As The Second World Goes ‘Round
Just another avatar’s view of Second Life!

Let me put on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”

Im having second thoughts about my business. From the way that my items having been flying off the racks, besides the freebie, Im thinking about closing it. I have to send some samples to the blogs in order to get some publicity, but I don’t know. I have sunk some money into renting, uploading textures and ads, etc. and I just not conviced that I really could sell anything. Part of me thinks it is a quality issue, but then why my first hair would fly off the vendors? Hmm. Maybe I should send everything off to the blogs to see what hits and what misses. I just have the bad feeling that everything is horrible.  Also right now Im in the middle of finals and I don’t really have the time to deal with all the details of running a business, heck I barely have time for freebie hunting.  Any readers business owners? I could totally use the help with getting my business off the ground!

Cheers

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5 Responses to “Let me put on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina””

  1. If I get a chance later, I’ll go take a look at the store and see what you have.

  2. Thank you!

  3. I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way, especially after seeing how excited you were to open the store.

    It’s going to take time for people to learn about your store, and you need the right people to know about it. Since I’m someone who really doesn’t wear jewelry in SL, I’m not likely to shop there, regardless of the quality. You need to focus on attracting those people who do wear jewelry or expand your offerings (which I know would be a problem right now with school going on).

    One way to attract business may be to offer one of your styles for free at a freebie shop or to provide a certificate there redeemable at your store. Some of the older avies may be kind of set in their ways when it comes to shopping, but if you can attract a new person, you may end up with a regular customer.

    One more thing—have you thought about posting pics of your entire line here? I think blogs are an excellent way to showcase your products and drive business to your store. Just look at how many of the big SL designers have blogs for this purpose alone.

    Anyway, I hope things pick up. Let me know if I can help 🙂

  4. Thank you sooo much Chloe!

  5. Getting a business in SL off the ground takes time, and a fair bit of work.

    1) Get a second blog, and devote it to your products. Post images (I just use my ads, as do most people) of every new release, maybe a short thing about them. Add the SLURL to the bottom of the post so people can just hit that and go (that last bit may be obvious, but I wasn’t doing it until a friend pointed out it was a good idea), because you _need_ that blog added to the fashionplanet feed (it’s sort of mystery meat getting added, send him an email to ask, include the feed url, and magically one day you’ll be in the sidebar), and people will be mostly reading off of that, not your main page. That immediately boosts your visibility by an astounding degree.

    2) Troll Fashcon until they open up new designer apps and jump on that. Then wait an age to be added (I applied in mid October, and was added in mid to late December- once they get around to sending me the stuff to set up it _still_ took me a week or so). It’s total spamcon and I leave notices off and check the notice archive periodically because it is just too much traffic, but after I post a fashcon notice my store is mobbed. Many people don’t buy, but enough do that it is 100% worth it. It’s also another way to get your name out there/get known, which is the biggest problem starting out.

    3) Clothing sells more than jewelry. With all the problems with attachments and lag and the fact that clothing needs to be worn and is far more visible, I’ve found an insane difference in the number of sales since I started offering my first few clothing pieces. That doesn’t mean give up on jewelry, but that _does_ mean that jewelry is a lot harder to make work.

    4) Send things off to reviewers. I don’t do this, because I tried it once, and it was a royal pain in the ass finding who to send things too and I saw very little return off of it, but I also gave up halfway through and may not have hit the right bloggers. Additionally it’s a bit hit or miss in that you need to find someone with whom that item clicks, with their personal style, to get a really good review. I just got an absolutely fabulous review cold off Men’s Second Style, and I think it’s contributing to the couple of good days I’m having (he sent me a note about it due to something else, beforehand, so I was forewarned and spent the last couple of days pushing myself to get the tux corsets released before the review so they’d be out for the new traffic. While it’s a men’s fashion blog, he does a lot of unisex items, and there are a lot of girls who spend money).

    5) Well planned freebie releases I think are a great marketting ploy. That stocking I gave you is a fun toy, has a lot of silly things and a couple of things that people really like, and I put it out a couple of weeks before Christmas (I would have done it earlier, but I put it out as soon as I finished it!) _and_ right after I put up the NosferCoat. Then I posted in my blog, and Fashcon (two days later maybe? It was as soon as I got posting priveledges- as an aside, _always_ look up the group rules and obey them to the letter in any promo group, you don’t want to jeopardize your ability to use it by getting banned or a bad rep with the members). It was also a sequel to a Halloween treat pumpkin, that, in my opinion, was better really, but I didn’t have as many resources to advertise at that point. Still, it was blogged and got a little exposure. Pimp your freebies out- the Free*Style group has gone from a great place to a lot of noise, so it’s not as good as it used to be, but IM Creamy Cooljoke with things, she’s got a rep of promoting quality freebies, as well as being the admin of the group. Hey Girlfriends also got out of hand and I dropped out (both groups went invite only because they were getting hammered by crappy resellers), but it is also a great place to pimp freebies for traffic. Again, make sure to follow the rules meticulously, people get _very_ pissed at spam/multi posting/etc. I make a number of freebies that are things that I might otherwise sell, as well as a lot of “I want a _something_ for _something_” that might not necessarily be something awesome enough to take up the wallspace with, like the scarf and armwarmers. They’re still cute plain separates, but I’ve got enough stock I’m skating my prim limit all the time now.

    6) Location location location. Being someplace that brings traffic to you without having to bust your ass is awesome. I do not really have this. I’ve got a fab deal in La Reina because I was friends with the owner before she bought the sim, and I’m also trying to up the visibility of the sim itself (she’s looking for people for residential rentals). But, I’ve been on the sim since it opened, and it’s a private island and all, so people are only going to find it if it’s a destination. That’s another reason behind all the freebies, and she’s given me free reign over the store design, and I occasionally spill out a little seasonally to try to make it a place people think is _neat_, aside from just a shop. I’ve also got a sweet deal in Le Cadre as a right-place-right-time, but I don’t work as hard promoting it, and I don’t make as many sales off of it. Before Ohana Marketplace closed, I had a little booth, and even though it’s a place that attracted its own traffic (monthly treasure hunts), I still only barely made my rent most weeks. My last shop also doesn’t bring in a _lot_ of traffic, but it’s a connections thing (I know a bunch of the people running the area, and they’re trying to overhaul it and work their own traffic, it currently does pay for itself even if it doesn’t turn a huge profit so I’m staying until it’s a loss or I need to leave for some other reason, since it might turn into something good).

    7) Patience. It’s really disheartening when you don’t see anything going anywhere, but it takes a lot of time to get your name out there. I started at the Jewelry Expo in September, and until this month I wasn’t getting that much exposure. I have tried to keep my overhead low, and the Expo was brill for building up some start up capital- I have been very lucky with timing and such on a lot of things.

    8) (And by now I have no idea if my numbers are sequential anymore, and things are just listed in order of them coming to my head anyway) The official SL forums have a product release section. I have only just started using it (I still haven’t posted the tuxes, I need to do that today), but it’s more eyeballs on your stuff, and I was directed there by a quite successful SL designer whose acquaintance I made recently.

    That’s all I’ve got right now. Next time I’m in world and not running around going insane, I have to check out your stuff! I _do_ devote a lot of my time to the shop now (the ads for the tuxes took many many days, as well as organizing all the pieces; when I post an announcement to a group in world I hang out in a poseball in the shop dressed in the new thing, and try to chat up people a little even though I’m not really good at that…which you might be able to tell since you were the one who drew me into a conversation :), and that sort of thing).


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