Day 19 [Boutique Experience – Over Deliver]

Customers love to feel special, surprised and fancy. The best way to make them feel this way is to give them an exclusive, boutique experience and over deliver. There are a multitude of ways to do this, but here are my top 5. Keep in mind that what you choose to do to over deliver should be done with purpose, adhere to your brand and not make your cost-of-goods atronomical.

packaging-inspriation-etsy-khaki-and-chrome

Packaging by Thurston Post

[1] PACKAGING

Packaging with your consistent brand look is crucial. No one likes opening up a package in the mail and the item is just thrown into the box. We as customers love packaging that makes us feel special and makes us feel like the investment in the product was worth it. Think Tiffany’s, Kate Spade, Apple, etc.) Here are some great packaging resources.

gumball-tube-khaki-and-chrome-etsy

Gumball Bag by BellaCreationz4u

[2] SURPRISE

Everyone likes surprises. It’s one of the reasons I love my Birchbox so much. Give your customers a surprise along with their purchase. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just a proverbial cherry on top.

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Social Media Cards by Laura Drayton

[3] WHAT NOW CARDS

You want repeat customers and for your customers to spread word-of-mouth praises about your shop. A good way to do this is to have cards printed with coupons for their next purchase. Another way is to give them information with your social media links on it. You can say something like “We would love to see how you styled our product! Post a photo of you wearing your product and tag #khakiandchromestyle for a chance to be featured! Just think of a great incentive to keep them coming back.

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Thank You Card by Printerette Press

[4] THANK YOU NOTE

You customer didn’t have to choose you or buy your product, but they did. So thank them. With technology so prevalent in our lives, there are few instances where you receive a hand-written letter or note. Your customer will love that you took the time to do so.

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Hey Girl, Hey Card by Bee is for Bear

[5] COMMUNICATION

I feel special when I buy from a seller and I know they are super busy, but they still message me right away and keep me updated on my order. No one likes to be ignored and when you are excited about a product it’s frustrating to wait 3 days until the vendor responds to you. Also, as you’re communicating with buyers, use an authentic voice and be you. Remind them that they are buying a handmade, unique item that they can’t go pick up from Target.

 

What do you do to over-deliver to your customers??

Day 18 [Tips on Time Management]

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Love this clock by Objectify Homeware

I am the first to admit that I am the worst at time management and the best at procrastinating. I have gotten better, but there are still things that I need to stop doing to ensure I’m being more productive (like stop checking Instagram so much). Here are my top 5 tips on time management to help keep you on track and productive:

[1] Say “no”. Don’t take on a ton of projects, orders and commitments all at once that you know you won’t be able to handle. Everything will suffer. Take baby steps and only do things you know you have time for or that will benefit your business the most.

[2] Figure out what time(s) you’re most productive. For some of us that may have to just be during naptime and bedtime. Plan to get the most work done then.

[3] Set realistic goals. Nothing will make you feel burnt out faster than feeling like you’re never going to get out from under your list of “to-dos”. I like to have a “top 3” goal list for the day (i.e. weave in ends on 3 headbands) and a “top 3” list for the week (i.e. post 5 new items to the shop).

[4] Be intentional. Use a timer or an app like 30:30 and set times to do specific tasks. Examples: 30 minutes to answer phone and email, 20 minutes on social media,etc. This way you hopefully won’t go off on a tangent doing something else and then realize two hours have gone by and you haven’t done a thing!

[5] Outsource. If you have things you just hate doing and they are a time suck, see if someone else can help out. Have older kids or your spouse help, hire someone to do it for you or see if a local high schooler would like to intern. Just make sure that if you are paying someone, that you are budgeting for it.

Day 17 [Freebie: Inventory Worksheet]

I’ve created another freebie for you guys! This time it’s an inventory worksheet to not only keep track of the products you have on-hand, but to keep track of your packaging supplies and shipping supplies. I also put cost-of-goods columns in it so you can see what your actual revenue is after the cost of your products, packaging supplies and shipping supplies. This is a good thing to look at to see if you need to adjust your listing prices or see if there is a way to cut down your cost of goods! Enjoy!

etsy-inventory-worksheet-khaki-and-chrome

DOWNLOAD INVENTORY WORKSHEET HERE

Day 16 [How to Run a Sale on Etsy]

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Pom Pom by Khaki and Chrome

Photography by Brass Bird Photography

HOW TO MARK DOWN PRICES:

  • You can use a coupon code through your Etsy shop through the “Your Shop” button at the top of the browser and then go to “Promote” on the left hand sidebar and then click on “coupon codes”. Here you will be able to name your coupon code, set the amount or percentage off and set the expiration date. Let your followers know about your coupon code through social media and your blog.
  • Use Etsy on Sale or Betsi Lite to automatically mark down prices. I personally prefer Betsi due to it’s easy-to-use interface and the ability to mark down a single listing or all of them. Plus, it’s free. Etsy on Sale charges credits per sale, but the first sale is free so you can test it out.

