I remember my first summer as a handmade seller. I was coming off of the high I experienced during the holiday season, and figured that was how the sales were going to continue from now on. I was doing everything right, my SEO was in order, and this was how things were going to remain.
I was sure of it!
And then crickets. It seemed like overnight, no one was buying anything. I was so depressed and figured it was something I was doing (or not doing!) that was causing the slump in sales.
(It totally wasn’t, but it’s hard to shake that feeling!)
Summer can be an extremely frustrating time for sales as a handmade seller. The weather is great, the kids are out of school, and most people are traveling or exploring their summer bucket lists. Very few people’s minds are actually on buying products, and even worse yet when they do, it’s not a handmade product that they’re after.
So how do you keep motivated during slow sales, when it feels like no one is interested?
Friend, I’ve been there!
You feel like giving up, closing up shop and heading out to join the mass of people enjoying the summer weather. The sales aren’t coming in regularly, and so your motivation withers and dies.
You ask yourself questions like:
“Why should I continue doing this if no one is buying anything” and “What’s the point?”
Sometimes slow sales can be a blessing in disguise. You know all those things that you never have the time to do while you’re so busy filling orders? Now is the perfect time to attack them!
Keep Motivated During Slow Sales
#1. Use Downtime to Spruce Up Your Shop
Having slow sales is not the end of the world. In fact this is a great time to attack those long forgotten tasks on your to-do list. Go into your Etsy store and see what you can do to make it better. Who knows, maybe this will get your listings seen more often in the search results!
All those listings that aren’t performing very well? Now is the time to fix them! Check out your SEO and see if there’s something you could be doing better. It’s a great way to stay motivated during slow sales!
Do you need to change up some keyword phrases?
Maybe it’s time to take some new pictures of your products!
How about editing your descriptions to make them more concise?
Whatever those tasks are that you need to do, this is the perfect opportunity to give them your full attention.
#2. Work on New Product Lines
If you’re like me, then you have about a million product ideas floating through your brain. You want to create so many new things, but you just don’t feel like you have the time. Well friend, now is the time! What better way is there to stay motivated during slow sales than to let your creativity out to play!?
Do some sketches of new ideas you want to create. Check out some new patterns, or browse Pinterest for inspiration. Is there someone you follow who has an awesome new product out? What can you do to make that into something of your own?
All those new awesome products will never see the light of day if you don’t devote some time to creating them. And while sales are slow seems like the best time to work on some of them, doesn’t it?
#3. Connect with Your Audience
When we get so busy filling orders and doing our day-to-day tasks, we often forget that our fans are out there. While sales are slow is a perfect time to post more on social media, or check in with people that you follow.
A better idea would be to combine #2 and this step together and do some audience research.
What do they think of the new fabric that you’re using?
Do they prefer solids or stripes?
What about this color, are you leaning more towards red or yellow?
All of these are great things you can use to connect with your audience and make them feel more part of your process. Plus, it will help keep you motivated during slow sales times. People are buying from you because they want to buy from a real person. What better way to showcase your real person than to take them behind the scenes of your business and include them in the creative process?
Whatever you do to connect with them, take the slow sales slump as a blessing and reach out to your fans. Make some friends and connect with them on a more personal level. You never know what opportunities could come from it!
Another way to stay motivated during slow sales could be to finally buckle down and look for that virtual assistant you know you need to hire! You can get a good working relationship established with her right now so that you’re working like a well oiled machine come the crazy busy holiday rush!
Staying motivated during slow sales is tough, I’m not going to lie.
But if you can take the downtime to work on some other projects that excite you, or get your Etsy shop in the best shape possible, slow sales can really be awesome.
If you want to take your down time to check out virtual assistants, I would love the opportunity to chat with you about your business goals and how I can help crush them for you!
Click here to schedule your free, no obligation, 20 minute video chat with me and we can ttalk and see if we’d be a good fit working together!
