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thanks, lee, for the info.   

the kid i hired set me up with a wix account and left with everything in place.  all i had to do was enter the wording.  i did but somehow lost all of it.  wix keeps sending me invitations to start using it so i know the framework is still there.  somewhere.

planning to go to the score workshops in feb.    SCORE is no longer called service corps of retired executives but is the same group.  using social media is one of the workshops.

facebook seems like a public bulletin board where people put photos and notes about the wonderfully interesting ordinary things they do every minute of the day. inviting comments on how special they are.  i don't get it.   it is like shopping a supermarket where everyone is on the phone asking someone what to buy because there are 4 brands of canned peas on the shelf.

instagram is a completely unknown "thing". 

do not understand pinterest so that will be my focus in that workshop.  what i want to do is include my name in any photo i post anywhere so when people put it into their photos, it will have my name on it.  i assume that can be done by putting lettering into each picture.  pinterest is lots of fun if you find something interesting, it just does not always identify the source which is a  wasted sale opportunity.

hoping for some kind of activity on constructing a website starting soon because  i have no fingernails left  to chew.:blink:

Edited by oldlady
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Oldlady,

Have you thought about just trying etsy? There isn't much to it and it is much easier than setting up an entire website. I think your work would do well there. I know I have sold my work with very little effort on there. Never bought any ads or anything. Just take some pictures, price it, put a description, let etsy handle the shipping estimates and then just add $2-5 dollars to it so that you're always covered if something ends up being slightly more. 

I know it isn't as fantastic as having your personal website with all the fancy gizmos, but you can get sells and I know your work will. List 10-15 items to start and label them well. 

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thanks, joseph, the second workshop is "selling on etsy".  i know a potter in va who makes a living on etsy.  she is young, vigorous, unafraid  and has a helpful husband.   she is consistently one of the guild highest sellers at our shows.

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There is a reason so many people use it. It works and it is very affordable. Their system is very well done. Of course, it has gone downhill from the previous glory when it went to a public company and shareholder value was placed as more important than handmade goods. However, the people on there pay close attention to what is really handmade and what isn't.

The listings are 25 cents for 4 months time, and the fees are just the same as almost all major payment processors. I am not trying to sell etsy here, if you have the ability to drive people to your own website and understand how to do all that, then it is probably better to do that. Because it's less likely they will click off your shop and go somewhere else, but that being said, getting people to your website is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time. You can be selling stuff on etsy in a day's time. Your work would do very well from all the research I have done on there. If you want help feel free to email me and I will help you the best I can. (josephfireborn@gmail.com)

I will put it this way. The first time I sold stuff I listed 20 items, sold 14 of them. The second time I listed 5 items and sold 3. Both times I could have continued to list things and keep selling, but I just decided to change directions and took it all down. I still have people message me on etsy that bought from me in the past wondering when I am going to open my shop back up. I am not trying to toot my horn here or anything as 17 sales isn't a big deal, I am just saying that stuff will sell, and the more you list the more you will sell. I have a good friend who sells 6 figures+ a year on there and he just says it is a matter of listing items, labeling them well, and giving good descriptions that are short and exact. 

 

Edited by Joseph F
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thank you for the offer.  expect an email, but, not today.  it is warm enough to chainsaw the huge bougainvilla that fell during the hurricane last summer.  my neighbor has a large trailer parked next to the bush so i will hope to add to his remodeling waste today.  

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1 hour ago, oldlady said:

thank you for the offer.  expect an email, but, not today.  it is warm enough to chainsaw the huge bougainvilla that fell during the hurricane last summer.  my neighbor has a large trailer parked next to the bush so i will hope to add to his remodeling waste today.  

Anytime, and this goes for anyone who might need help. I might not be an experienced potter, but I read a lot about business, marketing, and just general web stuff all the time. It is what I study economics with a focus on data science. 

Enjoy the nice weather and be safe!

Edited by Joseph F
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On 1/22/2018 at 2:26 PM, oldlady said:

would like to stop all the schlepping around heavy things for outdoor sales and stay in one place selling pots

Keep in mind that online selling is not a leisurely activity. The packing and shipping is very cumbersome, and disproportionately more cumbersome on a per pot basis. Keeping the website updated (whether you build your own or use Etsy) will require a lot of your attention and time as well. 

Whenever you see someone doing well on Etsy, remember that they didn’t just snap their fingers and start selling well. There are many hours of development behind those success stories. 

oldlady, you have such a lovely spot on the river in a touristy town. If you want to add some “stay in one place selling pots” to your business plan, you could set up a small showroom area in your studio, and open your doors every other Saturday in the summer and fall. You could attend fewer shows, but make sure to tell everyone you meet at shows about your showroom schedule. You still need a website for this plan! You need to publish your schedule and provide a map. And do some online selling while you’re at it. 

