EJR Beads

Author Topic: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc  (Read 13648 times)

JonB

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2014, 02:11:08 PM »
I'm playing devils avocado to a degree here because I haven't advocated big headedness just not be a victim to false modesty.

Let's turn it on its head though.

IF you choose to sell, that is arrogant anyway by this northern euro mindset - how dare we presume anyone would like our work enough to BUY it?

So if you are going as far as to sell, then surely the real falsehood is to pretend you are not chasing sales or only want natural, organic pathways for customers to see your work.

I don't buy it. Sorry.

Selling is fun, enjoy it and embrace it. You'll meet nice peeps and have a laugh

Emma

Ah, Devilled Avocado! My favourite!
I don't think my mind can encompass the phrase, 'selling is fun'. Which is entirely my problem I realise. I shall try my best to move towards embracing it. Somebody buying something of mine would be fun, but the bit that comes before that point is my problem I think.
Yeah, double standard, it's a fair cop.
I need to connect with my inner woman with mad hair and too much eyeliner. . .
Thanks for that, Milly, It was kind of what I was saying I thought. It's the whole 'artist' schtick people want. And why not I guess? As long as I can be my sort of artist I'll go with it.

MelMcG

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2014, 03:27:46 PM »
Awww thanks, Karolina.  :-*

Mel  :)

ejralph

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2014, 04:32:52 PM »
katwise is a US based etsy seller famed for her recycled sweater coats that sell out in seconds
https://www.facebook.com/sweaterkat

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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MelMcG

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2014, 06:25:13 PM »
I hope you're on her payroll for marketing, Emma, because I've just bought her Arm Warmer tutorial.   ::)  They look so cute!!

Mel  ;D

ejralph

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2014, 08:13:08 PM »
Lol - I bought her coat tutorial and I couldn't sew or knit if my life depended on it! I just wanted to see her process and learn a bit more about how she made those fab coats

I find her inspiring though - it gives me warm fuzzies to see someone who is sucessfully living off their craft. Now THAT is a number of facebook likes! lol

Emma

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Bonipie

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2014, 10:32:56 PM »
OK, I went there.  It made me tired just looking at the photos.  What a fun person, or some little old lady that knows a dynamite marketer and some cheap labor.  I definitely would have bought something, but I wear sandals, shorts, and tee shirts every day of the year.  (Ok, in the winter, I wear longer shorts and socks with my sandals and a hoodie a couple of days.)  I have lots of cool stuff that I've never worn, and I just won't be sucked in here.  But, I love love love this-just the energy on the site.  I hope she is a tremendous success because this website is awesome.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Wonderful Yuma, Arizona

Karolina.S

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2014, 07:07:55 AM »
I have seen her coats before and i agree that she got it all, caracter and design.

The human caracter is complex and we all are tinted and coloured by our sorrounding and our history.
It can be false Modesty but it can go much deeper than that.
Principals, culture, confidence and where we are in life in terms of understanding, energy level and time will also play an issue in how we do things.

This topic has taken me step further in that i will try to make more colourful descriptions of my stuff but without words like stunning and beautiful and that is just a matter of original not false modesty :)

Mel and Jon you should feel proud of what you d and Jon when you are selling and there is a crowd at your table selling is fun!
Timrċ in the north of Sweden. Always with my polymer clay eyes open.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77424684@N04/ http://www.facebook.com/Hobbyrian

JonB

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2014, 08:40:05 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement Karolina ;-) This thread has been great for thrashing out various issues and helping me rationalise and clarify my attitude and where it comes from etc. I now need to make sure it's not all talk ;-)
Jon

ejralph

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2014, 08:52:40 AM »
I love Katwise's coats - and I think her personality and "branding" (which doesn't seem forced - just is what it is) is a big part of the appeal.

I am a colour junkie for sure, but I couldn't live in her house. That much colour would be just too over-stimulating for me, I'd never get a good night's sleep!

Mel - I think you are absolutely right - selling is about confidence. And finding that balance to have enough not to look self-deprecating and not too much to appear smarmy

But I do see a HUGE chunk of people who are really anti-selling. Anti-marketing and more ugly still, anti anyone else who chooses to sell or market themselves. Over the top anti them - to the point of nastiness.

