ETSY and Branding Your Work

Many sellers say that branding is one of the hardest things for their work and their ETSY shop.  I admit, when I first started ETSY it was something I struggled a lot with too. I had so many different items, and the overall feel of my shop was nothing but cluttered.  Then I stumbled upon my love of vintage, and vintage inspired glass and flower cabochons and branding just seemed to fall into place overnight.

Branding is very important for a seller. When customers come to a place online they like to know what kind of shop they are in, and if you are all over the place there may be some confusion and a customer may walk. We definitely do not want that! So what can you do to successful brand your ETSY shop?

*  BE CONSISTENT *

When I say consistent I am talking about your overall business in respects to pricing, items offered, packaging, customer service.  There is nothing more confusing than walking into a store and seeing prices all over the place for similar items, too many styles of product. Packaging in my eyes, is very important aspect of the branding process. You include your cards and your special touch on the package and every time a customer comes back to your shop they know what to expect. Consistency helps tremendously with peat customers. So stay consistent to your packaging, your prices, and most overall what you sell.

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ETSY: Getting on the Front Page

Being on ETSY’s front page is HUGE, and could potentially net many sales to your shop the day you are seen on the front page and in the days and weeks to follow, and the questions everyone is always asking is “How do I get on ETSY’s Front Page?”  There is no guarantee that you will make it to the front page, but there are ways to increase your chances for that exciting exposure moment!  So what can you do to increase your chances on getting on the front page?  By making treasury worthy products.

* MERCHANDISING DESK *

This is huge. The merchandising desk article that comes out and every month is written by ETSY focused on the hot trends that are coming. A lot of the treasuries and products they choose for the front page are keywords that can be found in this article. The merchandising article can be found here:  http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/tags/from-etsys-merchandising-desk/

*  TAGGING FOR SUCCESS *

When sellers make treasuries, and admins choose products and treasuries for the front page they are looking for keywords.  If your tagging is lacking then there is a good chance people are first not seeing your items, second your chances of getting into a treasury is smaller. This is my all-time favorite tagging article made by ETSY’s treasury team. I highly recommend it:  http://etsytreasuryteam.blogspot.com/2009/03/tagging-for-maximum-exposure-in-etsy.html

*  TAKE GOOD PICTURES  *

I can’t say this enough, if your picture doesn’t pop out chances are it won’t go into a treasury. There are many articles on ETSY and on the internet on how to improve your pictures. The more striking, the higher your chance of being put into a treasury.

Have fun, and just know it’s more than possible to get on the front page you just have to make your products ready for the front page!

ETSY Front Page

Admit it, we have all asked it. “Why haven’t I been on the front page?” I know I have quite a bit. I have been lucky to have made the front page 4 times on ETSY with my shop NaturalAmber
With so many talented artists it’s so hard to be seen sometimes, and sometimes it’s just impossible to put every front page worthy item on the front page.
My newest blog  ETSY FRONT PAGE   is dedicated to those pieces who at the time of the blog post had not made the front page to show those sellers, I think you deserve to be on the front page on ETSY!

ETSY: Selling on a Shoestring Budget

 

For many small businesses, and sellers just starting out, the costs of running business on ETSY (and anywhere) can be too much and unaffordable. So what can you do? Are you doomed to not make sales because your simply; BROKE? Not necessarily. Many of us sellers run our business on a shoe string budget, and “YES” you can too!

So, what can you do?

**** CONTACT TRADE FRIENDLY SELLERS ****
There are many sellers on here who trade their services for product. Perhaps you need some business cards? Find a business card shop that participates in trading on ETSY and see if they will make you cards for a trade in your shop. Need a banner? Perhaps a banner shop. Want some promotional items? Contact another shop with promotional items you want to use.
Learn More about trading here:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6183294

**** PROMOTION ON THE FREE SIDE ****
You don’t always have to buy an ad to be seen. There are many free ways to promote your shop, they may require a little more work, but yes they are free.

A. Join a Team: Many teams build treasuries, more treasuries you are in the more exposure you will have

B. Build a Facebook Fan Page: Or better yet just have a personal fanpage. I get more sales from my personal page than my fan page, that’s where my last two sales have been from!

C. Be Active on ETSY: Post in the forums, join a chat, do a workshop. The more people you meet the more potential sales you may make. Remember sellers are buyers too.

**** RELY ON NEW OVER RENEW ****
It’s okay to renew, but only if you can afford it. Adding a new item to your shop is always a better investment, and keeps your returning customers coming back to see the fresh side of your shop!