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@oldlady  A website doesn't always need a portal to sell your items, it could be as simple as "Here I Am And My Store Hours Are 9-3 Every Even Saturday. Come On Down, We Would love To See you!"

In essence all I'm saying in instead of a sales portal consider an online brochure.

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3 hours ago, oldlady said:

 

do not understand pinterest so that will be my focus in that workshop.  what i want to do is include my name in any photo i post anywhere so when people put it into their photos, it will have my name on it.  i assume that can be done by putting lettering into each picture.  pinterest is lots of fun if you find something interesting, it just does not always identify the source which is a  wasted sale opportunity.

 

 

Putting words in your image so that it carries across all re-pins is called a water mark, and that needs to be added to the photo before you upload it to your website, or any other social media. It's harder to remove or for your info to get lost that way. You need to do this in some kind of photo editing program. It doesn't have to be a fancy one, and if you feel daunted by what your course tells you to do, message me and I'll walk you through something easy.

Pinterest is actually not a social media. You don't meet people, or really talk to them there. It's a big visual search engine. Think of it like clipping pictures or articles out of a magazine, and putting them on a pin board, so you can find the images/recipes/articles you want later, or you have an inspiration board to plan your meals/wedding/wardrobe/kitchen reno/ furniture repainting project/ knitting project/homeschooling/thing involving canning jars, etc etc etc.  

  Women go there to daydream and shop for future potential purchases of all possible kinds.

More than any other, this platform requires not just good quality images, but really spectacular ones to get in front of a lot of people. There are other strategies to use to make sure you get in front of more Pinterest users, which I think your course will likely cover, but it has to start with a picture that evokes a covetous emotion. It's a barrier for many people. 

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"covetous emotion"      Luv it...I am going to have to work that into a blog entry and hashtag it!!!!!  I enjoy Pinterest...it's like a little travel diary and view of the world, all the  critters, and all kinds of stuff all in one place--cheers me up when I'm in a reclusive mode (or it's -8 outside w/icy snow 3 ft. deep) . I enjoy building up my Clay boards ( https://www.pinterest.com/LeeUstinich/     If anyone wants me to pin any of your work on any of my Clay boards, just send it to me    leeucaramics@gmail.com  I'll be sure to note full source/credit  unless you prefer otherwise.  Actually I could use some fresh pics for Clay Kilns/Firing and Clay People, as well as finished work--also have a board on Clay Tips and Tools...it's not sophisticated/real technical and there are better sources for serious  learning, but process info like that helped me when I first got back into the game...I am cognitively impaired and had to relearn a lot.

It is a ton of work to coordinate everything online, to get work out there for exposure and sales, but I am finding that I am enjoying making marketing efforts. At least that is my excuse for ordering myself a two-sided canvas tote with my logo on them (Vistaprint). I LOVE my logo, if I do say so myself--it is derived from my first anagama firing, an interpretation of a porcelain box form that you can see inside of, from the bottom. I had the logo designed to my specs for less than $50 by Fivver.

Screenshot (62).pngFlower and Ash Box -Bottom - 300dpi.jpg

Edited by LeeU
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oh, you guys are so helpful!  thanks for the nice words.

mea, you are right, i really ought to find a way to let people come out for a weekend away from the city to try out equipment and get an idea of what making pottery is like.  an airbnb would be perfect.  now i just have to remodel the house to fit them in, can't put a tiny house out in the yard because it is my septic field.  but that would be such fun, building a small cottage for visitors.

ronsa,   just wait, glad you know all that useful stuff.  (i have invited people out often.  nobody has come except mea.)

callie, yes, i would put words. logo, something into the photo itself before taking the shot.   and use a tripod because i keep getting things out of focus pushing down the whole camera instead of the button.

lee, i remember voting for the photo you finally chose for your logo!  ya done good, girl!

Edited by oldlady
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@oldlady I don’t think you need to give people a place to stay, in order to sell pots out of your house. Your house is only one hour’s drive from two major cities. With a gorgeous national park in your backyard. It’s an excellent day trip for the city folks. If you meet people in DC who aren’t familiar with Harpers Ferry, telling them it requires an overnight stay will be a turn off. Tell them it’s an easy day trip, and this will attract way more people. Your location has tons of potential, take advantage of it!

