By LeonaDeFuego 472 views
You’d be hard pressed to get me to believe that for most dilemmas or endeavors in life, the wisdom of Star Wars won’t provide the answer. Star Wars is timeless (and perfect) because it speaks to the nature of the human experience, the good and evil in all of us, the intoxicating temptation of power and greed, the redemptive transformation that compassion and forgiveness offer us and the undeniable Force that comes from kindness and goodwill.
So let’s indulge our inner nerds in galactic measure and draw some advice for Sellers from not just the best known Star Wars sages – Yoda (my hero), Obi Wan and Skywalker – but also from our handsome heroes Han and Mando, other less prominent characters and even from Darth Vader.
Enjoy! And may the Force be with you!
As you’ve heard in other blogs here and from other teachers and mentors in your life and career: the effort and time you put into this has a direct effect on your success. By the same token, not putting in any time or effort and hoping to thrive isn’t a reasonable expectation. Create a shop that shows the breadth of what you have to offer. Post status updates and photos that help Buyers get to know your personality – with thousands of beautiful, talented Sellers here, Buyers are more likely to choose the ones they feel they’ve gotten to know or whose personalities they like. And be YOU: don’t try to be someone you’re not, don’t say yes to gigs you’re not comfortable with (working at the edges of your comfort zone later), and don’t let pushy or disrespectful Buyers manipulate you – they’re not worth it, trust me.
Follow through on your promises in a timely manner. Communicate accurate expectations and make right things that goes wrong if you can. Perhaps you don’t refund items that get lost in the mail, but maybe you’d consider offering a discount to the Buyer for a new purchase, even if the loss of the item isn’t your fault. It could mean that Buyer becomes a repeat Buyer or leaves you a shining review that shows other potential Buyers that you make sure they are happy with their purchases.
Revel in the success of your first sale, or the increase in traffic from your newest marketing strategy or having had a meaningful connection on the site. Perhaps think about starting a journal for yourself about your experiences here. Keep your wins at the front of your mind when times are slow and trust the wisdom of the Buddha (Yoda’s muse I’m sure) that nothing is permanent and things will change. When it’s the salad days “take the photographs and still frames in your mind, hang them on a shelf in good health and good time…for what it’s worth, it was worth it all the time.” (Billie Joe Armstrong/Green Day, though if you haven’t heard the Glen Campbell version pause reading to go listen to it – like, right now.)
I’ll repeat perhaps the only truth there is in life: nothing is permanent. Enjoy the successes, take that confidence boost and run with it, but don’t always expect a bear market, and don’t put yourself so high on a pedestal that you don’t recognize the capabilities of other Sellers. Hundreds of new Sellers join the site every day and we are a truly exceptional, gifted and gorgeous group of folks. Buyers have tons of great options here: you’re one of them. But not the only one. So cool your jets, be kind and helpful and collaborative with other Sellers, and know that you won’t be every Buyers cup of tea.
Don’t wallow on the disappointment of a sale not happening and try to not let the ghosters get you down. Focus forward. While I know we’d probably all rather hear “I’ve decided to go with a different Seller” than simply be ghosted, not everybody is good at open communication, and they fear an angry response. In fact, probably more people than not are conflict avoidant and would rather just go silent than be the bearer of bad news. Take a compassionate attitude and remember: it’s their loss.
Adjust pricing or strategy if you’re not being successful. Not necessarily by much, but consider whether you will still feel fairly compensated if you lowered your rates by $2-$3. Think of deals, discounts or Dashboard campaigns you could run to gain exposure or get a boost in connections with potential Buyers. Be prepared for periods of low sales and steel your guts to weather those periods. Be grateful for the moments of success and abundance.
Know what you’re up for and what you’re not but be willing to try new things at the edges of your comfort zone or that you would like to be good at but have no experience with. Experience is the best teacher. Consider starting at a lower price point with a new service and raise it once you gain more expertise.
THERE IS ALWAYS A BIGGER FISH! Don’t despair when business is slow or you seem to be afflicted with only flaky, ghosty Buyers. And don’t significantly lower your prices just to get sales – you won’t be satisfied from it, and both you and your Buyers deserve satisfaction here. I’m a firm believer that there’s enough to go around and I don’t let my fearful side take control when I see the sheer numbers of Sellers out there and see underselling happening left and right. Know your worth and price your items at rates you consider fair and reasonable for both yourself and the Buyer and that adequately compensate you for your time, talent, effort and investment. I always try to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, as much as I’d sometimes like to hit the hyperdrive and get as many parceps away from what’s making me anxious.
