Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two week challenge update

Hey friends I just wanted to update with you how my two week challenge has gone. 

I made my shop live on February 23rd, here are the results thus far:


listing Favorites- 109
Shop Favorites- 30

views- 1,009
shop views-365
listing views-644

Orders -2

My stats from 17 days before Feb 23:


listing Favorites- 6
Shop Favorites- 8

views- 248
shop views-151
listing views-97

orders- 0

As you can see my results have greatly improved, not to mention I have been featured in about 15 treasuries. Yipeeeeee. Now just to keep my shop full and keep the views up :).


Thursday, February 23, 2012

2 Week Challenge Wrap Up.

I know I haven't posted the last few days of the 2 week wrap up. I have been traveling a lot and haven't had much internet access. I have my Etsy shop live now and I am getting a lot of hearts :).

Here is a wrap up of the last 2 weeks

  1. Day One - Setting Goals.
  2. Day Two - Time Managment.
  3. Day Three - Taking Care of Business.
  4. Day Four - Building Inventory.
  5. Day Five - Building Inventory.
  6. Day Six - Branding.
  7. Day Seven - Photography.
  8. Day Eight - Pricing
  9. Day Nine - Titles & Tags
  10. Day Ten - Titles & Tags
  11. Day Eleven - Updating Profile
  12. Day Twelve- Updating Shop Policies.
  13. Day Thirteen - Item Descritptions.
  14. Day Fourteen - It all comes together.
Head over to my shop and tell me what you think.

I encourage everyone to give your shop a little tune up. Here are some tips if  you decide to update your shop:
  • put your shop on vacation
  • build hype on your shops social networking sites
  • add in new products
  • update old products photos
I have made myself a great foundation for my shop to build off of in the future. I have my prices and photo style figured out. It makes me want to fill it up and keep creating. If you guys decide to do the 2 week shop tune up please let me know, I would love to follow your journey.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 11 & 12

This weekend I worked on updating my profile and shop policies.

Things to include in your shop policies are:

Include information you believe shoppers need to know to be comfortable buying from you. Don't forget to add in your personality.

Let buyers know what forms of payment you accept.

Shipping information.
  • How do you ship items?
  • Do they come gift wrapped?
  • How long after payment do you ship?
Refunds and Exchanges.
Be clear on what your policies are when it comes to damages, lost packages, wrong fit, and etc.

Try to avoid be negative. Use your words wisely and keep it warm and friendly.

for more information read this article

Happy Day folks.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 9 & 10

Using your titles and tags to their fullest potential can increase your shop views drastically. Here are some tips for coming up with great titles and tags. Grab a pen and paper. Start brainstorming.

What is it?

Who is it for?

How is it made? What techniques did you use?

What materials did you use?

What color is it?

What is the style?

What are your influences?

What scent or flavor is it?
(if it has one)

What is it's use?

Put yourself in the buyers shoes, how are they going find your item.  Use your Etsy shop stats to help with keywords and titles.  Don't use unnecessary words. A title that is direct and simpler will show up better that a long over exaggerated title.

See trending keywords in treasuries and in the Etsy newsletters. Be honest, don't use words that don't relate to your products, thats just a waste of a tag.

I hope these tips help you out, if you have any more tips you would like to add please do :).

Day 8

Day 8 is all about assessing your prices. Are your prices too high? Are they too low?

Underselling items can cause many dilemmas. When buyers see you have "cheap" prices they think why is this so cheap? Is it poor quality? All though this may not be the case, customers can't see or feel your product. They rely on your photos and the pride you have in your work to assure them of the purchase.
Another problem underselling products can cause is demand. I have learned this first hand. My first craft show I sold completely out, I had a pretty large amount of inventory for my first show and I had  my items priced way to low. I sold out before the show was over and all though I was ecstatic when I added up my expenses vs my profit I didn't make that much.

If your items are overpriced how do you know? Research your competition. Find sellers like you with like products in quality. If your prices are way over figure out why? How can they sell their products for so much less, and if you can adjust your prices do so. If you are happy with your prices but are at a higher point, try adding smaller or less expensive items into the mix.

If you have no idea where to start when it comes to pricing ask yourself these questions.

