New Year, New Goals

01/05/13. New Year New Goals
1. Make an item a day or design a new one.

One goal I read about and thought I would try is making an item a day for my Etsy shop or at least designing a new item. I’ve designed a cable baby sweater, but it’s taking longer than a day to make it. But if I can make an item a day for the shop, then by April I’ll have at least 90 items to sell at a craft fair.

2.Do some real world craft fairs.
Part of the reason I didn’t do fairs last year was I didn’t have enough stock. Hopefully goal 1 will remedy that.

3. Get a 1000 Twitter and Blog followers.
I already have 250 Twitter followers so I think that’s achievable. The challenge will be getting the blog followers.

4. Write and publish e-books.
Last year the thing holding me back was converting to PDF files. I have a new computer this year and it has that capability. So now the only thing holding me back is writing the books. I need to get writing on a schedule to succeed.

I’m very excited about this upcoming year. I feel it’s going to be a big success for me. I learned a lot last year about social media and blogging and have been putting it into practice. In just the last three months I’ve seen improvement and I feel it can only get better.

Here’s to the New Year!

Posted in Business of blogging, Etsy, Goal, Learning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Business Practices That Make your Customers Say Meh

And if they’re saying Meh, they probably won’t be back. I recently bought some items off Etsy and while the products themselves were OK, the customer service wasn’t and I probably won’t be buying from them again.

1. Not Answering Convos or Messages
Worst plan ever is not to answer questions or messages that customers send you. I bought a necklace and sent a message asking about gift packaging. No Answer. Not until the package arrived did I find out the answer was no. And that brings me to the next Faux Pas

2. Bad Packaging
The necklace above came crammed into a one inch plastic box AND it was tangled!!! Now luckily I was able to carefully straighten it out but come on folks. No excuse for that.

3. No Acknowlegement
No note in the package, no thank you, nothing. Just an item stuffed in an envelope. Ugh.

4. No Business Card
There was nothing in the package to remind me where I got it from or what shop I bought it from. I had to get on the computer and go thru my receipts to get that info. Not that I’ll be shopping with that shop again. But even with a shop I did have a good experience with, there was no business card or reminder of which shop I purchased from.

5. Nothing Extra
I think you should alway include a little something extra just so the customer will remember you. One of the shops I dealt with gave me a few extra buttons. I had ordered buttons and asked for the mix to have more brown. She actually packaged brown buttons in a separate extra package. That’s what I’m talking about. I will be using her shop again when I need buttons.

There are a lot of business vying for customers and bad custonmer service will turn those people away and have them looking elsewhere.

With my customers I always answer messages and convos as soon as I get them. Even if they don’t ask a question I acknowledge the order with a little note telling them I got your order and approximately when I’ll ship it out.
I package my products so customers will remember they got something special. Since I sell handmade items, I wrap the item in tissue paper and then I wrap it in brown paper wrapping paper with a little raffia bow on it. (“Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String”).
I hand write a little thank-you and sign it on the invoice I include in every package. If the customer were in the store I would be thanking them as I wrapped up their purchase. Same idea here.
I give them a little something extra. I have half size business cards (from MOO) that have my website and Etsy info on the back and pictures of items from my shop on the front. I punch a hole in it, thread ribbon thru it and voila! a handy dandy bookmark. Something useful and my contact info is on it.

Customer service is Key. You can have the most wonderful items in the world to sell but if your customer service is bad you won’t have repeat customers.

Posted in business of crafting | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Once upon a Time Special

I love “Once Upon a Time”  the TV show.   It starts again Sept. 30th and I can’t wait!!!  So excited to see what’s going to happen this year.   Every episode held me enthralled last year.

My favorite character is Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin  And I love his love story with Belle.  Can’t wait to see how the writers work out their tale.

In honor of the show starting I’m running a special at my Etsy shop of 15% off my Fairytale Once Upon a Time Blanket.  I designed it based on “ Emma’s blanket”   .  You can get any name embroidered on it in a color to match the ribbons which are availabe in blue, pink, purple, or brown. This special offer is for either the rectangle blanket or the square blanket.