Did you know that Pinterest is one the fastest growing social media platforms out there? That's why it's so easy to grow handmade business with Pinterest! It's a fun place to kick back and brainstorm ideas, to get a feel for new products, and trends. There’s tons of helpful articles, recipes, blog topics and so much more! I love getting lost in the images and great ideas that show up there.
Pinterest is classified as a social media platform, but honestly it’s just a visual search engine. It’s like Google with magazine cutouts. The benefits of using Pinterest in your Etsy business cannot be overstated!
The question for handmade sellers though, has always been how to tap into this power for their own business? Well in this article, I’m going to cover six ways Pinterest can grow your handmade business and help you bring more traffic to your shop. So here we go!
Grow a Handmade Business With Pinterest
1. Increased Brand Awareness
As a small business owner you know the struggle all too well of competing with the “big guys”. You say something like “Target” or “JcPenny” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. As a small business owner you don’t have that name recognition for your biz.
While Pinterest isn’t the “be-all/end-all” to get your brand noticed, it can seriously make a dent in that for you. The more you use it, the more the pins start to get out there, and the more eyeballs are on your brand.
2. Additional Traffic to Your Shop
The more you use Pinterest, the more potential you have for additional traffic. This traffic could lead to increased sales, which is kind of the point, right? Everyone on Pinterest is searching for something, and when they find a pin they like, it gets pinned. Then someone else pins that pin, and two more pin it, and on it goes.
Eventually someone will click on that pin because they adore what they see and cannot live without it. (Obviously, because you have the cutest stuff!) If only two or three people out of 100 click through to your shop, and they turn into sales, I’d call that a success!
3. Pinterest Ties in With All Your Social Media
What’s the big deal about this? The big deal is that if someone sees an image that you’ve posted on Instagram and wants to save it for later for reference, Pinterest is a great way to do that! They even have a browser extension that you can install to pin images directly from the webpage that you’re viewing. (Which is super cool!)
This makes it so much easier for people who love your content to click and save to their boards right away. Once they do that, #2 comes into play, and that’s what we want!
4. Staying on Trend is So Easy!
One of the easiest and fastest ways to stay on trend these days is to check out what people on Pinterest are pinning. I love following people that inspire me, and seeing what kinds of things they’re pinning. This gives me a great idea of what kinds of things are trending.
I’ve also found this to be a great way to come up with new product ideas for my own business. I can best serve my audience when I know what it is that they’re looking for, and Pinterest affords me this opportunity.
5. Cross-Promote Your Business Locally
Pinterest Place Pins are a special type of pins that allow certain pins to have metadata included such as location, and phone number. If you do in person sales, or even doing a craft fair or event, these kinds of pins could come in super handy!
Get your pins out there circulating a few weeks before your event, and watch as the traffic to your shop comes in. (It might even be a good way to promote the show or shop for other vendors!)
6. Investing in Pinterest Pays Off Long-Term
Your pins on Pinterest last forever. And as a result of that, your quality content has a longer shelf life than any other social media add or boost. Feeds drive other digital channels, which means recency reigns supreme.
Since discovery and search are what Pinterest is made of, content has evergreen value. So when you create high quality, relevant Pins and optimize your Etsy shop or standalone website, you’ll see results.
Pinterest is Waiting For YOU!
If you're excited to get your handmade business up on Pinterest, but you're overwhelmed with where to start, then you're in luck! I offer Pinterest setup and mangagement to my clients, and they are loving it!
Are you unsure of whether we'd be a good team? Click here to schedule your free, no obligation discovery call with me, and we'll talk about your business goals, and how I can help you crush them using Pinterest!
You're too Busy to Do it All Alone!
Have you thought about all the extra tasks you have to accomplish in a single day while running your handmade biz? Not only do you have to create your products, but you're posting to social media, answering emails, and creating graphics. Not to mention all the things you have to do to keep the small humans alive. (And once in a while seeing the other half...)
