Wednesday, 13 June 2018

HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIRST DEPOP SALE

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I first set up Depop in 2016, but I didn't make my first sale until 2018 after ditching the app for well over a year. On my second try at Depop, I scoured the internet for selling tips, but found nothing that helped for a complete newbie with no sales, no star ratings, and no hope. Now that I've figured it out the hard way, I wanted to write the post that I wish I could have read back in 2016: how to make your first Depop sale.

In this post I'm going to brush past two most obvious points: you need to take clear photos of the items and write truthful descriptions. I've found that good photos and descriptions alone won't guarantee sales, at least not at first. So, here are three additional tactics to kick off your Depop side hustle.

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All the clothes items shown in this post are for sale on my Depop, @clairepetersen. I had to get a cheeky plug in somewhere!

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Use a Loss Leader

I made a slight loss on my first sale. I won't lie, this was partly due to ignorance as I had seriously underestimated postage costs! However, it was also a tactical choice. You see, to make sales you need a star rating, ideally five stars. But as a newbie, you're stuck with a zero star rating. To get a rating, you'll need to either make a sale or purchase. Since I didn't have the funds to make any purchases at first, my only option was to throw in a few big bargains in my feed. It may seem counterproductive - you are trying to make money after all -- but think of it this way: you are buying yourself that all-important star rating.

You don't need to take it to the extreme and make an actual loss, but bear in mind your first sale is unlikely to be a €100+ debs dress. For people to trust you as a seller and purchase your more expensive items, you'll have to build up your reputation as a seller and get those 5 star ratings.

It should go without saying, when you make that sale on one of your cheaper items, make sure to provide an excellent service. Ship the same or next day and update the buyer once you've done so. When you've secured that all important 5-star rating, you can review your prices and up them if you think they're now too low.

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Unlike Instagram, no one really cares if you follow way more people than follow you

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Follow Like There's No Tomorrow

Depop might look a lot like Instagram, but it differs in one key way: no one cares if you're following hundreds (or thousands) more accounts than follow you. Use this to your advantage and go on huge following sprees so that more Depop-ers see you and your items. This may seem unbearably tedious, but think about how much dead time you have on a daily basis: sitting through TV adverts or mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or Instagram. Spend 5 minutes following on Depop instead, do this for a couple of days, and you'll soon have hundreds more profile views, and you'll be inching closer to that first sale.

Of course, who you follow is important. To find and follow users that actually make purchases on Depop, and who may be interested in your items, follow these steps:

1. Search for a keyword that describes at least some of your items. For example, I search for "vintage".
2. Click on the posts that pop up until you find one from a seller with a lot of reviews from buyers. You can find these by clicking the seller's star rating and tapping the sold tab.
3. Follow each of these buyers.
4. Repeat steps 1-4.

Try and do this whenever you have a spare moment and you'll soon find your items are getting more attention. Then it's just a matter of time until your first sale.

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Slide Into DMs

As you follow people and update your feed with new items, you'll eventually get a few likes on your posts. I've noticed that when I like a post, I'll often get a private message from the seller asking if I'm interested in buying it and even including a special offer. Try this tactic on an any item that gets a like. Not everyone who likes your post actually wants to buy it, but some will, and by DMing them you're reminding them and making them more likely to tap the buy button.

You're looking for one of your first sales, so use this to your advantage. You could say something like this: "Thanks so much for liking my item. I would love if you could be my first buyer on Depop! I'm offering a 10% discount as a thank you, so let me know if you are interested!"

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Bonus tip: You can use graphics - like the one on the right - to let people know about the deals on your Depop.

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Give these pointers a try, and you'll breeze past your first sale and be on your way to a lighter wardrobe and a heavier wallet.

Wishing all the Depop newbies out there good luck. Feel free to drop your username in the comments and I'll give you a follow. Find me on Depop with the username @clairepetersen.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

MY CAREER PATH SO FAR

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Recently people have been sharing their career journeys, sparked off by this tweet. I've been loving seeing other people's career progression, and thought it would be a good idea to share my own!

