Friday was Etsy Success Symposium and what a day it was! If you were unable to attend the live event, you can catch them at: http://www.etsy.com/community/online-labs. I ended up catching one symposium on how to get into craft shows and another one about getting found in search engines. I’ve been trying to catch up on the other ones like getting found on Pinterest. On the Etsy website they also have videos on how to get started and the new Pay Pal tax forms. Yeah, I’m definitely behind on these symposiums. I’ve got about 4+ hours to catch up on. I’ve also been reading a ton of books. All of the links and resources I pull from, I’ll cite below.* Thank goodness for the weekend! The main thing that I really found useful was the 3 Steps to get noticed in a search. Step 1 – Clickable Titles. Step 2 – Clickable Photos. Step 3 – Building a Brand.
Step 1 – Clickable Titles. Be literal and use dashes to explain exactly what you’re selling but it needs to make sense. For example: if you’re selling a vintage table. Don’t just say: vintage table. It’s always good to get specific: Vintage 1940s – Oak Dining Room Table – Seats 4 – Medium Finish. They know exactly what they’re clicking on, which is when you can get a bit more creative with the picture. It also sounds like it can be a bit frowned upon to put free shipping in the title or in a tag. I’ll probably do a little more research on that when I start selling.
Step 2 – Clickable Photos. Photos really give the client a couple of ideas: 1) what item you’re actually selling and 2) evoke need/emotion/desire. Photos are important. Extremely important. It is ridiculous how many bad photos are out there of good products. There’s also a ton of wonderful photos of terrible products. Hence why there’s the website Regretsy. Since photos are SO important, I decided I would start messing around with my phone (iPhone 4) and the free app Instagram. I took some photos at the local Farmer’s Market as well as some plant life in my neighborhood. I have attached the photos in this post so you can see the result. I wanted to take photos of simple things and make them look high-end. I think the result has turned out well.
Step 3 – Building a Brand. Once you have created a brand, people will instantly recognize what you do and how skilled of an artisan you are. With my brand of Classically Evil I really focused on what kind of message I want to communicate. So I started thinking of keywords of my brand. Classic, vintage, Tim Burton, glamour, luxurious, edgy, fun, Dia De Los Muertos, skull, flowers, Le Fleur Du Mal. Working on my labels it hit me: Tim Burton’s Ed Wood was what I really wanted to capture in my label. It says old-school Hollywood with a bit of an edge which is exactly what I wanted.
In case you haven’t noticed by some of my previous posts, I am a huge fan of research and passing it along to others. Especially since I have had some not-so-fun encounters. The other day I was doing some website research and received a pretty harmful virus. It completely wiped my hard drive. You’d be amazed at how careful you have to be. It’s not just reserved for sketchy sites. Just be careful and stick to the main websites that are reputable.
I’m off to enjoy the rest of my weekend. I have a few books/articles to read, a couple of videos on Etsy to check out, and Pinterest to figure out (since I just got invited today! Woo hoo!).
For A Little Further Investigation:
Entrepreneur Magazine. April 2012. Some great articles: Go Solo: Build a successful business on your own. Secrets of the 10 Most Trusted Brands.
Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online. Kari Chapin. Storey Publishing. 2010.
How To Start a Home-Based Craft Business. Fifth Edition. Kenn Oberrecht. Morris Book Publishing. 2007.