Tuesday, May 20, 2008
What to do when things are slow?
I'm sure everyone on Etsy get those times - things are slow, no matter what you do not much sales and it just so depressing and discouraging. I knew that things will not pick up right away after I got back from my first vacation to Israel in March and then, that it'll get even slower when I get back from my second vacation down the Appalachian mountain for Ned's birthday.
However, I were totally not prepared to how much this would be disheartening, I mean it was pretty bad in the beginning when nothing sold, but now it's even harder because I'm expecting things to sale and so each sell is a little less exciting then in the beginning and each day with no sale is a little more depressing...
So, what do you do?!
I'm going to write now about what I do, not so much to effect the sales but mostly to effect my own positiveness and creativity and keep making stuff for Etsy even though nothing sales.
Because the store doesn't empty from merchandise, is feels like it's well stocked and that's that, however, it's very important to go on listing and to list new things every day. This is true for 2 reason. The first is that listing things gives you exposure - a valuable 15 seconds on the front page, being more advance in searches, shop local and so on. Second is that people who like your shop goes into it every now and then to check what's new, if they see something they like, they might buy it, also, if they see that nothing change over time, they might think you aren't very active on Etsy anymore, and stop visiting your store.
Method 1 - a Little everyday
Decide you are going to dedicate 20 minutes a day (or 30, or an hour whatever...) to making things, even if you don't feel like it, you have to do it, sort of like the gym, or homework. It's hard to get used to crafting or drawing every day on cue, but somehow, I know I get used to it really fast, after 3 or 4 days I get a funny feeling if I don't. Usually, I like having small projects for this so it's finished after those 20 minutes or so and I can list it right away, there is something very satisfying and looking at the Etsy store and see how all the new things make the store looks fresh and new.
Method 2 - a Big Project
My most successful item started when things were going slow, I decided to dedicate the 3 days of Christmas when I knew no one would do any shopping to completing a big project. I illustrated a set of 22 Tarot cards and then when things slowed down again, I did the other 2 suits, I'm probably going to start doing another one if things don't pick up.
Method 3 - A long project
Sort of a combination between the 2 other methods, a project that contain many items and then you do some of it everyday, it can be a topic or a new technique (like illustrations to fairy tales or a new collection of purses. So basically you are working everyday and posting things everyday. To me a big project really helps keeping focused on creating and also, make me work for myself rather then for the Etsy store. I'm really competitive and making a goal like that makes me compete with myself and keep some motivation.
I just started one of those projects a couple of days ago. Ned and I just bought a beautiful book called "The encyclopedia of north American Animals" I don't know if it's every animal you can find in the USA, but there are a lot of them! about 400 pages worth of photos and animal descriptions. I thought it would be cool to start from the beginning and go on, till I fed up with it, or till I finish the whole book, using each photo and image to make something, a drawing or a painting or craft things. So far I made 3 things - a Bear and an Armadillo paintings and an Opossum sewing kit.