Friday, October 23, 2015

The obsessing begins.....

Thank-you to everyone who shared information with me about my Etsy vs. Amazon. I have not totally ruled out another way to sell, but for now I started my listings on Etsy. I haven't had a ton of time, so it is only up to about 19 or 20 at this point. I have a ways to go.

And it begins...... first came the picture taking. Yup.... memories!! I took out my old heavy camera to discover my batteries weren't charged. After digging through ONE of my junk drawers I found some AA's that worked temporarily and gave me about 5 minutes of power before having to rotate them with another set buried in the junk drawer..... ughhhh!

By the time I had my other batteries charged I had already decided I would try using my I-phone. Another problem..... I have 5 grandchildren and my phone was FULL of pictures..... ughhhh #2!!! There goes another couple of hours trying to clean that out (something that needed to be done a year ago). FINALLY..... I have room on my phone and squeeze in a little time for picture taking. I decided that my Iphone was much easier than my big camera.

Next comes the listing.... I did that easy enough, but then obsessively looked back and looked back and looked back to continuously see ZERO views. Oh no, this is why I left to begin with.... the memories are coming back. What to do, what do do...

Well, I have to face the inevitable... promoting myself! I HATE THAT!!!! I hate it whether it is online, at a show, a gallery or anywhere else. I was just not born to be a sales person and that is what you need to be to get sales. Now what? I just have to suck it up and do it. I start checking out other Etsy shops to find differences that might have happened after leaving. There were definitely some. I used to add a cutesy name to each of my products and from what I was seeing, that was not a good idea. So, first change.... the cutesy names.... replace them with dull boring names like "handmade ceramic beads". I don't know about you, but sometimes I have so much going on I literally feel like....

..... my head is dizzy.... I think I forget to breathe and since breathing is essential to life, I need to work on being able to do that at the same time as listing. ughhhhhh #3

Now breathe.... I switch the names and still nothing. I obsessively checked again and again and again..... nothing. I then do a search for handmade ceramic beads and I do see that they came up. Why so few views? It's a big world, isn't it? Maybe I am just not up for this anymore. ughhhh #4

I decide to research even further and look for forums or tips about how to get your work noticed on Etsy. I find that not only should I change my cutesy heading, but I need to add all of my descriptors in the title. Are you kidding me? The head goes dizzy. Don't forget to breathe......  Back to Etsy and back to my listings to change everything once again.

I research more. I found blog posts about using Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and whatever the heck else is out there! Are you kidding me? Yup..... dizzy!

I decide I am going to succumb to the new ways of doing this and put a post on our Twitter page. There were a few more views after that, so that's good. I put one up on my own Facebook page too. I'm not sure that did much. I am at a temporary dead end. It is just too much to figure all of this out, teach full time and make time for my family. 

Is there something easier to do? What do you do to get your work noticed or if you don't sell online, how do you search? I could use some advice!

Thanks for sharing what you have to offer...



Alice said...

You are not alone. I have opened two shops at etsy and never listed anything.
I am so shy about promoting my jewelry. But I found a shop in my town that carries my jewelry and they are very good at selling and I just go and get my check at the end of the month. WinWin.
Good luck with etsy

Deb said...

I can totally relate to what you're going through MaryAnn. I'm not much on sales and photographing my jewelry has been a thorn in my side for a long time. I finally got to where I think the pics look good (after brightening them up on the computer) then I'd look at them on my phone or tablet & see that my cool wood background is competing with my work...but the pics looked so good on my desktop computer! Eesh! I have a shop on Etsy and I found that I can spend a ton of time on it tweeking and listing and I still won't get much traffic (even with "featured listings"), then I'll ignore the shop and I'll get an order. Go figure. What I've been trying now is keeping a bunch of plates spinning at once, an Etsy shop, the occasional craft show and displaying my jewelry in our office here. Perhaps when things slow down I can concentrate on the selling side.
Good luck with your shop!

Cathy said...

I so agree with you that it's so hard to self promote. I think creatives may have a trade off of abilities that the better you are at making stuff the less you want to be a PR person. I have a non jewelry Etsy shop that I've used for 5 years and it took forever for sales to take place and it to be noticed, but I'm at a point that I can sell all I make - though slowly. What's helped. Beside what you are doing, I "re-list" a couple of items a couple of times a week. This makes them come up higher on search results. I always get more hits when I do this. I get a huge uptake on hits when I can do great instagram pictures - not as easy as it sounds. I'm sort of starting over on it this fall as my Mom died a year ago and I did little (think almost empty shop) so now I'm filling it up and I'm starting to get some more traffic. Good Luck.

Jess Green said...

I am 100% with you MaryAnn! I opened my shop in March, didn't even post anything until June, then freaked out about self-promotion and left my poor shop pretty abandoned until about a month ago.

Photography is a pain.

Listing/ tagging/ creating listing titles that will get you found but don't just look like a random jumble of 'hit' words is a pain.

Trying to advertise yourself on social media can be downright scary!

Perhaps we should start a 'Beleagured Jewellery Sellers of Etsy' support group :P

Anonymous said...

I'm with Alice. I live in a tiny town where thrift shops are big. I came up with a display idea and spent far less time building it than listing even 10 things on Etsy. Etsy became impossible...I used to name every piece and do series lots, but they changed the way it all works and now I don't even like to buy on there as it is so confusing. Building a display did require some math and wood cuttings, so hubs helped in his usual more than stellar way...and I sold quite a bit at the little shop...the lovely gal who ran it would wear something, sell items for me and take 20%. She made lamp work beads too and you can imagine that delight. Then she remarried and moved away to teach glass blowing. The guy that bought her shop was not interested in jewelry, so I brought everything home. That was 22 months ago. I don't even think about selling things anymore. It just seems overwhelming and confusing.

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