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Season 1 Ep 40: Q&A with Jess, your questions answered! Part 1

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

This week on the xoxo, jess Podcast I am responding to commonly asked questions that I have received from all of you on Instagram. We are talking about selling on Etsy, sourcing supplies, setting and crushing goals, and more! I can't wait for you to tune in and make sure you check back in for Part 2! Listen to the episode above, on iTunes HERE, or read the transcription below.

Episode Transcription:

Jessica Walker

Welcome back to xo xo Jess, where we dive deep into the world of greeting cards, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the mindset tools needed to start creating the business of your dreams today. I'm Jessica Walker, your host here with another Wednesday episode. And this Wednesday is a solo episode. We've been doing a lot of interviews here on xo, xo, j. s, which have been awesome. And I have a lot more coming to you. But I wanted to switch it up today a little bit.

To answer a few questions that I've been getting on Instagram, I did a little story question thing to send me your questions that you had. And I copy those down? And I'm going to answer them here today. I haven't really looked at them. I wanted it to be a little off the cuff. So I'm going to answer as it feels fit in the moment. But I am excited to share what I've learned I this has been a big Well honestly like the last 12 months have been a huge learning year for me. And I feel like I have grown so much and my business has grown so much I if you follow me on Instagram, you saw I've hired my first team member on the VA, which has been amazing. And I'm looking to start hiring the next. And that's so wild. And this has been just me in essentially a closet for so long. And I just like it sometimes you just like wake up and you're like, how did I get here? It's so crazy. Because if you're new to my story, you know that I didn't start doing this till like less than three years ago, I was an actor, musical theater actor for my entire 20s. And I started this not too long ago and just fell fast and hard for greeting cards and entrepreneurship and the world of personal development. And so much has changed. And I just am excited to share what I've learned if that's something that is exciting to you, too, and that you're also pursuing. So I'm going to answer some of your questions. And if you guys like this kind of episode, let me know. And I can do more more of them. But let's just start with a couple I'm think I've pulled like five questions. So let's just go through them. Um, the first question, how do you see like a pro?

I guess like anyone technically has on a on Etsy selling stuff is a pro. So you're Pro, but how do you see like a pro so kind of my go to Etsy tips. I always do it as he tells me to do. That may seem a little odd. But it's one of those things where Etsy is constantly tweaking, they're trying to make things better for the customers experience for the sellers experience. New SEO trends are happening, they update the way they do something and I have just followed what they recommend. Pretty much to a tee, they send newsletters pretty often. Like I do all of the beta things or they send in they're like, do you want to beta test this feature? I always say yes. And specifically, last year when they made like the widespread. Ama said please, that's not the right word recommendation for you to include the shipping with your price so that it was shipping included pricing, or like free shipping. What however you want to look at it. There was a lot of pushback from the sellers. And I just said, You know what, I'm just gonna go for it. And I was an early adopter. And it really, really helped my business by traffic went up. And I see rewards what they want to be seeing from the seller. So look at the Etsy Handbook, look at these Etsy trend reports, look at these things. And, of course, stay true to yourself and don't do anything that doesn't feel authentic to your business or goes against your values. But I mean, it's it's not a lot of tweaks that they recommend. I mean, these things aren't huge, huge things. It's just like things that you have to keep up with. So I would say just keep your shop updated and relevant with what's new and recommended for Etsy. I would also say, you know, like, it's a it's a slow process. And it's one of those things where it can feel really overwhelming because you're like, everything I look at every single blog post starts with like, if you google like how to make my Etsy shop better how to get more sales on Etsy, the first thing is going to be better pictures. And yeah, that is it's just because these things are it's like their true. It's like you want to not have to go through all the work of all of these things. I don't even use pictures I use mock ups but I got better mockups. I read things that the CEO, the CEO, the SEO needed to be different or better or I needed to change my longtail keywords to long term teleki words but shorter titles. And it's like it's one of those things where I recommend starting with your least viewed listings, you don't want to mess up stuff that's working and SEO takes time to kind of like get momentum once you make a change. So I wouldn't make a change to your SEO, make a change to your titles, tags, photos, and expect to see something like the next day, it could be a month before you really see that trend based on the train the change that you made. So yeah, take your time. Don't do everything all at once. I wouldn't do an entire shop overhaul overnight to see what's working and what's not. I would like what, like I said, I normally will pick like the least viewed or the least purchase listings and tweak those first because I know there's room for growth. And then if that really works, then I'll adjust it to my better, better viewed and better sold listings. So yeah, that's what I recommend for seeing like a pro. Okay, where to find quality? plastic sleeves and supplies for your cards? Oh, plastic sleeves, yay or nay? And if Yay, where do you get them? Does the question. So question number two. plastic sleeves. Okay. So there's obviously like, just worldwide in our generation wide, there's a trend towards going more eco friendly. So I understand the question about plastic sleeves is a bigger question. In general, yes, plastic sleeves are a thing, people like to make sure that their purchases are protected, that they're going to make it safely, particularly if you're selling to wholesale. So you're selling to stores that are going to then sell your cards, they do expect them to be in plastic sleeves. I was recently in a kind of mastermind group with women who are specifically we were there to learn about wholesaling. And they were saying a lot of shops are pushing back about people who have removed the plastic sleeves. Because if someone picks up their card in the shop, and it gets a fingerprint on it, they can't sell it anymore. So it's like kind of an investment. Danger or risk by not having the sleeves. If you're selling your own cards to your customer, you can do whatever you want. It's, it's up to you, it's your customer, it's your you set the tone. If you're selling to retail stores, and you're trying to wholesale your cards, it's a little bit of a different story. We're actually talking about that in the card maker mastermind this month, all of the industry standards that are expected or are common in wholesaling. But

