Marketing Like a Farmer

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The Etsy blog had a nice story to share about how a family farm is using the internet to grow their business.

“Bernard Smith at Full of Life Farm thought he had it all worked out….  But it didn’t turn out quite as he’d imagined.”

His visions of a “Happily ever after” life on the farm were not panning out.

“I realized that price and convenience are the biggest parameters shaping the purchasing decisions of potential buyers.”  So he did something about it.

Click here to read the full story

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/full-of-life-farm/

Lori Delisle

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Exposure

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My recent experiments with Social Media are showing some pay off.

I was getting frustrated with Facebook because I was noticing less and less interaction from my “likers.”  FB’s new policies for pages meant that unless I paid a premium for views, most of my followers were not seeing my posts.  But then when a fellow member of my SFEtsy team mentioned that she had realized that links on FB pages got very few eyeballs, I started to look more closely at the insights notated at the bottom of each of my posts.

She was right!  Links get very, very few eyeballs.  By my calculations FB will at times only put them into the news feed of 3-4% of my followers!  That is nearly futile.

Plain status updates end up on about 25% of their walls.  That is a MUCH better number.  BUT most of my status updates don’t get any interaction from my followers.  They see them, but don’t comment or like.

PHOTOS on the other hand may get on something like 18-20% of my follower’s walls, but almost EVERYONE will get some kind of interaction.  Like(s), comments or both.

Interaction is what we want.  Why?  Because when some one likes something on your page or comments on your page, a message like “Sally Soandso commented on Salt and Light by Lori Delisle’s photo” will show up in their friends’ news feeds.  Then “friend” sees what “Sally Soandso” was doing and gets curious and checks out your page and maybe even comments (happened to me just last night.  Her final comment “Prophetic jewelry?! What?! That could be right up my alley!”) and hopefully does more.  As my interactions and reach increase, so are my follower numbers.  This is VERY exciting because before I started initiating this, my “follower” or “liker” numbers were stagnant for months.

THE TOOL I’m using to make this easier for me is Instagram(a smart phone app).  I take pictures with my phone and post them through Instagram directly onto my FB page.  These are the kinds of pictures I am taking:

  • Me wearing my jewelry.  How I style it etc.  I use a separate photo framing app to make a collage of pictures of my outfit and then import that into Instagram.
    IMG_0786.JPG (2)
  • Jewelry in process or other things I’m working on in my studio.
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  • Novelty pictures of my daily life.IMG_0798.JPG (2)
  • Pictures that my customers send me.IMG_0795.JPG (2)
  • Pictures that beg for interaction.  “Help me decide which ring band to use on my new design.”  “Which outfit should I wear out on my date tonight?”  This is fun for my followers.  They love to give their opinion!IMG_0827

And interestingly enough, it seems that the more my followers interact with me, the more it seems FB is promoting my page, because the “eyeball” numbers seem to be slowly inching up on all of my posts.  Coincidence??? Probably not, because my page is becoming more profitable for them if it gets more views.  Right?

Lori Delisle

How’d I Do?

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I’m analyzing the changes I made last year to see how they affected the sales and profits in my line, Salt & Light by Lori Delisle.

My first post on the subject is here where I make a quick summary of the changes I implemented into my business.

I had my accountant, my handsome husband, print out Profit & Loss statements for 2011 and 2012 so I could compare the basic numbers.   The results are astounding!

Number of Pieces Sold – Down 19%
Total Income – Up 67%
Cost of Goods – Up 22%
Gross Profit – Up 230%

Office Expenses – Down 34%
Professional Fees – Up 274%
Total Expenses – Down 5%

Net Income – UP 624% !!!!

To break down some important points.

  • I sold less pieces in 2012 than in 2011, but made more money.  By starting to move away from the less expensive items that I sold more units of, and moving towards selling more expensive items that I sell less units of, I made more money.  (And saved myself costly time shipping more orders)
  • My increase in price per piece did not hurt my business.
  • I can assume that to some extent, my efforts to present a more unified, professional, high-end line helped solidify those higher price-point sales.
  • All of my efforts to reduce expenses paid off and allowed me to spend some much needed money on office help (professional fees).
  • My Total Expenses actually went DOWN!
  • And best of all, my PROFIT went UP!!!

I think you can say that some things I did last year worked!  Yeah!

Seeing these hard numbers is so invigorating!  I hope they will encourage you to start some of this process in your small business as well.

Lori Delisle

Lift Your Face, Lift Your Eyes

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As I sat here pondering this new year, I thought about the name of this blog:  Facelift.  To many of us this name means a removing of wrinkles, blemishes, odd bumps and making something fresh and new.  I submit it is also a removal of old ways and mindsets for a smoother path in our road.

Think “Lift Your Face” not just “Facelift”.

