December 18, 2008

Got this from Another Etsy Team..Sharing it with the Team

10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop!

1. Make a schedule and allow yourself some flexibility. As a creative person, this completely goes against everything in my body! A schedule is as non creative as it gets, but it’s critical to develop this skill. Here’s an example of a daily schedule and a monthly schedule:

Monday = shop update
Sunday = working on your craft or art
Tuesday = Blogging and Social Networking

6:54 am – relist items that have sold over night or renew items…this is critical to jump start your day and stay fresh on searches within Etsy.
7 am – update blog, post blog in the forums on Etsy
7:30 – comment on five other blogs you found interesting. Target blogs of shops that sell items to a similar audience or area of interest that overlaps what you’re selling.
10 am – ship items
1:56 pm – relist 2 items

2. Blog. Free blog accounts can be set up at sites like LiveJournal and Blogpot. Personally I’m a fan of Blogspot because of its ease of use for both bloggers and visitors. It’s fairly easy for anybody to access and comment. Best of all its FREE.

3. Network!!! Social Networking is huge! If your main route of selling is online then it’s critical to catch up to the online trend of social networking! Places to promote your shop: Facebook (set up a page for your shop!), Twitter (tweet about your daily events, shop updates, blog updates), Flickr (upload and share photos of your latest projects!), Yahoo groups (target groups interested in your skill/craft or groups that represent the audience your selling to).

4. Renew your listings!!! This is critical and if rated in terms of importance it should be #1 on your to do list. Etsy is designed in such a way that your primary avenues for exposure are on the front page. At any point viewers across the globe are viewing the items scrolling across Etsy’s front page. How can people find you if you’re not putting your items up for renewal??? Think of it this way…Etsy is designed like a virtual slot machine. I put in my quarter (.20 cent listing fee) and I may or may not get a jackpot! However, this slot machine is special, it’s pretty and captivating, there are no annoying bells and whistles. It keeps its viewers captivated and hypnotized with visual jewels scrolling across its screen. This slot machine is also special because the odds are in your favor! It almost always pays out with a visitor to your shop which is always a potential sale! The bottom line is that you have to bring your shop to the buyers. Entice them to visit your shop! So sit down and think about how much you’re willing to pay for advertising. Then take that budget and apply it to renewing your items. For example $30.00 a month buys you about 6 renewals a day. Invest a little here and it will take you far.

5. Spend some time in the forums on Etsy, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. This serves a few purposes: it keeps you aware of what’s happening in the community, trends, sales, debates. My favorite sections are the “Business Topics” and “Techniques and Materials.” Please remember that what you post in the forums, as well as what you post in our yahoo group, is a direct reflection of your business.

6. Take a nice sunny Saturday to revisit your photos! Bright, clear, well lit photos are what will sell your item. I try to keep a white, bright background and use a simple poster board and a sunny spot in my living room to take my photos. My camera is not fancy and neither are my photography skills! Here are some articles from the Storque that will get you going:

7. Join a team or several teams! Teams are a great way to develop your business. Utah Etsy is designed for local artists and crafters to come together, share, network, and support one another, and we like to sprinkle in a bit of fun and philanthropy. Other teams are designed to reach a specific audience or meet a social goal such as helping animals or promoting green living. You can be a member of as many teams as you like, just remember that you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Find teams that will help your business grow.

8. Add new items to your shop! This is a top one. Keep your shop fresh with new items. Repeat buyers have the potential of making up a significant portion of your sales. Adding new items encompasses giving yourself time to create. It’s a fine line between spending too much time working on your business versus creating your product. Unless you have the ability to employ a marketing team and office manager I’m afraid you’ll have to tackle this one on your own. For me, I try to set aside specific days and times of the day to create new items. For example, evenings and naptimes provide me a window to either create or market. I have to choose and find that balance, 50/50 is my goal but not necessarily my reality.

9. Review your listing descriptions. Are they clear, free of errors (they sneak in there all of the time!). Do they mention features and benefits of your items. Are the dimensions detailed out in both inches and cm for both US and Intl. buyers? Are you clear on your shipping time frame?

10. Stay focused! If you look at some of the top sellers on Etsy and within our Utah Etsy team, you’ll notice that their shops have a sense of cohesiveness. If you have another craft you want to explore, consider whether or not the item will fit in your existing shop or if it would do better in a separate shop with its own cohesive theme.

So take some time to review your business this holiday weekend and see if any of these tips can be applied to your shop!