TIPS ON HOW TO HOST A SUCCESSFUL SALE:

I won’t re-invent the wheel here, so I linked some really great articles from Handmadeology:

Day 15 [Packaging Resources]

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I love looking around at different packaging ideas and resources. I’ve compiled a master list of some of my favorites:

SHIPPING

STAMPS

STICKERS

TAGS (PAPER)

TAGS (CLOTH)

TISSUE PAPER

POM POMS

RIBBON

BOWS

WRAPPING PAPER

GREAT PACKAGING SHOPS ON ETSY

Day 14 [Prioritizing Time for Family]

my-tribe-khaki-and-chrome-brass-bird-photographyThis is my tribe.

Photography by Brass Bird Photography

This is an important topic to me and one that I am always working on/feeling guilty about.

I have a lot of irons in the fire and it always breaks my heart when my daughter asks if I will come play with her. I feel like I give my girls a lof of attention, but it still hurts when she asks. And sometimes I really am sucking at being a mom.

So, since I schedule everything else, I thought, “Why not schedule family and play time?” It makes me be more intentional and focused on the present. Also, I’m making a conscious effort to put down the phone. I don’t want my daughters to feel they are competing with a device. Crap can wait. Family can’t.

Part of the reason I’m doing this 31 days series, is to help myself and others front load the work of getting your shop in order so you can really spend time with your loved ones during the holidays.

Day 13 [Cutting Shipping Costs]

bubble-mailer-khaki-and-chromeImage Via Paper Mart

I’m pretty sure my local USPS guys hated to see me walk through the door when I first opened my shop. I was absolutely clueless. I wanted to share some ways to cut your shipping costs and save you time and glares from postmen.

[1]

Buy your shipping goods (mailers, boxes, etc. in bulk). Uline, Packaging Price, E Supply Store and Paper Mart are great places to start.

[2]

Buy a shipping scale to help calculate your packages’ weight and shipping cost.

[3]

Print shipping labels directly from Etsy. Here is a great label printer.

[4]

Compare shipping costs from USPS, UPS and FedEx to find the cheapest route. Also, find out if any carrier will pick up your packages from your house or if there is a quick-drop nearby. Time is money and standing in line at the post office stinks.

[5]

Absorb some of the shipping cost into the price of your product. Customers are more willing to spend a little extra on a product. but they are turned off at high shipping costs. Example:

You charge $25 for item “A” and shipping is $6.50. Change the price of your item to $30 and charge $1.50 for shipping. Or, if your prices and business model support it, offer free shipping to entice customers to buy your product over someone else.

 

Here are some more in-depth resources on shipping:

SHIPPING YOUR ETSY PRODUCTS

SELLER HOW TO: SHIPPING

 

Day 12 [Marketing Tips Roundup – Top 5]

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Headband available in the Khaki & Chrome shop

Marketing and promoting my shop is something I feel like I lack skills in. I love to research and see what has worked for others. Here are the top 5 marketing tips I’ve found this week:

[1] 7 STEPS TO REPEAT CUSTOMERS

[2] ADD MORE ITEMS TO MAKE MORE SALES

[3] INSTAGRAM FOR ETSY

[4] SEO FOR ETSY

[5] LOW BUDGET ADVERTISING IDEAS

Day 10 [Review Shop Content]

As our businesses grow and evolve, we discover more of what we do or don’t want to do or what we should add or change. However, we sometimes forget to update our information and tell our customers. Here are some things to look at and review that will hopefully save a lot of headaches in the long run and make for better customer service:

[1] SHOP POLICIES

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Review (or write if you haven’t done so) what policies you may have like shopping, returns, copyright, use of content, revisions, etc. This will help you not have to answer 10,000 messages over the same thing.

 

[2] ABOUT ME

etsy-about-me-shop-story-khaki-and-chromeEveryone likes to know who they are buying from and it helps create trust. It gives insight to you and your shop and helps create a relationship with the customer.

 

[3] SHOP ANNOUNCEMENTetsy-front-page-khaki-and-chrome

Make sure your front page is always updated to keep your customers in the loop. Let them know when the shop will be open/closed, if you’re having a sale, and most importantly, when your Christmas delivery deadline is!