The Cost of Living in Merida Mexico

We just did a visa run to Cuba and we have successfully ‘renewed’ our tourist status in Mexico for another 180 days (6 months).

After looking back at the last 6 months we decided to put together a ”The Real Cost of living In Merida, Mexico” video (scroll down). Having no major financial ties to the US made it easy for us to pick and go in 2017. We’ve found it SO AFFORDABLE to live on US dollars in places where the cost of living is lower than America’s . i. e. the dollar STRETCHES 💵!

Our top three largest expenses (currently) are:
𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐭: $450 for a 2,000sq.ft. space with 2bed/1.5bath
𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: $250 a la Uber
𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬: $200 mainly at Costco Read more

How to Stand Out on Etsy

So you have found and defined your niche and now you have  decided to take the plunge into online dropshipping Print on Demand products. Good for you, it takes a lot of courage and get-up-n-go to start your own business. Now you need a plan to sell all of those gorgeous products you have designed or will be making. In this article I will talk about 3 things you can do to set your shop apart from others. Lets get started

Making your shop stand apart!

First, Branding!

Branding your shop is the top priority. “WTF is branding!?” Branding is the ability to control and project the image that your customer thinks of when they hear your shop’s name or see your logo.

Branding is necessary, if you want to attain, retain and solicit your customer base. There is a market term called “brand loyalty.” Ultimately you want to establish and build brand loyalty. There is a bottomless pit of rational as to why but Wikipedia sums it up pretty well for us.

Brand Loyalty is defined as the positive feelings toward a brand and dedication to purchase the same product or service REPEATEDLY now and in the future from the same brand, regardless of competitors actions or changes in the environment. -Wikipedia

In my mind no other reasons need to be listed. You want a customer who will return to your shop over and over again, purchase from you when they have other choices and who is not affected by market conditions like your competitions sales or special offers. You want that ride-or-die customer, that will not be lured away from your shop. A customer that will see an email from you and open it. Yes, unicorns are real…..

To brand your business, the questions you need to answer are:  1) What is your unique offering? 2) Who is your target audience? 3) What do you represent….what is your brand’s story? 4) Why should people buy from you?

The answers to these questions should be promoted in your advertisements, written on your landing page,  on your social media accounts and reflected in all that you do.

 

Next up is Advertising

Lets discuss free and effective advertising first. There is an old saying “grow where you are planted.”

Start with the Etsy online market place itself! Etsy has an entire community of thirsty shoppers looking for something to spend money on. Etsy offers a few different ways to make your store standout.  Lets discuss the free things first. Store and listing optimization. There are multiple ways to prioritize your shop to give it the best chances to show up in customer searches:

  1. Etsy titles and tags: The title is much more than a title in Etsy. The title acts as a searchable keywords for shoppers to be aligned with in your shop. You can use up to 140 characters to create as many searchable terms as you can think of. There is also a section in your attributes where you can plug up to 13 tags for your item to be found under. Hot buzzword Drop SEO (search engine optimization). Research and discover what terms people are using and be sure to use them in your title and the tags section in you attributes. The key words you use in your title and tags, categories and attributes pairs your listings with shopper’s search queries. It is vitally important that you understand what “your” customer is shopping for. The customer inputs a searchable item and/ or attribute and if your item has any of the searchable attributes it is eligible to come up in their search results.  Etsy search gathers all of the listings that have keywords that match a shoppers query. Then their query ranks those listings so shoppers see the items most relevant to their search first. Using strong keywords in your listings create opportunities for your items to be shown high in search results.
  2. Description: In the section directly beneath your title is the description of your listing. The description is Mega important. People read through it in hopes of being captured and making an emotional connection to your product. Give it to them. This is an opportunity to convert a potential customer to a paying customer.  Cause “your story” to bleed through while giving relevant information about the material, the design aspects and some uses of your product. Again be sure to leave a piece of your shops personality in the description.
  3. Attributions: Etsy provides you with several opportunities to market your products in the attributes section of your listing. The vast majority of new sellers on Etsy do not use their attributes section fully. Filling in these radio boxes of primary color, occasions that someone would purchase your item for, type of design on your product, type of material your product is made of………. all of these helps to align shoppers with your product and rank you high in queries.
  4. Social Media: Free to use and simple to locate and engage your target customer. Etsy is integrated wiht FB, IG, and Pintrest. Connect with your potential customer. Inform them when you have a sales or when there is a new item in your shop. Market some ads. Make them dynamic, informative and purposeful and if possible valuable. Run give-aways and post discount codes. Keep your social media game interesting. Grab your audiences attention and give them a show or information that is of value.

