The Power of Self Talk

We all do it, whether you realize it or not. That voice in your head that either pushes your forward or holds you back.

What is self-talk?

Having positive self talk is essential to your well being and success. Think about the words you’re using in your own head.

Is the system unfair?

Are you getting your share of sales?

Are you grateful for the customers you do have?

Are you excited about the opportunity to grow your business?

It’s such a simple idea it’s easy to overlook and write off. Can you think of a time someone burst your bubble and you felt deflated? Can you think of a time someone encouraged you to keep going despite your own doubts about success?

I bet one felt a lot better. It doesn’t always have to be someone else saying these things. You have your own inner voice and it doesn’t always say things that help. You can change that! I want you to consciously be positive. Praise yourself because you deserve it.

Self -Affirmations

Have we talked about self-affirmations? Probably at some point. Well here it goes again. Look in the mirror, say something positive about yourself and your future.

For example, “I’m a successful Etsy shop owner.”  Don’t say in the future I will be. Say it affirmatively and in the present, “I am”.

Your subconscious only understands the affirmative by the way. So stick the with “I am going to succeed” vs the “I’m not going to fail”. The “not” part is ignored and you’re reinforcing the wrong message.

Does this feel awkward?

Yeah, Gordon thought so too. Think of how many people will give up because it feels uncomfortable at first. Now be one of the few that pushes through and meets success head on. Growth = change = discomfort. Learn to appreciate the discomfort that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and growing.

Free is a Race to Zero

Free is a race to zero. A zero sum game. You can only save as much as you spend then you’re stuck. Growth is unlimited. Creating is the answer. Reducing is the opposite of creating.

A little background, on Episode 22: Greed Part 2 of Etsy Jam, I went on to discuss how free is a big lie. It’s also a race to zero…

The High Cost of Free

The cost of free is typically privacy and time. Kevin recently discovered how much info his Android phone is collecting from him. It not only tracks his every movement on a map, it also lovingly saves voice recordings of everything he says to Google Now.

IBM disabled and banned the use of Apple’s Siri on company issued devices. Siri didn’t meet corporate policy guidelines. It was feared company secrets could be recorded and sent outside of the company. Siri sends audio recordings to an Apple server for processing. Is Apple a good steward of information? Probably. They’re a hardware company and it’s transparent where they get their money. It’s not advertising and data mining.

Time is so undervalued it’s sad. Spend 10 hours to save $20 and you’ve made yourself $2/hr. You’ll have to decide if that’s a good return or not. Your situation will dictate the value of your time. Could you have spent 10 hours on something worth more? Could you have spent 10 hours designing a product that will keep making you money month after month?

Enter Real Life

I’m no saint. I fall into this trap too. Most of it is pride getting in the way. Do I want to pay more than the next guy? Of course not. I want to be the deal king. The question then is what will that title cost me.

We’re always keeping an eye on the budget at Marmalead and it’s tempting to jump through hoops to save money. This is especially when it involves building something ourselves. It’s really tempting to tinker with stuff. When you’re running a business though, it’s really important to spend your time where it’s most valuable.

A Plea For Change

If what you’re working on doesn’t add value to the customer, then it’s probably not worth doing. Even if it saves you money, it has a limit on how much can be saved. Adding customer value is unlimited. There’s no ceiling in sight.

This mentality will change you. Choose the one you want to live because it has far reaching consequences. You must either live in a world of abundance or one of scarcity. They can’t coexist.

Hint: Choose abundance.

Etsy Jam Episode 25: Dalia from Etsy Seller Mastermind

In this episode, we talk with Dalia from The Handmade Mastermind – formerly known as Etsy Seller Mastermind. She covers a TON of great topics like how she handles planning, how she feels about Amazon Handmade, important lessons she’s learned from her previous life in retail, how she uses social media and Periscope – and more!

Meet Dalia

Hey everyone, Dalia here. I’m also actually an Etsy seller. I started selling on Etsy and over time, I felt like I could teach other people to sell as well! I also wanted to help people build a really good business such as what I did. I have two kids, and I do this full time.

How long have you been doing Etsy full time?

A little over two years. I used to work as a full-time retail store manager.

What’s your favorite part about being full time on Etsy?

That I don’t have to work for somebody. I think people might have different reasons but I think I did really well in the outside world. My bosses loved me, I was getting promoted – I was doing well. The issue stands that I have ADD and sometimes it could be difficult for me to finish projects. When I have many things going on in retail management, it was really frustrating and very frustrating for my boss to see that I wasn’t completing things.

So having to do things on my own terms is one of the reasons why I love working for myself. Eventually when you got used to it and realize that it is now your own money in your pocket, you know you gotta shape up and figure out how you focus more. And I have come a long way.

What systems did you find to work well for you?

The biggest thing that I always talked to my group about is planning. So I tend to plan out my whole year (this is intense so when people first begin I tell them to do it a bit less). I talk about big goals I want to accomplish and then I break them down into smaller tasks. Because what I find is that I have this huge project that is so hard to attack and I get frustrated because I don’t know where to start. By breaking it down to smaller tasks, you can then refocus and go back to your list. If I’m not in the mood to do one of those things, I move on to the next. Planning has been one of the biggest things I have done to help me with that.