When you hire a virtual assistant they are there to help ease some of your day-to-day tasks. You've heard that VA's can be helpful but you're not sure what tasks you can outsource to them. Well below I've given you a few things that you can outsource to your VA and get them off your to-do list!
I hope this list has helped give you some ideas of the tasks you can get rid of! It will free up your time, and save your sanity! Tell me what tasks you might add to this list?
As a handmade seller, you get to do so many different things all at once for your business. Being on social media is no exception. And with the ever changing landscape of social media, (and new platforms cropping up all the time!) it's sometimes hard to avoid the overwhelm and chose the right path for your business.
How do you tell which ones will work best for you? Should you be on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or all of them? You're a small handmade seller! You don't have the time, energy or resources to manage all the things!
Luckily I'm here, your trusty Virtual Assistant, to give you the skinny on what I think are the best platforms to be on for your handmade business! The good news is that you don't have to be on all of them! You can chose one or two to get started and still reach a ton of people. In fact, sometimes you will reach a more focused engaged crowd becasue you're zeroing in on your target market and not spreading yourself too thin.
Keep reading for my top three recommendations!
As handmade sellers, we are very visual creatures. (At least I am!) When we go to look for new ideas, or inspiration for a new product, where's the first place you head? Pinterest!
It's classified as social media, but it's technically a visual search engine. Everyone goes to Pinterest these days (even celebrities!) to look at the pretty pictures and get inspired. Putting your products out on Pinterest is probably the best first step in breaking into the social media realm for your business.
With great images and a great description filled with awesome keywords, your products will be out in the Pinterest world for all to see. The best part? Pins on Pinterest are literally there forever. So if you put a lot of quality images out there, you will see a ton of return on that effort.
*Pro Tip: Get your virtual assistant to start scheduling your pins on Pinterest ahead of time. This is a game changing business hack that will save you literally hundreds of hours a year and still have your marketing strategy going on in the background!
Just like Pinterest, Instagram is a very visual platform. The part I think is great about Instagram that Pinterest doesn't have, is the community. On Instagram you are able to connect with your audience and relate to their lives in a much more personal way than you ever could through your website, shop or search engine.
Studies have shown that a person has to interact with your brand at least seven times before they're ready to make a purchase. Well, what better way to get in front of them than to be on Instagram? (All the cool kids are doing it!) Instagram is a place to build that know, like, and trust factor in a much more laid back way.
Don't go on there to be salesy though! Think about it. When you go check out Instagram, are you there with your wallet open ready to purchase something? (Okay maybe you are, but that's a different subject for a different time...) No, you're there to relax, catch up with your friends, see some silly videos from Ellen, and look at the pretty pictures. Used the right way, Instagram can be a very powerful tool to have in your arsenal as a handmade seller.
With an abundance of programs and apps that allow for scheduling your social media posts, your Virtual Assistant can get a month of posts ready to go in a couple of hours and it will save you so much time that maybe you can spare a few minutes to watch that silly dog video that Ellen just posted...
Facebook is probably the top site in the world right now. Facebook is usually the first place people go to research a company these days. Being on Facebook gives your handmade biz a little more credibility. Added bonus, is the community building that you can do on Instagram can be done here as well.
A lot of your content can be similar on these two platforms, just make sure to format it correctly for the platform that you're on. (Or let your VA do it for you!)
Which platforms are you on for your handmade biz? Are you excited to try any of these three suggestions? Why or why not? Let's talk about it in the comments!
A Quick List of Ideas to Help You Get Started!
So let's say you read this blog post. And then let's imagine that you've decided that hiring a V.A. is right for you and your biz. Go you! You're all fired up, you've made the decision on who to hire, (It wasn't me, but whatever, I'm over it...) and now you sit trying to make a list of what you feel like handing off to her.
