The Reality About Reality TV
You know who you are. You’ve watched every season of Survivor and you are quite certain that with your own creative resourcefulness and plucky determination, you would easily triumph over Boston Rob on the remotest of desert islands. And you just KNOW that The Donald would pick you as the ultimate apprentice, if only you had the chance to show off your unique brand of entrepreneurial ingenuity and people skills.
And yet, as you shift uneasily in your easy chair, you wonder aloud why your superb survival skills and business savvy have not yet led to wild success and blockbuster sales in your Etsy shop.
Okay, you DID read the Etsy Success email last week about the importance of marketing and promotion. Yes, you know that you are in a marketplace with 300,000 other sellers, making for some very stiff competition. And yes, you realize that you’ll need to be responsible for driving traffic to your own shop and making your brand stand out in a crowd. “But I don’t have time for marketing,” you whine from your comfort zone, as one more Housewife from Somewhere records her new music video and doesn’t invite her best friend to the Gala of The Year. “I barely have time to create my art (or to hunt down and list my vintage items),” you wail with dramatic flair.
What I’m about to propose may be as shocking as the season finale to The Bachelorette, but it is one of my best tips:
Turn off reality television for one hour each day. You heard what I said. Do it.
Hear me out. The folks over at Nielsen recently reported that the average American adult watches 35.6 hours of TV each week. That’s just a few hours short of a full-time job!
Just think what you might do if you turned off Reality TV for one hour each day. You could:
- read tutorials or how-tos
- participate in the Etsy Forums
- write a blog post or a tutorial to share
- visit other blogs and interact by leaving comments
- design a business card or thank you note to include with your orders.
- re-organize your Etsy shop
- network on Facebook (I said “network”, which BTW does not include surfing, playing Scrabble, or gossiping)
- organize a giveaway on your own blog or on someone else’s
- participate in blog hops, or weekly challenges (I enjoy Illustration Friday, for example).
- learn the basics of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language– useful if you have a blog)
- read your Etsy Success Newsletter
- learn how to use the crop, contrast, and color adjust features on your photo editing tool
You get the idea. Now answer this final question for all the marbles, the whole enchilada, the pot of gold:
Which of these scenarios would you choose if you could only experience just one?
1. You are sitting passively in your armchair watching OTHERS enjoy adventure, wealth, success, and new friendships; OR
2. With just one hour of marketing and promotion each day, You have become the star of your very own reality show, as a wildly successful artisan or vintage-treasure-purveyor enjoying fame and fortune and fabulous new friendships.
I thought so.
And I’m here to tell you that my tip works. I gave up watching reality television a couple years ago. I currently spend an average of one hour each and every day on just promotion and marketing. And with close to 1100 sales to date in my Etsy Shop, not to mention throngs of blog readers and oodles of fabulous and fascinating new friends on my Facebook page, I’d say my strategy is working. And don’t be overwhelmed by lists like the one above. Just pick one task at a time and focus on it for one hour. Do that every day and see what happens. Now I’m off to star in my own reality show which I call “The Real Crazy Cat Ladies of Cyberspace and Beyond”, right after I watch Dancing With the Stars. Hey, it’s my one indulgence. I’m only human.
Do you have any ideas for carving out an extra hour in each day for your very own Reality Show? Share them in the comments section below.