Never forget: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” —Yoda, The Phantom Menace
I am a HUGE believer in this one. When I’m discouraged, angry at those pesky non-Buyers trying to get as much as they can for nothing, frustrated by slow sales and worrying that things won’t pick up, I’m putting negative karmic energy out into the universe, and at a minimum I stand less of a chance of my attitude improving because all I can focus on is the negative. When I change my perspective and remember that it’s human nature to want something for nothing, when I remember that I’m in control of how much time and attention I give potential Buyers, when I tell myself that abundance is waiting for me and instead of worrying about poor outcomes I imagine good ones, more good things start to happen around me, and I come out of my despairing moods much more quickly.
The power of your intention and positive energy makes you a Force to be reckoned with! Your outlook and your honest intention to make people happy with what you offer will create a snowball effect that, paired with your time and effort, will create abundance for you.
JUST KEEP GOING! Yes, this site is overflowing with enchanting and skillful Sellers. Yes, your Dashboard posts get buried in minutes by the volume of other posts happening all day. Yes, odds are that many Buyer inquiries will not result in a sale. Guess what: that’s sales, love. Just keep doing your thing. It’s only when you throw in the towel and give up that the odds go to zero.
Be willing to politely decline a Buyer if their request isn’t something you are comfortable offering, or their budget doesn’t reach the value you place on yourself and the items you sell. You want to be happy about every sale you make – YOU’RE in charge of whether that’s the case or not. So ask yourself, “Will I be happy with this sale at this price?” If the answer is no, let it go.
Be innovative. Is there a twist on a service you see regularly offered that you can incorporate to set yourself apart? Is there a different marketing strategy you can try out to see if it attracts more Buyers? Take time to sit down and do brainstorming sessions on ways you can set yourself apart or offer something unique and different.
Be prepared to see your innovations copied by others, and, unfortunately, sometimes even your writing. I’ve seen my words copied/pasted and used by other Sellers and yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s a free and open market and there’s no copywrite on my words. All I can do is message the Seller or comment on their plagiarized post that they’re welcome to use the idea but to please craft it into their own wording. Short of that, it’s out of my control.
Trust your gut when you don’t have a good feeling about a potential Buyer and pay attention to patterns of communication that are red flags. The best example is the ever-occurring Buyer request to chat on Kik or Snap instead of on ATW Messenger. I’ve heard other Sellers say it’s hard to know what to do and that they are hesitant to set a boundary here. I understand. Especially when sales are slow, that hope of this guy being legit can speak louder than the voice in our stomach saying, “Honey, you’ve heard this before.” Set a boundary and remember that you deserve respect. Here’s copy of mine that I am quite happy for you to use verbatim as often as necessary: “I do not communicate off this site until a purchase has been made. This is my across-the-board policy.” For me, after two more attempts from the Buyer to get me off site I send: “If you ask me to go off site one more time I will block and report you.” You will marvel at how effective it is at shutting those non-Buyers down and extinguishing new messages from them. Major time saver here!
The same goes for potential Buyers asking for multiple pictures of ‘their options.’ Quite often these non-Buyers as I call them have no intention of making a purchase and either want to get free content from you or want to see how much of your attention and time they can get, and usually they want both. Decide for yourself how many photos of options you are willing to send to potential Buyers and when you are one or two pics from that limit, inform them: “I will be able to send you one more photo of your options, then you’ll kindly have to choose something or search elsewhere. What I’ve sent you gives you more than enough of an idea of what’s available for you to be able to make a decision.” Pro tip here: send photos of options of the items only, not you wearing them. If asked to send photos wearing the items let them know that they are welcome to order a photo set from you if they’d like. If they go silent at this point in the conversation, remember that you didn’t lose a sale - a sale was never going to happen. And try not to be too bitter. It’s human nature to try to get something for nothing.
You are welcome to try out any of these suggestions for yourself, or not. You will learn from experience and develop your own boundaries and strategies to not waste time on the non-Buyers and to have respectful and pleasant interactions with the rest. If you are new here and some of these suggestions seem strict, all I can say is that my experience has shown me that my policies save me a lot of time and headaches, and my willingness to state those boundaries shows potential Buyers that I won’t abide treatment that disrespects my time, effort or self.
Thank the Maker – you made a sale! Celebrate? …Hell yes! Close the shared narrative? …Well, does that have to be the case? Consider whether you want to offer the Buyer a perk or discount for a second purchase or for regular repeat purchases. Consider offering a couple of nice extras with purchases that don’t cost you time, money or effort (proof of wear pics or hand written thank you cards sent with items are just a couple of examples). What can you do to create the potential for either repeat business or at a minimum rave reviews that other potential Buyers will see?
You, my dear, are a magnificent beast who has their own special something to offer here. And it’s not just your looks, your scent or your secretions. You are talented. You are hard working. You are intelligent. Remember this and let YOU shine here. There’s only one of you, and that person is pretty fucking fantastic.
“This is the way.”
Keep an eye out for my other blog:The Panty Selling World According to Star Wars - for Buyers
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
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