Perking for the Holidays Redeux

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I wrote a number of articles about Boot Camper Days for Handmade Spark

I have included them as love notes for you in this post. Please be aware, all links will take you to the 2010 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camper pages and some of the products photos no longer link to viable shops.

Here’s the link to the 2012 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp. I encourage you to drop by and sign up the newsletter so you will email receive announcements. (Stefanie Gamble says: all you need to do is sign up for Etsy’s Newsletters (scroll down on the left hand side to see SIGN UP FOR OTHER NEWSLETTERS) , and you’ll soon start to receive all of your instructions week by week for this year’s holiday boot camp. with more materials than ever to help get your shop prepped for the holidays, you’re sure to have the best selling season ever!)

In the meanwhile, you may pick up a tip or two before signing up for the 2013 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp HERE. Good Luck to all Campers!

Week 1: Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp: Have you joined?

I subscribe to the Etsy Newsletter, and last week’s was particularly timely. I’ve been thinking about gearing up for Holiday Sales. For the first time ever, Etsy is offering a boot camp to help shops increase holiday sales! I immediately joined because I need a way to stay on track and the words ‘boot camp’ send a clear message to me.

What appeals to me about the boot camp is:

1. I love the word ‘SUCCESS’

2. There will be a weekly update with a checklist of goals.

Here’s the list for week #1

√ Take the Holiday Boot Camp Pledge

√Vote for the Boot Camp Mascot

√Install Web Analytics

√Write a Holiday Mission Statement

√Post in the Boot Camp Etsy Forum Thread

√Join the Boot Camp on Facebook

Etsy provides links to each task on the list above. I found writing the Holiday Mission Statement to be a really good exercise for getting my goals and strategies pinned down. Writing things down also helped me to realize that I need to find answers to some questions:

  • Was I offering ‘holiday’ gift wrap, what was it going to look like and would it increase my costs?
  • Was I offering special ‘holiday’ pricing?
  • What are the sales goals?
  • How much product did I need to create and package up to be ready?

I’m going to report back my progress and invite you to visit Etsy’s Boot Camp if you are interested in joining and sharing how the boot camp experience is working for you too.

Have you joined Etsy’s Boot Camp? Please leave your comments below.

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp: Week 2 Progress

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How are you doing with the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp? I was pretty successful with accomplishing last week’s Check List, but this week has been a little more of a challenge.

Here’s my progress on week 2’s list:

1. Read this week’s Boot Camp article √

The article asks us to really think about and try to define our product target audience. While we might think “the world could use what I create,” we need to narrow the field by a considerable margin.

2. Make a list of your most popular items  √

I went to my Etsy shop. Luckily, I discovered I needed to relist several items because they had either expired or would expire BEFORE Holiday Sales begin, so this turned out to be a really good exercise for me. I looked at each ‘hearted’ item to determine which two were the best sellers. Then on paper I identified two audiences I planned to target for the holidays.

3. Brain Storm new work you’ll offer this season

I’ve not been very successful with brainstorming new product. I posted a query for ideas on Facebook and received a really good one so I am working on creating something—TBA.

4. Find Your Boot Camp Buddy  √

I’ve asked two different people to be my Boot Camp Buddy by sending my request through an Etsy Convo, posting it on the Facebook Boot Camp Event page and by sending a message through one shop’s Facebook page. I now have a Boot Camp Buddy and we are busy exchanging ideas for ways to support one another through the Boot Camp and for holiday cross-promotion of each other’s Etsy shops.

5. Post in the Boot Camp forum thread  √

I am finding out that this is such an important component because you can see what other Boot Campers are saying.
FYI: I started out writing my Mission Statement by Google searching quotes from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and also I found reading the Mission Statement of other shops really worthwhile in helping me design my own.

Now tell us, how’s your progress and what are you learning?

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp: Week 3 Progress

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This week my ‘day job’ had priority so Boot Camp has been on the back burner, which is a little nerve wracking because I DO NOT fancy falling behind.

Reporting progress on week 2’s list:

• Brain Storm new work you’ll offer this season: I think I’ve decided on the new product. A key bob charm made with 1” red hearts ‘customized’ with an initial. I’m trying to figure out how to price this product to generate sales. I’m thinking of ‘listing’ the heart key bob charm as an ‘incentive’ purchase only available at a special price when one buys one of the other hearts in my shop.

