Staying In Mexico: Covid-19 Chronicles

Yes, there was a broad call of repatriation. Mass amounts of expats flew back to the United States and the United States helped a ton of people get out of some very sticky situations. Me and my house were blessed enough not to need the assistance. We have been living in Merida, MX for the past 8 months and we did not feel the need to leave. In fact we were quite relieved when the US announced that they were shutting down the US – Mexico border for all non-essential travel. Read more

Passing The VIPKid Mock Class

Hello teachers to be! Congratulations to all of our new recruits on passing the interview. Now it is time to pass your Mock Class! The most important thing to remember is to have fun; the second most important thing to remember is to finish the class….make it through all of the slides without rushing -about 1 minute per slide. If you move faster be prepared to engage with the student at the end…play tic-tac-toe, teach an additional letter sound or how to pronounce teacher or computer or mouse….

If you just happened to come across this post and haven’t yet started the application process, we can help. If you have your bachelor’s degree, can work in US/Canada, and speak English with a North American accent, contact us. We will help you through the entire process and help you navigate VIPKid after you get hired.

Use this referral Code: APRYL0002 for our assistance.

Now here is what you need to do in the process of having fun and making it to the end of the mock class.

You should now have access to the Certification Center to decide which level you’d like to certify for. Think of this stage as teacher training (mock classes): you will do practice lessons with an experienced teacher until you are confident with materials, techniques, and the online classroom environment. You can re-take a mock class as many times as needed to pass. Most applicants do the first one 2-3 times. Follow these tips and make it on the first try!
We’d recommend getting certified in the lower level (Level 2-3), because that’s the bulk of VIPKID’s clientele. Although, you can get certified in both levels prior to signing your contract.

Use the same tips from the Demo:

  1. Total Physical Response (TPR) – use your hands and facial expressions a lot; hand to ear when you want them to talk, point at your mouth when you model how to say a word or sound…
  2. Teach the teaching objectives. Don’t get sidetracked if the student is acting poorly or is overly happy.
  3. Modeling & Repetition – say what you want them to say and then have them repeat it at least two times (be sure to finish the lesson – by all means though)
  4. Speaking speed and clarity – speak clearly and slowly when you model.
*  Props – any props you have like a little white board or letter cards are extra gravy! For my mock class, I had some index cards that I had written the letters that I was teaching on – upper case on one side and lower case on the other side.
** Have fun – smile, be happy, and most of all, have fun. Your energy will shine through 🙂

For more instructional information regarding how to teach the Mock slides be sure to use the referral code APRYL0002  to apply.

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