Are You Selling Hockey Pucks on the Beach?

hockey2background photo credit to death to stock photo

Picture it: SUPER jam packed beach. It’s the height the the season, and EVERYONE is out on the beach – kids, moms, dads, frat boys, unicyclists… everyone. And they are all doing their thing, hanging with their friends, chatting with their people – but also doing some people watching, as is natural at the beach. Now, here comes Marc Jicobs, purveyour of fine hockey pucks. Marc’s hockey pucks are the most super duper and he is ready to sell sell sell these fantabulous pucks of pure hockey mojo – the Jicobs Hockey Puck of Dreams.

Marc Jicobs has a little beach cart that he has outfitted with some branding imagery and a banner with his logo on it. He pushes it up and down the beach all day. Usually he makes it up and down the beach 40 times between 8 am and 8 pm when most people are on the beach. He comes to the beach because there are so many people! Some people see him and say “hey those look interesting” but only sometimes. Many simply glaze over him because they don’t have any use for a hockey puck at the beach or in general. Most of the time though, he is fairly invisible to the people on the beach because they can’t tell his pucks are awesome from his random appearance at the beach. The attention he does get is mostly negative or completely uninterested because he is so out of place, irrelevant and random to the beach goers.

Poor Marc is sweaty and exhausted by the end of the day from pushing his hockey puck cart up and down the beach and not getting any real quality interactions – he did sell one hockey puck though in the month of September to a man who coaches hockey to little kids on the weekend.

Need some help here?

  • Marc = you
  • The Jicobs Hockey Puck of Dreams = your product
  • The beach = social media
  • the hockey coach = the occasional buyer, the outlier

Now this isn’t true across the board for everyone, and it isn’t exclusive to any single social media platform. The point I am making is that just because you posted your product on a platform that many people use, doesn’t mean you did yourself any favors. Lots of people doesn’t equal lots of buyers and it definitely doesn’t equal lots of your ideal customer.

Marc Jicobs sold ONE hockey puck after months of promoting his product to the people on the beach. Just because there are a ton of people on the beach doesn’t mean they are people who need or want hockey pucks.

This is no different than accounts that constantly Tweet out new listings and nothing else just because they know a lot of people use twitter. It’s not focused, it’s uninteresting and it’s useless. Just like Marc Jicobs on the beach with the hockey pucks.

Marc is not clear on how to make the best possible use of the beach. He is just showing up and expecting people to engage with him. Lots of people are there, yes, but they aren’t paying attention to him because they aren’t his people, they don’t know who he is, and he isn’t doing a great job of informing people about what he does. If Marc had gone to the beach and started up a game of frisbee with another party, maybe they would’ve gotten to chatting about careers and jobs and getting to know each other and that could’ve resulted in an authentic connection with a group of people, and that’s great. But just showing up,hanging around lamely… that wasn’t going to garner the attention of beach goers.

Are you selling hockey pucks on the beach?

People went to the beach to see their friends, and catch up on things they like. They didn’t go to the beach to shop. And not everyone on the beach is interested in hockey pucks. Very occasionally a person might say, “hey, you know what… I do need a hockey puck” but is it worth the sale of one hockey puck to be exerting as much useless effort on the beach?

Marc had to keep going to the beach to promote his pucks, and it was getting to be a ton of hard work that was not often very rewarding. Marc should have spent more time establishing himself in a place where people go specifically to shop, and less time promoting to an audience so large and diverse with very few prospects.

What if Marc Jicobs took his hockey pucks to the ice rink 3 nights a week? Or better yet, got a deal going with the Pro Shop at the rink to sell his pucks on commission – which is preferable, because people who need hockey pucks might go straight to the pro shop without ever seeing the Jicobs table of fine pucks – or they might feel more secure purchasing from the Pro Shop. Firstly, the people at the ice rink are clearly going to have more interest in and need for the Jicobs Hockey Puck of Dreams than the vast array of people at the beach. Secondly, if he nurtures a relationship with the Pro Shop owner, he could be making sales without even being present – thus freeing up some time to improve the puck or put his line of hockey sticks together, finally.

Here’s how this might apply to you:

I’m thrilled to bits that you are interested in social media and want to understand how it can work for your business. But here’s the thing, when people are looking to buy something, what do they do? Where do they go? Here’s a hint – they go to a store or marketplace. Don’t you want to be visible and well positioned in a place that people GO specifically to shop? You are selling something, so of course you do! (PS, if you sell on Etsy, my course will teach you how to do it.)

That’s why your efforts are better put towards establishing the best possible storefront, optimized for views and sales. So that when people are looking to buy, they find you. This is entirely different than the occasional buyer you get from social media who sees something you’ve posted and absolutely MUST have it. You see that right?

Are you spending too much time and effort trying to turn Instagram, Twitter other social media channel into a sales funnel when you could be using it as a place to connect with your audience rather than constantly sell to them?

If you establish a strong presence on the platforms people go to shop, you won’t have to hustle as hard to shuffle traffic from one place to another and you’ll free up time to connect with humans as a human, not always as a seller trying to make sales to a buyer.

What do you think?

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I Bet You Didn’t Know This About Instagram Secret

do you know this instagram secret? | the merriweather council blog

You guys, I cracked the code of instagram.  I have reached Instagram Secret nirvana.

Okay, not really, but I did discover something about IG that I haven’t seen anyone mention.

A few days ago, I was searching for one of my own accounts from another of my accounts (I have a lot of accounts, don’t ask) and I was getting super annoyed that I couldn’t find myself as easily as I could find all the other Danielle folks.