Freebie:

There is a free Etsy Seller Handbook available on Etsy’s website for free if you are interested. It really helped me to understand how the matrix of shopper and seller pairing works.  Click Here for the Free Handbook  -It was created by Etsy staff. The information is solid and very helpful.

Next up Running Ads!

 

Now lets discuss some low cost advertising that is worth while.

  1. Run an Etsy ad: Etsy ads are cheap. You can set your maximum spend per day. I run my ads at a $1 maximum on all ads a day. That means I do not pay more than one dollar for all of my ads to run a day. Etsy advertisements rank your listing above anything that is not being advertised.
  2. Run a sale:. Try to run a 40-55% profit margin on all of your merchandise so you can afford to run some good sales on products I recommend 15-20% to get peoples attention. Sales also appear at the top of Etsy search queries. Sales is also its own unique searchable term.
  3. Run Facebook Ad: if you know your target audience and can target them effectively use FB ads. They are cheap and you are in complete control of some very powerful tools. We have had success with FB Ads for one of our shop niches and a big fat goose egg on the other. You need to know who you are going after. We run our FB ads for $5/ day usually on only use it to promote sales

A word on advertising. Remind people of the familiar. Don’t hit people with a knockout punch right away. Familiarize them with your products before you start running relentless ads in your stories on IG. Raise your audience with your business so that they develop a sincere interest and become emotionally invested in it.

Lastly, Tell Your Story 

This is the portion that brings everything together. This describes your purpose. This tells people why they should buy from you and no one else. People desire something to buy into. Develop ,define, understand and promote your story. When we run ads. we are not just trying to move that product we are selling telling our story and promoting our brand. Over time it will bring repeat business. People will know what we are about. You need a story for people to buy into…. a purpose that people can relate to. Giving your customer more reasons to purchase your product will increase your sales. Face the facts other people are doing the same thing that you are and you need an edge that sets you apart.  Be sure to tie you story to your brand to make it more powerful and alluring. Your story should leverage your competitive advantage.

Other Things To Note:

Customers decide our Stock: We are shooting for 150-200 items to have in our store. We have a mix of different things and refine our store according to what sells, not by what people like. Customer behavior is not fickle. When people like something enough, they buy it, flat-out. We call this the emotional purchase and we want these…..a lot of these. We want people hot and heavy for our products.

Reviews and Sales: until you have a substantial number of reviews and sales you will not elicit customer confidence. People know that Etsy is a market place for armatures so it is okay but 25 of each is a good number to shoot for. 50 of each is even better.100 of each and you are golden. Run promotions and contests to boost your reviews. For a new shop I would do this a ton until I got >25.

 

I hope this information was helpful. Continue to create useful products, probe your niche markets and Make that money sellers!

If you are in the market for some travel inspired gear check us out at www.NomadicWander.Etsy.com

Enter Blog15 for an additional 15% off of any items store wide. -a little gift for reading this article till the end lol

Nomadic Wander

 

 

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Jetset: Mexico City

Mexico City also known as CDMX – Ciudad de Mexico (sounds bad ass right!?!) has always been on my must-visit list! It’s brimming with rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant, urban neighborhoods. The capital city of Mexico is a bustling metropolis and we were excited to dip ourselves in the culture. We spent 5 days and 4 nights in CDMX, mixing our time with a few tourists activities and an open agenda. Here’s what we enjoyed in Ciudad de Mexico….Mexico City! Read more

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Bill Pay While Abroad

Apart from our Families, Friends and Bills we have no anchors in the U.S. We love it like that. I wish we could just float *inserts Schoolboy Q’s Floating lyrics* (Might turn into a ghost, bum bitch, yes I’m floating…). Extra is not our style.  In fact we are minimalists in our approach to seeing the world but …. we got bills to pay to keep our businesses floating and to keep the credit scores looking right so we cannot totally detach ourselves. That said, we do not have a U. S. phone number or address and this creates some problems when it comes to paying our bills from outside of the country. Here is a short list of things you need in order to pay your bills while out of the country. Read more