Please welcome VJSE guest blogger Gayla from The Jewel Seeker !
My dad was an incredible business man! He really knew how to make the sales back in his day! He won trips all over the country for being a top regional and nationwide salesman. I think the man could sell anything, but always with honesty and integrity! He built a following no matter if he was selling ice cream from the local ice cream cart, delivering milk for the local dairy, selling hair care products from his barber chair or Mercedes Benz Cars. When you’re getting a new business off the ground, where do you start to grow a following and successful business? Dad would say, “You just get on a roll and it takes off!” He would spread his arms and move about the room like he was a flying airplane! It was no wonder he soared in his sales career!
When we opened our business, we thought it would be a breeze, but Dad didn’t tell us that we would have to first pull our airplane out of the gate; then, push down the runway!!! What we eventually discovered is that we also had to be the wind beneath the airplanes wings the entire time! We had to keep our business flying and as independent business owners, we’re the pilots, flight attendants and maintenance men working to keep the doors were opened.
“You never get to a point where you get to stop marketing and promoting, it is a constant thing that must be done or you will fade away,” says a writer for Handmade.com. Taking the time to learn which venues are most successful is important.
You have to continue daily to build your inventory, because your customers will want to see different styles, colors and vintage designer signed and unsigned jewelry in your shop. No matter how long you have been around they are going to want to see a variety of products.
When we first opened our shop, I remember how long it took to sell the first 25 items, and thought we would never make it to 100. Once we hit 100 sales, and 100 items in our inventory, I thought it would be easy peasy from there! However, there was a lesson to be learned! We began looking at what was helping to bring customers to our shop, and then focusing on expanding those daily tasks.
We cut tasks that weren’t working for us, and combined tasks that were. For instance, we reduced the number of teams we were on. While there was some nice exposure from them, not enough to deserve all of the time they required. Also, rather than hand tweeting and retweeting, we found it was more efficient to use one of the tweet generators and added a tweet to every shop on our team; and added extra tweets to it from the shops that promoted our shop more often. The tweet generator that we use will also post to Facebook, Linkdin and our blog. We use an application where we can schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and Tumblr, in an effort to get more exposure there and post 24 hours a day from both the tweet generator and ShopMarketingHelper.com. From Pinterest.com, we learned that we could “Stick-it” on RebelMouse and “pin” to MikeLikesIt simply by adding browser buttons to our Google Browser. Speaking of Google, we also added the Google Plus button, where we also can simply click the button and post a treasury or fellow member’s item to our Google Plus account.
We have learned to keep the keep the momentum going despite the ups and downs of the market. It seems that our most effective tool is a check off list, where we have a list of “to-do’s” each day. To maintain our upward momentum, we established a routine. We start our morning of responding to overnight emails, make a treasury and or support the treasuries that were made the night before, post a certain number of times a day to my social networking sites (these posts are more personal or commenting on other peoples posts), reciprocate by hearting and favoriting from our activity thread on Etsy, publish a blog post every month during the fall, winter and spring months, etc. On Mondays we may promote on Google plus, on Tuesdays it might be pinterest, on Wednesdays could be Stumbleupon.com – get the picture? Setting up a basic daily, weekly and monthly list of “to-do’s” helps us stay focused on the tasks that are most important and use our time more wisely.
If you’re having difficulty keeping your airplane flying high, try setting up your very own check off list. To-do lists with items you can check off or draw a line through will make you feel as if you’re accomplishing your daily goals, help you to stay focused and keep you flying upward toward the ultimate goal of selling.