Revealing the Biz Secrets March 01 2016, 0 Comments

I haven't written a blog post in a long time and I want to get this out before I get too distracted and put it off.  There's a part of me that wants to show other inquisitive crafters how to break out of the booth vending scene and go completely online.  

Every so often I get an email or message from a fellow crafter from the good ole vending days who asks if I would reveal my website "secrets".  I don't really have secrets, but it's hard having thorough conversations about CPC, SEO, Shopify, or the FB Ad Manager with someone who isn't familiar with the terms.  There are so many details and connecting factors, and it's an every day thing.  There's a reason why I mostly use Shopify now and not Etsy (although Etsy still rocks), and there's a reason I do video on both Youtube and Facebook.    

Yeah, I think this is the main problem I'm having with communicating my ideas.  Concepts are so much easier to talk about.  

First of all, I had to leave the craft vending scene COMPLETELY!!  This was actually pretty important.  Things didn't start rolling until I finally made the decision to put away the booth for good.  True, I was barely making enough sales on Etsy to support us at the time, but it was enough if I super-budgeted and worked with what I knew back then.  It wasn't much but it was enough that I could make the leap.  I just couldn't go back to that life, and maybe one day I'll go into why I hated it so much.  Maybe I'll do a video about it actually.  

Okay, so I turned my back on booth life and basically treaded water for a couple months just bobbing along.  But something changed.  Suddenly I had time.  Lots and lots of time to study.  I was single, so there was no overbearing drama provoking boyfriend to distract me.  I didn't have a festival to get ready for.  Just me and my laptop and my family duties as a mom.  So I studied.  I joined a couple of "guru" groups about how to sell online, and although I was skeptical it was actually a smart decision as it open up a whole new world of information I wouldn't have found otherwise.  

However, I didn't stop there.  Youtube is basically a video library with - I mean, I can't even begin to describe the level knowledge I gained from Youtube tutorials.  FREE!!  Free information!!  No groups.  No paid gurus.  But it's a matter of studying and applying.  For example, it took me weeks to figure out how to set up the website.  I had to watch many how-to videos over and over again for weeks until I figured it out.  I STILL have to do this when I run into a situation I can't figure out.   

Yeah, wow, I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about this.  Writing is good.  Writing is very good.

I will say this; online gurus promise a lot of things, and they want to sell you a lot of things, including templates to become "successful" but it's really smoke and mirrors.  Every business is different and "proven" templates for whatever are no guarantee for anything.  In fact, I think they're detrimental to a small business online.  Gurus can point in the right direction, but when it comes down to it, you must figure out all the special nuances that make your craft business stand out - just like we did with our booths at a festival.  The internet is one big festival basically, only in a different dimension.

That's my opinion.  

All right, we've talked enough.  It's been good.  See you again soon.