Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Create And Earn Tip # 6 - What To Do When Sales Are Slow

It doesn't matter who you are, sooner or later you will experience a slowing down on sales.  You can be a big company making millions, or just a simple hobbyist earning $50 a month, but it will happen to you.  What do you do now?  What do you do to help sales pick up speed again?

In order to understand why sales have slowed down, first you need to understand why your graphics are being purchased in the first place.  If you understand this, you'll be able to take the steps necessary to get out of this situation.

Take an honest look at your graphics and decide if they are "timeless" or "seasonal".

Timeless graphics are those graphics that don't contain a reference to a particular day or week of the year.

A good example of a timeless graphic would be the picture of a beautiful lake.  Regardless of the time of the year, that particular image will have monetary value because it is pretty.  It doesn't matter if it is snowing outside or if you live in the desert where the temperature is 110 degrees.  Anyone, at any day of the year, can look at that picture and find it valuable/beautiful.

Another example of a timeless graphic would be a phrase or slogan that has no reference to a particular date in the calendar.  A graphic with the sentence: "Proud parent of a lazy teenager" will be funny  any day.  And people who have lazy teenagers at home will identify with it and therefore would want to purchase it regardless if it is November or May.

These are the opposite of Timeless Graphics.  Well, not quite.  Seasonal graphics have a reference to a particular day or week in the calendar, and therefore are more in demand around that period of time.

The perfect seasonal graphic would be anything with the image of Santa Claus in it.  What do we all think when we see Santa Claus? Christmas, right?

If you have a bunch of images with seasonal themes, it would only make sense that sales would slow down when we are not in that particular time of the year.

Of course, there are always exceptions for everything in life.  Sooner or later you will get someone to buy your Christmas graphics in the middle of June.  But look at these sales as what they are:  the exception and not the rule.

I recommend creating more timeless and less seasonal graphics if you want to see sales pick up again.

So you have looked into your portfolio and have determined you have more timeless than seasonal images, but sales are still dropping down.  I can't say I have every answer, I certainly don't.  However, over the years I've tried a couple of things when sales are slow and this is what has worked for me.

1.  Comment on products that have been purchased.
One day I noticed the same design kept selling, but only sporadically.  In order to keep track of it, I went to the comment section of that particular design and wrote:  "Dear Unknown Buyer, thanks for your purchase".  Few days later, I got an email saying that design had been purchased again.  I wrote the same comment and did the same with some other designs that had sold that same day.  To my surprise, they kept selling.  I started the habit of writing a little thank you note in the comment section of every design someone purchased.

I don't really know how things work, but may be a design with two, three or more comments will be more popular in search engines.  This will increase it's ranking and will have a bigger chance of appearing on the top spots when someone runs a search.

2.  Study your target market.
The subject of a target market is a long one.  And I will write a whole post about it some other day, but for now I'm going to keep it short.

If you don't know what a target market is, here is my definition:  The group of people who will purchase your graphics.  As simple as that.  If people stopped buying your graphics, there's a reason for that.  Sometimes it is a complex reason, others it may be a simple one.

For the sake of time, I'm going to stick with the simplest thing you can do regarding to "studying your target market".  That is, defining your target market.  If you don't have a well defined target market, you'll be shooting bullets into the dark.  You won't know what you hit, and you won't know if you'll ever hit it again.

The way I defined my target market was pretty simple and effective.  I started with a segment of the population with purchasing power.  Example: lawyers.  Then I though of a reason why a lawyer would purchase one of my graphics.  Example: because lawyers studied a lot to become lawyers and they feel pride for their profession, and my graphic makes them feel just that.  After having that concept clear in my mind, I came up with a line like this:

"Without lawyers the world ends"

And that is one of my most popular slogans related to lawyers in my store.

If you can answer these two questions:

"Who will buy my graphics?"
"Why will they buy my graphics?"

You will have a defined target market.  As I said before, the subject of a target market is a long and kind of complex one.  I'll write a complete article related to this matter, but for now we're going to stop here.

3.  Do your best.
I talked on this subject on the first Create And Earn Tip, however, I'm going to mention it here again just to highlight how important it really is.

Work on improving your existing designs and work on how to create better graphics.  Learn new skills if necessary.  If you're into selling drawings of flowers, but you know there are better artists than you out there, it's time to go learn their secret.  Do whatever it is necessary to help you create better graphics.

Make friends with people who are more advanced than you, take a class on how to take better pictures, on how to draw better; watch some tutorials on YouTube.

Do your best on developing your skills.


I'm going to end this Create And Earn Tip with a simple thought.  

When sales are slow it is time to look at you and your work.  Try to figure out what you have done wrong, and how you could fix this.  It is easy to blame others, but to find our own flaws is the right thing to do.

As always, I hope you've gotten as much value from this post as I intended to give.  Your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

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