anyways, so that's Yeah, that's classic sleeves. Yes, and no. So the no would be people who are wanting to be more eco friendly, there are a lot of different options. You don't have to do plastic sleeves, you can do biodegradable cellos, you can do belly bands, you can do paper envelopes, like, it really can look like a lot of different things. And as the world is seeking more eco friendly options, the greeting card supply and makers to call them are meeting that desire. And they're constantly coming up with new ways to do this. So this is gonna be something that's changing over time. So I would say if becoming more eco friendly in your business is really important. pursue those options. If this is something you want to keep on the back burner, do I mean if you've been listening to the podcast recently, I've had several people on who practice eco friendly practices in their business. And they all just say start small and that you don't have to be perfect. And and yes, so if you are looking for plastic sleeves, I recommend clear bags calm. That's where I get all of my stuff. So a little side note there. Question three, I'd love to know how you've scaled and had the success that you've had incremental shifts and small adjustments. That's the same way of saying two ways of saying the same thing. But basically, it's that idea that 1% growth every day ends up being you know, 365% by the end of the year, it's like these small things add up, you think that you're going to have like a viral moment, and it's like if you do then you'll make it like if you get put on BuzzFeed or you get on pop sugar is something that everyone will find your cards and you will be an overnight success. And I have been in many masterminds, I've worked with many female entrepreneurs and I have seen businesses that are multi million dollar businesses spoken with their founders and their CEOs and no one feels like or is I've never met someone who claims to be an overnight success. It is the person that sticks with it. It's the person that makes the shifts that need to happen as they come. It's the person who fails fast and then try something new. And I think someone who doesn't take business to personally if you see it as just like the numbers, the data What can you tweak? What can you shift, I like to think of business itself as like playing the Sims like it just feels Like a game. And I think that that is why I've had success with it is because I don't take any, quote, failure or I don't even think of anything in business as a failure. It's like either works or It teaches you something. But I don't think of anything. That's a quote, failure. As a reflection of me personally, it just means that I want to try something different in my business. So I think that that is how I've scaled as quickly as I did. And I'm planning on scaling more. And it's that plus learning and growing with communities. So I have not had a day since last January 1, where I wasn't in a mastermind didn't have a coach, I've hired several coaches, I am in a monthly membership group with a bunch of other women founders and CEOs. I am always learning and always trying to figure out what's the fastest way I can learn this thing. And for me, I've learned that that is a one on one coach, and I love courses. I've also taken courses, but right now I've been really diving into coaching. And actually, you know what, now that I say that I've also just finished a course that was amazing. So and that, and that was that wholesale course, that was just so so good. So I would say yes, everything I said to begin with plus staying educated and learning in the areas you feel like you might be lacking in. So last year, I thought that I didn't understand my finances. And I didn't understand how I should be making expense reports and all

