Today I made a floral wreath for my Etsy shop (pictured below with my beautiful model, who I also made myself :P ). When I was doing research on the competition, I saw links to Facebook pages, Youtube videos and Ebay stores. On all of these I saw women (I didn’t see any male etsy store owners making floral arrangements) hawking their wares in various, very tech savvy ways and I was reminded of how very good at multitasking women are. This is not to say that men have taken advantage of technology in ways that has profited them, that is a clear truth with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and the hundreds of other founders of Tech Companies, but this blog post is specifically focusing on women and as such uses female stereotypes as I see them (as a woman).
When I started writing for sci-fi magazines more than a decade ago, I created my own page from raw HTML. I did celebrity interviews and as a perk, it was easy to get autographed photos or playing cards without paying the fees that other fans did at conventions. I sold the autographs on ebay. Networking with actors and fans, I sold articles to scifi magazines and wrote for various fan clubs and other entertainment related media.
At my current job, I was hired for my ability to read metes and bounds (survey terms) of legal documents, but strangely enough was promoted because I was familiar with internet technology and the problems of importing data. I was not, however, asked to write blogs for the company, they hired a ‘technical writer with website development experience’ for that. Which is very vexing, as you can imagine, when you are trying to get hired and paid as a published writer, and not a surveyors daughter. Never-the-less, you can clearly see how being familiar with more than one field has its benefits.
There is little doubt that most of these Etsy sellers are either full time working moms, or stay at home moms trying to supplement their income (read: shoe money). While many people may ridicule the amount of time spent online on social media, there is little doubt that it is as effective, if not more so, than a salesman driving from town to town, business to business, selling the wares of the company. And when it comes to social networking, there can be little doubt that a woman knows how to do it. Facebook, Ebay and Etsy may have been created by males, but it is women who work them to the maximum advantage. It’s the women who think so far out of the box that they can make a youtube video that works as a music video attracting teens and a business video attracting clients at the same time a pet picture they can post on icanhazcheeseburger.com. It’s the Etsy store that gets linked from deviantart.com and back to flickr and then to photobucket until it’s the first (non promoted) picture that comes up when you search “wedding bouquet” on Google.
The ‘gotta get this sold so I can buy those cute shoes’ instinct that women exhibit with their tech savvy mini marketing/networking is exactly the same phenomenon that makes the odds markets (betting/gambling) better at predicting who will be president than any “expert.” It is precisely because they work on this self interested marketing (though personal at the level they work at) that they are successful to the degree they ‘need’ to be.
A good CEO might be better off hiring a housewife who sells her jewelry on ebay to do network marketing for him than that guy with a MBA in Network Marketing–if he could think out of the box, that box that most Etsy store owners never even heard of. A CEO would call it ‘multi-level marketing,’ but the majority of Etsy store owners would call it ‘normal.’