Monday, May 9, 2011

Lean, Mean 'n Green

Nope, folks, these hairy arms are NOT mine, thankfully!  lol!

This is from my sent message to a new friend of mine on facebook that I met on Anne-Marie Faiola's awesome blog.  Her name is Melissa; she's bright, intelligent, verbose, a teacher, scientific.   All the right things.  Hi, Melissa!  

Let's just consider this a bird's eye view into my tangled psyche in the past month or so.     This is what I wrote to Melissa in response to what I've been doing:

Captain's Log: Stardate 2011-04-26
Kelly Ann Taylor April 26 at 11:32pm

Dear Mel....
"To be totally honest, I'm not really sure if I spent the whole week on marketing, or advertising. Probably a little of both.....

Background: So during Christmas I hired an administrative assistant, and right afterwards  sales dropped. I put myself on a spending freeze and stuck to it. I want to keep my assistant, but was worried about payroll money. So I then started promoting things i already had the raw materials for; namely, perfume oils. I have literally hundreds....and just have never gotten around to listing them. Thankfully, my assistant took 3 weeks off to do some spring cleaning and rest, so I was off the hook for payroll during that time....whew!

Then I got desperate, and decided to do something about it. You know the term analysis paralysis, right? =) It's an old friend of I kicked it in gear.

1) I paid for advertising on a design blog with a pretty big following, and outside of the Etsy community. Needed some fresh clean waters...know what i mean? Then I searched for some more blog opportunities. Personally I don't get caught up in all the giveaway stuff; maybe to my own detriment. My target is not unemployed female women looking for freebies all day long. My target is wholesale clients in boutiques so although I think giveaways may be good short term, I don't think I fit into that demographic.

2) In the process of doing a google search on spas/boutiques in order to make a spreadsheet to market directly to them. Thinking about doing a direct email, followed by a phone call, then a friendly visit with samples in hand.

3) Spent considerable time linking items in my shop that could be considered sets. That took awhile...still so much to do!

4) Paid for some online training sessions....if you are interested I can send you links. Also did an online training at Etsy. Daring DIYers by Scoutie Girl.

5) FINALLY signed up for a free version of Am putting together a newsletter 1) for my retail customers and 2) one for my boutique/spa/pharmacy wholesale customers.

6) Paid for another online class for Pitch Marketing...pretty good albeit very simple class....

7) Installed a new app on my Etsy shop.
omg! this is a GREAT app! You have to do it! I have been thinking of a way to "reward" my customers, and to reward my customers for finding me new customers by giving them things to send to their friends that will pay THEM if their friends buy. It's all automated! You can sit there on the Anafore site and see them open their Mail, and then see how they link this online through their social networks. I highly recommend this one. You set the level of compensation that you feel comfortable with...

8) Joined a contest hosted by for Mompreneurs/ Then sent a link to all my friends and asked them to vote for me. It was a good exercise; not really sure it was worthwhile or the very least I got to connect with some of my friends and reignite them with my passion =)

9) Beefed up my Google Places ad with some key words. Added some new photos to my ad. Considered placing a Paid Places Ad and decided against it for the time being.

10) Signed up for a free business listing on

11) talked to a national syndicated magazine about advertising. Saving up my cash for a 3 month ad campaign.

12) Joined Etsy Success team. DanielleXO rocks at the Team Captain.  I just plain like her...ya know?    She always answers my emails and is so helpful, encouraging, kind and just plain down to earth. Right now just being friendly and encouraging people who are complaining about no sales.  I also joined the Kiva16 team which has a similar sort of world view as I have.  Their goal is to help people in underprivileged nations in their startup mode of business.

13) today I elicited the help of a friend who has agreed to hold a marketing class for a group of us locals. Will teach us how to do targeted ads on facebook, then another session to decode Google analytics.

14) I have read, read, read, READ myself blue in the interim times. Some of the techno jargon really kind of eludes me...I try to retweet articles by big wigs who really know what they are talking about if it will help someone.

15) trying to write on my blog more and more...but no real plan on that...just writing about things that inspire me.

16) Utlilizing coupon codes on Etsy to reward my customers. It is SO great to have people come back and back again. I can't tell you how good that feels....I've been on Etsy and just now am experiencing regular albeit sporadic sales after 1 1/2 years of dry bones.

17) I also redesigned my logo....again. One day I would love to hire a professional...

18)  Joined the EtsyLush community website.   

19) Am considering writing or affiliate marketing.   What can I write about?  What can I NOT write about?   Uh. rocket science, seo, website management, you know techie guru sorts of things.   That sort of thing is better left for Geeks-For-Hire; I still cannot operate my 
husbands DirectTV remote control, or figure out how to answer his iPhone.   Yup, #clueless  #not-techcnically-hardwired....but there are LOTS of other things that I CAN write about!  Just not sure how much to write about it all H E R E.  Anyone reading this who is a blogging expert, please feel free to comment!  Thanks!

So now, I am totally out of soapmaking oils, will have to start all over again building inventory. But at least some good things are happening and that will be a good problem to have!  Perfume oils are rocking the sales right now so just goes to show you that whatever you "water" will grow, more or less....=)

A very valuable lesson I learned last week: I accepted a wholesale order through my Etsy shop. Was desperate to generate cash, and then the lady ordered a quantity of 1 of everything!!!! Uh. DON"T do it! I was out of stock in almost everything and had to really scramble to make and get the order filled.....#bummer!

And then....sales have started to flood in again...sign of relief!

You just never know!

Let me know if anything in this has resonated with you! You are a smart lady and I know you have alot going for you!


as for item #16 the coupon codes on Etsy, this weekend I found my coupon on another site for couponing kinds of people.   Amazing!   I guess Etys had linked to them or something.

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