I received a
message on one of the forums I regularly follow
where people ask questions about their creative
product/craft businesses. I thought it
was a very timely question for everyone because
so many of you are getting started or are in the
process of supplementing your incomes and want
to have answers to THE HOW part of your
business. Though I've changed the question
slightly, essentially here was the question
asked and my answer:
I have a line of jewelry and I have started an
Etsy account. I need to make $1,000 a month
profit, can I do it with the Etsy account or
should I sell to local stores instead? Deena
I certainly think it is possible to make $1000
profit per month. I also think it is possible to
do far better than that. Since you don't say
what you are making right now or what your
margins are, I am going to assume that you are
at ground zero for answering your question.
Here are my immediate suggestions:
1. Etsy is a great way
to start. Get your items up with good
descriptions and good photographs. In order to
get more people to go to Etsy you will need more
Internet marketing skills - so you'll need to
hone in on those skills. There is a real
misconception that your product will do the
selling, when it is really your marketing.
Remember the people purchasing from you online
do not know you and it is your job to tell them
about you and your products.
2. If you're thinking about Etsy also
ArtFire which though newer than
Etsy is a very viable and upcoming alternative.
3. Start a blog and from there
you can drive people to your Etsy or Artfire
listings. You can also use your blog as a
website where you can and should sell your own
4. Build A Website. I would
also build your own website and not solely count
on Etsy or Artfire - you can do this
within your blog or separately.
5. Affiliate Programs: Also in
a blog or website you can add affiliate programs
in order to have additional income. When you are
an affiliate you earn commission for products.
(For example we offer an affiliate program
selling several of our products) That is a bit
more advanced for the purposes of this answer,
but not hard at all to set up once you get your
blog or site going.
6. Start Social networking on the
Internet. This is a way to interact
with others who might be both interested in you
and your products. People like to buy from
others whom they Know, Like & Trust. Setting up
Facebook account and
Twitter will help you with this interaction
- but you do have to use them, you can't just
open an account and not be active.
7. At the same time I would most
definitely sell to local stores at the
wholesale level. You will need to make sure your
pricing is good at the wholesale level (which by
the way is the way I always suggest my students
price their items).
8. Work backwards in figuring out when
you want to be at the $1000 per month level.
And by that I mean how many units would you need
to sell; what are your cost of goods and how
much profit (on average) are you going to make
per unit. Setting up a simple spread sheet for
the next 12 months will really help you to make
a plan for 2009.
This is just a thumbnail sketch of what is
possible. I would encourage you to go for it and
make a plan of action for 2009 so you can make
it happen. The $1000 per month is very doable -
and honestly you can probably do far better than
that if you structure your marketing well. One
other thing to consider is that certain products
have a seasonality to them. (For example
Christmas ornaments sell well in the 4th quarter
and usually not the rest of the year) And if you
need a dependable income all year 'round then
you may need to diversify your products.
Love and Success,