• Find your Boot Camp Buddy: My Boot Camp Buddy is Mary of Our first ‘buddy’ action was to add a link to each other’s Etsy Shop suggesting pairing our products to create a ‘WONDERFUL and WEARABLE WINTER WARM Christmas.’ Mary lives in Georgia and creates the most adorable crocheted bears and other lovely wearables.

Week 3’s list:

1. Read this article talking about ‘customizing’ products and also offering the “right product this holiday season.” Turns out that offering a ‘customized’ or ‘personalized’ gift can find a good holiday sales market and adding ‘customized’ or ‘personalized’ to tags and listing description may also be helpful.

2. Fill in the Blank Exercise Whatever we’ve been putting off, now needs ACTION. Here’s the short list, because the long one is l-o-n-g!

• Complete 100 shag back giveaways for a local Holiday Bazaar  √
• Cut ribbon  √
• Replenish and pack Bazaar supply box  √
• Order biz cards  √

3. Six Success Secrets Exercise Did you know that when you ‘focus’ on what you want, your brain actually makes special pathways through which energy can travel to reach the target? This article (from Etsy’s The Storque blog) is worth the read.

4. Check in with your Boot Camp Buddy Mary and I plan to check in with each other weekly offering support and encouragement. We could bounce an idea or two off each other too.

5. Get a head Start on Your Holiday Stock For me this means prepackaging as much product as possible.

6. Post in the Boot Camp Forum Thread I’ve posted, but I wonder if Mary has? Better remind her.

How’s your Boot Camp list of action points progressing?

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp Week #4

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I spent about 4 hours completing this week’s Boot Camp list. FYI: Pretty much my husband is becoming rather annoyed with me because I’m ALWAYS in the “middle of something here” when he wants me to give him a hug or a kiss. Where is that glass heart?!

√ Read this week’s Boot Camp article—You won’t want to miss it!

√Etsy Success Key Word Article-OMGosh! Did I have a lot to F-I-X! I must admit that I HAD to print hard copy—If I promise to recycle: forgive me trees!—to really follow what I wanted to do. I have a hard time flipping back and forth between internet ‘windows’ and then REMEMBERING what I’m suppose to do next, so a hard copy provides me the ability to revisit, highlight and save it in a file for future reference.

√Update your profile—luckily I had updated my profile about a month ago, but I still tweaked it after reading the above articles. Will I EVER get this perfect?

√Check in with your Boot Camp Buddy-Mary and I are doing a G-R-E-A-T job of staying connected. I sent her an email and asked her to read the changes I made in the profile and give me some feedback when she has the time. I’ll do the same for her when she’s ready.

√Post in the Boot Camp Forum Thread-I did, and I opened myself up for feedback on the profile changes there too. I’m wearing my super duper celestial vest to armor myself. I used it when going to radiation…I figure it’s pretty durable! I did point out in my post that I thought by the time we all finish up with this Boot Camp we should qualify to become members of the PREMIER ETSY SELLERS CLUB! And that’s exactly what we all HOPE for!

√Extra Credit Writing-Copy Blogger This is a terrific article full of great tips and tools. I loved it because most of what Logan Zanelli’s article talks about is exactly the way I write, so I felt reinforced!

Here’s the response I posted on his page and in the Etsy forum thread:
“Mr. Zanelli, As an Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp participant, this week’s extra credit assignment was to read your article, and I am delighted to say you have greatly reinforced my blog writing style. Fortunately I use language well, and I was trained as a performing artist, so ‘my voice’ is sensibly modulated. I want you to know that you have encouraged me to continue with my own verve and vigor blogging and article writing submissions, many of which I believe have begun to create a buzz about my little Hide a Heart biz. Thank you very much.”

Week #5 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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For one reason or another I did not receive the Newsletter last Thursday, so I contacted Danielle through an Etsy convo, and she sent me the link. I also ‘re-signed up’ to receive the Newsletter and expect it will now arrive on time.

