Posted in business in SL, day-to-day, humor, photos

Phillip reads my blog; here’s proof!

At yesterday’s inworld meeting/speech/whatevs, Phillip “Jobs” Linden stated that he reads some SL blogs but doesn’t want to state which ones. Well, I have proof that mine is one of them:

So all you big-time bloggers can suck it! I know who’s reading mine!

Posted in business in SL, day-to-day, list, Shopping!

Ten Ways to Jump-Start Stagnant Sales

Just in case you haven’t read any of the blogs or forums, the economy in SL isn’t so grand right now. Businesses are seeing dryspells, regular customers are holding onto more of their Ls, and SL’s search hasn’t been the most reliable so new people are having a harder time finding your shop. You may be watching your own sales starting to dry up and wondering what can you do about it.

Hang in there. Here are a few things you can do to bring back your old customers, and bring in new ones.

10. Revamp your store. It may be time to rearrange and reorganize things in your shop. Maybe you’ve been putting it off (I know I have…). While it’s quiet is a great time to really get things more organized. You may want new signage to replace the old; a new look makes your older customers interested in seeing what’s new.

9. Release some brand new products. When’s the last time your shop has had a new release? How often do you release new items? Monthly? Weekly? When you feel like it? A regular release schedule helps to get your customers anticipating new products from you.

8. Out With The Old. I made some products when I was very first starting out that were pretty good and reasonably priced (and probably underpriced, but I digress). Since then, I’ve gotten better at what I make, and you probably have too. The older products, much as I enjoyed them, just weren’t up to scratch compared with the newer stuff. So I got rid of them… but not before offering them at a clearance price for a couple last weeks. Just like in RL, people love a clearance sale.

7. Remind your customers you exist. Do you have a shop group? Are you sending out an average of one message per week? If not, you should. Remember that more than that can be bothersome; too many messages and people will get annoyed and leave the group. Once a week is a good rule of thumb. Feature a product once per week, whether it’s something brand new, something that ties in with a RL movie release, something that goes with the time of year, or something that would make a good gift. Put a LM in with the announcement.

6. Use XStreet SL. I hate to admit it, due to my personal feelings on how XStreet is managed, but the fact is it works. People who haven’t heard of you, find you on XStreet. Use your XStreet listing to cross-promote to other items; for example, “If you like this dress, you may like this purse [link] and these shoes [link]!” And put the SLURL to your shop in your XStreet listings.

5. Cross-promote with other merchants. Maybe you make clothes, and your neighbor makes jewelry. Or maybe you make houses, and your neighbor does landscaping. Work together to promote each other’s goods.

4. Have a blog, and keep it updated. Read more about that here.

3. Mark all your vendors to “Show in Search”. Make sure, of course, that your shop is listed in search (if you own the parcel). Chances are, if you’re renting a booth, that’s taken care of for you. Put your business name on your vendors, name the vendor after what’s in it (eg “MyCoolShop Inc. Red Velvet Dress”), and mark “Show in Search”.

2. Give a few gift cards (with your LM) to a club to give away. This can attract brand new customers to your shop. Contact some club owners and/or hosts, and see what can be worked out.

1. Come up with a reason to have an event in your shop. Back-to-School. Any holiday. Wedding season. Hell, make something up if you have to! Throw yourself a birthday or rezday party in your shop. Hire someone to stream music and put out a dance ball. This gives customers a chance to meet you and ask questions, without feeling any pressure to buy anything… and it drives up your traffic to boot!

What NOT to do.

  • Slash prices. This may, temporarily, get more people to buy an item. But then, they have to buy MORE of that item to make you any money. Additionally, anyone who bought that item at full price may feel cheated and alienated. And it devalues your work, plain and simple, by sending a message that you don’t think it’s worth much.
  • Give away a bunch of stuff. A gift card for promotional purposes is one thing, because it enables the recipient to decide what to get with it. It’s not just go in, get the free trinket, and go; it’s go in, shop around, look at all the products, and decide which to spend the card on. It’s a remarkably simple rule of business that remarkably few people remember: you don’t make money by giving your product away. Someone may get on a high horse and say “All you care about is money”; well, until my tier is free and my time is worth nothing, you’re damn right I care about money.

    There’s much talk among SL businesses and consumers about the “Freebie Culture”; this refers to the culture of expecting something for nothing, and the feeling of entitlement to have it all and not pay a red linden for it. Merchants are fond of blaming consumers for this. But we merchants are the ones who created that expectation, by giving it up for free in the first place.

  • Hold onto a feature just because you like it. Once when I had my clothing shop I experimented by having a chatterbot. I figured it would be helpful to customers, by answering their questions when I couldn’t be there to do so, and it just seemed like a cool fun thing to have. I soon found out, however, that the chatterbot answered EVERYTHING that was said… by customers, by neighbors in earshot, even by the vendors themselves! Less than 12 hours later I let go of the chatterbot. Ask your honest friends: what do you find annoying in my shop? What could you do without?
  • Put out a tip jar. NO NO NO NO NO. Customers overwhelmingly state time and again that they don’t like it when shops have tip jars. The one possible exception is if your shop actually makes and sells tip jars.
  • Attach a club for the purpose of bringing people in. This simply doesn’t work. People go to clubs to be at clubs; people go to shops to shop. When people are trying to shop, the noise from a club can be annoying (to say nothing of the lag that often goes with it). When people are dancing at the club, they’re not interested in leaving to go shopping.
  • Say ANYTHING to people before they set foot in your place. I’ve got a satellite booth in a marketplace; and there’s this one booth that whenever I pass within 10m of it, it always spams me with a welcome message and a LM. I didn’t want the LM the first time, and I don’t want it every time I walk past. I don’t want it AT ALL. Besides, I know where your shop is. I’m right here! If I wanted to know about your shop, I would have stepped inside. Now, I’m the kind of person that hates being hawked to IRL as well. If I’m interested, I’ll stop. The same is true of any other customer.
  • Add a visitor to your list without their consent. This doesn’t just turn people off; it turns them off and makes them tell all their friends to NEVER set foot in your shop. And it makes people blog about it too (I’m looking at YOU, KidzBotz, Karu Karu, and countless others). Invite them to your group when they buy something or receive something as a gift from your shop, and then, don’t bother them again.

