My Set Up Shop e-course is running again this July, and preparing to run it again got me thinking about my April students.
I’ve been hearing some fantastic success stories from them recently, so over the next few days I’m opening up the floor to let them tell you their stories – starting with where their business was at when they started the course, and detailing how their business has changed thanks to taking the Set Up Shop course.
Today we kick off with a fabulous story from Julie Frahm, who is a veteran glass bead and jewellery maker… but who has only now taken the leap to selling seriously online.
I’ve been making and selling jewellery full time for the past 4 years through various outlets: consignment shops, markets and a little bit of wholesale. I’ve had an Etsy shop for a while now, but I wasn’t focusing much attention there. I honestly found it TOO HARD (photographing, editing, listing etc)! Then, I’d expect instant sales and be disappointed when that didn’t happen.
This year I moved to the country!
So, where I was used to doing regular markets, that side of my business slowed down considerably, and I knew that selling online was the next step I had to take for my business.
But where to start?
I had a Facebook page that I found fun to put up photos of my work. I also had a website but it was terrible! It was something I had written myself, and it didn’t really do anything apart from be a place where people could visit to find out where I sold my work. And I had an empty Etsy shop which I thought of as hard work.
But in the back of my mind I had a feeling that it could work.
It clearly works for many people, it could possibly work for me. I had looked through the Etsy Seller’s Handbook, but found myself getting confused, and unable to determine where to spend my time. What did I need to focus on when there were so many things that could be “tweaked” in your shop?
When I saw Jess’ course being offered, and knowing how successful she is with selling online, I knew I had to sign up and find out her secrets for success!
Honestly, I found the course overwhelming at first, there were so many things to think about!
But… there were also little action steps every day, and prompts for putting some of my thoughts on paper where they could be edited and reviewed.
I spent the month of the course just writing down my ideas, my dreams, where I thought I was going to go with it all. I kind of needed to see the whole course before I felt confident in committing to anything.
I found by the time the course finished I was a lot clearer on my business.
I knew both what I wanted to achieve AND what I needed to do to make that happen.
I used May to put my thoughts into action.
- I redesigned my website, and started work on my core reproducible items.
- I signed up to the various social media options that had been suggested (twitter, instagram, Pinterest).
- I signed up for a MailChimp account.
- I listed 10 products for sale on my website.
I guess I created the framework that I was going to operate within going forward.
By the end of May and I had it all up and running.
Etsy had 14 new product listings, and I re-listed some old ones (with a bit of tweaking). I replicated these efforts on Made-It.
Since then I’ve been a lot more active with my social media, I have gained new fans on Facebook, directed a lot more people to my Etsy store. And had 5 sales there in the first 2 weeks that it’s been properly open.
They are 5 sales I definitely would not have had if I hadn’t put in the work to get things up and running, so I am extremely grateful for all the advice, and the push to get going.
I’m not stopping there, I’m already working on the next series of work that I will upload to Etsy. I am using social media of some description on a daily basis. I’m researching, working out what works for me, and I’m feeling more confident than ever before about the future of my online business.