Etsy Makeover: Am I Tipping the Scales in My Favor?

This post is an aside from the Etsy Makeover series, because it’s more about business mindset and acumen than best practices and branding.

During this makeover journey, I fully expect there to be detractors and doubters. Sometimes they will come at me directly with disdain, and others will bring up negative points of view for the sake of finding answers to the questions they wrestle with in their own business. There is nothing wrong with that; it’s the nature of some to come looking for an abundant answer to their scarcity problem. I’m ok with it.

After my last update went live, I posted the update to the Facebook page. My friend and reader, Maria Featon, shared in that update, “I really want to buy those scarves now! You’re doing it right.” That made me smile because it knew I was onto something special with this whole makeover. I’m creating a buzz around the whole series, but also creating a buzz around Michele’s scarves.

Then I recalled one of these scarcity questions I got from a reader. I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember where they left the comment, but they asked if I thought the potential success of Michele’s shop would be skewed because of Fresh Rag’s already established marketing influence. In other words, would she have as much success on her own doing this if I wasn’t writing about it?

It was an honest question, coming from a real place of concern because the person asking was likely thinking of how this experiment would apply to their particular situation.

Truth be told, no, Michele would likely not have the same level of success if I wasn’t helping, and that is mostly because her and I both recognize what her strengths are and what are her weaknesses. Marketing and branding are not her strong suits. Can she learn them? Sure, but out of the gate, it’s not her forte.

My knowledge in these areas, combined with the influence of this blog, my podcast, and my newsletter will certainly drive more attention to Michele’s shop, there is no doubt about it. However, I believe that influence will be a small portion of the actual sales that occur. I believe we will make a much bigger impact with the efforts toward a top-notch item, superior branding, excellent photos, dead-on keywords, and great service.

The marketing and promotion via this site and its derivatives will be smoke and mirrors in comparison. Yes, some of you may buy a scarf because of what you were exposed to here, but not enough to tip the scales too much in my favor.

All that said, I own the fact that I will influence some of you, directly or indirectly, and that’s ok. You see, not only are you learning a lesson from the hands-on makeover updates, but if you’re keen to it, you’re learning a lesson in marketing and promotion with each post I write.

If you’ve been reading every update, by my count, you’ve gotten 4 or 5 short lessons in marketing already. Were you taking notes?

For the record, Michele has sold exactly 2 scarves since we started this process; one before the price changes, and one after. So far, my influence is minimal at best, but we hope to change that soon.
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Showing 5 comments
  • Sharon

    My guess is that most Fresh Rag readers are not the target audience for this shop, so I think your experiment still won’t be “tainted” much by the exposure on this blog. If someone buys the scarf, they’re buying it because they happen to fall into the both camps.

    • Dave Conrey

      Yeah, I’m definitely not worried about it, but if we sell an extra scarf or two, so be it. Win/Win all around.

  • Andrew

    I’d say the Fresh Rag audience aren’t the ideal target market for scarf sales. They’re aspiring artists and crafters looking to learn about how they can increase their own sales.

    And the purpose of Fresh Rag isn’t about making a butt load of sales. It’s about finding value and purpose in what we do as artists and crafters, learning how to communicate those intentions sincerely and then the butt load of sales comes along as a super cool side effect!


    • Dave Conrey

      Honestly, Andrew, I would say that there is a bit more crossover than you think. Not that people are coming here looking for silk scarf designs, but since a large majority of my readership is women, it’s safe to say that a contingency of them like scarves and or know someone that does. Is it going to shift the tide of sales for Michele’s work? Not likely, but I’m sure a few will get purchased at some point, even if that is not my goal.

      • Andrew

        Absolutely, any sales will come as an added bonus, not because of writing about it on here as a direct marketing strategy. Your intentions are multiple and to the benefit of all.