Sunday, February 27, 2011

Selling In Person: Home Party Edition Part 1

If you are just starting out with your online shop, one of the things that you need to do is get your products in front of people - in real life. If you have a brick and mortar shop (B & M) then that’s a good place for you to show off your stuff. But what if you’re like me, I work from home, I make my things at home, and I don’t have a store front in the non virtual sense.

Well, one solution which has presented itself are doing home product parties.

What is a home product party?
So I am sure you have heard of "tupperware parties". Basically, there is a home product sales rep and then there is the hostess of the party. The hostess of the party invites all her friends and neighbors over to her home for an afternoon. The sales rep talks about the new things that the company has to offer. Then, the invited guests shop and buy storage things and kitchen gadgets. One party I attended, the sales rep held a “contest” in the beginning of her presentation. Immediately, the party participants became rivals and competitors. Guess what that did to the sales? Yup, it went through the roof! Women love to “friendly compete” and “friendly win”. If they lost out on the pretend competition, then they made up for it and “won” by buying more goods than the other women.

Lesson 1: Tupperware has a lot more to offer than just storage people.

Similarly, you can create this service for your online shop or company. You can contact your biggest fans and clients, ask them if they would be willing to host a product party for your company, and provide them with an incentive for saying yes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SEO Made Easy: The Importance of Being Earnestly Linked

When I started my online shop on Etsy, little did I know that I would also start a little online empire. For years, I owned a website which chugged along happily on a small railroad track in the middle of Siberia. Nevertheless, it got some people where they needed to go.

Then, I learned that in order to own a successful online shop, I would have to promote actively online. Thus my journey began and, I started to develop my little online empire. I joined Facebook, opened a fan page, I flickered, I followed blogs, and I even started my own blog (actually two, but I won’t bore you with the details).

“Why?” you ask. (A question I ask myself every day). Actually the answer is quite simple. I created my online empire so that I could create good links back to my online shop. 

For those of you out there who think that the only reason you are blogging, facebooking, and twittering is so that you can create followers who will worship you and then buy your wares, I have news for you. That is only part of the reason you are doing what you are doing. The other reason is called back links.

What is a back link? It is a link to your website via a back door, not the front door. If entering your online shop via the front door is by someone typing your “” or “www.” on Google; then, entering your online shop via the back door is by someone clicking on a link from someplace else on the web to get inside your online shop. A back link.

Why do you need back links?
You need them to impress Goggle and get better SEO (search engine optimization for those of you who fell asleep during the first three lectures) for your website. Imagine Google as the new nerdy kid in school. He does not know anyone, and even the geek squad won’t let him sit at their lunch table. He is easily impressed with whom he perceives as the cool and popular kids. He wants to be friends with them. How does he figure out who the cool kids are? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SEO Made Easy Part 3: Strategic Placement Of Your Keyword Phrase

A tutorial in layman’s terms about getting your online shop found.

I am sure that you have seen the forum posts which seem to come weekly from newbies.

OP (opening post): “How’s everyone's shop doing? Sales are sloooow for me.”
S1 (seller 1): “Slow here. But this month is always slow. Waiting for next month.”
S2 (seller 2): “Mine is GREAAAT!” Sounds like that tiger on the cereal box.
OP: “Really? I thought maybe there was a huge black out and no one can get online.”
S1: “Nah, it’s slow this time of year. Well, you’re here.” There’s always one in the bunch.
S2: Has disappeared. Just when OP and S1 were going to ask S2 “what’s your secret?”

Seller 2 checked their e-mail and found more orders waiting for them to fill. So they left the forums to get actual work done. They have figured out how to optimize their SEO by using an effective keyword phrase and properly placing it in their Etsy shop.

The Point.
Your effective keyword phrase needs to be placed in your Etsy Shop clearly and strategically. Clearly so that Google knows exactly what your keyword phrase is and strategically so that Google can easily find your keyword phrase.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone for an hour and never really understood what they were trying to say? What did you do? You walked away backwards and made sure they were not following you.

Your keyword phrase placement is like delivering a good thesis presentation. State what your intention is, state it again in the middle, and in conclusion, state the thesis again just in case people really did fall asleep in the middle of your Pulitzer prize winning speech. Repeating a point clarifies your point to your audience. Google is your limited attention span audience.