The run down from last week:

√Check out the 7 Lessons of Adam Braun

My answers to Adam’s list:
1. If living on Mars for the past year counts, I’m definitely ‘out of my comfort zone’ and creating an adventure about which I am wildly in love to feed the fire of my passions!
2. I do my best work when I ‘embrace the late sleepless nights.’ The menial task of cleaning toilets allows my mind to wander in right-brain paradise
3. For me, ‘speaking in the language of the individual you want to become’ means walking my talk
4. Here’s my mantra: See it! Do it! Live it!
5. My values have always ‘defined’ my decisions because I so clearly believe in the POWER OF ONE, made clear to me through one of my favorite quotes, “ If not now, when? If not here, where? If not you, who?”—Teddy Roosevelt
6. As a young child I was a severe asthmatic, but my heart knew I was a singer. Two things helped me achieve the unreasonable: 1. My parents moved me to dryer climates hoping I would out grow the asthma; 2. Bloody single-mindedness
7. ‘Idealism’ is my middle name spelled ‘Can-do’. It’s a throwback to my childhood favorite recorded story: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

√Read Etsy’s Guide to Photography—I am ‘hopeless’ at photography. So much so that I hired a professional photographer, Brooke Fuller to shoot photos for my shop. Brooke lives on the other side of the country, but I was desperate for good photos so the shipping was worth it to me. However, Boot Camp #5 has made it abundantly clear that I MUST LEARN TO TAKE GOOD PRODUCT PHOTOS! There just isn’t any way around it and luckily Boot Camp #5 offers photography tips galore. Handmade Spark has an entire photography series here.

√Shoot Photos of Your New Work—I bought a prop, and I used natural light, white and applied ‘The Rule of Thirds’. The batteries needed recharging, so I had to wait several hours before I got a peek at the shots. My thoughts: I’ve still got some more work to do. Your thoughts, but  p-l-e-a-s-e— Be gentle.

√Check in with Your Boot Camp Buddy—My Boot Camp Buddy was way out ahead of me on every Boot Camp assignment this week! To see her success with new product photos visit her blog and while you are visiting, consider following her blog and making a comment.

√Post in the Boot Camp Thread—Whew!

I only  just completed this week’s progress and it’s Thursday…new Boot Camp assignment arrives today! Ready! Set! Go!

Week #6 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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“Ah Ha—Piece of Cake!” was my first thought upon seeing only 3 things listed on the Check List sidebar of the Esty Success Holiday Boot Camp Week #6 Newsletter so I put it on the ‘back burner’ and decided to write a couple of blog posts, spent time on FB LinkLoving, reached out to  fellow Etsian romancingtheveil to brainstorm cross-promotion which led me to Etsy Forums on cross-promotion where I clicked on a conversation that led me to ‘blog hopping’ upon which I spent about two DAYS making comments on the ‘hopper’s’ blogs…OMGosh! Google crawlers were well-fed last week.

Suddenly, it was Thursday morning and I decided it was time to ‘delve in’ to Boot Camp #6…not so ‘piece of cake’ after all.

√Revisit your prices—I spent time going back and forth and forth and back and FINALLY settled on putting into good use applying the Chris Parry program I purchased months ago to help me determinepricing.

√Check out the reading list—This is where the cake turned into rubber upon which I began to chew, and chew and chew!

If you blog, you will relate to this article and feel relieved to know you have been suffering INVISIBLE CONTENT SYNDROME.  While having a ‘syndrome’ isn’t exactly preferable, it’s at least suffered ‘in good company’.

The fine points of Customer Service–In high school I worked in a little Chinese restaurant that was mostly takeout but also had 4 tables…one of which was set up for 6 people. As you know most Chinese food is ordered ‘family style’ which means TONS of dishes (this was BEFORE machine dish washers) and lots of rice dropped on the floor, spilled water spewed across tables then dripped to make slippery floors…not to mention mixed up take-home orders with customers demanding correction or calling with some ‘not so pleasant’ things to say.

Needless to say, I learned ‘customer service’ was pretty much based on smiling, agreement to complaint and asking “how can I make this better for you?”

Holiday Trends—Retro is REAL, and LOVE fits right in—thank goodness! Trends

Treasury Anyone? Here’s a way to help yourself while helping others. Thing is, I find creating treasuries ‘labor intensive’. I was finally successful and made a treasury! FYI: I put this treasury together 3 times before it actually ‘saved as created’! On the third go, I began ‘favoriting’ each shop and item as I added it! If that tactic hadn’t worked, my next plan was to begin copy/printing a link to each shop item on a word doc. for reference. There has to be an EASIER way!  If anyone has some good tips for cutting down on the time to create treasuries, I’m all ears!

