Wait. This job doesn’t have a steady paycheck? ;)
It can be crazypants watching your monthly stats go on an actual rollercoaster ride. And I’m not talking about one of the fun, smooth, family style rollercoasters at Disney World.. I’m talking about the make-you-pee-your-pants rollercoasters that take you up to a super high peak and then plummet you straight down to certain and eventual death. Dramatic? Maybe. Stressful? Definitely.
Here are some real life numbers for ya.
In 2017, I went from $4,000 in April to $7,200 in May to $5,300 in June.. and JUUUST when you would have thought I had it all figured out, July decided to smack me in the face with a less than enthusiastic $1,500. (That reminds me.. July, we need to have a chat.)
Here’s the thing, though. You’re gonna have slow seasons. You’re gonna have rollercoaster-looking stats. But when you add up those 4 months, you still come out with an average of $4,500/month. Not too shabby, eh?
It is so important to take advantage of the peak selling times so you can rest and recharge in your slow selling times.
believe it or not, Slow selling times are actually crucial to your creative process.
When we’re in the middle of a selling frenzy, we’re in maintenance mode. We’re packaging orders, responding to inquiries, and doing everything we can to keep up with our processing times. Often, there’s not a lot of extra time to dream or design or create.
That’s why when you DO have a slow month or two, take advantage of it so you can rock the heck out of your fast months.
So stop staring at (AND CRYING OVER) your stats. Do these 5 things instead.
1. Brainstorm a new product line for an upcoming season.
Check out Etsy’s Key Shopping Dates (Shop Manager → Marketing → Key Shopping Dates) to see what they’re planning on promoting, and when. Get some ideas for new products or variations of current ones, and get to work! This is a perfect time to test out some prototypes, spend a full day being creative, or redesign an old item that needs a facelift.
2. Update your photos on a listing (or several) that's been in your shop for a while.
Chances are, if you took those listing photos a year or two ago, your skills have improved since then. Mimic the style of a photo that seems to perform super well in your shop, or play around with seasonal photo styling and give yourself the option to switch them out throughout the year. (Pro tip: If what you already have is working, leave it alone. Don’t change for the sake of changing. Only do this if you feel that a listing could be performing better than it is.)
3. Make sure your tags and titles are relevant to the current time of year.
If it’s June and you still have “valentine’s day gift” as a part of your title, it’s probably time to get in there and do some editing. (I’ve definitely been guilty of this one before!) Think about what holidays or seasons are coming up 2, 3, even 4 months from now, and go ahead and get those keywords changed out.
Obviously when your SEO is on point, you have a better chance of showing up on the top of search pages, which will give you maximum exposure at peak times of the year. And let’s be honest, SEO is only half the battle, so if you haven’t checked out my newest freebie, you definitely need to! You’ll learn about what I call the Popular Listing Circle Effect - a phenomenon that successful sellers have all figured out how to take advantage of, AND you’ll get some actionable tips to boost your listings, EVEN when your SEO is already awesome. Seriously, grab it right here.
4. Try out a targeted offer.
Slower seasons mean less people are coming into your shop. That’s why it is critical to give potential buyers that ARE browsing around an extra incentive to complete their purchase. You can try out an Abandoned Cart promo or a Favorited Item promo. Watch this Facebook Live if you have no clue what I'm talking about. (Both can be found in Shop Manager → Marketing → Sales and Coupons.) Start your budget low and see how it goes. If it’s effective, ramp it up!
5. Create new listings for a bundle of items you already have.
I’ve had great success with bundles in letterhappy. Enamel pins sell for $9/each, but I have a discounted bundle in my shop for a larger quantity. Bundles are a time-tested sales strategy - basically an up-sell of sorts. A buyer might be looking around and see 2 pins she likes, which would give me a sale of $18, but if I’m offering her a bundle of 3 pins for $25, that’s like getting $2 (or almost 25%) off her third pin! A total no brainer for her, and an extra $7 for me! (Pro tip: Make sure your margins are big enough for you to handle this! Don’t lose money!)
So remember, slow seasons can be a blessing in disguise, if you know how to make use of your extra time. Don't forget to breathe and schedule some me-time in there, too. You deserve it.