How much are supplies?
How long did it take to make it?
How unique is it?
What techniques do you use to make it?
What makes you stand out?

There is so much that goes into pricing. Time and experience are sometimes best when it comes to it. The number one thing to keep in mind is pride. Be proud of your work. You are a handmade artist taking chances and putting your creations out there. If that isn't worth something then I don't know what is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 7.

Photography, probably one of the most important elements of selling online. The only visuals potential customers get of your products are what you provide. It can make or break a sale. It can be what gets you on the front page, featured in treasuries and individual views online.

Your photos and style of photos can be a big help in getting you recognized. Use your photos as part of your brand and style.

Below are some tips on great photos. Keep in mind certain things apply to your style and what you sell.

  • Keep it simple. Take your photographs against a clean simple background. Now this does not mean it has to be white. Oh no, explore with different backgrounds, different textures, wood grain etc. De clutter your space. Don't have a bunch of irrelevant junk in the photo. Try not to use frames and borders and if you must put a watermark keep it small and simple.
  • Natural Lighting. Open up the shades and set up your photography station. Try to avoid using flash.
  • Macro. Most if not all cameras have a macro setting. Its the little flower/tulip. This is extremely important if you photograph small detailed items like jewelry.
  • Tripod. Get one. It doesn't even have to be a tripod. A stack of books, a chair, your desk. Just keep it steady champ. No body likes a blurry photo.
  • Manual. Take a risk. Learn your camera, it can be your money maker. Learn about white balance and aperture.  You don't have to have a fancy camera to have great photographs just learn to get the most out of what you got.
proof you don't need a professional camera.

All though my Canon looks better my lil oh point and shoot looks pretty good.

As you can see I am going with a different approach than a plain background. I know its not typical and it may cost me some slots in treasuries but I am wanting to stick out. I want noticeable photos  and when I search through the plush section I want my product photos to stand out.

 What do you guys think of this?

I hope these tips are helpfull.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 6.

Branding is very important when it come to your business.  Having a "look" helps  online buyers feel secure and confident in purchasing from your shop. When visitors view your Etsy shop you want them to feel like they have entered the world of your work. You want to carry an aesthetic online, in your packaging, photography and in person.

Here are some questions to ask when creating your brand:

  • What do you sell? How is it different from others?
  • Who is your target market? Who are your buyers and who are they buying for?
  • Does your shop have a mission? Do you have a cause and what does it mean to you?
  • Do you have one thing people could identify your shop with?
Ask your self these question. Make a list. Do you have a reoccurring theme in your answers?

Now that you have an idea on how to create your brand, you will use this tool to build a cohesive, professional looking shop.

Some ways to execute your brand include:

  1. Graphics. Use your shop banner, use certain fonts and colors to evoke your brand. Stay consistent and simple, but involve your shops personality.
  2. Photography. This is a big part of how I brand my shop. I take my photos in the same spot. I  use the same background and take my shots in the same angle. They have the same exposure of lighting and when you view my page it looks clean and simple. 
  3. Cohesiveness. Use the same graphics you use in your Etsy shop throughout you presence on the web. Use it for your facebook page, your shop blog, & twitter. Use your graphics and colors for your business cards, packaging, and put your logo on EVERYTHING. You can even do little freebies like pocket mirrors or magnets with your name. 
  4. Descriptions. Use your shop voice in your descriptions. Reflect the personality of your brand with your words. Tell customers how your product is unique to just your shop. Something I do is use my shop name to name my product. I.E. Honey Bunnies or The oh honey child fox.
  5. Customer Service. Use customer service to seal the deal. Being from the Oklahoma we all know how to treat folks. We know how to lay on the sugar and when folks receive a product from you, you want them to feel like they have also received a little piece of Oklahoma. I use words like folks, honey, darlin', friend, y'all, peach etc. to really convey my shop personality and my  personality. It's quirky and fits me. It may not be the bit  for everyone one, but you can keep in mind how your mommas and grand-mommas raised you :).
There is no end to how you can brand your shop. If you don't know much about designing graphics or where to begin, research it. Learn how to do these things, they are very important to the success of your business. If you don't want to learn or just can't get the hang of it HIRE someone. There are many talented and local designers out there. They can give you what you want.

Now I am off to make a new shop banner and design some new business cards.