Values revisited. Two of my favorite  inspiring guidelines by Kahlil Gibran

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

“Work is love made visible.”

Then there’s always my fall back to childhood: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD—I know I can!

√Check in with your Boot Camp buddy—Mary and I have affirmed our ‘buddy-ship’ well beyond Boot Camp!

Week #7 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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Whoa! I thought Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp #5 was a challenge.  Boy did I have an Oprah ‘Ah Ha’… well, more like a ‘Uh Oh’ moment this week!

It cannot be said too often, “One must engage one’s buyers!” But what DOES that mean? I know when I’m working craft fairs it means I must GET OUT OF THE BOOTH! Turns out that just like when making soup, less salt, in the long run, turns out to be more or less just about right! And one more little homily: You get out of the soup what you put into it!

Check list

Read this week’s blog post–Part Three of a (3 part series) by Sister Diane: Holiday Season Marketing How to Engage Your Buyers and Quick! The Holidays are Coming and I have to Start Marketing Online! and finally, Crafting Your Online Presence

After reading it crossed my mind that making sure my posts offer holiday survival tips, a quick holiday recipe or some other remedy takes some thoughtful crafting but turns out to be essential to avoid being LOST IN HOLIDAY OVER-LOAD SPACE. I did pick up a helpful tip from the WEO (Women Entrepreneur’s of Oregon) meeting last evening: Facebook is a casual kind of friendly post environment while Twitter is more of a quick acronym short-spell layden site. (I may need to hire a teenager with texting skills to help me with tweeting code.)

Develop a marketing plan—there are 3 Worksheets. For one reason or another, I could NOT download the PDF versions, but luckily Etsy listens!  April quickly emailed copies of each when I posted I was having trouble.

Some years ago when I applied for non-profit status while serving as Executive Director of PARENT LINE INC. I found it necessary to create a business plan.  That experience proved invaluable when deciding to launch HAH.  HOWEVER, the worksheets in this assignment turned out to be very different from what I had drafted for Parent Line Inc. making this exercise both ENLIGHTENING and valuable. I wrote my answers to the worksheet questions in RED for quick reference which turned out to be very helpful.

Worksheet #1: The first two questions require one ‘self-describe’. I decided to seek input so I posted the questions on my FB page, and then followed up by sending an email query to friends.  When I got to question # 8 asking me to describe my perfect work day, the answer was a little OVER THE TOP! Does a12.5 hr workday seem too long? But then you may recall one is to ‘embrace’ the sleepless nights.

Worksheet #2: Based on my description of my ‘perfect work day’ I noticed the last answer I listed in question #7 was STAY WELL!

Worksheet #3: Of the 24 things listed as ways for customers to get to know you, I could check off 17 already part of my routine and I added 4 more, so I was feeling pretty good until I answered question #2.

OK! OK! So I learned something REALLY big by doing the worksheets during Boot Camp. I spend WAAAAAY too much time promoting and WAAAAAY to little time selling HAH! Gotta reverse that trend or I’m S-U-N-K!  However, there is a school of thought, mine in particular and in which I take some comfort and justify that  one must plant seeds, water and fertilize to grow something BEAUTIFUL. Still, it became clear that I needed a: New program: Dedicate only 30 minutes a day to: LL, blog post and FB! Withdrawal forthcoming!

Reach out to a blogger—My Boot Camp Buddy Mary, who was suffering from a real doozy of a head cold this week, was a little hesitant about this action point. Me? Well, since I have a LARGE case of Rhino-principal about which I wax eloquently and long in the blog, and since my friends also use terms to describe me like “spunky”,  “probing” and “tenacious” you can guess that it wasn’t too big a stretch for me to ‘reach out and touch someone’ !

I Google Searched TOP SHOPPING BLOGS and scrolled down the list to find UncommonGoods I read everything on the blog. It is WONDERFUL and I spent a fair amount of time voting for some really important causes. I also posted a comment about how much I appreciated the good works this blog features. I received a very timely and appreciative response to my comment. I went to Uncommon Goods Facebook page which I ‘liked’ also reading a number of posts. However, this is NOT the kind of blog offering ‘product review’, which was the homework assignment.

