Nov 20, 2008

My 7 steps to successful selling online...

First and foremost remember this is just my thoughts, process and opinion. I stand by this post because I have done this for myself and have 120 sales (from January 2008 to date) and 498 hearts all from my Etsy Shop. An official website which has had over $100 in sales within 2 months (from craft show patrons), other offline sales which have totaled over $400, 3 successful craft shows under my belt and orders from people who have heard of my cards by word of mouth.

Becoming a successful seller is not a secret (although sometimes luck and good fortune can help) its tons of hard work. This in short is what I did to get this far:

1. I did tons of research before I made my first card. This was so I knew what I was getting into and the potential of the business/industry I was entering if everything went well.

2. I began crafting and designing my cards. Always using the opinions of friends and family like a focous group when it came to color, wording, design and style. It was important to know why the card worked and didnt work (why they liked it and/or did not like it).

3. Exposure-the first step. The only way to get noticed and seen. I searched for different online selling avenues and found one I felt was best for me and what I wanted to accomplish with this business.

4. Exposure-the next step. I told everyone I knew about my products, friends, family and even some strangers in my area (also known as: promote, promote, promote). I did the adword thingy with google and yahoo. I began blogging as you see and listed my cards on Craigs List, and a few other FREE classified advertising sites. I joined network groups like My Space, Facebook, Ning (there many different groups there to join), Flickr, Indiepublic...basically anywhere they would let me in, I got in. LOL.

5. I never made myself comfortable or satisfied with just a few designs. I kept trying to improve my product (cards/designs), pictures and overall appearance of my online boutique and business. If I felt one card had a good feel with the public, I tried to duplicate it with color, size and a new look and theme. As you would see in my boutiques many of my cards have a similar if not the same layout with different colors and/or embellishments.

6. I try to never be negative, because every pitfall has an up-side somewhere. If I am faced with a lack of sales, I immediately say I have to promote some more. I also use that time to hit the field (friends, family, shows and stores) to show them and remind them , 'Hey I have these great cards...dont you think you need one?' And now with my new boutique and the ability to do newsletters I try to reach old customers. A blog is not too bad either.

7. Finally...I always try to think business and act business. I believe if you think you can, one day you will. So whether its slow times or not I am always on the computer searching for new ways to get seen: New selling ports. Consignment deals. How to get into local stores? Whats new out there? What are people looking for (color, design, themes)? What new type of embellishments can I use? I am always working and thinking of how to get to the next level. I never sit around...

Some people have products/ideas that may out shine yours but if you want it and work hard for it you can have what they have or get to where they are. Nothing just happens overnnight.

Also enjoy what you do, because if you dont no one enjoy it for you!

Nov 16, 2008

Your Neighborhood SUPER HERO...

This web slinging super hero can be found in Handcrafted by LaMar boutique for a limited time.

Spider-man Birthday Wishes

Nov 13, 2008

A Good (crafts) Man is Hard to Find.... part 1

This is more a vent then anything else, but I promise not to drag it along...

I am a 31 year old male who lives with his 2 year old child and mother (the child's mother). I have always had this idea of being rich, but then again I guess we all did when we were kids. Long story short I got into the fashion industry and when I thought I was gonna bust out and take over I was fired...So for a whole year I was unemployed and at that moment decided I will try my hand at running an online business. I found a place where I can sell my hand made cards (, stay home, enjoy my sons growing pains (LOL) and make a little money all at the same time.

Now thing here is that my sons mother knew the plan when I was fired. She knew I was not going to look for a new job so I can try to get this business dream off the ground. With unemployment sending me a small and meaningless check each week, my cards online, I needed very little financially. But as time grew she became more a monster. Complaining all the time that, shes tired and shes this and shes that. Now don't get me wrong I understood because I had a full time job and worked long and hard, but doesn't a man deserve some time too? I mean I have a very energetic 1 and half year old running 'round the house like crazy, bathe him and get him to bed. Why cant I get the night to do my craft?

Well flash forward to present time...
After a year of being home and hearing her nagging in my ear I decided it was time to go back to work. The business didn't take off the way I hoped! So now I am working again which is great because after a 3 month dry spell of no sales money got tight and its hard to fund a business with hopes and dreams. So I got a part-time job which is cool because ultimately it gave me time to still craft and now my son, 2 years old, goes to a Early Head Start Program.

OK so now my days are like;
Wake up 730am get child dressed and out by 8 am.
830 to 1030 am I network, post, adjust, blog and maybe craft a little before leaving for work.
Noon to 4 pm I am at work, networking, researching and blogging.

But all that glitters is far from gold because once again the ugly beast has shown her face.
"O I am so tired." "I feel sick..." "I this..." "I that..." "can you take him?"
All this time I am wondering what about me. I mean yeah you work 9 to 5 and I only 12 to 4 but hey I get tired, I feel sick, I want some peace of mind too, but I put it on the back burner so I can try this business thing and make something better for us in the future.

All I am saying is a MAN is hard to find now a days!
But a GOOD CRAFTSMEN is even harder to find!

Nov 12, 2008

Coffee and Friends, Friends and Coffee

Note card size Friendship card. Coffee and Friends always go good together.

Mini Snow Flake Greeting Card Set

3 great Christmas Mini Cards stamped with From our family to yours...

Friday one day SUPER SALE!!!

This Friday the 14th of November Handcrafted by LaMar wants to bring in the Holidays Early with a one day Super Friday Sale...
Every card in my shop will be on sale...
All Cards go on sale 12 am Friday November 14th for $2.

Yes $2 a card!! (shipping fees still apply).

Holiday Cards $2 with Special Holiday Shipping Fee of 75 cents. (Buy 10 or and get an even sweeter deal)§ion_id=5499905

Holiday Tags $2.75 with Special Holiday Shipping Fee of 75 cents.§ion_id=5499905

Card Sets are 15% off total purchase cost (this includes shipping fee).§ion_id=5283767

Even order a custom designed card and pay $3 only with FREE Shipping.

Please come see what I have for you.

*If there is a card that has already been sold contact me and lets try to get you that card...Plus new designs and cards will be listed by then and that same day... 12 am Friday to 11:59 pm

Bringing in the HOLIDAYS Early is the best way to go!