Although I'm not yet where I want to be in terms of my career, I am definitely on track, no matter how many career detours I've taken thus far! I truly believe you learn something from every role you take, and the skills and experiences you get from odd jobs will build up and serve you in your future projects.

So whether you're looking for some career inspo or just a little curious (that's allowed!) here's my career path so far...

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You've Gotta Start Somewhere

BA in Communication Studies | 2011-2014
First up, I studied Communication Studies in Dublin City University - in fact, I initially created this blog to document what I was learning on the course! At the beginning I had this vague notion that I'd like to work as an Art Director for an advertising agency, mostly born from how the role was portrayed in films and TV, if I'm honest. Instead, I fell in love with my Photography & Imaging module and started to consider photography as a potential career.

MA in Management (Digital Marketing) | 2014-2015
Nearing the end of my BA, I was on the hunt for a graduate job. I didn't get very far, but that turned out to be the best thing for me, as I was accepted on a marketing masters at DCU that I loved. Here I gained employable skills and worked on practical marketing projects.

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Working 9-to-5

Content Coordinator at Web Summit | 2015-2016
My first "proper" job was with the tech conference company Web Summit. In this role I worked on creating marketing content like blog posts, social media posts, and sales materials. I loved being based in Dublin but my favourite part of the role was getting to travel internationally - to places like Hong Kong and Madrid - to work on the conferences as they happened. This woke up the globetrotter in me, and before I knew it I was making the leap to New York.

Marketing at Hebe Rose + Photographer's Assistant to Joseph Chen + Freelance Photographer | 2017
I moved over to New York on the graduate visa, and here all my passions combined as I worked in a number of marketing and photography roles. Honestly, I needed to do a bit of everything just scrape together rent every month and I was stressed out because of it. That said, I wouldn't change a thing, as it meant I could build my photography portfolio while still working in marketing.

Gallery Assistant at Alarcón Criado | 2018
When I arrived back in Ireland after New York, I wasn't sure where I'd end up next, but I was sure an opportunity would arise. Luckily it did, in the form of Erasmus+. Long story short, I moved to Seville for 3 months and worked in a contemporary art gallery called Alarcón Criado. Perhaps not the most obvious role for me, but I got a glimpse into the art world, and got to work in a Spanish speaking country. ¡Qué guay!

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Now what?

Digital Communications Assistant at the Nerve Centre
I've got a new job! Thrilled to say that I'll be starting at the Nerve Centre - a nonprofit cultural centre in Derry - on the Comms team very soon! I can't wait to get started!

And beyond...
Of course, I will still be doing photography in every spare second I get. Plus I have another project that I'm working on that I won't share yet in case it doesn't work out, but you won't be able to shut me up about it when the time comes!

It's a work in progress, but I'm happy with how my career is coming along. What about you? What do you do, and how did you get there? Let me know in the comments!

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

THE MUST LIST: CÓRDOBA

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Córdoba sits in Seville's shadow. They are both quaint Andalusian cities with Roman roots and Moorish architecture, and are just a one and a half hour train journey away from each other. But Seville is far better known, and for that reason Córdoba is often forgotten. I've gone on about Seville plenty, so today I thought I'd shine a little light on the lovely city of Córdoba instead.

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The Must-See: Puente Romano De Córdoba

That's the Roman Bridge of Cordoba, to those of us not fluent in Spanish (that includes me, unfortunately)! It was originally built in the 1st century, but was later restored in the Medieval period, and today it looks much like it did then.

If you're lucky, your walk over the bridge will be to the tune of a local musician, an accordionist was out busking when I crossed over. From the bridge you can watch the Guadalquivir River, but for the best view you'll want to walk to the side of the Calahorra Tower and go down to the park by the riverbank. From here you'll be able to count the bridge's 16 arches that lead to the Old Town. The perfect spot for watching the world go by.

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The Must-Sip: Salon De Té

Whenever I explore a new place on my own, I love to spend some of my time (perhaps too much of it!) in a good coffee shop or eatery, plotting my next move. Tripadvisor led me to Salon De Té, and what a find it was! With its intricate Moroccan decor and architecture, and a long list of exotic teas, it felt more like Casablanca than Córdoba.

