My Beautiful Mother!

My Beautiful Mother!
My Beautiful 82 yr old Mother @ 50th Wedding Anniversary Party wearing dress I designed and painted♥

Friday, May 20, 2011

Now the Fear Sets In!

Still considered a "Newbie" at selling in the Etsy forum, I thought it would be the cure all for my financial struggles.  However, in a short period of time, I have seen that this is not as easy as I thought!  As an Artist, I said to myself, "Lona, you have found a way to do what you love...create and paint and get your items sold" in my Etsy shop, AlwaysSnazzyTs.  Well, future sellers, be prepared!

There is no easy way!  First, you feverishly paint items as in my case, that you can list in your inventory, because you don't want your shop to look bare.  After all, who wants to visit a regular store and find their shelves empty or sparse?  Then, you take pictures which hopefully show your items in the best position, or light, which isn't as easy as it sounds.  Next, comes the listing where you rack your brain for the right description, price and tags, which are special words that describe all the best points about your item.  For instance, is it hand painted, hand crafted, the colors, what is painted on it, like roses, birds etc, OOAK translated one-of-a-kind, and what kind of an occasion would it make a nice gift for..... to name a few?   

Ahhh, got several listed, looks kind of pretty with all the variety and colors.  Now I can sit back and enjoy the sales that are sure to be rolling in; after all, are not my items unique and pretty and reasonably priced?  Surely, the public will recognize that or at least value the fact that it's hand painted.  Ooooh Yeah....I'm going to make lots of money!  Now, I can re-coup some of the money I have spent on supplies not to mention my time, which ....oh well, let's not go there!

But, wait...., one day goes by and nothing, then another, now it's week one, week two and so on, and you run to your shop all day long and check.  You can't believe your eyes when you see nothing....no sales.  You refresh it in hopes the numbers are not up to date.  Well, I do have several hearts from other sellers which favored one or more of my listed items, (which of course, as an Artist you value), but where are the sales?  Finally, you look and one day, you have a sale!  Yippee, hooray, I sold something!!!!  It doesn't really matter what at the moment, just that someone bought something from me.  They liked it well enough to pay money!  Now, I feel good.  So, I gather up all the buyers information, collect the payment and ship it out as fast as I can and as safe as possible.  After all, I want and need the buyer to leave a positive feedback on the item.  Is the anxiety over now?  Nope... sorry to say, it continues.  Did it get there in a timely manner, did it break, will they think the pictures look enough like the actual item, (hopefully they will look better), will they want to buy from me again, and lastly, will they leave me a nice feedback?  A few days go by while you savor the euphoric feeling and then it's gone.   You hunger, rather you crave for more, but alas, the waiting starts all over again.  But now it's worse because there's no more sales or very few, now the panic sets in for real!

Come on now Lona, you can figure this out!  So what do I do?  I check out other sellers and many are selling allot!  Ouch!  There goes my self-esteem.  What's wrong with my items?  Are they not what the public wants, should I change my style of painting, or paint more glassware, fabric or maybe go back to ceramics?  Don't really know, since I thought these were hand-painted treasures and compliments aside, they're not selling!  So, I peruse all the forums, posts, treasuries that my time allows, since I am also taking care of 84 yr old parents with serious health problems, because I need to find answers, get with the program!

Now, I consider myself a fairly smart woman and after reviewing many discussions on Etsy on how to become a successful seller, I now have determined that all indicators of being successful appears to be in the promoting, tweeting, blogging or chatting with other sellers so you or your shop becomes more familiar and known.  But indecision and fear sets in because if you join a team, most of them have requirements that include tweeting, blogging, a monthly treasury (which is a collection of items from other team members you arrange in a hopefully pleasant sequence) because other sellers leave comments or what is known as posts about the arrangement, beauty etc.  Usually some form of promoting is required by a team.  But, wait...I want to promote my items so I can sell some things.  Why must I primarily think of what is in the best interest of the team by promoting their items while my shop is dying on the vine?  Also, I have run across several very successful sellers who are not on any team and/or they don't tweet, blog, access other Internet resources or belong to a circle, a group of sellers you like.  So, what to do?  As I sink deeper into a funk, my self-esteem and confidence or rather what little is left of it, is going fast!  But, I love to paint!  I got to hang on, it's got to get better...doesn't it?