**** HAMMER LOCAL PROMOTION ****
Put your cards up in creative places, where your work, Always have cards on hand. Jewelry artists get your hair done and have eye candy for the hairstylist to see dangling from your ear lobes. Leave your business card with your tip and restaurants.

Its more than possible, I am one of those sellers who can’t afford ads but I do well without them. I do a lot of forum talking, adding inventory, and just chit chatting on my Facebook. It’s possible to sell without breaking the bank.

ETSY Holidays: Never To Early to Plan Ahead

 

It’s June, and yes many sellers on ETSY are already planning the most busiest season of the year: the fall and winter season. Why so early? Planning ahead is always a good idea, you want to be ready. It would be a shame to be half way through the season and realize you weren’t ready for it. I started season planning last month. When I first started ETSY I felt like I was always missing the season, I would list and do stuff during the season but by then its almost over. So as a seller what can you do to start planning for the busy season?

* Stock Up Shop Now. Currently I have 286 listings in my ETSY shop, and I’m adding new items several times during the week. I once read from one of the ETSY admins who chimed in on a thread about how to be succesful selling jewelry and they said they noticed those jewelry artists who had alot of items sold more frequently. I want to have as much stock available for season in case making more items may take longer than normal. The more you have listed, the more chances you have at making a sale.

* Start Making Your Holiday/Season Items. I havent decided if I am going to offer any seasonal items, but Im thinking about it. I dont want to think about it too long though or the season will be to close here! Online shopping makes customers want to buy earlier than normal since the buy and take home right away ability is taken away. Customer want to give themselves plenty of time before the holiday when buying. Sometimes more than a month ahead!

* Scope out and Reserve Advertising Now. This piece of advice is huge. If you wait until the last minute to buy advertisement on Craftcult, Magazines, big websites you may lose out. Sellers are already reserving thiers. I would start searching for the best places to advertise to your target market now and consider buying space in the next few months. Sometimes you can get better deals buying early too!

 * Have a Plan, Stock Up. Stock up on the essentials, tape, mailers, gift boxes, tags, bags, you don’t want to be out of the essentials when the orders come in, it could delay orders from shipping out. Make sure you are ready! (This also goes for Christmas in July, you want to have necessities available for immediate use)

* Make Your Shop FP and Find friendly. Tag your shop for these times, people will be making treasuries using holiday and seasonal items. ETSY will be on the lookout for neat buys to show customers. Start improving your shop now when its slower, take better pictures, sweep away the clutter… and get ready!

Remember, it’s never too early to start a business plan, a marketing plan, or an advertsing plan. The more you can get your name out, and the earlier make your chances better of having a successful season.

ETSY 101: Selling Success

 

Brainstorming.

Risk.

Aiming Innovation.

Never Giving Up.

* Brainstorming. I challenge you to take a hard look at your shop and really discover whats working and not. Embrace slower times as a way to really analyze and find out what needs to be done, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be tossed. Perhaps you need to work on your tagging, your SEO, perhaps its time to find new ways to reach your target market. Pull up a chair and pull out a notebook and really think about what needs to be done to bump up your success.

* Risk. You figured out what you think may work. Go for it! Whether it’s a new marketing strategy, new tags, new pictures, local marketing. You will never know if it works unless you try, get over the fear and “risk”.

* Aim for some goals, some timelines, some mini projects. If you are serious about the success of your business and you want to see growth you have to be aiming for something. Write them down too in a notebook, research has shown that written goals are viewed as more concrete and are often times more successful in reaching.

* Innovation. To innovate is to bring in something new. Make a new line, bring in a new color, keep your shop looking fresh. Repeat customer love coming back to buy more, but they need more new things to look at! Making a new product line can bring in a new range of customers. Vintage inspired jewelry was what kept me on ETSY. I sold beaded jewelry before, and being among so many talented artists I was struggling.

* Never Giving UP. For many before they start making money they have to sacrifice a lot. Timothy Adam Designs has a great post about how much he sacrificed at first, and really puts in front of  the realities of what to expect. How much you want this, may also mean how much can you sacrifice in: hours, time, money… Persistance is so important to success. Some people in only takes weeks, some months, some years. Do you want this? If so keep your chin up and keeping aiming for your dreams

Selling Vintage Jewelry on ETSY

 

 

Are you thinking about selling vintage jewelry on ETSY? Well there is  a lot of research that is involved and steps to consider before putting your first listings up.  So what should you be doing before taking the plunge? 

  

* Research. Customers want to know what they are buying, and as much information you can provide the customer the better. Do you know what era the piece is from? What the piece is made of? Do you know history about the ring? History about the manufacturer? The more you know, and the more you tell, the more likely you will be able to sell that vintage piece. 