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ronsa, i have lost one of your posts.  something shows up in my activity streams but it is incomplete and i cannot find it here.

have been thinking of all this all day, a busy one which has left me exhausted.  don't know when i will be alert enough to continue this, going to bed.

 

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my daughter called and while we were talking she told me that i should use youtube to figure out how to use my computer.  WHO KNEW!  i love watching potters and car mecanics replacing light bulbs but computers???    so, i guess i will be looking for explanations there.

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I am glad to live in the computer age--hard learning curve but what a fantastic portal to informational resources.

In terms of website building and marketing (marketing in the sense of creating a quality "image" throughout many different pages),  I am learning about how to construct a website as an outlet for my work,  and a hobby business,  with a decent chance of being economically productive.  I've been pursuing this seriously for a year, and think I am about to "graduate", as soon as I complete my final project, a live shop filled with goodies. 

It's do-or-die time and I am committed to doing almost nothing else until I'm at least 50% done with the shop.  It has taken me days just to find and identify the colorations to use across my site. For the first few go-rounds I forgot to write down the HEX codes and could never get the same color. I need that info on a sticky note in front of my face.  I am also bugging family and friends to do site testing and proofreading for me, and some are getting weary.  Having outside eyes is important though---I know I looked at "subcribe"  20 times and did not see it.  

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Hi,   just some odd comments on your site;    I would remove the  "Not for technical info on clay/glazes/firing/safety etc.; no expertise is claimed."  from the home page, as the home page should only be about your lovely images;   perhaps just add it to your policies page somewhere.

I'm from the UK,  so conditions of sale is completely different to the states;  I did find a nice page which outlines some basics,  but what I gathered was, for the most part, it's determined by the state your selling from - so,  you might want to touch on that maybe in your text.    http://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/customer-returns-and-refund-laws-by-state.html

One good thing I like about your site is that it fits 1020px width which essential for being viewed by mobile tablets.



;-)



 

Edited by Ju00Ls
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That’s a very helpful link, @Ju00Ls. Thank you! 

I had no idea that my home state (Maryland) requires me to post my return policy in a visible spot. I have it on my online store, but not in my art festival booth. I’ll have to work on that. 

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Thanks Joseph--- I appreciate the cruise through my site-in-progress.  Since I am not offering any technical info or claiming any expertise  in the first place, I removed the "I don't know nuthin" disclaimers. New Hampshire being the "Live Free or Die" state, "There's no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Whether you can receive a refund is dependent on the retailer's return and refund policies." Even better, there is no sales tax and a business has to make over $50K before paying a profit tax (ain't no danger of that happening!).  Just FYI, the website generator I use (WIX) provides the mobile device screen "optimization" feature, which I find very valuable. 

Edited by LeeU

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LeeU instead of sticky notes you can make a copy of your screen.

Pressing Alt + Print Screen will copy what ever is on your screen. Then you can paste it into a word processing program. Now you have your Hex values in a document that you can save.

 

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I hope this is viewed as proper for a marketing discussion, and not seen as a self-promotion, which is not where I am coming from. I love my logo and color scheme and am beginning to get some supporting products to better "brand" myself visually. Now, when I ship out a piece, I have coordinated business cards, address labels, and my new favorite--an informational card that I use to describe the item the person is receiving.  

20180201_132754.jpg

Edited by LeeU

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12 hours ago, Stephen said:

There's a useful download called Instant Eyedropper

Yee Haw!!! That little gizmo has made picking consistent colors a breeze. Thanks Stephen.  It is exciting to have everything done on my website--or close enough for now--except the "live" store. That is tedious but I am making progress and I love the SEO feature. People are beginning to check out my site and I'm getting good feedback/compliments on how it looks and how it is organized.

My next question on this topic is does anyone have any advice as to how frequently would one change out various photos so people don't get bored over time? My site will be low traffic and so new that the "analytics" or click counts or whatever probably won't tell me much for a while.  Exceptions to changing out photos would be the Shop and the New Fire pics-those would stay put until there are new results. 

Edited by LeeU

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Not sure if it correct or not, I change my gallery pics twice a year. The rest haven't changed in 10 years.  I've "refreshed" the whole site a couple times during it's existence, but kept the content the same.  Feel free to check it out, currently averaging 2500-3000 hits a week, it's no Google, but pleased with the traffic.

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I have a Recent Work page on my website and I update it once a year. Actually I need to do it now, before my 2018 schedule gets underway. This thread is a helpful reminder.

I have photos in the banners of my website pages. I have switched them up before but not on a set schedule. The last time I did it was a few years ago. 

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