Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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:

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

Hourly:
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:
http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/title/light-box/
http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/how-to-brighten-your-photos-with-paperama-2900/
http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/etsy-holiday-how-to-4-photographing-your-items-413/

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!

40 comments:

Barbara Anne said...

Fantastic tips! Striking that balance between creating and marketing is a challenge for me. I loved reading about how you manage to stay organized and run a successful business and still find time to create.

Rosalynn said...

Thanks for the wonderful tips!

penguinsplunder said...

Hey this is really great, thanks for posting.

Vanessa said...

Thanks for this great list of tips! I'm going to post a link on my blog. Thanks again!

Tara Robertson said...

Thanks for the tips :)

AnniKae said...

Wow...
Wonderful advise. I will definitely be putting some of it to use.
Happy Day!

Lola Lynn said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful tips.

Bethany said...

great list. thank you!!!!

Cathy Weaver said...

Thank you so much! Being new to Etsy, and seeing the potential for real income, this is a fantastic post! After being here as a seller for less than a month, with 3 sales, I think I'm on the right track.
Happy Holidays!
www.artalamode.etsy.com

NewLifeDesigns said...

Awesome, thanks so much for this article! I really need a lot of help in this area, being a newbie.

StellarVisionCreations said...

Thank you so much for such a well-articulated list. I will surely use it as I build my etsy biz.

- Rebecca

Kim said...

Great tips! Thanks for posting this!

Gladys said...

Yay! Thank you for the tips!
xxx

Tulip's Talking said...

It was UBER great to find your blog and your tips. Cut, pasted, and saved. Off to work on my shop.

~Lily

crazy4wind.etsy said...

Great tips....I better get busy putting them to work! Thanks

Erin, maker of chimes said...

Great tips! Hope that lots of other etsy sellers find this blog post too, b/c I'm sure that they could benefit too.

Anonymous said...

I have been in the art show business for 18 years, but am new to etsy, a whole new world...Creating awesome art is one thing, putting it all together and negotiating etsy is another. Thank you for sharing (I was encouraged that another artist is making it work with work times in nap-sized segments)! Viva la making in work!!

Anonymous said...

Well, DuH, I never thought about reposting to get attention....thanks for the great advice! I have been living in the great etsy attic for a while now...
osagegypsy

Dollface Janel said...

Thank you very much. Wonderful information since I've just started selling on Etsy.

http://www.dollfacejanel.etsy.com

plumstars said...

Great tips! I will be incorporating them into my new years goals for my little shop :)

Sunny said...

Great tips! I love the schedule idea, I'm a firm believer and whenever I stick to mine I'm so much more productive! It actually allows for more creative freedom because you accomplish your other tasks more quickly!

allison o. said...

Great Advice! It's good to see it in such a concise format, it makes it feel doable.

Thanks!

allisonostertag.etsy.com

kate endle said...

Great timing for me to read this info. It's so snowy here in Seattle that the city has shut down. Perfect time to perfect my store. Thanks for the inspiration!

Forever And A Day said...

Thanks for such great advice : )

KayzKreationz said...

This is a great list. Lots of good advice and things to remember or try. Thanks.

BettsyKingston said...

Brilliant to-do list. For printing a posting on my workspace

Timeless Inspirations said...

This is great information! I have already started using it! :)

Susan said...

WOW... what a cool list, what a detailed list, what an informative list. I can put all of your points to work in my etsy shops.


You have provided me with a How-To Guide ... for free. Bundles and bunches of hugs!

lyptis said...

Wonderful post! Great tips! Thanks for sharing!:)

foxygknits said...

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. As a new seller on etsy, I appreciate all the help from more experienced sellers. Happy Holidays to all!

Teresa Jane said...

These definitely are great tips. It is so funny that most of these are what we know we should be doing. Making/Taking the time to do them is the problem. I think your best tip overall was #1, making a schedule. I really should do that! :)

Felt Sew Good said...

Thank you! Those are all great tips and I plan on incorporating many of them.

Dana said...

Finding balance among all this is the tricky part...especially when you have another full time job outside your crafting shops!!

This is a great time of year to re-evaluate and make changes where necessary. I'm a huge fan of efficiency!

Dana @

DLPom Handcrafted Expressions
http://www.dlpom.etsy.com

Soap Sense
http://www.soapsense.etsy.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful suggestions. I particularly liked your analogy of the slot machine. It made relisting make more sense. Sharing your success with other etsians is most appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these tips! I have a new store and have found it very challenging to create and maintain the store!(dnash)

Orbie/\;;/\ said...

Fabulous list of tips. Thanks for putting into concrete what has been floating in the sand of my brain :)

Dribs n' Drabs said...

Thanks for the great tips. It is always nice to be reminded of the things that you just sometimes forget to do. The best one is to make a schedule. I really need to focus on that for 2009. One tip I would like to add to your #9 tip is to review your tags. This is key when people are searching for items. Have a great crafting year!

seth said...

Thank you for this post. As an artist with a new shop on Etsy, I find this very helpful!

Shari B. said...

Amazing, Information!!! Thank you Gumballgrenade, you have inspired me yet once again!

I know it's important to have a schedule for EVERYTHING!!! You hit the nail on the head with this one!

Set Carré said...

Awesome tips! Thanks!