Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tell Your Story!

Today we are hosting SF Etsy team members for the first of our own Holiday Boot Camp events. For those of you who can't make it in person, here's a bit of what we are working on today, please join in using these resources and communicating over twitter with the tag #sfetsy.

Great Photos

Photographer Astra Brinkmann is taking headshots and giving advice for putting your best look forward in product photography.  She is available for private consulting and creative portrait photography is her forte!
Kathryn of SplendidColors, Claire of Embergrass, Imelda of SunsetShutterbug, and Jillian of JoulesJewels get ready for their turn with Astra!

Etsy About Pages

How do you talk about yourself and your creative life?  Here are some of the writing prompts and resources we are using to tell our story best on the Etsy About pages.

  • When did you first start working with your present medium? How did that come about?
  • Do you have professional training, a creative cohort, or other community links that relate to your work?
  • Are your family and friends involved in your Etsy shop in any way?
  • How does your Etsy shop and what you sell reflect your hopes for the future?
  • What areas of the world inform your work?
  • What do people who know you best say about you?
  • Can you describe the process of creating your works, especially where you work and how it feels?
  • Have you worked in other mediums in the past?
  • What eras of time are inspiring to you? How is this reflected in your shop?
  • How would you like your customer to feel when using/wearing your works?

I've been a fan of Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit and this blogger has reproduced a great checklist of reflective questions from her section on telling your own creative story.

Listings: Descriptions and Tags

Once you tell your own story, it becomes easier to insert snippets of that into the description of your individual items.  Don't forget to link back to your own About page within each listing!  You can bulk edit listings and tags using third party apps, like Betsi or EtsyonSale.

  • Try brainstorming words that describe your shop (not individual products). Try to do one word for every letter of the alphabet.  Pick a few great words from this list and then add a descriptor (adjective) to create tags for your individual product.
  • The Holiday Merchandising Report is up from Etsy.  See if their tags and themes fit any of your work, use the exact terms if so.
  • Use the new Market Research Tool to check out price points that are selling and notice the tags under each price point.  See if those tags are relevant to your work, especially if your price point is higher than average, notice what tags signal a higher price.
  • Remember you can use two word descriptions as tags, but make sure the two words are relevant to each other.  Think "pumpkin orange" over "green orange purple" to keep it cool with Etsy.
  • Tag your own full name and/or shop name if you think that your customer might be searching for you this way.  If you hope for referrals from friends and family, make sure that those people can find you by name.  
  • Use the search bar to start typing in your tags and see what Etsy auto-fills for you in the drop down menu.  These are the most popular versions of your tags, use them if they apply to your work and keep in mind this changes over time.
  • Check out what's being promoted in the treasury tags and Browse areas of the site.  If the terms fit your work, go ahead and add them as tags.  For example, in Jewelry, we are seeing "Personalized Jewelry", "Dangle Earrings", "Organizers: Trees", etc.  
  • Ask other sellers for advice on your work, it's always interesting to hear how others describe your work and learn from a first impression.

Business Catch Up

Now is the time to make sure your business is all set up and you are ready to sell online and in person!  Get your Business License, Seller's Permit, and Temporary location permit all up to date.  We also have credit card swiper devices from Square on hand so you don't miss any sales.

See you at Duboce Cafe this afternoon!  

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!


birdbags said...

Great post Even. Thanks for all the great links & helpful tips. Sad to miss you all today.

evenhoward said...

Thanks Sarah, I'm sure you had your own grand plans :) It will be wonderful to see you when we can~ The event was very fun with lots of smiles--I thought it was extra special to see how people dressed for their photos and can't wait to see the results!

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