5 Things I’ve learned from selling online

I’ve been on a huge learning curve since beginning my online business in October 2010.  It was so frustrating in the beginning to have to learn so much. I felt like I need to rush in order to catch up!  Here’s a few insights I’ve learned in the past few months:

  1. Building a business is like building a house.  It has to be done one careful brick at a time. It is a process.  Be comfortable with the process. Take it one step at a time. In no time at all you will have added to your knowledge pool.
  2. Take great photos.  This was perhaps the most frustrating part for me.  I am a photo hobbyist so it was disheartening to find my photos weren’t good enough for my online store (etsy.com, in my case.) Part of the problem for me was the conversion to digital photos.  Part of the problem was having a good enough camera. When those issues were finally resolved, I had to figure out
    1. How to get the lighting right. 
    2. How to upload the photos,
    3. How to photo-shop them. 
    4. The bonus is that now people comment on how great my photos are!
  3.  Be patient and flexible. In the beginning I didn’t have any sales.  I decided to add vintage to my shop along with my bouquets. These brought more people into my shop and I began to make a few sales.  Maybe that won’t work for you, but cover all of your bases. While I want to sell my button bouquets more than anything, I need to bring in an income and I’m willing to make some adjustments until my bouquets really take off!
  4. Do your homework.  While there is much to learn, it is well worth the effort.  Set aside some time each day to learn about RSS feeds, SEO’s, taking a great photo.  Every little thing bumps us up to a more professional status. Once I began taking better photos, I was invited to join and display my products on a number of other sites.  The more sites that have me, the better my chances for sales.
  5. Network.  I joined teams on Etsy, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr.  It’s time consuming, but that’s part of marketing. Each day I spend several hours marketing my products.  There is so much competition out there that we have to be diligent. We have to tell as many people as possible that we have a shop and it’s the best shop with the best items!

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