Marketing My Way: By Jennie, a GLC member since 2016
Having been in business online in one form or another for nearly 20 years, I’ve pretty much run the gamut when it comes to marketing. I’ve seen it all, done it all. It became especially difficult when social media became all the rage. To a private person who’s passion is production, the onslaught of social media was anathema. Traditional means swiftly became “nontraditional”. Respect and honesty took a back seat to mean-spirited competition. Bot hits, cheap products, nasty comments from competitors – suddenly, the Internet was like the wild, wild west modernized. The “information super highway” it had been crumbled. Search engines become nothing but never-ending billboards for big-payers. Words are used as weapons, personal information as a commodity. I couldn’t get comfortable with it at all and found myself struggling – severely.
How do you market when you can’t meet expensive advertising fees? When ranking in organic search becomes next to impossible? When everything online is “pay to play”, but you don’t have the means to pay? When the pressure is on to engage in social networking that can be abusive, over-rated and so saturated you’ll likely never be found?
Do you throw in the towel? Never! You stop following the pack and start blazing a new trail. A favorite quote of mine reads as follows, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead) Give that some thought and you’ll realize it’s very true! The key words are “committed” and “thoughtful”.
While there is no sure-fire approach, nor any guarantees, there is always room for improvement. I’ll share with you some suggestions that work for me in hopes they’ll inspire you. If you have any other suggestions, please do share them in the comments. There’s always room for more ideas, more inspiration.
Be committed to your listings. Describe your items as thoroughly as you can. Use proper punctuation and good English. View your listings as a shopper will. If you’re sloppy in your selling efforts, it shows – and you bring down the other sellers. Reply as quickly as humanely possible when someone makes an inquiry. And never, ever sit on a shipment. Get on it and get it out. Everyone wants their purchases as quickly as possible – I bet you do, too. I know I do! Use the time honored“do unto others” advice. Common sense and common courtesy can go a very long way.
Speaking of shipping – a good practice is to keep shipping prices as low as possible. Recently I wanted to buy my niece some special chocolates for her birthday. I found some on a very well-done web site. The order was for 12 small chocolates. They wanted $14.95 shipping PLUS a $4.00 handling fee. That was more than the chocolates! I removed the item from my cart and vowed never to return. There’s no excuse for such tactics and I doubt I’m the only shopper they lost with that ploy.
I also suggest that if you use the ” calculated shipping cost ” feature, whereby the system calculates and charges shipping cost based on the shopper’s address, you really need to enable the ” Combined Shipping ” option in your “SHOP INFO” tab. It lets the system combine the weights of any and all items your shopper might add to his cart, then charge for just one box. For most items, this will be fine and it really slashes the shipping cost. You can also use free shipping. If the items are small and variations in the shipping cost won’t be much, or if your margins simply allow, try setting your shipping terms to “free”. This is one of the very best ways to encourage sales.
Seth Godin, successful marketer and entrepreneur, says “It’s time to stop confusing social media metrics with true connections.” “Connecting” doesn’t have to mean chatting it up. You can connect through quality listings and exceptional service. Explain how your item will benefit a customer, how it will make them feel. Use clear pictures, fair prices and most important of all, be honest.
A good and fair marketplace like GLC gives sellers a true opportunity to showcase our wares in a clean, wholesome environment . In a cruel and crazy world, this is a refreshing opportunity. Shoppers have plenty of variety and wonderfully unique items to shop for. It’s up to us sellers to give them our best. To turn them into buyers. To “change the world” – the world of shopping.
In my shop, Mayda Mart, I sell paper craft downloads, vintage cartoons and classic movies in the public domain.
The paper crafts are pretty intuitive and consist of printable projects for paper bags, paper boxes, gift cards, money cards, printable certificates, signs and photos. I create those with desktop publishing software. I like to make them as easy as possible but yet good enough for special gifts with a homemade touch.
The movies are my specialty and something I learned to do through the years. I first started in multi-media while taking a 2-year course in web development and enjoyed it so much I continued learning on my own. I find it fun and fascinating, and nothing pleases me more when someone finds an old movie they’d like to view either for the first time, or the hundredth time!
When people think of someone making movies on DVD, the first thought that comes to mind is “pirating”. That is not the case with me. My brother is a HUGE movie fan and has been a collector his entire adult life. He’s 65 now, and has a very vast collection. I’m able to copy a DVD and burn the copies on a machine I invested in called a Pro Duplicator. Nothing is online, there is no risk for a virus or any other nefarious things one can pick up on the Internet. It’s all done wholesome and clean. The movies and cartoons are copied onto professional grade DVDs with the cover art imprinted right onto the disc.
All-in-all, I love creating on the computer. I used to do web design and still am able, but find nurturing my shop and my customers to be far more rewarding and fulfilling. Stop by and take a look around! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Click the link to visit my shop: https://www.greenlifecenter.com/shop-section/mayda-mart