And I think so often it is because it highlights their own lack of self confidence.

This is why people under price themselves too and  will give their work away for peanuts rather than have the self belief to charge what it is worth.

Karolina - good luck with your book plans and if people think you are arrogant or wrong for wanting to write a book, well who cares? That says more about them than you!

One advice I would give you - (if you are looking for a mainstream publisher rather than self-publishing )just work on a really good proposal, don't write the actual book itself until you have a publisher lined up. Because every publisher has their own way of working and it helps to know what format and style they want before you start writing for them.

As for not using the words Beautiful or Stunning - well, don't. Don't do anything you aren't comfortable with - but if you DO feel the colours you used in a particular bead or jewellery are beautiful, isn't it more honest to say that than to avoid it?

My point really is not to use this word, or that word. My point is to be positive and enthusiastic about our work when we try to sell it. And to realise that HOW it is made is usually of VERY little interest to the buyer. We need to find something else to say about it - and try to see what benefit it will be to the customer to buy it.

I remember being at a craft fair, very nearly buying an expensive handmade leather bag. The lady who made them came up and started explaining the process to me IN DETAIL. And to be honest, this cost her the sale because suddenly the magic of the piece was gone. I realised that the bag was no longer pulling me on an emotional level. She had killed that with her over-explaining. Maybe had she been a more "cheesy" saleswoman and stuck to getting me to hold the bag, to try it on. Telling me it suited me and all that nonsense, she would have got a sale that day. As smart as I am - my heart makes purchases like that, not my head and I think many people are wired the same way. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not.

Jon - you have an advantage being a man in some ways. It gives you a unique edge in the bead world because there are so few male bead artists out there. You don't need to channel your inner mad-lady, channel your inner arty-farty sandal-wearing bead loving male side!!

Plus women love to buy from men ;-P  I used to do a lot of craft fairs when I was younger - selling my jewellery. Often me and my BF at the time would be joined by a couple we were friends with. Each time me and my girlfriend toddled outside for a smoke, we'd leave the boys in charge of the stall and come back to find it flocked with ladies getting their purses out. The longer our fag breaks were, the more they'd sell  ;)

Emma
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Karolina.S

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2014, 10:36:45 AM »
Emma thank´s! You are the Yoda of the Polyclay forum you know ;)
I don´t mind the looks they give me about the book, my friends don´t do that but i just went from cleaning one supermarket  15h / week to another 7h / week and at the old one they asked what i would do with my time and i said write a book and the looks i got was like "YOU! a cleaning lady!" They just don´t know me :) I actually clean becuase i like it, to me it is creative and fullfilling. I do it well and i make people feel good, i give them calm and they don´t even know that i did that for them. I could do other things but this is the best job for me besides my craft that is.

About the publishers-Really ? I thought to write the book first and then see if anybody would want to publish it and if not to publish it myself.

That makes me a little nervous :/ , when i contact magasines here in Sweden they just don´t answer me att all, would a publisher give me the time of day then? :o :0

« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 10:38:34 AM by Karolina.S »
Timrċ in the north of Sweden. Always with my polymer clay eyes open.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77424684@N04/ http://www.facebook.com/Hobbyrian

Karolina.S

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2014, 10:39:13 AM »
Swedes are boring :o
Timrċ in the north of Sweden. Always with my polymer clay eyes open.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77424684@N04/ http://www.facebook.com/Hobbyrian

JonB

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2014, 12:20:50 PM »
Publishers would want an overview of the book. You would need to work out something more like a presentation, they need to be convinced that there is an audience for the book, that you have the 'authority' to write the book, and enough of the writing to show that you can string words together convincingly. You are selling yourself as much as the writing. By all means write it all, you need to get it all down to see it clearly sometimes, even if you discard most of it in the end. If you can show that you know how a book is put together they will take you more seriously. Find out how a professional would present a book concept. It may be worth talking to a reputable agent also.
My stuff is in a different field of publishing but the same general rules apply.
Hope this helps,
Jon

ejralph

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2014, 04:42:05 PM »
Exactly what Jon said - great advice. Although in the craft industry, we don't tend to use agents, just deal with the publishers direct

When I wrote my book, I originally wanted to write a book on polymer clay beads and jewellery. So I sent a proposal to a publisher I thought would be a good fit, and covered all the stuff like Jon said with a couple of sample chapters.

