Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts - selling what you create!

Wow! Thanks for all the responses to Calling all Creative People!

So many of us have the same questions, quandaries, and confusion because the act of creating something and then deciding to sell it causes many of the same circumstances and situations - no matter what the item is. How successful our endeavors are will depend on a variety of things. Fortunately, most of those things are under our control.

Check out these great questions that you asked ~

What do people want to buy?
How do you find and reach your target audience?
How do you find online buyers?
How do you get your shop noticed?
How do you find your small niche buyers?
How do you stand out in a crowd of creative people?
How do you interact online in a similar way to interacting in person?

How do you find what will be the best online venue for your specific creations?
How do you deal with disappointments in different selling venues?

How much is too much to charge for your creation?
How do you determine how to price something?
How do you price something so that it will sell?
How do you make a buyer understand why your creation is worth that price?
How do you have consistent sales?
What promotional things really work?
What type of sales and special offers work best?
Which is better - a percentage off? Or free shipping?
How do you take pictures of your items?
How many views do you show of your items?
How do you present photos in very unique ways?
How do you make non-artists understand this is a JOB?
Do you take credit cards and/or local checks at shows and festivals?

How do you stay motivated to create?
How do you stop from being discouraged when your work isn't selling?

Over the next few weeks we will travel down this list and find the tips, techniques, and 'hands on' things we can do to answer each of these questions. So ready, set, go!

What do people want to buy?

Let's take a little virtual mall trip.

Wow, this place is bigger than I remember - I think they have added some new shops. Okay - there's about 12 shoe stores here… I see some very fine jewelry, camping gear, sports equipment, yard, garden… Hmmm…. Music of every kind… artwork, home decorating, furniture… 49 clothing stores, cards and gifts, kid's toys, cooking stuff… Oh - there's my spot - saddles, tack and western wear =) Hey - go on down that way and I'll catch up in a bit…

The answer to the question is: anything and everything. Having said that, let's take a closer look at the question - What do people want to buy? What I want to buy is not necessarily what I will buy. If you want to know what people will buy, take that mall trip for real.

In each store, stop and look at all the 'end caps' and take a close look at what is on the counter where you make your purchases. These are the traditional locations for retail stores to put things that people will purchase, often as an 'impulse buy'. Look at the selection, colors, number of items, prices and what the items are and you will see that there is a lot of variety. Items on the 'end caps' will have a wider price range than items on the counter (usually).

And, yes, they even do this in grocery stores.

Now, what do we do with that information? Well, if you were fortunate enough to find a shop that sells items similar to your creations, you will have some idea of what John (or Jen) Q. Public is expecting when they are shopping.

Now, before you jump on the bandwagon and start making a million striped flamingo hats just because you saw one, take the advice that was given in Calling all Creative People - Page Two

Love what you do.
Be true to yourself and your values.
Glorify the Lord.
Be confident in your work.
Try not to get discouraged - give it time.
Join teams, forums, or other groups with similar interests.

That is some great advice you all left in the comments!  By far, the most stated piece of advice was to love what you do. Right up there with that, was be true to yourself and your values. If you hate striped pink flamingo hats, don't start a business that features them. Give your ideas some time to percolate until you have a definite 'ah ha!' moment. Bounce ideas off of friends (cyber and local), family, other professional people, team members, chat groups, and forums.  Check out local magazines that feature items similar to what you want to sell.

When you have the 'ah ha' moment you will have an item that you love, that fits in with your life style and your values, and that you can be confident in producing and selling.

And, you can rest assured that there is someone somewhere who will want to buy it!


By the way ~ The Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival for this week is to share your goals.  My goal is to find the answers to all of these questions so that we all can have some great ways to grow our shops and our sales - both online and in other brick and mortar venues! 

PS  The artwork is an original drawing - Ollive's Heart - done on a book page.


  1. great post! this is going to be a wonderful series of blog articles you are writing. I know it will help many people

  2. Love this post and all the good info. This will be such a great adventure. Love Olive by the way.

  3. Thanks, Betty! These are the questions I hear over and over - time to get some answers!

    Thanks, Marlene - glad you like Ollive and the post =) I really glad to have company on the adventure!

    Thanks, Carole - glad you liked it!

  4. Thanks, Pam - glad you liked it!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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