Oh, how I wish I wasn't such a novice, a newbie to selling, promoting and everything involved in becoming a successful shop on Etsy.  Do I continue jumping around from forums, treasuries, twitter, or blogging like frog legs in a frying pan?  And what about spending more money in what is called a BNR which stands for "Buy and Replace" which works on the premise that if you buy another seller's item, then it will be replaced with one of yours?  I already have bought into several with only one item of mine selling.  And only when a very nice seller took pity on what amounted to my pleading in the comment section(posts) for someone to buy from me since I was the last seller standing that hadn't sold anything.  So, I gave up on BNR's at least for now, because I noticed that only the sellers whose items were priced very low or had extremely low shipping charges, were usually the ones who got most of the sales.  Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for them and many are my team members and Etsy friends.  It's just, when is it my turn I wonder?

The Solution for me and maybe all you "newbies" out there feeling the same way?  You just keep on keeping on, hope the economy changes, add more inventory so as not to have an empty looking shop, and pray that fashion or public buying preferences will change in your favor.  And not to be overlooked, make some friends like I have that care, support and want the best for me.  They will become a beacon of light as you struggle to get out of what seems like an all encapsulating dark tunnel.

24 comments:

  1. Lona this is a very informative blog. You are right, add more items, promote and keep hanging in there girlie pie.

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  2. Lona,
    this is truly an inspirational post! Etsy is GIANT and it does take alot of work to be notice...I went through all the feelings you just described...I started my shop selling greeting cards on May 12, 2010....I had my first sale on June 3rd and my second sale on Aug 11! Patience is needed but I think the key is to really LOVE what you do...the rest will follow!

    Your artworks are beautiful and you are wonderfully gifted with your paintbrushes!...

    Many hugs,
    Dragonfly Expression

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  3. Thank you for all you kind comments. It pains me when I hear comments made by fairly new sellers or ones not doing well and the fears and desperation shows in their comments. So, I was moved to put down my feelings to help not only express my frustrations but in the event others read it, they will know they are not alone.

    ♥Lona

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  4. Oh boy! What a post! You have hit the nail on the head and I can't speak for everyone but I wonder if all newbies don't feel the same way. I sure do!

    It does get overwhelming. I tried facebook and twitter. I just can't seem to grasp it. Plus it moves so fast that I'm afraid that I'll get lost in the shuffle.

    I've decided that I love blogging so that is what I'm sticking with. Since I enjoy it, I don't think of it as promoting (even though it is) because I'm having so much fun with it. I love creating my blog and I love visiting other blogs. I'm learning a lot and meeting some awesome people. I'm also getting lots of great recipes and craft projects!

    So please don't give up. Your work is beautiful! I think that with your talent, if you give it time and keep promoting and creating you will do fine. Sometimes it takes a while to get established. I'm working on that myself so I know how difficult it can be.

    You have talent! Share it with the world!!!

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  5. Oh my gosh, this is awesome! So funny, and yet so true. I feel a lot better reading it and knowing I am not alone. Congrats on your first blog. And thank you for sharing it!

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  6. To Shar, thank you for reminding me that I do have talent and to focus on what I can do with my talent, not what I can't control! And thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I already feel better! Still no richer..LoL! but I do feel better...♥

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  7. I'm sorry, I meant Sher. And to Mfena, thank you for visiting, reading my long blog and for your thoughtful comments. You can follow me anytime.

    Lona

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  8. Hi Lona, I enjoyed reading this post very funny. I had similar thoughts when I first started out. I'm new to etsy but have been selling online on a craft site in New Zealand for 2 years. I just started a blog too took me 48hours to get my first post up -I'm just hopeless with the technical/computer side of promoting my craft. But I'm getting better -So long as I'm making good stuff that bring people enjoyment....I'll keep at it

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  9. Welcome Cuckoonest are you just selling in new Zealand or live there? Well, it sure is a learning curve isn't it? Thank you for you warm comment.

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  10. It's a huge learning curve. What a great post. Don't give up. Another important part of getting noticed on Etsy is how you tag your items and what words you use in the first 189 characters of description. Search Esty for articles on SEO (search engine optimization).
    But most importantly -
    Keep painting!!! Let your passion be your guide.

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  11. Hello there! This post of yours was like me talking to myself about why my marketing skills are not being noticed...I have tried twitter, facebook, stumble upon, pinterest even blogging.

    But like Your Canine Commentator so aptly said...Let your passion be your guide...I am going to do that! I really enjoy making jewelry, it is my destress mantra and there is somebody out there who likes my work and will buy my creations!

    Keep the faith girl and good luck!