Then I realized, like, duh, it’s a search algorithm thing. All the other Danielles had something I didn’t – their name tag line said “Danielle.”

So I tested it with a variety of random words, and yup, same thing happened. Take a look….


If you want to show up in an IG search for a specific word, put it here. This “name tag” area shows under your username in search results as well as on your profile.

Seriously, is this like the SEO of Instagram? Look at how these accounts pull up for a search of any random word…



First it shows me accounts I am following with that word in the name tag area (title? I don’t know what it’s official name is) then it shows me accounts that I am not following but that do have the searched word in that area. In both of the above images, I am not following the last 3-4 accounts it pulled for results – all of those bottom results have the searched word in the name tag area.

This is why I wasn’t showing up when I searched myself. Crazy right?

Test it out for yourself.


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Increase Etsy Traffic and Get More Features

I’m delighted to tell you all that my newest THING is here!

My course for Etsy sellers – Etsy Training + Self Guided Shop Critique – is a ten part video training for Etsy sellers who want to maximize their experience and increase traffic on Etsy and leverage their shops to help grow their businesses.

etsy trainer

This is a jam packed but super easy to follow course.

Over the past five years of selling on Etsy and working 1-on-1 with sellers, I noticed that many of them were making the same mistakes – and missing the same opportunities because they weren’t optimizing their shops properly. Not just missing out on sales, but also traffic that could lead to features, or collaborations, or other wonderful things. I also learned that many shop owners literally had NO IDEA about how to go about positioning their shops for optimal exposure.

I’m so excited to be offering this course because the plain truth is that none of this is not magic – you can do it. You just need instruction, help, and to know what’s worth your time. You also need to feel confident in your shop, most especially if this is THE place you send your customers to primarily either through links on your blog or social profiles or your business card.

Is your shop working as hard for you as you are working for it? It should be!

Here’s another thing…. promoted listings. You don’t need them. If your shop is optimized properly, your listings can show up in the same spots in search results that promoted listings do – but for free and for longer. Promoted listings only promote feast or famine in your shop.

Here are some quick facts:

All of the lessons are screencast videos.

+ I’m sure you’ve seen courses that primarily use slideshows – this is not that. This is easy to follow, on screen training and instruction. You don’t have time to have to run around your shop looking for things I mention – it’s all right there for you to see exactly how and where!


Ten lessons, including 3 how-to instructional videos

+ 7 of the videos are lessons that cover areas of your shop you need to optimize and how to do that. The other 3 are bonus How-Tos which cover how to make excellent use of your shipping notifications, how to create a custom Etsy convo signature, and how to generate and find new key words and phrases for your listings.

Each video comes with a bonus mini lesson

+ These mini lessons are in bite-sized text form. They are just a quick, easy to understand bit of additional info to go along with the lesson. More info is here.

Work at your own pace + Downloadable content

+ Upon registration, all course material is available for you immediately. This is not a drip content course – you work your pace, not mine. All videos are downloadable and you can watch them any time.

Two membership levels.

+ I’m offering two options for course enrollment, both are INCREDIBLE NO BRAINERS in terms of price. And this price WILL increase, so act accordingly if you are interested.

$50 – the basic level of membership includes all- access to all course content.

$60 – this level includes access to all course material (duh) as well as access to a members only private Facebook group where you can ask questions and get feedback as you work through the videos.

Look at some of the feedback I’ve already gotten from members!

IMG_2577 FullSizeRender

The price is SO right, it’s a little bit wrong.

Here’s the deal. I would’ve sold a lung to have access to this much AWESOME information about Etsy even as recently as two years ago. I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back, I’m saying this because it’s the truth. This course is EASILY worth 2x as much as I’m selling it for. In some ways, I’m underselling myself here. But I’m offering this introductory price because I get it. I understand that if you are only making two sales a month, this is a big investment. The truth is though, with this information, your return on investment could be completely insane. Seriously. The average shop will need 2 or 3 sales to cover the cost of the course. You could make that back in a week – or a couple of days even! And after that, it’s full, pure profit for you. Not only that, but, like I said… opportunities beyond direct sales…  my Etsy shop is what got me on the Today Show, and in People Style Watch. Yes, it was my work, but it wouldn’t have happened without the exposure from Etsy.

The moral of the story is, just as I always say: if you are going to use Etsy, you may as well make the most of it.

Ready? Join us now! Or get more info.

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A Few of My Favorite Things For Business + Inspiration

a few of my favorite things for business + inspiration | the merriweather council blog


Overwhelm is real and it’s dangerous. When I feel overwhelmed, I basically shut down and do nothing. That’s why I generally don’t follow a ton of anything. I need space to come up with my own thoughts, you know? I love Pinterest as much as you do, but there are certain things I find great value in time and time again! I wanted to share them with you – just my MOST favorite… so as not to overwhelm you!

Tools + Services

Shopify+ – a serious love affair right here.

Get Response+ – my guacamole upgrade. Just started using it and LOVE it. Try it with my link and get a $30 credit.

Pic Monkey – for one off type projects and social media covers

Pixelmator – for graphics and image editing. I use this app nearly every day!

Mail Chimp – probably the best place to start your mailing list

Trello – for orgnaizing all the thing


Blogs + Websites

Little Farm Media

Social Media Examiner

Design Sponge

Nathalie Lussier


Podcasts + Other

Kate’s Take

Heather Crabtree‘s Savvy Business Owners Facebook group

Marie TV

What are some of your favorites?


+ denotes an affiliate link

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