  

* Other ETSY shops.  Have you looked at the market for the piece of jewelry, and are there other shops on ETSY who are selling that particular piece or something similar. You want to make sure your pricing is competitive especially on similar pieces. It’s also important to take note on the description of the other sellers piece it is very possible your piece may be in better or worse condition which can make your pricing a little more work. 

  

* How Original?  In a way vintage items have the same kind of appeal as handmade does, often times the more original and unique the piece the chances of it selling are better. When you are on the hunt for vintage items, put yourself in the customers shoes, how unique is this item compared to other items on ETSY. I always strive to find the most different pieces I can. 

  

Here are some helpful forum threads on ETSY about Vintage: 

Demand for Vintage: 

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6513875 

  

Vintage Help Thread: 

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6438403 

  

May 2010: ETSY Success Tips

Selling on ETSY takes a lot of hard work, but thanks to many successful sellers and the forums selling on ETSY has been easier with all the tips and advice they have dished out. I do have to say if it wasn’t for the forums I may be still trying to figure it out two years later. I  have received some of the best advice on here.

Always remember that some advice may not work for you, but you never know unless you try. Having a business is about trial, error, and learning… really finding what works for you. I always try to remember why I’m here, it all started with a passion to create and now I want to share it with anyone I can. When I get down, I always go back to crafting and many times a new item.

My Top 3 Pieces of advice?

* Keep crafting and Keep listing. You can never have enough and what is not listed can not sell. You’ll find yourself relying less on renewing with more and more new items to list

* Go Outside the comfort zones. When I added vintage cabochon jewelry to my shop last year my sales started for me. Now I’m listing more new items, my flower line has taken off, and I’ll be adding vintage cocktail rings this week.

* Always room for improvement. There are always things you can do to improve your shop. Tweaks in your listings, new pictures, better tagging…

Happy Reading. Thank you guys!

My ETSY Recaps, Advice That Has Helped Me:

How the Four P’s Helped Me Hit 100 Sales
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6444980

Promoting on a Low Budget:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6472038

Have You Refresh-ed Your Shop Lately:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6507509

Before You Relist Consider This:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6511099

My Favorite Threads From Sellers:

4 Years on ETSY Want to Know My Secrets
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6494244

Homework is Not a Dirty Word
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6409036

600 Sales and What I Have Learned:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6506854

So You Want to Be An ETSY Success Story:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6419206

Thanks Guys for all your encouragement. I love ETSY… and a lot of it is because of all the fun times I have here in the forums.

ETSY when its Slow: Creating New Product Lines

“Innovation is a new way of doing something or “new stuff that is made useful” . It may refer to incremental and emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. …”

When it comes to your shop I have one question this afternoon, “Have you been innovative lately?”

I know for myself, coming to ETSY was not about the money but for me it was about sharing my passion for creating unique items. Over the years I have developed new styles, laid to rest others, and really have had a fun time thinking outside of my creative box. I love crafting, I could never imagine making the same few items (the ones that sell good) over and over in my shop. Of course now I like to make money, so I still sell what sells good but I am also constantly searching for new things to make. This week I have a new idea that I think is going to be wonderful!

Innovation has done good for me and my little store. I introduced vintage inspired last year and my sales have been good ever since. I introduced flower items this winter and this spring those items exploded. I can only think good things can come from being creative and learning new things to make.

So, when was the last time you were innovative with your little passion, craft, and shop?

Amber

ETSY Renewing: Confessions of a Renewaholic

White Daisy Flower Black Agate Ring

So last month I was determined to kick the renewing beast and really focus on turning around more profit on my listings. Believe me the bill was killing me, and after my fiance losing his job how would I support the habit? I felt like I was in Vegas, playing the .20 slots and crossing my fingers for jingles and jackpots. I truly was gambling more than winning.

I really wanted to learn if renewing all this time, because it was ETSY myth you had to stay seen in a saturated market, was really hurting me, helping me, or doing nothing. I found out it was hurting me. I have kept my renewing to under $5.00 a month in March, and so far under $2.00 this month and guess what? My sales were 33 last month, and so far 16 this month. February I had over 40 but I was also featured. Every month before that I renewed like crazy but never made more than 15 sales a month. I am finally getting consistent sales, but because of hard work, not because of renewing.

Some helpful tips I learned that I think helped:

* Adding new items often. Why waste another 20 cents renewing when you can list something new?

* Creating outside of the box. I have been working on new designs and they have been helping

* More custom work.

* More times in the forum.

* Realizing that some social tools weren’t working. I have better ways to spend my time.

So those are my confessions, my wallet feels better, I feel better, and I think I am rehabilitating pretty good. How about you?

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