The problem is, you can't figure out what to delegate and what to tackle yourself. Some parts of your handmade biz are things you need to be ontop of yourself, such as creating the products you sell, taking photos and being the face of your brand. Other things however can be given to someone else to do. They do need to be done, but not necessarily by you! Below I've collected a list of nine things you can outsource to your VA right away and get back to creating your products!
What Kinds of Tasks Should You Give to Your Virtual Assistant?
This is perhaps the most herculean task that handmade sellers face. You know you should be on social media, but there are so many of them out there, you're not sure where to start focusing your efforts. Beyond that, you're not sure what to even share, let alone how to format and promote it. What are hashtags and why should I use them? How many characters go in a Tweet? Is it even called Tweeting?
In my experience, clients are the most frustrated and fastest to hand off their social media projects to their VA. You and your VA can sit down and brainstorm some topics, and come up with some pictures that will fit into those topics together. Then you can turn it over to your awesome assistant! She will edit the pictures (if needed) write captions, and get the posts scheduled. Viola! You are now free to just respond to the comments and interact with your fans! (AKA the fun part!)
Next to social media, Pinterest is one of the most often handed off tasks to a VA. You know you need to be on Pinterest because your products are awesome (just like the person who made them!) and the world needs to see them. But where do you even start? The energy required to create beautiful images ready for Pinterest, not to mention taking the time to pin 10-12 times a day is just too much! What should you be pinning? Should you be using your own images? What kinds of boards should you be creating? All questions that circle in your mind.
Once again your awesome VA is coming to the rescue! She will go over your current Pinterest account with you (if you haven't set one up yet, you should get started here for free!) and come up with some ideas on what boards would fit best into what you already have going. She will curate the perfect combo of pins and products that fit seamlessly into your brand, but are still a little outside your comfort zone to bring in more customers. Which makes Pinterest more enjoyable for you, because you can now just sit back and relax with your phone and look at all the pretty pictures.
Copywriting (Blog Posts, Emails, etc.)
You are a boss babe when it comes to running your biz. You have definitely got a handle on listing your products on Etsy, Shopify and Handmade at Amazon. You're the shiz when it comes to creating those products, and taking amazing photos. But when it comes to writing blog posts, or emails to customers, you start to stress out.
Your VA can help you write blog posts, format them, get the marketing going out to the various places to promote it. She can write amazing emails announcing your new product launch, or a monthly newsletter detailing your month. This will free you up to do what you love, create your prdocuts!
You've seen all those beautiful images on Pinterest but you're never quite sure how to create them. Or maybe you know how, but can't find the time to get to it. Say you need an image or a quote for social media, but you just can't get the creative juices flowing to come up with one. Maybe you are coming out with a new giveaway or a product launch and you want to showcase this awesomeness to the world. But what to put on the graphic?
Your VA can take this task and work her magic on it. She can make up your graphics in no time, and get them ready to go out into the world. Working with graphic programs and creating simple images is one of the myriad of tasks that she is able to do in a very short time, which will make everyone in your life happier!
Calendar & Scheduling
You have a crazy busy life. You have to run your biz, keep the small humans alive, remember you have a better half that needs to see you every once in a while, volunteer at church, and try to take time for self care. How is one woman supposed to keep everything straight?
Your VA can help take over your scheduling and keeping your calendar up to date. From business apointments, client requests, and the dentist apointment at two tomorrow because they can finally fit you in, your VA can take all of that off your plate. And then you can just show up for things and feel like a badass because you're doing it all!
I hope you have found some good ideas for what tasks you could give to your VA. And if you can't find anything on this list of things that you'd feel comfortable outsourcing to your VA, then talk to her about the areas of your life and your biz that you feel you're struggling with, and she can help suggest some things she can help out with.
It really is just about good communication. If you talk to her and let her know what you expect, you can rest easy knowing that she will get stuff done. And in return you will be less stressed and happier because your time has been freed up. What tasks do you love doing for your biz? Which ones are a huge time suck and you just loathe doing them? Let's talk about them below!