I recommend choosing a small pot of whichever tea takes you fancy, ordering hummus and bread if you're in need of a snack, and spending a while in the beautiful surroundings. And once you're ready to get back out and explore, you're only around the corner from...

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The Must-'Gram: Calleja de las Flores

Córdoba is known for it's beautiful patios lined with brightly-coloured potted plants, many of which open to the public during the Patios Festival in May. If you don't happen to be there for the festival, you can still get a taste by visiting the Calleja de Flores. This narrow alleyway is decorated with flowers sitting in blue pots and leads to a small water feature and a few touristy trinket shops. It's worth having a wander and getting a few snaps while you're at it!

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So that's The Must List for Córdoba. What do you make of this new format? I thought it'd be fun to try something different from my usual What To Do With One Day In... posts.

That's all for now, catch me on Instagram or in the next post!

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Monday, 9 April 2018

MISSING NEW YORK + PHOTOWALL CANVAS PRINT REVIEW

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When Photowall reached out to collaborate with me, offering to send me a canvas print in return for an honest review, I knew I had to opt for one of my shots of the New York skyline. I wanted a reminder of the city, something that I'd see that would prompt me to think of the city that meant so much to me and even changed me. So I thought I'd take some time to reminisce, before I get stuck into the review.

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Only in New York...

Any time, any day, you can always find something to do...
Including Christmas Day! I'll never forget the December 25th I spent in Queens eating a roast dinner at an Irish bar with my expat buddies. It was strange to be away from home for Christmas, but I was grateful to be in a city that didn't come to a complete halt for the day.

Opportunities are everywhere.
It just comes with the territory. Since New York is a huge city with millions of people, there are going to be a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to your career. For me, New York offered me chances to work as a photographer's assistant, production assistant, and even land my own gigs as a blogger photographer.

50 shades of matcha.
This might be a niche point, but New York is matcha-mad. At the tail end of my time there, cafés dedicated to just matcha beverages were popping up all other the place, and I was living for it. The thing is, whatever your current craving, New York probably caters to it. My poison was matcha, for others it's fancy iced coffees, or poké bowls, or vegan fast food, or... You get the idea. There's every type of food, drink, and unicorn milkshake floats (because, let's be honest, that doesn't quite fit into the first two categories).

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My New York City Canvas Print

Now I've gushed about my old home, it's time to chat about how I'm keeping it close with my new print. As I stated in the introduction, I got this through Photowall. Photowall is an online store where you can choose wall prints or canvas prints to brighten up your space. On their site you'll find hundreds of designs to choose from, or you can upload your own image, which is what I opted to do!

I found the process of uploading my image and choosing my canvas super simple. Select the "canvas print using your own image" option and follow five steps to tweak the canvas style. I chose the 40cm x 40cm size and had my image running all the way over the edge (meaning that there would be no white or black border along the canvas edge). Easy.

Now, when my canvas arrived, I must admit that I was a little overwhelmed. It's a do-it-yourself job. The frame and material of the canvas is separate at first - was up to me to put it together! As you can see from the image above, I was provided with the screws that I needed to hold the frame and material together. After a few moments of head scratching and staring at the instructions, I got to work and built the canvas without so much as a hiccup.

My main concern with securing the canvas myself was that it would be wonky or unstable, but I am happy to report that it is neither! In fact, it is super sturdy, much more than other canvases I've had in the past. I've never had a canvas with such thick wooden frames, and it really makes a difference, it's great quality.

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All in all, I'm thrilled with it! It's a beautiful touch to what was quite a bare room. Since I'm living in a rented apartment, I couldn't make a hole in the wall for a nail, but luckily this didn't matter because it looks good simply resting on the wall on top of my bookshelf. Plus, it's opposite my bed, so every time I wake up I'm reminded of my favourite city.

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That's all for today, follow me on Instagram for more chats and pretty photography, and I'll be back here with a new post soon!

Disclaimer: I was gifted this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

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