I then Google Searched TOP GIFT PRODUCT REVIEW BLOGS and found myself posting a comment on a blog. However, looking further I discovered I would be required to set up a $500.00 account out of which I would pay a ‘finder’s fee’ for each ‘customer’ the blog sent to my shop. REGROUP!

Third time is a charm. I FINALLY found success with Cinde of Freebie Fairy Freebie Fairy has a large number of women followers whom I have determined make up the bulk of my main customers. Looking at the Followers, I found that Finding Charm was my only friend in common, so I felt there were over 1300 new folks that may be in need of a ‘relationship boost’ (my new problem solving offer). I spent a fair amount of time reading the blog then posted a comment about the EO product giveaway in progress and left an email address with an inquiry about seeking details for product review. Cinde quickly emailed from Create with Me with a response to my inquiry and has agreed to a Valentine’s Day product review!

Post in Week 7’s forum thread—“Waiting to exhale in anticipation of week #8.”

NOTE: My husband just said, “I never see you anymore.” Gotta go hold his hand!

Week #8 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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I have a fetish for the book: HAVE A NICE DAY-NO PROBLEM— A Dictionary of Cliché in which Getting Down to Brass Tacks means “to arrive at the heart of the matter” and said to be a ”late-nineteenth-century term comes from Cockney rhyming slang for hard facts, but more likely has to do with the countertop of a general store being marked in one-yard intervals for measuring precisely.”

Check list

Read this week’s blog post The Holiday Rush –It is precisely ‘heart’ you will need when you click on the many helpful albeit large number of useful links.  Treasury making is a top way to get recognition for other shop’s product while bringing attention to your own. Think of it as the great marketing slogan: TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

Thanks to Handmade Spark featuring the HEARTS and HANDS UNITED team this week and thelink to the HHU Forum Thread where a generous invitation is extended to include everyone who would like to participate, I am now a ‘shirt-tail’ member of a TEAM! Hurrah!!

√Plan for Cyber Monday—Besides making sure you have indicated your location in case people are searching to ‘shop local’, one of the most important actions points is to add the following tags to products: BlackFridayEtsy and CyberMondayEtsy so you can take advantage of being ‘searched’ with those tags!  Be sure to read From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk: A Busy Decemberand find great tips for treasury merchandising themes too.

√Get Back on Track Here—If you are not yet participating in the Boot Camp, it is NOT too late! How to Catch up with the Etsy Success Boot Camp will help you get started and bring you up-to-date!

√Post in Week 8’s forum thread—I find treasury making a real time consumer and asked for tips that might help me work more effectively.

Add a Badge to Your BlogUtterly AWESOME! When you go to the link and click on the badge in the language you will want to use, a code is generated and ready for you to place in every important location you can think of that allows HTML!  Be sure to be signed in so the app can generate a link back to your shop.

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp Week #9

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Remember back in Week # 5 EMBRACE THE LATE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS when the feature article was about being able to go ‘sleepless’ for art? Well, I’ve certainly taken that to heart…no pun…for this morning I rose at a dubious hour with enthusiastic energy because my mind was whirling with thoughts about:

  • Packaging and tagging product for sale at a local Holiday Bazaar
  • Packaging up a new order for a local store
  • Getting started with Week #9 Boot Camp
  • Decorating my home for the holidays because my grandchildren are arriving on Saturday!

There are only a handful of things for which I will happily rise at 4:00 a.m.

  1. Children excited to see what Santa delivered
  2. A golf tournament
  3. Creative endeavour for HAH
  4. Writing an article or blog post
  5. Vacation

