At the bottom of the Customer Order Tracker, there is a spot to jot down your goals for the upcoming month. This may seem cheesy, but it’s proven that writing down your goals helps you to be accountable and more likely to accomplish them. No goal is too big or too small! Write it down and make it happen.
6. I participated in vendor events: Admittedly, I’m a pretty big homebody. And even though I’m extremely outgoing, I love being antisocial on the weekends. So this was a bit of a challenge for me, but it definitely paid off. When I was invited to participate in vendor events/craft fairs, I did! Most of these were simple little events at schools or convention centers – ya know the type…you pay $20 to rent a table, set up all your stuff and people come to shop.
I’ll be honest, I never made a ton of money at any of these events. Maybe two to three-hundred dollars on a good day – keep in mind, the most expensive thing I was selling was $10 so it’s not too terrible when you look at it that way, but not really anything to write home about.
The value in participating in these events is the exposure. Like any business, people need to know about you if you want to make it. Having hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of people see your products and learn about your business in a single day is HUGE! At one event I met a lady who owns a boutique who ended up ordering hundreds of dollars worth of product from me for her store. I probably would have never come in contact with her if I wouldn’t have agreed to participate in that vendor fair – so the $25 I spent to rent a table and the four hours I spent standing there making small talk were completely worth it.
7. I found the best way (for me) to advertise: I tried the Etsy thing for a while…I really tried giving it a good go, but ultimately I didn’t stick with it long enough for it to really pay off for me. There is SO much competition on Esty for vinyls, and the shops with more purchase history and more reviews are always going to outshine someone new, so I began looking for other places to strategically market my products.
I lived in a huge neighborhood at the time (around 600 houses) with all ages of people. There is an app called Nextdoor, which is basically like a social media platform but only for people who live in your neighborhood or in surrounding neighborhoods (this depends on how your Nextdoor is set up…mine pulled from about twenty neighborhoods nearby). Mostly people use it to complain about people parking in front of their mailbox or dogs pooping in their yard (if you live in a neighborhood you probably just said “YUP!”), but I used it to HUSTLE, friends.
About 98% of my income from cutting vinyls came from local sales that I PAID NOTHING TO GET. I would post a grouping of products on Nextdoor with some general info and the orders would start flooding in. It really was that easy. I created seasonal products (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s Day) that were always sure to appeal to people looking for gifts or decor.
Another huge perk to selling to people living nearby is that you rarely have to pay anything (or charge your customers) for shipping, because people can come by and get their orders. Or if you really want to step it up a notch, offer to drop it by their house!
The word of mouth from my neighbors was insane. I ended up selling vinyls to people living in New York, Chicago, Florida, Delaware and all kinds of places because people in my neighborhood knew somebody who knew somebody that NEEDED a monogram. Exposure, exposure, exposure!
Of course, there are other ways to advertise and sell products. Facebook/Instagram ads, Etsy, online yard sales, etc. I really didn’t utilize anything other than Nextdoor because I could hardly keep up with the workload from those sales. But if I ever decided to further expand my vinyl business, those would be my top priorities.
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