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  12. Thanks Reshma, I am trying, although it is difficult as you know. I hope the tide will change at some point:0)

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  13. Thanks Lona - I think you speak for all of us "newbies" Me?...I keep putting it in God's Hands... and then find myself taking it back - that's when I get blue - It's onward and upward with a smile on our faces kiddo. Hang in there keep using the gifts He gave us and all will fall into place XXXOOO Barb

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  14. Lona, I think selling on Etsy is so much work..Many have succeeded in it..but I think if you put too much hope in being a big seller right off, it is the trip to failure. It is something that has to work slowly..sure some had luck ..look at life..How many success stories do we read..how many failures people had to reach the top..the secret..Never give up..
    I haven't pushed my shop, since I returned..but will try many different things..will get back into craft fairs, open my little shop here on my property..and keep looking for other ways to get myself out there..Etsy is only as good, as you are..It use to be fun when my daughter and I were there in 2007..smaller..but like everything..it has gotten very big and have seen many things change..but that is life.
    So don't feel discouraged..just keep doing and loving what you do..that is another secret..love what you do..
    Your mom looks so beautiful and if I may say..you did a beautiful job on the dress..just lovely..
    Have a great day..Rosebud.

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  15. Hi Lona

    I think you do beautiful work. I used to do alot of tole and decorative painting. Your SEO needs work though. There are some tweaks you could make to increase views etc. I have a lot of free tips for Etsy SEO on my blog. If you get time take a look. Really re-think your tags as there are some better ones I think you should use. Also make your section names "hand painted"

    Kay

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  16. Oh my, the concern is in your very last paragraph.....it's totally the opposite of what you should be doing. Your work and painting in your etsy shop is fabulous, seriously fabulous. But you can't just keep on "keeping on", hoping the economy changes, adding more inventory and praying buyers change......no no no. You have to do some serious study of your wonderful treasures and change how you think and market. The problem is not your items. If you want to do etsy as an outlet for a hobby, then carry on as you are. But if you wish to make some profit and money, you have to change your attitude about waiting for the sales to come to you. I could write a book so this is not the place, but it's not just etsy, it's any new business, one cannot wait for the success to find them. I'm not a great example in my own shops, but I also work another job 40 hours a week, I would so be pimping my shop if I relied on it for the money. And I would change a lot of the items in my shop until I found the trend that is hot. Then I would use my love of mixed media to capitalize on that trend.

    Paste that last paragraph in your post on your mirror and study it carefully. Your success is up to you, not everything else around you. You're the only one who can make it happen. You can't wish it, you may have to compromise and experiment, but you can make it happen. It's not in your soul and talent, you have that! Success is hiding within your mind!

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    2. Whyte.....I never got a chance to get back and answer some of the wonderful replies and suggestions since my Mom had a couple of strokes after I wrote this blog and hubby and I are taking care of my now disabled parents.

      You are right, I need to find what works and what is the trends and try to conform my talents to work along with the trends. I appreciate your honest critique and suggestions. I am trying to work on my tags, seo and promoting and I am encouraged from all of the comments. I glean wonderful tidbits from each of them!

      Lona

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  17. Great post! Selling on Etsy has been a huge learning curve for me. I love the many aspects of it though, communicating in cyberspace, photography, creative writing :), promotion, etc. And I thought I would just be bead weaving jewelry!! Which I love to do. I had no idea how I would be stretched in this venture. Thanks for putting it into words so well!

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  18. For all the beautiful and insightful comments made to this point, thank you so much! Your answers are right on point and I am trying to incorporate some of your suggestions and constructive criticism which I needed. So, thank you again! Kay, I will be visiting your blog for SEO help.

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  20. Thanks for this blog! I know I'm not alone now which in itself is a big help! I have had my shop three months now and I'm still longing for that first sale. I've seen the term treasuries several times but I still don't know what it is. Guess I'm definitely going to find out. I also have so much more to add to my shop but I'm in a funk which I must push myself out of... my first step is this blog. It has helped... thank you much! And good luck with your shop. The items I see hear are beautiful and very fairly priced.

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  21. dsc60....I feel your pain! But keep in mind that you are a new shop and it takes time not only to learn the ins and outs of the art of selling, but to feel your way around all the promoting avenues such as Twitter, Blogs, Treasury, Face Book, Pinterest and on and on. Give yourself that time and look through all the great advice that was left for me since it is timeless!

    I wish you and your shop all the best and hope you get a sale soon!

    Lona

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  22. It's been two years from now since you last posted this, so I don't think you're qualified as an Etsy beginner by now. Yes, it's easy to sit back thinking that once you've established your shop, the only thing left to do is make more of your items and let the inventory accumulate. But as you've learned, you have to be persistent in establishing your business presence as well. There are many ways available to promote your brand, but as you've also learned, not all of them are guaranteed with success. You can be putting in more effort but getting nothing in return. Instead of just worrying about your items, you're also worried how to attract more views for your shop. You may consult a professional to do all the marketing and promotions for you, so you can devote more time doing what you do best and letting other people, who know this kind of service better, to improve your sales.

    Online Marketing In A Box

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