Think “Look Up”  and “Lift Your Eyes.”

I remembered that these phrases, to lift up your eyes, to lift up your face are seen all over in the Bible and I decided to sit down and study some of the times when men and women lifted their eyes, so that I might renew my own thinking.

The first who jumped out at me was Joshua.  Joshua, the new leader of Israel, is preparing to lead the HUGE camp of the children of Israel into their first battle to lay claim to the land that the Lord God has promised them.  He is leading an army of men who have never fought a day in their life.  In fact, they have spent their entire life camping in the wilderness.  They have not even had to hunt or fish or grow their own food.  They are like babies, fed on God’s manna their entire life:

The Commander of the Army of the Lord

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

6 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war;

Joshua Chapters 5 & 6

Joshua’s situation might have seemed hopeless.  But Joshua did not look back, he did not look at the walls of Jericho, he lifted his eyes and saw the Commander of the Lord’s Army.  When Joshua lifted his eyes and bowed his knee he received the encouragement he needed to go forward.  God let him know that He had ALREADY delivered Jericho into his hands and called his men  “men of war!”.  He also received a specific plan that he followed to the letter and his campaign was a success.

Compare Joshua to the children of Israel about 40 years prior.  They are at the Red Sea with Moses and Pharaoh’s army is marching after them set on their destruction.

And when Pharoah drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them.  So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.  Then they said to Moses, ‘Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?  Why have you dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt, saying, ‘let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.'”  Exodus 14:10-12

How quickly can we forget where we came from and what we prayed for when we lift our eyes to look at the wrong thing?  When the children of Israel lifted their eyes they did not look toward the heavens or toward where they were going but they looked back at the enemy.  This made them afraid and started grumbling, whining and complaining.  Thank God that He is still willing to rescue us when we are complaining, but wouldn’t the journey be much more pleasant if it was filled with hope instead of fear?

Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.  Psalm 123:1

When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matt 17:8

34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  John 4:34-36

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,  John 17:1

The second man I want to look at was Job.  Poor Job had it rough.  I don’t think many can say they had it harder than Job.  He lost EVERYTHING.  His entire family died.  He lost his home, his wealth, his business.  He had horrible boils all over his body.  And well, his friends were not so helpful either.  But Job, in the midst of all of this pain said something very profound, something we must all remember.

21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace;
Thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold[c]
And your precious silver;
26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
28 You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.

Job 22:21-28

This is such a beautiful passage.  I don’t really recall reading it before, but it sure jumps off the page at me now!  Job says lift up your face to the Almighty God, get acquainted or reacquainted with Him.  Listen to His Word and let it speak to your heart.  When you do this normal earthly gold will no longer be valuable to you, God will be the precious thing in your life.  He will remove the iniquity from your life.  He will hear your prayers.  When you claim something in His name, He will establish it for you.  He will light up your life!  Amen!

As we set goals and lay plans for the year ahead, let’s lift up our face and our eyes.  Don’t look at the natural things in front of you.  Look for the supernatural.  Look for God.  Have you met him?  He’s longing to meet with you!

Lori Delisle

Looking Back on 2012

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It is hard to believe all that happened in my jewelry line from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.  I took many, many steps to improve my line and I feel I need to take some time to review all that I did, access how it went and make plans for 2013.

Etsy’s blog had an article to help all of us do this kind of assessment.  Of course, the details overwhelm me a bit, but I definitely think it is worth reviewing their list.

Reflect on 2012 to Create an Awesome 2013

As Kimm says in the post “Once you’ve reviewed 2012 and set exciting and attainable goals, you’ll be able to create a powerful plan for success in 2013.”

In a quick review of the changes I made in 2012 I:

  • Redesigned my personal web page
  • Redesigned my blog
  • Changed the look of my product photography
  • Changed the format of my product titles
  • Worked with different product tagging experiments
  • Beefed up my social networking on Facebook in particular, but also Twitter and Pinterest.  Started to play a little with Instagram.
  • Made visual and verbal boards of my customer to help me direct my marketing
  • Did a thorough analysis of my pricing structure and made some major changes, adjusting prices higher to allow a better profit margin.
  • Did some product stream lining by starting to remove items from my line that I felt did not represent where I wanted to take the brand in the future.
  • Redesigned much of my print material
  • Looked at ways to simplify and save a little money in shipping.

I think I made A LOT of headway in 2012 and had some pretty fantastic results.  I hope to report soon some solid numbers, namely sales and profits, as soon as my accountant, my husband Dennis, gets them back to me.  But the key thing I can report is that I DID MAKE A PROFIT LAST YEAR!!!!  This is the first year I can say that I did more than break even!  Hurrah!

I hope you had a successful 2012!

