love hearing the feedback of the Facebook Musies for example, when pondering color choices of a silk painting and especially love to see which Muse Model will win the “Who Wears it Best” contests.  Do stay open-minded and know that any constructive criticism is usually coming from someone who is genuinely trying to help.

Sad Little One by Irobinson
 9.  Don’t give up.  When the sales are down, a situation goes sour, or you have had it up to here with rude and/or people misbehaving, don’t dwell…  Don’t sink down to the level of immature actions.  You can find negativity and drama anywhere you go, and online too if you want it.  Don’t give in!

Happy Toad by Surly
10. Do be the better person.  Do be kind.  Do focus on your own creativity and work, and improving constantly. The sales will come as your business builds and you continue to rise above and keep moving when there are obstacles in your path.  An energetic and positive spirit is contagious so spread the love!

Cherish is the Word by Pam Utton
Thanks for reading Do's and Don't from a 2 year old, and Thank You to my Friends, Family, Clients, and of course Musies for all your love and support over the past 2 years.  I could not have gotten this far without you!


Pam Utton said...

Great advise - it is sometimes difficult to keep focus and the creativity up. But, you are right, being kind, sharing, but not too much (need to learn that!) making friends and enjoying what you do is so important. Your talent and your kindness makes me smile daily. : D

sansuey said...

Great post, and I love seeing the items from CCCOE!
Sue (Stitchuation)

Kristine Shreve said...

This is a great post. Kudos to you for sharing what you've learned and helping other people who are just starting out.

Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter said...

Very sage words Angel... advice we can all follow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Bella said...

Excellent advice from a two year old! Congrats!!

Lorie Lynn Designs said...

Great advise. I do find myself sharing too much information sometimes and I need to reel that in. I always try to remember that I am doing this because I love making jewelry, not to get rich. That helps me get through the slow times.

Nani Originals said...

I agree, really good advice. You are spot on! Love your positive attitude and you chose great artists here.

Leslie said...

such good advice! i agree with every word of it.

enjoy the highs and don't sweat the lows...

thank you for including my little pinback button! i loved seeing it in this context & that you included other sellers that i admire and some new ones to peruse!

yay, you!

leslie (la la)

maidofclay said...

Very true words about custom orders. What you visualize vs. what the customer visualizes can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. The biggest thing I've learned from being on Etsy is saying "no" when I know it is not something I want to take on (and not feel guilty about it!)
Thanks for including my grumpy sheepie :-)

QuirkynBerkeley said...

Really, really great post, Muse! Thanks for taking time to write all of this down. It's a good reminder.

Sora Designs said...

great article. thanks a lot for featuring my item too.

Anonymous said...

This is such great advice, I really appreciate you being open and honest in your experiences (without giving to much away, of course, lol)

FELT! by Gina said...

Great advice - and love looking at the pieces that you have featured here.

Nancy Trujillo said...

Great advice. Happy anniversary! Nan

surfandsand said...

Great advice! Some of your tips are hard lessons to learn, but ones we need to remember. Congratulations on 2 very successful years!

melissa said...

Really sage words...every point rang true. Thank you for sharing! Melissa (cedarpocket)

CR.eationsMT said...

thank you for sharing,just when I needed it!

Charlene said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!

Gallery32 said...

Excellent advise, especially about staying positive. Thanks for sharing :)

Sahetah said...

Wonderful advice! So glad you took the time to share this and compile your knowledge for us! =)

Kaye said...

Thanks for the advice (both parts 1 and 2). I am always looking for ways to do better! your using the etsy items in this post!

Reshma said...

Great advice! They are absolutely motivating!

VaLon said...

Love the advice. Love your work.