Saturday, May 30, 2009

Better Photos-Framing Your Shots

My Road to Better Photo's...

Here's a quick summary with the full post with pictures here:

One of the top reasons for leaving a shop without looking further is because the photos don't tell me what the item is. There is no idea of what they’re selling nor does it generate interest.

To remedy this, frame your item in a way that shows what it is, clearly. Crystal clear.

Here are questions to ask yourself when evaluating your own photos:

1.) Can I tell what this item is?

2.) Can I tell what this item is for?

3.) Does this photo clearly convey what this is?

Other topics covered are:

How to frame a good shot
A.) Take an action shot.
B.) Put your item in its habitat
C.) Show its size

Things to avoid
1.) Using a super up-close shot as the first picture.
2.) Using a far away shot of the item.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Secrets of My Success

Since I consider myself a successful Etsy seller, I'm taking the opportunity of my 2nd Etsyversary to share some thoughts. While I know everyone finds their own path and my experience won't reflect everyone's experiences, I hope you find this interesting or even helpful.

When I started making jewelry based on molecule shapes, I expected it to be a hobby. I was planning to work freelance writing jobs for a living and sell jewelry to produce some retirement savings. Yet within a year the jewelry became my full-time job that pays the bills. The freelance writing I do is extra.

I believe much of my success comes from having an unusual offering. At first, I thought my jewelry would appeal to a very small niche. I was uneasy about joining Etsy because I thought people interested in my stuff would not find me here. I was wrong. First, my work appeals to a wider audience than I suspected, and, second, people found my stuff through searches and - more importantly - through other people. Despite my expectations to the contrary, having such a narrow focus in my work has been a benefit.

I'm a generalist and I love making all sorts of things, like textiles, sculptures, and paper goods. But in my Etsy store, I've largely remained focused on just the jewelry. Every once in a while I'll throw something else in, but I think having a focused inventory looks professional.

Since this is my job, there are things I love to make that don't make money, so I can't offer them in my shop. I don't like that this is true, that I need to pay attention to profit margins. But it is necessary, especially since my extra time has been dwindling.

I love what I do. I have even found ways to enjoy the more business-sided aspects. It's important to have passion about your work when you work for yourself. I work long days [disclaimer: I still need to figure out work-life balance!], but often it doesn't feel like all I do is work when my hobby and my work are one and the same.

Every day I am thankful to have stumbled upon this way to make a living. I'm also very appreciative of Etsy and the Etsy community. Through Etsy forums I've learned the importance of great customer service and how to sell in person. I also appreciate the camaraderie in the Forums and in the street teams.

Thank you all, and good luck in all of your Etsy ventures!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quit Your Day Job:FancifulForm

Through the success of her Etsy shop, Lauren, a.k.a. FancifulForm, has been able to balance all aspects of her business while simultaneously putting herself through school. Lauren has developed her own strategies for selling success through trial and error. Today's she is going to share some of her best tips on how to succeed in growing a business. In the coming months she hopes to save enough money to move into a larger studio and continue her growing success.

Read the Full Article Here...
Etsy Storque Article: "Quit Your Day Job: FancilfulForm"
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The things you should do before you give up on Etsy...

Thinking about closing shop? Ready to give up? Think Etsy should do the work for you?

Well wake up people! No one can make you successful but YOU! Don't just pick one or two items on this list, say you tried, and call it quits.

Do them all!

And please give it more than a month for any results.

Don't have time? Find time!

* Relist several times a day. People don't usually search farther than 5-10 pages in. You have to stay on top for these customers to find you. (I spend at minimum $1.00/day on re-listing).

*Buy advertising on other sites. Several other sites. Create an ad budget just for this.

*Pick a couple social networking sites and stick with them. Don't do all of them. You will spread yourself too thin and each site will look half-assed.

*Twitter. This is a great tool for hits and sales if you use it correctly. Don't just create a profile and expect people to follow you all on their own.

*Write a storque article about something that interests you and pitch it to admin.

*Post new items frequently. Maintain a nice, full shop. Think of each and every item as a tiny little door somewhere on etsy or the interwebz that's leading customers into your shop.

*Hearts matter. If you are getting a steady stream of hearts each day that is actually a good thing! Each heart (the non private ones anyway) is like another tiny little doorway on etsy leading people to your shop and/or items. I can't tell you how often I browse a shops favorites and end up in some other shop because of it.

*Do live events. Hand out business cards. Even if the sales went poorly you have gained exposure!!

*Chat, Chat in forums, Ect.

*Tell your friends.

*Give your relatives samples + business cards.

*Leaf Fliers around your hometown in designated areas.

*Have a range of prices to draw different customer bases into your shop.

*Work, rework, and work your pictures again. Over and over until you notice your views spike!

*See above for listings.

*See above for profile.

*See above for shop announcement.

*Create your own personal website. Either sell there too or make it link to your etsy shop!

Do all of the above to the best of your ability. Spend 16 hours a day on it. Dream about it. Eat it. Breathe it.

This isn't a complete list, obviously, but I think it includes all of the major aspects of marketing I worry about.
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