They liked the proposal and called me in for a meeting - but didn't feel the market would support a bead/jewellery specific book. Instead they asked if I would write a polymer clay book for an existing craft series that they published. Which is what I did

But the craft series had a certain feel to it - so we had to design projects that fitted with that. It was very different from the book i would have written.

And it was a really fun project to do - I learned so much from working with them and got to spread the word of polymer clay a little, even if it wasn't my first love of beads.

Ironically, a couple of years later, a different publisher came and asked me to write a book specifically about polymer clay beads - with a real blank canvas, I could do what I wanted. I turned them down as I was busy doing other things at that point and my writing plans for the future were all focused on self-publish anyway. I am glad I did turn them down as they instead got Carol Blackburn to write it- and her Polymer Clay Beads book was born. Which was a much better book that I would have written, I am sure!

But until you have a publisher interested, you won't know exactly what they are looking for and you might find you'd have to change and alter a lot.

So writing a good proposal is a great first step. If they are interested, they WILL answer you. They are in the business of publishing great books. Your job is to show them you can write a great book and that you have the organisation skills to do it.

so, you need to show them all the things Jon mentioned. Include your craft CV / Biography. Also, let them know if you would be able to supply print-ready photography or if they would have to do that side of things. It is also a good idea to let them know if you are ready to start writing straight away and how long you would envisage it taking you to complete.

For both the books I wrote for New Holland, we used their photographer. This involved several days of photoshoots at my house, with me contorted into agonising positions wrapped around a tripod as we tried to get my hands in the right place!

Also, because all the projects have extra steps, you have to make props for each step - it would take to long to physically DO the project and have the photographer hang around waiting to photograph each step.

So as you can imagine - that is a LOT of clay work to get ready, as well as writing the book text itself - in my case all in a 3 month deadline!

You can also mention in your proposal that you are only contacting that particular publisher and that you would appreciate a response in say, 3 weeks, so that you can pursue other avenues if they are not interested. Although from what you have said of the Swedish mindset, that might just antagonise them!


Again though - the book proposal is another facet of this same conversation. It is selling yourself and your skills.

I would mention that you can also write the book in English - this will let them know they wouldn't need to translate it at their cost.

Just think of it all like a business- they want to make money from you, so show them how they can. To be honest, I've never really met a craft publisher or editor who has a passion for what they are publishing. Most of them wouldn't know one end of a paintbrush from the other.

They need to SELL your book before they will even decide to publish it. Which means taking your proposal and possibly a mock-up of the potential cover to book fairs and distributors around the globe.

All they care is that you can deliver the goods and that it will sell - so it is your job to show them it will

Again - confidence and marketing!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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MelMcG

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2014, 05:31:50 PM »

For both the books I wrote for New Holland, we used their photographer. This involved several days of photoshoots at my house, with me contorted into agonising positions wrapped around a tripod as we tried to get my hands in the right place!


Emma, your hands and nails looked lovely, so all that contorting was worth it!!

Mel  :)

ejralph

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Re: Selling on Etsy, Facebook etc
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2014, 06:38:56 PM »

For both the books I wrote for New Holland, we used their photographer. This involved several days of photoshoots at my house, with me contorted into agonising positions wrapped around a tripod as we tried to get my hands in the right place!


Emma, your hands and nails looked lovely, so all that contorting was worth it!!

Mel  :)

ROFL - you've no idea how much work it took to make it look that way.

Aside from the fact that you're having to wash your hands every two seconds, then apply hand cream so they don't look like wizened old prunes. Plus the camera would pick up the slightest tension and augment it, so unless your hands are really really relaxed, they would just look odd.

I learned A LOT from doing those photoshoots though, all of which was so useful when it came to doing my Illuminare e-book.

Also now, I cannot flick through any craft project without a silent commentary going through my head of "oh look at her nails" "oh that hand position looks natural - NOT!" and so on... I see why supermodels are such bitches now. It's the camera - turns everyone into an insufferable diva!

Emma



 
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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