Charging into week #9

  • Read this week’s blog post- Etsy Success: Packaging for the Holidays Of course packaging IS the first impression of a product for a customer, so it’s important to pay attention to the aesthetic appeal of the package, but if assembly takes too long be sure to keep in mind that time adds to your ‘cost of product’ (COP) and/or the packaging materials adds another $2.00 to the COP, then that’s another issue. I learned this lesson the H-A-R-D way but those hard lessons seem to be the ones that help me think more creatively. I am very pleased with my new packaging because I have streamlined both assembly time and costs. How are you packaging for the holidays and beyond? Are there ‘subtle’ differences you can make that will not increase your bottom line?
  • Organize/stock up on packaging supplies – Here you will find a very helpful list of links to some great packaging suppliers especially if you have already depleted the recycled/upcycled supplies around your house and those of your friends whom you have asked to save packaging  materials for you. Packing Supply List on Etsy Forums
  • Read this Cyber Monday Post- Holiday Tips for Sellers: Notes on Cyber Monday From DiffractionFiber Extending marketing for CYBER sales, a term I like a lot better than ‘BLACK’ for Black Friday sales, is a sensational marketing idea. In fact, let’s just call the entire month of December SONIC CYBER MONTH sales! CAUTION: If you offer a ‘deal’ be sure it is affordable for your bottom line unless you are just looking to ‘spread’ the news about your shop products and getting product out into the market is your strategy to cover your costs instead of actually making a little profit this year.
  • Post in Week 9’s forum thread-Are you reading what other campers are saying too? Some posts are a tutorial in and of itself!
  • Check in with your buddy- Mary sent me a quick note letting me know she’s so busy creating product for Christmas sales that she’s a little behind in Boot Camp, but I assured her that would be the same story for me this week because my little granddaughter’s are visiting and I cannot sacrifice a moment of time to spend with them! It is 34 degrees this morning. Off to make peppermint cocoa! Yum!

Week #10 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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Black Friday-Cyber Monday has thus far been ‘Bleak Bummer’ for sales, which I hope is NOT going to be a trend for the season. My friend Elsie refers to the trend as ‘Wallet Weld Syndrome’!  Nevertheless, I know my shop is all the better for participating in the Boot Camp! I am convinced that having spent about three hours this morning creating a sentence with 140 characters to use as my ULTRA perfect description will have terrific R.O.I. (return on investment) making it worth every bit of the time, mind crunching and wordsmithing.

√Read this week’s blog post—For one reason or another the link led me back to last week’s ‘Packaging for Success’ so I went to the Storque and found the article about shipping.  There is TONS to know and supplies to gather. I also have gone to the USPS and used the self-serve machine to weigh and measure + determine the postage for my wrapped for shipping products because I just don’t have any spare room in this HAH HQ to put one more thing even if it is a small scale!

Here is a great link for shipping success!  Seller How To: Shipping If you, as I, have not paid any attention to the fact that Etsy has a special arrangement with FedEx, you will want to check this out: FedEx Etsy Program.  You must use Shipping Manager to take advantage of the discount. There is plenty to read on the link. I only signed up for the FedEx ID until I can read of the requirements and other caveats. I did notice that an Address Book is included but if one does NOT ship through FedEx at least once in 6 months, FedEx closes the account, so the recommendation is to keep a ‘back up’ copy of the accumulated addresses.  Always a good idea, so let the mantra ring out loudly: Back up! Back up! Back up everything you do!

Schedule Tasks and get more done! —I tried using the Google Calendar to help me ‘stay on task’ but found myself ignoring the ticklers! Now what good does THAT do me? After reading the article I decided to try again and now scheduled the entire week keeping my fingers crossed this tool with prove useful beyond measure! Once again I am reminded of the old cliché Actions Speak Louder Than Words, so here is my new calendar mantra: Commit to Follow and Act!

√Set your location in your profile—this is of particular importance when hoping to attract shoppers employing the ‘shop local’ practice! I always look for the shop location. I try to shop local as much as possible, do you? I also revisited my tags based on the 140-character description  After Black Friday, I removed the tag and plan to do the same after Cyber Monday.  I find it is amazing how much good revisiting these posts do for me so you may want to visit both Etsy Merchandising desk posts for November and December.

Did you know Etsy now offers a coupon code app? Just go to Your Etsy and scroll down the left side to Promote and click Coupon Codes. It is a really easy app! I added the information to my shop announcement so that when the customer clicks the 10% Off Coupon Code information is immediately obvious!

√Post in Week 10’s thread– asked Danielle about the link to the Shipping for Success link issue.

√Check in with your buddy—the very first action I took this week was checking in with my buddy because I know Mary has been concentrating on building product supply and put Boot Camp on hold for a bit. We both have discussed that we think Boot Camp should begin earlier next year to avoid the ‘crunch’ and hope Etsy will take the suggestion to heart. Mary did take a moment out to view the new video I posted on YouTube. Thank you Mary!

Week #11 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

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Are you running around like a sleep deprived Energizer bunny???? Good Grief! Pandemonium is my new STATE of BEING!

