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Archive for November, 2008

You have a craft business, you have an eBay store, you have a website and you’re on Etsy. All great ways to promote your business. But are you on Twitter? Twitter is the latest social media craze, allowing you to microblog (only 140 characters at a time) from your computer, your blackberry, or even your phone! Posts are short enough that they never feel like work!

You can let others know what you’re doing, blog posts, new items you’re listing, or great sales you’re having. You can link to anywhere from twitter (just remember to put the http:// in front of your web address.) And unlike Facebook, where you are a “person” first, promoting your business on Twitter seems to be the norm.

And if you are worried that you’re URL will be too long, just go to http://tinyurl.com to shorten the web address and give an air of mystery to your link!

The idea behind Twitter is to follow those people who interest you and to have those and others follow you back. You’ll be able to see posts of people following you, you can comment or email them directly and they can be in touch with you.

Want to find your target market? Go to Twitter Search, type in keywords or phrases that you think your potential customers might be using and see who’s tweeting about what. Find someone you think might be interested in your products? Follow them. I bet they’ll follow you back and you may even get a customer out of the deal!!

Already have a Twitter account or getting ready to sign up for one? Follow me twitter.com/irisandlily
I’ll be happy to follow you back.

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It’s been a while, but I hope to get back to regular blog posts now. We’ve had a lot going on around here and sometimes finding the time to sit and write gets tricky. But there’s so much to share!

One of the things I’ve been busy with lately is album orders. Finally! As we get closer to the holidays, business is picking up, although very few of my orders are holiday gifts or even holiday related. In fact, my life has been so hectic these last few weeks, I haven’t really even had the time to list properly in preparation for the holidays. But enough about me.

There’s something I’ve noticed with my recent orders (still about me…tsk, tsk) that has been a really pleasant surprise. I sell on eBay, Etsy and my own website. I blog, have had some products showcased on blogs (thanks to Etsy) and I have a decent customer base from the years I’ve been doing this.

My orders are coming from all over. Some from eBay, some from Etsy, two from my website in the past month, which is rare but so exciting, and a few from previous customers, who just shoot off an email. I only just added selling on Etsy this Spring and it has already made a huge difference in the exposure I’ve gotten for my albums. I even considered giving up eBay….

But here’s the thing. By having my products in multiple places, very different groups of people find me and I’ve gotten a much further reach for my albums, resulting in more orders than I would have otherwise.

Obviously when you start selling, you want to start in one place to see how things go. Websites are expensive (and that’s not my most effective selling tool), and listing on multiple sites can be quite time-consuming. We need time to craft too! But don’t discount your options. I see quite a few people on the Etsy forums dissing eBay. And while eBay and/or Amazon might not be for everyone, if you’ve got something unique and handmade, you’d be surprised at how much you can sell. Not everyone on eBay is looking for a bargain. In fact, lots of customers go there to find something different that they can’t find anywhere else. And everyone goes to Amazon now. I’m not there yet, but I plan to be by next year.

I like having multiple streams of visibility for my albums. Not only does it give me more sales, it gives me credibility as well. Seeing Iris & Lily in a bunch of different places signals that I am a real business.

If you are only selling in one place, consider your options. I know if I was selling in only one place, my sales would be a little dismal. Try a few different venues and see which ones work for you. With listing fees of only 20 cents in a lot of cases, and now only 35 cents even on eBay, it can’t hurt to try. Weed out the ones that don’t work, but you might be surprised when you find another venue that does.

The holidays are just around the corner, and while money is tight everywhere, there are still gifts to be bought, and lots of consumers are going online to buy them!

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“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;

Ask yourself what makes you come alive.

And then go and do that.

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

—Harold Whitman

I feel alive today, and hopeful. Our country has chosen a new direction, one that will hopefully bring positive change and opportunity.

I plan to hold onto that feeling and do my part to effect positive change and opportunity in my own life as well.

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