If the coffee is still brewing does this count as a morning coffee blog? Hmm.
When I jumped head first into the puppet building world, I had never run my own business before, and definitely do *not* have a head for business. I loathe “marketing” and the sleazy manipulative ways it makes people think. There’s a reason that the closest thing to a villain on The Oracle (one of my YouTube shows) is Gus, the Marketing Yeti.
And yet as my sole source of income I need to think practically about it. As we closed out 2022 it’s clear that we’re in a serious economic downturn. I know it sounds ludicrous, but *some* people actually consider puppets to be a luxury item not essential for survival, and given a choice would rather pay their bills than buy a puppet.
Knowing that going into 2023 helps me plan. It’s going to be a rough year sales-wise. 2022 was already down from 2021 and that graph is unlikely to improve. However it’s times like this, rather than panic, I try to plan. I can weather some rough seas, so let’s try and ensure that when things improve, we’ll be there to enjoy it.
To that end I’ve decided that 2023 will be the Year of More Eyeballs. It’s tough being a very small figure in a very big Internet, but there are also some niceties. Big content creators measure success in thousands of views, visits, etc. I measure it in ones. Every single person who sees my work, who joins my community, who engages with my “content” (we really need a less buzzwordy term) matters to me. Even a slight bump in *any* number helps a lot. The difference between a good month and a bad month on the shop can often be one sale. It doesn’t take much.
Of course having Twitter go down the Musk-hole was a serious drawback. It was always a fairly good way to get O:P to people who may not have seen it, but I’m never willing to sacrifice my ethics for the sake of personal gain. We press on. Trying more things. We’re launching a podcast, this blog, regular live streams, and generally trying to get O:P in front of as many eyeballs as I can in 2023. Like I said, at this level, every person counts, and that’s the way I like it.
Operation: Puppet is personal. I want to make it a place where people just like to be, welcoming, funny, the way a home should feel. And to be clear: it doesn’t matter at all if you never buy a puppet from me. Yes the shop is my bread & butter, but that will come organically, from the community. I’d rather have people than profits. Because of that I’ll never be big, but as long as I can keep the lights on, it’s enough.
What Would Jim (Henson) Do?