No man is an island. No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others. This saying comes from a sermon by the seventeenth-century English author John Donne. Last week, after reading the Etsy Blog, Making The Most Of Your Online Tribe, I realized just how important it is to have the support and guidance of people around you.
Back in 2011, when I opened my Etsy Shop, Designs by CnC, I mistakenly assumed that I could get away with just making a handful of pretty cards, take some pictures and presto that would be it. The sales would just magically start rolling in. For the first two years, I attempted to run my shop alone without any assistance. After all, it was just my little hobby, right?
With the beginning of the new year 2013, I took a hard look at my Etsy Shop. I came to the realization that I absolutely loved my handmade greeting cards, but absolutely hated my shop. It did not truly reflect my personality and more importantly, I was not really getting any sales. After some soul searching, I realized that I wanted more than just a little hobby. I wanted an actual business of my own. I have always been the quiet shy girl in the back of the room accustomed to doing everything on her own. So, how to turn this situation around? I began really looking around on Etsy. I discovered their many helpful blogs, sellers handbook and most importantly the teams.
The turning point for me was when I discovered the teams. So I reached out and joined the Helping Etsy Artisans Succeed Team. I asked for and received a shop critique. My father always said “Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it”. I received the most brutal, honest and BEST critique ever! Everything was wrong. The photos, descriptions and tags, all of it had to be changed. I attended some local photography workshops to help improve the quality of my photos. To learn how to write better descriptions and tags, I joined additional teams such as the All Handmade By Me and the Etsy Relevancy SEO and StatsTeams. It took several months to implement all of the new changes. Once I had improved my shop, I needed guidance in social media and marketing. In this area I turned to the Craftori Team and The Christmas In July Team.
Last year was the most successful year for my shop. This is due to all of the guidance and support from all of my talented teammates. Through my teams, I have acquired many new friends as well as discovering some totally awesome Etsy Shops!