Friday, November 23, 2012

Anniversary Time (and a Reason to Read to the End)

Cyber Monday -- the anniversary of the opening of my Etsy store -- fast approacheth, so this past week has been all about taking images, writing copy, and listing some new Mayfaire products in my virtual shop in preparation for the Big Day. It befuddles me that doing this is easily the most painstakingly slow and torturesome process EVER. But I have a sneaky feeling that I make it harder than it is....

Last year at this time I was just getting to know my digital camera. I have some practice under my belt now, but not enough to streamline things. And since every window in my house is full of glassware, plants, and birdcages, I'm hardpressed to find one that lets in enough natural light for me to illuminate a product or two. I have to get close to it, for one thing. And then I have to have a horizontal surface near enough (and clear enough!) to it to pose a product. Gah!...

And heaven knows there's no shortage of props around here. Anywhere you look there's a cool book or little easel to help support a product or stage a photo. It's choosing one that's the hard part! I'm defined by my stuff and I like to share it in teeny tiny bits so that if you're ever at my house you'll have been prepared for the assault on the senses that is Tumbledown. But then because there are so many ways around here to show a product off I end up taking about a million shots, of course.... (Note to self: In future, just lay the poor thing on a piece of barn board and have done with it.)

After all the picturetaking comes the tweaking. Is the photo too dark? Is the image too blurry? Did I remember to photograph the creation from every angle? Did I remember to add the Mayfaire logo? Choose, save, upload, etc. Wash, rinse, repeat. Whew!

And if it was just about the photos, I'd be happy. But then there's the copy. I love reading sellers' copy! Creative copy makes me fall in love with a seller sometimes. It makes me want to buy their product just to have something made by such a special person!

But by the time I get to writing my own copy I'm tapped out. I can't see straight, I can't think straight. All I know is, the gajillion pics I just combed through make me sick to tears of the product I now have to gush about. Oops!

And this year it doesn't help that at this particular point in time I'm kind of an emotional slug, so it's hard to be all "!" when every cell in my body is feeling "...." I want to be gushy about my work (because no one wants to buy from an Eeyore), but the dishonesty of the 'fake it 'til you make it' rule kind of gives me hives....

This week, during all the tedious nit-pickiness of it all, I've wondered more than once whether or not what I'm doing is worth it. So much of my time has been spent on only a handful of products! (How do sellers with a million items DO this, anyway??) And in the year it's been open, my Etsy store has gotten few views and had few sales. I know I don't have to be a micro-managing perfectionist, agonizing over every product photo and every copy blurb. And I know there are more things that I can do as its proprietor to augment the numbers and statistics, as it's not just about uploading a photo and hoping for the best.

But without some tangible feedback I can't ignore the occasional feeling that perhaps my photos are holding me back, or my copy is lame, or my prices are too high or too low or too something. Or perhaps it's simply just me. (It's always a rollercoaster ride here in my head!)

And then a sale occurs and you'd think I'd won the moon or something, LOL! :)

So it goes....

Happily, I seem to have a smidgen more of a handle on this virtual store thing now than I had at the beginning. And because a virtual store interests the bejaysus out of me, I'm hoping to somehow maintain this interest and energy.

So here's to Cyber Monday and Mayfaire's 1-year anniversary. And here's to some new product listings all ready and waiting for you to check them out! And in the event that you like something you see there, please know that a 20% discount off your purchase (from now through the end of November, or until I remember to deactivate it) awaits you for being my beloved reader. Just use the coupon code CYBER2012 during the checkout process.

Thank you. And happy shopping!

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