So what does your business do to attract new customers, and bring back existing ones?

This article is listed in the SL Business section of the Know-it-All Pages, where you can find even more useful information. Go now, and see for yourself!

Posted in Uncategorized

I ain’t that kinda blog…

I get some really strange and amusing spam sometimes, but this one really got my attention:


I’d appreciate if you can give me some feedback on our site: [link given]

I realize that you are a stools connoisseur I’d like to hear your opinion/feedback on our stools.

Thank you,


Hey Susan, I’m not a “stools connoisseur”. I’m not into that kind of shit.

Thank you,

Edit to add: OMG I just got the same exact spam again! Too funny.

Posted in events, music, nightclub, nightlife, party, performing, photos, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, Wee Little Irish Pub

July 3rd at the Pub

Some pics and description of the fun from yesterday!

Caoilte Skytower took the stage for the first time since April. He was in excellent form as usual. Instead of just giving him a cash tip, I invested 249L in a song download from him. At least one other person did the same. I think it’s a great idea. People feel like they get even more from their tip, something that lasts long after the show; and, the music gets shared with more and more people. I REALLY need to get over my fear of recording and just do some recordings with Archimides.

After Caoilte’s show, I filled in DJing for Rusty from 4-8. The poor guy had net issues but was able to call his girlfriend who IMed me to let me know. Too bad, because I really like his music, but I did what I could in a pinch. I played the download I picked up (Spanish Lady), and even played a rare recording I found of myself from 1994. It was tough listening to it, because I focused on all the spots where I was messing up. “See? There, I’m running out of breath and going flat.” But I wanted to confront that fear of mine. And, I’ll be damned, people liked it!

Then, at 6, we were treated to a belated Canada Day burlesque show from my longtime friend Pajobra “PJ” Zessinthal, of the famous New Champagne Rooms. She’s even appeared on Treet TV, as a burlesque dancer (and later murder victim) in a murder mystery show.

She entered by way of the back door, dressed as a naughty Mountie. She moved about the room until she found one of our gentleman guests and handcuffed him to the barstool. Realizing her mistake in apprehending an innocent man, she then proceeded to look for her key, which was somewhere on her person but damned if she could find it easily…

(By the way, “officer”, I left your boots behind the bar. Stop in anytime and Bridget will give them back. 😛 )

I tried to get a picture of the little maple leaf on the back of her panties but I guess I couldn’t hit the moving target, haha. Burlesque differs from your usual striptease you find at clubs. It’s got a more old-fashioned feel to it, for one thing; for another, it’s more literate and involves a high degree of RP and audience participation. And finally, it isn’t “full monty” (or should I say, “full mountie”?). By leaving a bit to the imagination, it creates (in my opinion) a more sensual and exciting show that leaves the audience wanting more.

Thank you again to everyone who came to perform for the Wee Little Pub.

Posted in business in SL, Clover's Kitchen, day-to-day, personal, rant, RL

It must be July.

This seemed to happen a year ago too. I’ve been getting this overwhelming feeling of being, well, overwhelmed. I dream at night about running my pub (only in dreams it’s a weird mish-mash of SL and RL). I feel chained to my computer for hours and hours at a time, just so that I can make tier to keep doing this. Meanwhile Clover’s Kitchen is experiencing its longest dry spell in its history (eight days ago there was one L$50 sale; it was the first in nine days). I’ve run out of both ideas and will for any new products. The brief creative spurt for Elflet now has me thinking, great, now what do I do? I better do something. And the fact that I totally flaked on our rescheduled gig this Wednesday has me feeling stupid and unreliable. Top it all off with a feeling of futility. LL’s just going to take fees and let people rip off my works anyway; if I ever get big enough to actually make it on SL income then I’ll be big enough to be ripped off. And I’ve seen it time and time again: there’s no real recourse when that happens.

It’s supposed to be fantasy fulfillment. It’s supposed to be magic and interesting and fun. Where the hell is the fun?!

So I feel like I’m at a point where I have to make some decisions. I closed up Living the Dream after such a decision a year ago, and scrapped a festival plan I had in the works.

I feel like if I could put as much energy as I’ve put into SL into something in RL, I’d be doing pretty well financially.

Posted in business in SL, quotes

Good analogy!

It’s as if they owned an art gallery and put up a lot of blank canvases, and invited the public in to paint something pretty. And then you sell it and they take a healthy cut of the profits. And they charge you for the paint. They also charge you to keep the painting in the gallery and a bunch of other charges which soon total up to you thinking “Wow, this is getting pricey!” But it’s far too late by then.

–Prad Prathivi, here.