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Nuts and Bolts: Be Encouraged, Not Discouraged

August 31, 2018

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Nuts & Bolts – Be Encouraged, Not Discouraged
 
We are pleased to bring you a guest post by GCU artist Trudy Wilkerson of Trudy’s Impressions.  Trudy shares her recent experience of having her GCU store re-reviewed.  Here she shares some excellent insight into her 10 year journey with GCU, how she regrouped and reflected after the storewide re-review, and some encouraging words.

 

Trudy shares …

I began my journey with GCU in December of 2008.  At that time, I knew zilch about designing greeting cards.  I had recently retired from selling real estate after 27 years and knew I had to find something where I could work from home and make money.   Better yet, finding something that would allow me to get my creative juices going and enjoy designing right from my home. That’s when I discovered GCU and knew it would be a perfect fit.

I remember to this day how I felt when my very first card was sold.  I was ecstatic thinking someone would actually want to buy one of my cards.  Going forward, I self-taught myself on a daily basis the ins and outs of what flies and what doesn’t and began educating myself in designing and learning a host of different programs to help assist me in my new efforts.   At the beginning of 2018 I managed to grow my stock to around 5,000 give or take. However, when I would look back at my designs during the early years especially, I would literally cringe and ask myself, which is better to have in my store, quantity or quality.  The answer, of course, was quality. I knew I had to be pro-active and do something to weed out and/or correct many of my older cards.

Then out of the blue GCU’s reviewers notified me that they were going to begin a long process of reviewing my cards from day one and literally clean house. The house cleaning began.  Card after card, thousands of them went through the review process. Many cards were simply deleted and many they gave me the opportunity to redesign using different fonts and making the images more interesting.  Also, during that time of restoration of my store, I was able to revisit the keywords, descriptions and last but not least, improve the verses.

Although this was an enormous undertaking on my part, it gave me such a lift knowing I was making changes for the good and that the outcome would be advantageous for me which would result in future sales.

Allow me to share with you a few things and tips I learned from our hard-working reviewers.

  1. They really do know what they are talking about.

  2. We shouldn’t be insulted when they return the card for edits.

  3. Take advantage of their suggestions and advice.  (There were times when I thought it looked great the way it was, but still changed it as per their request only to discover they were right, it did look better.)

  1. Know that they have your best interest at heart and want you to succeed.

  2. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions if you are not quite clear on what they want.

  3. Lastly, realize that they too are going through that long process with us while making sure our cards look the best they can be.

I am a firm believer is this quote: Anything worth having is worth working for!

Hopefully, what you can take away from that quote is simply, your hard work will pay off for you.  Don’t get hung up on looking for excuses why your cards are not selling as well as you hoped for but instead look for resolutions to improve them which will lead to better sales

My advice to those of you who are going through this long somewhat laborious process and also to those who will be doing the same in the near future, is simply this:

Be encouraged by this opportunity to revise your cards . . . NOT discouraged!

My Tips:

  1. Revisit the design and ask yourself, what does a buyer see when looking at this card?  Does it have something that sparks his interest? Is the color drab and needs a punch? Think like a buyer!  Would you want to buy it?

  2. Change the title if need be or simply make the tile a lot more interesting by changing the font, size and placement.  Those things make a huge difference in their appearance.

  3. Here’s a few before and after cards.  Even the slightest change can make a big difference

  1. Recheck your keywords and make sure they apply to the image.  Unfortunately, I was shocked when I reviewed many of my older cards where I found a limited amount of keywords and some were not even applicable to the image.

  2. Be sure your title really defines what the card is about.

  3. Be descriptive of the card under Artist’s Notes but don’t overdo it.

  4. Finally, the verse!  When I read the verses from my older cards, again I was in shock how cheesy they were.  Simplify them if they are too heavy.  Sometimes less is more. Perhaps the best choice is a simple but powerful punch-line.  However, some do require a verse that stirs the soul. What I try to do now is think when I’m writing a verse, what I would want to read in a card for me if it were from a husband, mother or my daughter.  Or what would I want to express to them. What would I want them to know? Write from your heart and you can’t go wrong

I’ll end with this:  By no stretch of the imagination do I feel I’m proficient in what I do but I’m hoping that perhaps I have encouraged you to strive to improve your designs by making them the best that  you can. GCU’s community of reviewers and artists are always there ready to help guide you. I wish you all much success as you continue to make magic with your designs.

 

 

 

The difference is made in the details!

 

Mindy
GCU Community Manager

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2018 4:26 pm

    Congratulations, Trudy, for coming out the other end of your store re-review with such a positive attitude and for sharing such encouraging words. It’s a lot of work, I know, I too have been through the housecleaning, and love your quote; “Anything worth having is worth working for!”. Your store is looking fabulous and I really like the ‘before and after’ imagery you shared with us above.

    Thank you for having the courage to encourage!

    • Trudy Wilkerson permalink
      September 1, 2018 5:05 am

      Thank you Doreen for your kind remarks. It has been a journey for us both I see….and a great one at that. 😉

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