I always tell people that sometimes you completely feel like a big flop. You don’t want to do anything no matter what is on that list. What I then do is go to my no-brainer list. These are simple things like restocking envelopes. If I don’t feel like doing work, I still find myself productive by doing something that I can never find time to do because it’s not as important.

What are the top challenges you have in your business right now?

I find that one of my biggest challenges is time. I wish I had more of it. It’s not because I don’t get a lot done (I do) but because my goal list is so awesome I wanna do it all tomorrow! I want to finish it all tomorrow! However because time does not allow it; I find myself upset and frustrated.

But some things do need time. SEO, retaking photos, etc.. it takes time. If you understand the importance of it, you know it will take a lot of time. So that’s one of the challenges I have.

Another one is that I handle my ecommerce business as well as the coaching. Some days, one takes a lot more time than the other and a big challenge for me is how do I give enough time to both so they both can grow on a good path. Right now, I’m heavily focusing on certain big projects for The Handmade Mastermind and that’s great but then my Etsy and Amazon shops take a little backseat. It does fine on autopilot but there’s no staggering growth that’s happening.

What’s your quick feedback on Amazon Handmade

I love it! My feedback on it is that it’s doing fantastic for me. I tell people that if they are able to sell on there, why not. I was able to more than double my revenue because of Amazon. So I think to myself what people are missing because they’re so scared of a few things.

What are the big differences between Amazon and Etsy?

The differences I see across platforms is people that shop for wedding, baby items etc.. are of course gonna go straight to Etsy. People in those markets might find that they do better on Etsy than Amazon.

If you sell something that is better for the older customers and more professional ones, you might find that Amazon might be better for you. I rarely get the older customers on Etsy. Usually it’s in the range of 25 – 40 year olds for me.

The biggest things that helped you get sales online

The biggest thing that helped me sell online is customer service. Customer service is one of those things that can and will set you apart from your competition. I’ve taken that so much from the places I’ve worked at. Treat your customer with respect and treat them like they are your first customers.

I’ve learned how to build relationships from the places I’ve worked before. I took that with me and applied it online. I know I’m always behind the scenes and my customers can’t see me but I make sure they could always feel my customer service.

What are the most common things that you find people doing that you correct when you’re helping them with shop critiques?

The most common things I’ve seen are SEO, photos, and descriptions.

SEO – It’s a very popular topic. It’s unfortunate that they don’t know that their SEO is bad or not as great as it can be. When somebody just genuinely wants to find something, they are going to search for it and hopefully they run into your product and hopefully they purchase it because then you’ve converted them. That is why you take SEO very seriously.

Photos – People are having trouble with lighting often. They buy those light boxes but they are still having trouble with exposure. I tell people to not underestimate a good photo editing program. You don’t have to invest a lot of money in these type of things. Photoshop Elements for example. It is decently priced in my opinion but of course there are other free platforms that you can use to help you edit photos.

Descriptions – Describe your item, make it enticing, and connect with your target customer. What you want to do is you wanna tap into their reason of why they are buying it and use it in that description. The next thing you want to also be careful with your descriptions is formatting. People are on their mobile; people are on a hurry nowadays so format your descriptions so people could see what the listing includes, the features, and what’s important to the customer. Formatting is a very big deal as well.

Those are couple of tips to help people out because sometimes they don’t know the importance of it.

What are your experiences with Periscope?

I still use Periscope but I use it as a platform for my coaching business only. I’ve used it and it was really great. I’ve actually gained a lot of members this way. They found me through Periscope – I don’t exactly know how but I use it because I enjoy talking to people. I enjoy sharing my knowledge; it was simple as that. When I first started, I did it twice a day. I just love sharing my knowledge and what I love mostly was that people got value out of my knowledge and I kept doing it.

What are your thoughts on “Sales fix everything”? Do you agree on that?

Sales are not always king if you’re not making good profit. If you have a good profit margin, then sales are important. But what I learned in my retail position is that customers are always first, and then sales.

In this episode, we talk with Dalia from The Handmade Mastermind - formerly known as Etsy Seller Mastermind. She covers a TON of great topics like how she handles planning, how she feels about Amazon Handmade, important lessons she's learned from her previous life in retail, how she uses social media and Periscope - and more!

Etsy Jam Episode 24: Phil from Shoplo

In this episode, we talk with Phil from Shoplo about promotion and content marketing. Phil discusses a lot of great topics from growing a fan base to maintaining your brand image, using social media and more!

Phil has written a guest post for our blog, if you guys haven’t checked that out yet, you can read his post here: 11 Etsy Mistakes You’re Probably Making. We’ll wait for you to come back. ?

A little bit of background about Phil

In Australia I had a small operation on Etsy making and selling little pieces of jewelry from recycled tools. Spanners, and other hand tools reshaped and remodeled into jewelry mostly for men. Then, I met my girlfriend and decided to move overseas to Poland.

