Well most everything....
When I first joined Etsy, the online marketplace I sell my collection on, I used it as a parking spot for my jewelry stuffs. And, park they did. For a little while, it was like a parking lot for a very slow strip mall... in the south... in a very small town... without a traffic light... during a recession. You get the picture, it was slow.
Wondering where everyone was, or better yet, what everyone else was doing to get more sales, I clicked around Etsy, and I accidentally stumbled upon the Etsy Community Forums.
Yes. I could practically hear the cover band playing music at what seemed like a very popular pub. Everyone was there. They were talking (called posting), chatting (instant messages), and hanging out. So, intrigued, I stayed to read a few posts.
Hours later, I was still reading. 2 AM came, and I was still reading. By the next day, I was typing and commenting. A few more days in there and then, I realized that I was completely hooked. Addicted. Like a junkie. It was downright embarrassing that I woke up so excited to see what would be posted by who were now my favorite posters and new virtual friends.
I was obsessed with interacting with complete strangers in a virtual world. My poor husband suddenly had to live with what seemed like a fifteen year old who just got a new iPhone... and just found Facebook... and Twitter... while on summer break... on a deserted island... with wireless signal. You get the picture, it was not pretty.
The business “advice” kept coming in everyday. Innumerable secret tips were shared. Hundreds of milestone posts like “how to get 100 sales in 30 days” kept me clicking. The proverbial controversial posts attracted all of us to the same threads. And don’t even mention the unforgettable “train wreck threads” (will explain later). It was absolutely a whole new world.
Anyway, after I found the “exit” sign (only after a few months), and after I found my normal self again, I decided that the only way to ever justify the INORDINATE amount of time I spent "inside," was to share with you the many lessons I learned while in there.
So, of course, this will be a series of lessons as there are many. So, for those of you who sell online, buy online, sell in person, do any kind of marketing, these lessons are little nuggets of wisdom for your business, your art and some for your life.
Editor’s Note: I am no longer addicted. I am now just a casual user after only a few months of rehab. Of course, this is part of my therapy program.
Chapter 1 Part 1: A Tale of Two Shops