Lori Delisle

Envision Your Storefront

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A friend of mine, Renee,  over at Sling Shot Connections made a side comment to me that triggered a shift in my thinking a bit.  A slightly new paradigm.

We were talking about this blog and about my sketch book and things of that nature.  The book for me has always been about only the jewelry itself, it’s design and inspirations, and my clientele, for whom I was designing.  I also use it to develop my branding, but in a very one dimensional way.  I was thinking about business cards and packaging etc, not necessarily the big picture in 3 dimensions.

Renee’s comment took my mind on a tangent that solidified a slightly fuzzy vision in my mind about how to create a uniform high end feel to my branding.  I can’t quote her exactly but I will sum it up the best I can.

You can sketch out what your storefront would look like if you had your own brick and mortar.  Then you can design your website to feel like you are walking into your store.

I have never really considered having my own brick and mortar store or chain of stores, and really, I’m not sure that I ever will.  But the exercise of thinking if I had my own store on Santana Row, Rodeo Drive or in NYC, and what would it look like stretched my brain in new directions.

I think I was working the wrong way.  I was designing my print materials, website, … styling my pictures… thinking about where I was coming from instead of where I was going.  I started thinking of my brand on a much larger scale than I had before and it opened my eyes.

My image of the store front was grande!  I LOVE IT!  Annnnnd…. well, I’m not going to share it.  😉  Who knows, I may use it some day.  What it has done for the present is give me a much clearer picture of what my branding should look like for today, especially with my product pictures (which are now coming along nicely after much playing around with my light box and props) and with my website (which will have to wait a bit to be updated… again!)

Here are some quick examples of changes I have made to my pictures with the new vision:  Before on the left, after on the right.

Hopefully soon you will be able to envision that storefront yourself from my awesome branding!

About Me

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Image  I have known for a while that my profiles and bios around on my various websites were not a good reflection of who I really am.  Etsy.com just added in a new “About” page option for shops.  This gave me a kick in the b.u.t.t. to get my profile language updated.  I used my “Little Black Sketch Book” to start making notes about some of the things that make me Lori Delisle.

The key points that I wrote down were these:

  • World Traveler
  • California Girl
  • Stylist
  • Leader and Mentor
  • Business Professional
  • Gourmet Foodie
  • Art Collector

This is the language from my previous profile.  It simply, well, is not very dynamic:

Thank you for visiting! This jewelry is truly inspired by God. It was never in my plans to design and market jewelry, and up until March of 2007 I never made anything half as beautiful as these pieces. But God started giving me visions of each piece and I could not shake it. I knew it was divine inspiration and a wonderful new addition to my life, business and ministry. I am excited to be making not only Christian Jewelry, but now also an expanding Jewish collection. Besides designing jewelry I am a personal stylist and image consultant. My passion is to help my clients discover how truly beautiful they are, inside and out, so that they can go out into the world and fulfill their purpose. My love for all things beautiful, an artistic eye I inherited from my father and grandmother, and my passion for my faith have collided in this jewelry with wonderful results. My husband and I have been married 13 years and we have 3 beautiful boys. We home school the boys. I help my husband with his real estate businesses from time to time as well.

There are some good points in there, but it has no flavor, no style.  This is how my new profile starts:

Stylish California girl with the heart of a world traveler, art collector and a bit of a gourmet foodie, when most people go to describe Lori Delisle they say she is big hearted and classy.

California is and will always be Lori’s home base.  A ninth generation Californian, even though this petite stylist is never under dressed, she always has an air of casual sophistication because of her Cali roots.  …

Read the full profile here and let me know what you think!

http://delisledesigns.com/loridelisle.htm

The Sweet Spot

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I laugh at the dates between this and my last post.  I have been so caught up in my growing business and all that goes with it, that I have not had a split second to post on this blog.  But I have just hit a little sweet spot because I have been hiring part time help off and on, and today I tried out a new office helper.  She was here for 5 hours and busted out a ton of busy work.  Yeah!  I can breathe a small sigh of relief.

My husband and I went to a Pathfinder’s breakfast last week for business entrepreneurs.  If you want to expand your business brain and vision, this mp3 from that morning is a great way to do it.  Click here –>  Dr. Kim’s Encouraging Stories at Pathfinder’s Breakfast

Pinterest Mysteries

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Today I’m bringing you another “Mystery Woman” and announcing that I am now on Pinterest.  I put it off for a while because I felt like it would be another thing to suck my time.  But then I reconsidered and realized it is just another tool to organize my inspirations.  I figure I can use it like I use Polyvore too.

What are your thoughts on this lady?  What is she thinking about at the moment?  Who is her hero?  What is her favorite outdoor activity?  Does she have a nickname?  What does her family look like?

Share with us your thoughts!

Lori

Follow Me on Pinterest