The Economy is Bad … Really?

I did a craft show yesterday that is usually one of the best in this part of the state. One of those ones where you pray you can even get on the waiting list. This show, typically a $3800 show for me cashed in at $2600 (ugh). I wasn’t alone. Several people reported barely making their booth fee. The reason according to most…”the economy.”

Every time I heard those words, I tried to hide my cringing and started my dissertation as to what really occurred. Why you ask? With a lot of hard work, I am doing just fine in this supposedly horrible economy. As a former English and Education major, I had many things drilled into my brain, one of which being to dig in and look at things from all different angles. I stepped back and looked at the realities of the day to put things into perspective.

1. Number one and most important of all, they changed the location of the show due to construction. Now add to that the fact that the only signage they put up on the old location was something saying “located across the street” – it really was not across the street – and you have your first recipe for disaster. Now throw in a parking lot one quarter of the size of the usual lot and you have people (many elderly) having to walk for several blocks in 30 degree weather – many wouldn’t bother.

2. The annual Santa Clause parade (pretty big deal here) got scheduled on the same day – ouch!

3. Two major college football games were televised that day – we Michiganians love our Spartans and our Wolverines (and also Ohio State for some reasonJ).

So with that, there really wasn’t much chance at record sales that day.

Now, looking at the big picture as a whole, is the economy really that bad? For those with investments and stocks, sure it looks bleak. I can’t imagine losing $20,000 per quarter in my pension (which I am seeing as an HR professional with my employees). While there are reports that unemployment soars well over 9% in Michigan, we forget that means there is 91% EMPLOYMENT! Those people are still buying. And as an Etsian, we have the opportunity to sell to the rest of the country as well – hooray!

So what does it take? It takes hard work. We can’t sit back and wait for the orders to come any more. As someone who works full-time and whose business is booming, I understand “busy.” Here are the things I do that I can fit into my busy schedule that you may consider:

1. List Three Times Per Day – Yep. That’s right. Budget 60 cents per day for your listings. Post one in the AM before you go to work, post another at lunch time, and one more before you go to bed. Those of us on the east coast often forget that when we are heading off to get some zzz’s, the west coast is getting home from work and they want to spend! After you do this for a while, you will find out what your busy days are and you can scale down to listing just on those days. Be patient! You need to get some sales and some feedback before the orders will start rolling in. It will happen.

2. Create Your Own Blog – No I am not able to post daily. However, I blog at least every 3-4 days but usually more frequently than that. I feature other Etsy Artists. I send a set of questions which they answer and then I format it for the blog. Total time commitment – about 15 minutes. Schedule that time in and it will be a breeze for you. I am also getting into doing what I am doing right now – help and advice. Not everyone will be able to do this but I guarantee it is worth it!

3. Blog Comments – Read and comment on other people’s blogs. Don’t make it time consuming. Make yourself a goal of reading two per week and commenting. That is more than manageable.

4. Twitter – I will admit I think Twitter is a little different..probably because of my lack of time. However, it is a fabulous marketing tool. You can go to Twitterfeed.com and have your Etsy listings go up on Twitter and your blog posts! That way people who follow you can see what you are up to. Timothy Adam Designs has great tips and thoughts on Twitter on his blog – http://timothyadamdesigns.blogspot.com/.

5. Join Teams – I know some people don’t believe in joining teams but the value I have seen is tremendous. My teams are all incredibly helpful and “nurturing.” Not to mention their promo is out of this world! Find someone who fits your interests. Once accepted, participate at least once every couple of weeks in their forums or on their ING site.

6. Chat it Up in the Forums! – Wow does this make a difference!! Again, make a goal and try not to get addicted. Go in three times per week and make legitimate contributions. Only post all of your links when appropriate. I only add my blog address when I feel there is some value to the readers.

7. Treasuries – Make a treasury or set a goal for commenting. If you only have time to throw a few comments out there, make that goal and stick to it. This gets your avatar out there. I always try to comment on those that are brand new and they have two to three days to go.

8. Follow Timothy Adam Designs’ Blog – This guy is fabulous! He is so tech savvy and has such awesome advice. Make the time where you can to read what he has to offer – http://timothyadamdesigns.blogspot.com/ Once you are rolling in the dough, buy something from him:)

There is much more to cover but these are the things that are somewhat quick and easy. You don’t have to take a beating from this supposedly bad economy. Just fight back!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please do me a favor and post a reply to this Forum thread (http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5923350)to keep my thread alive. I think a lot of people will find this info beneficial and I am afraid it will get buried. Thank you!

-Suzanne
Bliss Soybean Candles and Gifts
http://blisscandles.etsy.com/
http://www.blisscandles.com/