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Posts Tagged ‘poor economy’

These are uncertain times. Stocks are falling, banks are failing, who knows what the next president will bring to the table? I’ve spent more time reading the news and watching CNN than I ever have. I’ve never been more interested in what our next potential presidents have to say.

And I’m worried. I’ll admit that when I went into my own business, I left a job and mortgaged my house for more than I should have (20/20 hindsight) and now housing prices have fallen. I have more debt than I care to be carrying. My savings are weak at best. And my ‘real’ job is tied to advertising dollars and if things get much worse….who knows?

So what am I looking for in these uncertain times? Comfort. I want to feel safe and secure. I want to be surrounded by familiar, happy things. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve noticed (and I’ve seen this before), as the economy sinks lower, my sales on Etsy, eBay and my website have gone up. People don’t stop shopping because banks are failing. Some don’t have to. There are still gifts to buy. People need some comfort, some escape from the bad news that’s around them.

What better place to get that than a craft site like Etsy? Even if it’s just to go there to browse, who knows what they might find and have to have.

Etsy is not particularly political. For the most part, buying something on Etsy is not going to break the bank. And there’s lots of warm, fuzzy things that people make with their own two hands there. It takes people back to a simpler time. It’s relaxing.

I’m going to work on my Etsy store this weekend, and my eBay listings, to make sure that my copy, my photos, my titles offer my photo albums as an item of comfort…a special gift….a keepsake…something invaluable that will last a long time and can remind my potential customers of easy, fun and not so scary times.

The economy is not in great shape. But instead of pulling back and not advertising my albums because “who the heck is going to be buying them now?”, I’m going to make an extra effort to make sure they are available to those people who want a break from the worry and want to remember or celebrate good times.

I’m expecting to have a good holiday season this year because I’m going to make the effort to offer customers something they need right now…comfort.

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In this third part of how to take advantage of slow online summer sales and get ready for the holiday selling season, it’s all about getting your name out there.

On Etsy, on eBay, everywhere you find crafters and artisans selling their wares, you also hear grumbling about copycats or too many jewelry people at a show or not enough traffic to a site or a show. This is the time of year to take these matters into your own hands and promote your business, be it for local shows or your online store. Get your business brand out there as the best in your field. That way, if someone tries to copy your work, most people will know you and come to you anyway.

On the homefront, if you do local craft fairs, consider placing a small ad or two in local papers or on Craig’s list to let people know where you’ll be (offer a discount if they mention that they found you through one of your advertising venues). If you have a website, post a show schedule so people can easily find where you’ll be. Have kids? Pass out business cards (with your web address) and talk upĀ  your upcoming shows with other moms at the pool, picking up kids from camp or daycare, wherever moms meet!

Offer to throw a home party where the hostess gets a hefty discount based on sales from your showing. Hey, it works for Pampered Chef and Candlelite! It’s a captive audience and a good show can net you some tidy profit in an otherwise slow selling environment.

Participate in local charity events, offering coupons for gift bags, your items as auctions or prizes.

For your website or online stores: Promote Now!!

Start blogging and talking about new items you are showcasing. Add pictures of your work! Or scope out blogs where you’d like your products and company featured. Comment on other people’s blogs where your work might get exposure. Check out Mommy bloggers who review products and ask if they’d like to review yours. Keep in mind, you’ll have to send free samples, but well worth it if you land on a blog with tons of traffic.

Issue press releases on PR Web. Join Facebook and flickr and upload new photos of your work. Join smaller social networks either related to your craft or with folks that might buy your craft like poshmama.com. Create an email list of past customers and start emailing them once every week or so now to promote new creations and give discounts. Stay front and center, so when customers are buying again, they come straight to you. Do these things now, and your holiday season will rock!

Last but not least, have faith. We all go through ups and downs. Before you know it, the weather will turn crisp, and sales will pick up. In the meantime, leverage whatever holidays/events there are. Sell jewelry specific for weddings. Create cards for baby occasions, cause those are always coming up. Get those bags and clothes ready for back-to-school season. And be ready for the rush of orders because they will come in!

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