Set your shipping deadlines—FYI:  Based on the information I read in the shipping deadlines assignment – Etsy Success: Shipping for the Holidays , I just went to my Policies page and made a note about last day to order to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

To facilitate further so that my customers can avoid the need to search out my Shop Policies, I have put a link to my Shop Policies in each listing because I keep reading that customers do not always check out the particulars of our shop although posted.

Additionally, I spent time visiting the Etsy Help page on Shipping Profiles and then setting up Shipping Profiles. It would have saved me tons of time if I’d had realized this helpful process earlier. Just to be clear, I have gone to Shipping Profiles in the past but until this time I didn’t  figure out one has to click ‘create NEW profile’ to get to the function! Duh!

Be prepared to spend a little extra time setting up each listing so that shipping reads correctly by attaching the listing to the Shipping Profile category one creates. I happen to have several listings in a single ‘category’ which proved beneficial albeit completely a stroke of luck!

Follow the tips for selling localOn the Etsy Home Page, scroll down the left hand side to find the ‘Shop Local’ tab where you can then type in the preferred shopping locale.

If you have not already, as the instructions point out, be sure to visit “Your Etsy and click Public Profile then select your country, city and state or province then click ‘Look up” button to be placed on the map” if you want to be searchable for Shop Local customers.  Promoting location could generate some local press exposure. Wouldn’t that be a bonus?

Just because I had ‘time on my hands’ I decided to see if there were other Etsy Shops in my area and to my absolute surprise and delight; I found FIVE pages of local artisans! Now it is time to add them to My Circle and get to know all them better!

Post in Week 11’s threadI mentioned how surprised and delighted I was to find many Etsyians in my locale!  What did you post?

Extra credit: Reading ListPrepare to spend some REAL time reading, learning. I must confess, I’m finding it hard to cram too much more learning into my brain this week!

I would love to hear your thoughts, but I’ll understand if no one has time to make a comment. I figure we are all Energizer Bunnies on a Merry-Go-Round for the next two weeks!

Week #12 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 5.23.40 PM

Are you cross-eyed between the burden of doing everything possible except moving the Rock of Gibraltar to promote visibility of your Etsy Shop products and sales success?

I feel as if I have been living on the equivalent of a Medieval W-R-A-C-K! Clearly, Etsypreneurship is neither for the faint of heart nor of slow footedness or limited energy! My Boot Camp Blisters are definitely a reality!

Read this week’s blog postChristmas is UPON the MIDNIGHT CLEAR, so it might be worth additionally listing some Gift Certificates in various amounts  to your shop especially since shipping cut-off for timely delivery is about O-V-E-R unless you offer deliver at the speed of light.

Ponder your plan for 2011If you are like me, I cannot believe the Season is nearly over and it’s time to set 2011 Goals!I now understand WHY companies have ‘strategic’ planners and to that end, I plan to spend a little money meeting with one in January.

This Week’s Reading ListI was particularly interested in the Top 5 Etsy Mistakes after reading I clearly continue to be ‘Expert in waiting’!

Post in Week 12’s thread

FYI: There will be a ‘debriefing’ newsletter offering help with analyzing our progress and setting up for 2011. In the meanwhile, here’s my analysis from off the top of my head!

Measuring Success: I am sure many of you met with greater sales success but  this is my way: I know NO one cleaned up her shop, expanded her knowledge or increased her expertise more through participating in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp than I. However, I still have much more to learn if I am to enjoy the level of sales success I enthusiastically embraced at the beginning of the Boot Camp Challenge when my Holiday Sales mission statement read: To spread the positive message of Hide A Heart to 100 homes this Holiday Season–priceless!

Maybe 100 might have been a little ambitious. And while I had limited sales through my Etsy Shop, in all, 30 new homes will be filled with the positive message of my product this Holiday Season!  Definitely priceless, and I am smiling with a well-earned measurable sense of success!

I wish everyone Happy Holidays!

6 thoughts on “Perking for the Holidays Redeux

  1. all you need to do is sign up for etsy’s success newsletter , and you’ll soon start to receive all of your instructions week by week for this year’s holiday boot camp. with more materials than ever to help get your shop prepped for the holidays, you’re sure to have the best selling season ever!

  2. Update: This was the 2011 Holiday Boot Camp series . Make sure to stay tuned on the Seller Handbook for this year’s Boot Camp articles to help you whip your shop into shape in time for the Holidays!

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