that world and how to do my taxes and stuff. Like I'd been kind of like coasting, and I wanted to learn it. So I decided to learn it. So last year was a deep dive into that. And I would also say in that vein that you cannot be too intimate with your numbers, for sure is also a reason why I've been able to scale is because I know exactly where I am. And I have experienced a year of my business where I had no idea where I was because I didn't want to look. And even though I was doing well, I didn't know I didn't know. And I could have been doing better because I just I didn't have like my finger on the pulse of how the business was actually going. So long, jumping around answer, but that's how I think I've been able to scale and how I'm planning on continuing to scale moving forward. Okay, what is your process of goal setting monthly and yearly revenue sales, etc. Goal setting is like, my favorite thing. Just, I feel like you know, there's like a song I'm pretty sure it's all Fitzgerald where she says like, if you don't have a dream, how do you expect a dream to come true? That is how I feel about goals. If you do not have a goal, how do you expect it to come true. When you make a goal, you're setting an intention of something that you want. And I'm not even going to dive into the energetics of goal setting an intention setting which I am passionate about. But just the concept of setting a goal. you're deciding that this is something you want to pursue and then your actions are going to reflect that. So goal setting i think is maybe the most important thing to do in your business. On like every single level, I set goals for 10 years, I think I've talked about this previously on a podcast, it may have actually been in the car maker mastermind I know I did that in December in the cardmaker mastermind but I can't remember if I did a whole podcast episode on it, but I set 10 year goals I set three year goals, I set one year goals, I set quarterly goals, I set monthly goals, I set weekly goals. And then I set daily goals, no joke, and I stick to them. And this is not something I used to do at all. I used to not be a person that would follow through with my goals or my decisions, I had to learn that skill and the way I learned that skill was continuing to set these goals and sticking with them until I completed them or check them off or whatever that looked like. And then I I built more evidence up for myself that I was a person who could stick to goals and the goals were worth setting. And then I was able to set bigger and bigger and bigger goals. And I would also say that with goal setting, it's one of those things where you set the you have to leave a little room for magic. So you can set a huge goal and not know exactly how you're going to get there. Should you do everything in your power to figure out realistically how it could happen. Yes. Should you set it slightly bigger than what you can? For sure. My Catherine? Definitely. So I love the idea that we set the what and the why. And then the universe provides the how and the wind. So I may have this goal, I have a clear why I'm going to put the action behind it to make it more likely to happen. And then I just leave a little room for magic to see what's going to happen because you can never totally predict you can make a whole plan and it might happen completely differently than you plan but having that plan and that goal is paramount. I'm not sure I've ever used that word in my life, but that's how I feel about it. Setting revenue and sales goals. I just did that recently in January for this year? Actually, no, I didn't, I did it the end of December, but I looked at my previous year's numbers, I went through each revenue stream, I broke it down and saw what percent each revenue stream or each product made each month, like what percent increase or decrease happened throughout the year. So I kind of got an average of how I was trending with that revenue stream. So hypothetically, if I'm just gonna say cards, just clearly a large section of my revenue, but just in general, maybe cards were trending 5% each month in a positive way. So like, by the end of the year, I'd have a 5% increase each month, I would then look at this year and say, I want to do that plus a little bit, I'm maybe I'm gonna try to trend 7% each month, like an increase in myself 7% bigger each month. So I just have that kind of idea in my head, then I look at it in a different way. I say like, well, when are the big holidays? When are the big card moments? Like? How can I sculpt my year to where it will actually match what's happening? And kind of like lay some track there and like start mapping it out. And then I look overall and say like, well, what is all of this add up to be in about? And I might say like a certain number. I think like for the next year, I might hit X? And then I say like, does that feel scary? Does that feel good? Does that feel totally doable? And the number I came up with felt like totally doable. And I was like, you know, I want to stretch myself. I just want to see what can happen. So I set a bigger number. I then made a map essentially of each revenue stream each month, each quarter how it could hypothetically break down. And then what I do beyond that is I decide like how, what action Am I going to take to make these increases happen. So it's great to wish for a number and wish for a 5% increase each month or wish for x or quarter number, you know, but like, what is going to actually move that needle and change that metric, I'm going to put more attention in my marketing, I'm going to hire this position, I'm going to work on ads for this, I'm going to explore this niche little bit more there's like I apply an action step to each goal.

And then to the overall year. So right now the number that I'm aiming for is one that I can't even imagine hitting. And the thing is, is that I just like have to believe you know what, like, I could do this, it's not a big deal. I think I can do this, I can hit this number. Do I know how it's gonna happen? 100%? No, there's room for magic. And I need a little magic. But the thing is, is it doesn't matter if I hit it like me pursuing that is going to get me so much further than if I hadn't set it at all. And I'm confident that because I've had a full year in my business where I did not set a revenue goal. And I did fine. But I coasted and i know i coasted and I could have done so much more than I did. If I had that goal in mind knowing that you know what, I'm just gonna push a little bit more here, I'm gonna try a little something different here. I'm gonna play around here to therefore potentially be able to hit that goal. Okay, I hope that answered your question. I think that that's all the ones I had skill plus six leaves goal setting. Okay. And then lastly, just if you are excited about all this kind of talk, and you're looking for other questions, you have to be answered. I am relaunching my course next month. And that course is how to start a greeting card business from home. And it's a complete A to Z eight module 30 video 100 pages of notes like it is in depth, how to start a greeting card business from home via the steps that I used Exactly. And I have tweaked those since I made the course last January by adding new things that I learned constantly on tweaking it again. And if you join the course, you will be getting these updates because you get the course for life. Like once you're in you get access to all future updates. But I'll share about more about the course later. But the thing that I'm excited about first is to kind of get just us all in the headspace of creating and growing our business. I'm going to be bringing back the seven cards in seven days challenge in March. And I am so excited. It was so much fun when we did it in November. And everyone had just like these really, like amazing creative spurts that I feel like I like you messaged me that you're like, I definitely wouldn't have felt like I could have created this much in a short amount of time. If we hadn't done this. I just felt like you'd say things like you're like I feel stuck. But now I feel like this shook me up and I'm able to like kind of free flow a little bit better. There's just like, it was so much fun. So I'm inviting you to join that it is free. It's just on Instagram. You don't have to do anything to be a part of it. And I will share more about it coming up but just have that in your heads. It's coming and I'm really really excited and that'll be early March. So that's all I have for you today. I hope you guys are having a wonderful Wednesday. And I will talk to you next week here on xoxo Jess bye

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