So. Today’s New Year, New You post from Deb is about our ability to do stuff we don’t want to do.
I can promise you that your goals are crammed chock full of glistening gems that you would rather claw your own eyes out than address. If you liked addressing these things, your goals wouldn’t be goals, they would be called Items I Am Already Doing No Problem-o.
I like writing (usually). I like blogging. I like making jewelry and experimenting in my kitchen and doing tarot readings. I like modeling. I like making stuff.
What I don’t like is marketing.
1) I don’t enjoy shelling out table-fees and spending my saturdays smiling at people and trying to remember how to do retail sales while praying that I break even.
2a) I’m out and out afraid of Dealing With Money. I’m not entirely sure how to figure out my overhead when I’ve been buying materials for years (including before I started trying to sell my crafts) and my materials don’t divide into products in any kind of a formulaic way.
2b) I am also scared to death that, once I figure out how my overhead costs (and labour costs and actual product costs) get divided between pieces, I’m going to discover that I’ve priced myself too high and no-one will buy my stuff. I have a similar problem when it comes to pricing my services, actually. Hrm…
3) I also don’t like cold-calling people. I’m fine with answering casting-calls, and I’m getting much better at sending out those once-per-semester “Hey, hire ME!” emails to my various modeling-gig people, but out-right cold-calling someone – walking into a cafe and saying “Hey, can I do tarot readings here?” (for example) is just scary-as-all-fuck.
So, yeah. Those are my Things I Hate Doing.
Inconveniently, they’re also the things that will make my entrepreneurship a viable career option, so:
1) Etsy store. Yes there are still Listing Fees and, yes, I need to “show up and take part” by updating my listings a couple of times a week and, yes, this involves getting Really Good with my point-and-shoot camera (and learning how to use the tripod, and fishing my CD out of the storage locker, and, and, and – none-of-which are things I like doing) and, yes, there are still things I won’t enjoy (yet) about doing this, but at least my “table fee” covers three months rather than eight hours, and I don’t need to spend entire days hard-selling at people.
2a) Ask Ghost – who has run her own business for ages – about calculating overhead. (Wow. Look at that. I can totally hear my brain coming up with Excuses about why this doesn’t work. Specifically “But carpentry is different! You don’t buy an entire skid of lumber because you need 8-10 two-by-fours!”)
2b) Ghost says that this won’t happen because there are tonnes of people who will always equate “more expensive” with “better” (or at least “more prestigious”). My friend, K8, says that in the world of being a gun-for-hire (she’s a freelance writer and editor, among other things), you basically throw a figure at the proverbial wall and see what sticks. Okay…
So this one’s pretty much a “suck it up and do it” thing. But maybe I can do some magical stuff in relation to it – like doing spells for drawing confidence (in)to myself, or something.
3) E-mail queries. I know, I know. Ghost would tell me that it’s much harder for someone to say No when they’re looking you in the eyes. Email can just be ignored. None the less, I find it doesn’t get ignored that often and it saves me the gut-twisting terror of having to convince someone of my worthiness as a fill-in-the-blank on the fly and in person. YAY! O.O
Confidence-drawing magic may help here, as well, but so will getting together a list of local cafe addresses and sending them query-letters about setting up to do tarot-readings once a month or something. Maybe.
Here’s hoping that my Getting On With It works well.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Okay, yes. I’m extremely wary of setting up a set-date to wait around on the off chance that someone wants to purchase divination services from me. I may do what Miss Sugar does and offer online divination-by-appointment or similar, and see if that gets me anywhere.
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I haaaaaaaaaaate cold calling like whoa. I hate the phone except for a few people a whole lot. I think it’s all the years working as an admin and also being secretly shy. So I can relate!
I’ve found getting good pictures for Etsy a challenge, but I’ve gotten better at it for sure. It just takes practice 🙂 If you can find a low table fee, that may help too. I’ve found tables for around $30 around here and that’s not too much of an investment.
I also hate the phone – it’s like it combines the worst of in-person (improvised, no chance to edit, all done on the fly) and online (no facial expressions or body-language) combined. 😦
So far, my pictures have been pretty awful. Mostly because I can’t hold the camera steady (thense: tripod!), and partially because I don’t actually know how to do “macro”, really (there’s a setting, but… ??) and also because I’m using a pretty small, non-black (I use enough hematite and onyx in my stuff that black backgrounds aren’t the best idea) back-drop, so I get Obvious Shadows. Some of this is easy to fix (bigger back-drop, take pictures from further away using some sort of a zoom option(?), use a tripod) and some it is all about the learning curve (What is “macro”? How do I find, and work, the Zoom Function?). I can do it, it’ll just take a little while.
Re: Table Fees: A lot of the fairs around here do $30 table fees. It’s not bad, I know. That said, what tends to move when I’m at craft fairs is the under=$5 stuff (soap, for the most part, but also bath-bombs and similar goodies), which means I need to move a lot (for a given value of “a lot”) of product to break even. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Maybe that just means that I need to pick a product – either Bath Stuff OR Jewelry – rather than trying to do both from the same table. (Your thoughts on this would be appreciated, since you – iirc – present a pretty wide variety of crafts at the fairs you attend).
Right now, I’m looking at upping my jewelry prices (right now, I’m making about $0.90 profit on my earrings, for example, after overhead and paying myself, and that won’t cover the cost of business cards, even if I’m printing them myself, let alone give me cash to buy more expensive stones or switch to sterling silver findings).
(Granted, I’m afraid I’m going to price myself “too high” and no-one shopping at a craft-fair will actually buy my stuff – which is the other Scary – but that’s why I’m aiming for Etsy with this stuff. I figure it’s a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay bigger market-place and people can set their search criteria to include a given price-range, so I might be okay).
 Yeah. I wrote out a list of approximate values – $10 for a strand of 4mm beads, 40 beads/strand, approximations of how many beads go into a given peice, etc – and did some math. So I have an estimate of what my materials/peice cost. YAY! 😀 (Go me).