I got in contact with an e-commerce brand called Shoplo and they are quite big and very well known here. Their goal is that they wanted to spread worldwide and part of going global is to get outside of Poland. To do that, they needed a native speaker.

I had some history with Etsy, I had some history in e-commerce and quite a bit of history in writing as well. I guess it was a natural match! I was lucky to find them by the time when they needed someone to do what I do. Since then, I’ve been with Shoplo for about 6 months now and I’m learning a lot everyday!

What tips do you have for Etsy sellers in growing their own fan base?

A good place to find people to join that are interested in your brand are also the kind of people that have a problem to solve. When you’re looking to grow, it’s very very easy to reach towards social media to try and find more people. But remember, there are a lot out there too that aren’t on social media.

Not everyone has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account and those kinds of people usually look for quality over quantity. So if you’re putting all your time and effort into promoting yourself and trying to grow on social media, you are missing out on all these people offline.

That said, it’s a good habit to have a routine of actively finding people that have problems that your products can solve. Being creative in ways to grow is essential. Finding forums for certain activities that match your brand is a good one. Another very potent way that we found to organically grow your fan base is to find Facebook Groups. A lot of people do not capitalize or realize the potential of Facebook Groups.

How would you as an Etsy seller figure out what problems your products are solving?

It’s a bit of a cliche but try and approach your product or your brand like you aren’t in control of it. Try and approach it like a customer.

For an Etsy seller, how would you recommend getting started with social media?

In 2016, social media is super important in a brand. But like I said earlier, not everyone is on social media. But for the 99.99% of your customers that are on social media, finding out which medium works best for you is important. To be brutally honest, I’m not a big fan of Twitter. It moves way too fast for me and I often lose track of what’s going on. Facebook on the other hand, I consider myself to be rather in touch with.

The best advice I have for an Etsy seller that is just starting out and wants to have a presence in social media – is to take it slow, don’t be afraid to make mistakes (because you will make them), and do a lot of research as well. Find some quality sources to learn from like Marmalead and the Shoplo Blog.

There are some other great sources too like Social Media Examiner; they have some great information and they cover everything in such minute details. The whole blog is based exactly on that – social media examination.

As well as those other tips, I’d say start off with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are probably the 3 biggest players in marketing. Slowly learn about them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you will make them. But also, don’t be afraid to walk away from something when it’s not working for you.

What’s the best way to identify when a social media platform isn’t working for you?

Social media is great for promoting a campaign. Promoting a give away or a voucher code or anything like that. If you’ve gone to all these hard work of finding X amount of followers on Twitter and no one’s buying into your discount code – that’s a sure sign that it’s not working for you. Walk away from it for a bit. Don’t give up on it completely, don’t throw your arms up and say it’s over. Yes, it’s difficult. Mastering social media is difficult even for Mark Zuckerberg. Give it some time. You cannot be a master of anything overnight. If Facebook is what works for you, then stick with Facebook; but over time, learn more about your weakness.

Brand image in Content Marketing

First thing’s first. Carrying your brand image over is literally an image as well. If you’ve got your Etsy store laid out a certain way, like if you have a certain color or theme running through your store; you want to carry that over to your blog. If your Etsy store has got a nice lavender feel around it, and then if I go to your blog and see that your blog has got an electric blue theme to it; I’d think I am in the wrong place. It’s about physically carrying your image over.

What other ways could Etsy sellers do to learn more about their customer base?

I read really interesting blog posts from Nathan Collier. He explained that there’s no need to waste money on Facebook Ads. Instead, find a Facebook Group where your customers are already hanging out. Personally add them with your personal Facebook profile. Get to know them, find what they are and what they do. That way you can learn who these people are. Everyone faces the same problem but you can learn more about the specific problem they may have.

Like I said, different forums for different problems are incredible. I heard a story a while ago about a guy who makes handmade guitars. He had a problem with his left-handed guitars; he figured it wasn’t as simple as reversing the plan around. But he found a left-handed community and got in contact with other people who make products that are left-hand right-hand bias. He spoke to those people of what problems they have in helping their left-handed market. Through teaming up – not as competitors; but with your products that complement their products – he was able to identify issues.

Tips for starting on Social Media

Don’t forget that every form of social media platform started to engage with people. Social media isn’t an advertising platform. It’s a way to engage with people. If you’ve got a Facebook page that’s just constantly promoting your own page, who’s gonna follow you? No one. If you’ve got a Twitter handle that’s just constantly promoting your own Etsy links, no one’s going to follow you.

I use Buffer to build up Shoplo’s Twitter feed, but then I also use Tweetdeck to find other conversations about people on Etsy. That’s what social media is all about! No one’s going to follow a brand that is just on constant promotion. Keep it 50% promotion and 50% personal engagement. That is a good starting ratio to find what works for you.

Don’t forget to engage and talk to people, and not just promote on social media.

In this episode, we talk with Phil from Shoplo about promotion and content marketing. Phil discusses a lot of great topics from growing a fan base to maintaining your brand image, using social media and more!