Once upon a time blanket

My Once Upon a Time Blanket

The Magic Word to get the 15% off is “Rumplestiltskin” (of course) Just write that in the notes to the seller at my Etsy shop for this Item.

Hurry!! This offer only lasts until 8:00PM EST Sunday Sept 30th 2012.

Posted in Etsy | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

My New Mug

 

I joined a mug swap and I got a great new mug.  It looks like a flowerpot and Nicky C says it represents how my crocheting skills have grown, which is fabulous.  I have been learning lots of new skills this year  in crocheting (like how to make twirls, see flower) and some interesting joins.  But I’ve also been learning about how to do computer things like blogging and selling things on Etsy.  And what a learning experience it has been, LOL.  Sometimes I get discouraged because  I still have so much more to learn, but I am having lots of fun.  So thanks for my mug Nicky because whenever I use it I’ll remember I’m still growing and that takes time.

flower

 

 

Posted in Learning | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

What I Did this Week

Baby Frankenstein

Frankenbaby

Ohsoamelia

I made new stuff for my Etsy shop. I made a Frankenstein baby costume/photo prop, Frankenstein hat, and haunted birdhouse. I’ve also made a Mini Mouse hat, booties, and diaper cover but haven’t got it on Etsy yet.

Mini Mouse

I love to make stuff and put it on Etsy but I find the hardest thing to do is to take the photos and crop them etc. and make them look good. It takes more time to do that than to make my products.
What do you find the most difficult about running an online business?

Posted in Crochet, Etsy, Projects | Tagged , , , | 11 Responses

Never Make an Owl your Muse

because evidently all they think about are other owls.  LOL.  Awhle ago I created Ollie and said he was my new muse.  See picture of Ollie in post below.  Since then I have created Hedwig and Pigwidgeon amurigurami (see my etsy shop) and today I posted an Owl Kindle case in my etsy shop and an Owl baby blanket and hat

Owl Blanket and Hat

I’m “owled out” but I’ve gotten several more ideas for owl things.  I think I might have to fire Ollie as my muse.

Do you have a muse and what has he/she inspired you to do?

Posted in Crochet, Designs, Uncategorized | 2 Responses

And Now for Something Completely Different

Project of the Day

So I took a break from crafting and thinking about my business to plant some flowers and play in the dirt.  I think they came out great if I do say so myself.  I normally have a “black thumb”  when it comes to plants but a friend at work told me about container gardening and showed me some of her beautiful plants.  So I bought a magazine , Better Homes and Gardens Container Gardening, and I thought I would try it out.

The total break from crafting in yarn, and the thinking and planning about plants and planters was just the respite I needed.  While I was admiring my work and taking pics I suddenly got a flood of new ideas for my business.

So the MORAL OF THE STORY is : Every now and then do something completely different!

Posted in Life, Projects | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Responses

Excitement!!

My blog and brand are getting an overhaul by a wonderful web designer.  I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.  Stay tuned!!

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My New Muse: Ollie the Owl

This is Ollie.  He’s overseeing my creations.  I thought he was so cute I had to bring him into being.

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Goal Tracker

Goal!

My goal is to be a successful craft and internet entrepreneur and eventually be able to leave my “real job” and work at my ideal job of crafter and internet success.

I read a recent article about one of the ways to achieve your goals is take three to five steps toward it every day and you’ll get there!  Sound simple enough. So I’m going to use this blog to keep track of the steps I’m taking every day toward the above stated goal.  That way I’ll visually see my progress and track my “doing”.

Cause I’m a great planner.  I LOVE to fill out  cute forms with pretty graphics plotting my goals and schedules.   But the doing, ah! there’s the rub.  At the end of a week there’s not so much “doing” going on.

So I’m going to post every day “What I did today toward my goal”  and see how much gets done, and what adjustments need to be made.  Also no

One step at a time

counting just “reading about how to do something”  because that’s my other trick I use to not DO anything.

So the steps I took today were:

1. Figured out how to put Pinterest and Twitter follow buttons on my blog and did it.

2.  Figured out how to get photos from Morgue photo site and put them in picture file on my computer so I can use them in blog posts ans figured out how to put them in the blog post.  (Hey this is big stuff for tech-impaired me. LOL)

Posted in Goal, Learning | Leave a comment
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