Friday, June 28, 2013

The Etsy Science of Quality vs Quantity

A common misconception (and I was very guilty of it as a young etsy shop owner) is to think that high shop views equals more sales. I would hang tightly to hope that one of my shop items would get on the front page with the expectation that I'd get a sale or two from it. In turn, I joined loads of teams (way, way too many) in order to increase my chances of being in a "front page" treasury.

Although I did benefit in other ways during that season of my business, one thing I learned was that being on the front page for an hour does not guarantee a sale. I also started to understand that it's not necessarily the number of people who view your item or shop that increases your chance of a sale but rather it's WHO views your item or shop. What it boils down to is that "quality, not quantity" is a much better way to improve the success of your shop and increase your sales.

I remember a time last summer when I still had the mindset of "quantity" and was ecstatic when my shop items were featured in treasuries for three hours. One treasury after another was featured during a prime time on a Sunday afternoon. I watched my view numbers reach sky high!! I thought for sure I would receive an abundance of orders but not one item was sold during that entire day.....or even the next day.

On the reverse side of this experience is a day like today when my views are very, very low. I have not been featured in a front page treasury for quite a while but I have done my homework. I know I'm using efficient tags and titles so I'm pretty confident that I will get found by someone who is looking for what I offer. Sure enough, my phone "cha-chinged" and I see that I have a sale from a bride in the UK.

I've been intending to ask my customers how they found me on etsy. My shop stats give me great info but they aren't specific enough to answer that question. I always acknowledge that I've received a customer order and thank them for their business. Today (even though it made me feel very vulnerable) I asked my customer how she found me. I was pleasantly surprised that she responded quickly and told me that she typed in (one of my tag word phrases) and I popped right up. What a confidence builder!!

If you are still building your business and not quite to the place that you would describe as a successful milestone point,  I want to encourage you to keep on going. I know that some of you have more than a few days or weeks between each sale. I have been there....many times!!

I am cheering for you! Don't give up!! You are doing great!! I believe in you!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Photo Styling

Typically when I'm doing handwork on my personalized clutches I will find a podcast or blog video to watch. I love multitasking!! A blog I often visit is Smart Creative Women by Monica Lee.  She has great skype interviews with artists, bloggers, licensing agents and more. I watched the most delightful interview this week with Shauna Younge and Maddy Hague. They have teamed up to create Confetti Pop, a photo styling business and DIY blog.

The energy of this duo is contagious and I found myself wishing I could sit down and have my own chat with them to learn how to do my own photo styling. I am in a never-ending pursuit to take better photos of my products. Alas....they are offering an e-course!! Needless to say I am thrilled.

They describe their 4-week course "The Style Lab" as an in-depth examination of basic photo styling and will be chocked full of useful tips they learned through their years of hands-on experience. There are 3 separate opportunities this year to take their course......July, August or October. I just signed up for their July session. If they express just half of the enthusiasm and energy in their class as they did in Monica Lee's interview, I think I'm in for a real treat!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Your Talent is Finite!

My thoughts and emotions were on a roller coaster ride last week. I signed up for the e-course with Lilla Rogers knowing that I'd have to consciously set aside some design time to do my assignments and get them downloaded by the deadline each week. When I received my full assignment on Wednesday I was uncomfortable from my eye injury and I just felt like napping all day.

As the week progressed I only had a few sketches and felt completely defeated. I was ready to give up!!

Then comes Lilla with an amazing pep talk on Friday!! I felt like she was speaking directly to me. She spoke right to the places that I was feeling doubtful and limited. She told us to stop listening to any negative talk in our heads and to keep on going. She reminded us that our talent is finite and to keep working at it.

I started getting excited again about our assignment and pulled from all the things I learned in art school about design, layout and color. All that stuff that had been on the back burner of my mind started rushing forward. This is exactly what I was hoping for but had started to lose hope that it would really happen.

With my eye feeling much better by Friday I shrugged off the negative talk and worked till the wee hours of the weekend to finish my homework. All day Sunday I was overjoyed that I accomplished what I set out to do.  I kept thinking about how I might have felt if I had given up completely and was looking at the finished assignments of my classmates. I did not sign up for the class to beat myself up. I wanted to be challenge and indeed I am!!

I am so grateful for Lilla and her pep talk!! Yes.....our talent is finite. It keeps growing and evolving and expanding. We need to put the work in to make it grow. We need to nurture it with hours and hours of creative work and watch with amazement at what might happen!

Last week our assignment was vintage pyrex and mushrooms. This week is flowers and pods. Oh joy!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Personalized Monogram Clutch Purses

Mama Bleu Designs is so excited to finally show you our line of brand new clutch bags!! They are created in our Mama Bleu style but with a monogram instead of a full name.

This idea has been in my head for months and months (and was actually birthed from my attempt to make monogram clutches in 2011) but I haven't had time to develop my ideas and create them for you until now. Little by little I stitched up sample bags of each letter so you could not only see how each monogram looks on a clutch with its sweet yo-yo flower detail, but also see more of the fabrics I have available that aren't on my fabric charts.

Several of these are up in my shop now and more will arrive as the week goes on. Oh joy!!