Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How-To's Day: Get your Etsy Shop Going NOW!

Over the weekend while I was at the Hello Etsy LA, I met a bunch of amazing artists who are new to Etsy/ Just opened their shops with tons of questions about what now?

We opened our Etsy Shop in 2009 and it is a wonderful market place and community to be a part of.  My biggest advise: Just do as much as you can getting your shop set up and the work will pay off!  The beauty of running your Etsy Shop is the work pays off, and you  get back what you put into it :)

Step one in my opinion is making sure you look open for business!  Getting your name figured out is important, but it takes just a few moments to get the bare-bones of your shop ready.

There are two things that in my opinion are the bare minimum for setting up your shop:  
A banner and  an avatar

#1 An avatar: Your credibility (or lack there of sometimes) starts with the tiny picture that represents you.  I have heard mixed opinions on if it needs to be a logo with just a name or symbol, a product picture, or a photo of yourself.  

I have been in some discussion groups where people say they will only purchase from sellers who have a picture of themselves for an avatar. This to them shows their respect and bond to the artist in a world where everything seems to come from  a faceless factory. They like knowing that it comes from a real person and they feel this connection by knowing what you look like. Personally, this isn't how I feel- I will purchase something that peaks my interest with no bias to if there is a picture or not.  Tip: It might pay off to slip a picture of yourself up to see if it increases sales if you hit a lull because maybe you have a photo craving customer base. 

On the other hand, I like the option of either a product shot or something that includes your name/ logo.  If you get active on Etsy and are involved in commenting on teams and forums a picture of you may not draw people into your shop the same as seeing an item they want to buy or to find out what that crazy name means.  Just remember that this picture isn't just an afterthought, it can be your hook, line, and sinker of intrigue.

For your avatar/ profile picture:
You can use image editing software (for example: Adobe Photoshop or GIMP) to tweak a photo you've taken. *Note: if you don't have access to the editing software there is  a way to resize images here*You will need to crop or re size your image to be a small square, 75 x 75 pixels in size at 72 dpi resolution. The file should be one of these formats: .jpg, .gif or .png.

#2 A shop banner: This is a great way to set the tone for what you are providing and what style/ feeling you want to have overall in your shop.  If you want to have something you customized fully but don't have it done yet, don't let this step hold you up.  Etsy has a wonderful video tutorial on (the unoffical) Etsy Business Blog Using Gimp (a free program) to make your Banner where you can pick from templates and have a suitable one almost instantly.

For your banner graphic at the top of your shop:
Make sure you have your properly sized image saved on your computer. Your banner should be 760 x 100 pixels at 72 dpi. Banner images must be .jpg, .png or .gif file format.

To upload your banner image to your Etsy shop, go to Your Account > Info & Appearance. Click the Browse button to locate the file on your computer, then click the Save button at the bottom of the page. Your new banner will show up in your shop momentarily.

This real estate space is so valuable for setting the tone for your shop. Currently, I feel that I haven't been capitalizing on our banner as much as we should and it is on my must list to try out the tutorial above and see how much it pays off for us. At the time we made our banner we still weren't 100% what our product line would evolve into. I am super pumped making this post and reminding myself that some work is in order for us too.

None of this sounding interesting to you and wanna find an Etsy Artist to make one for you? 
If you are motivated by a helpful book and find it helpful to work page-by-page, this book is for you:

How to Make Money Using Etsy: A Guide to the Online Marketplace for Crafts and Handmade Products by Timothy Adam is a must! If you pick up his book or even just devour his website Handmadeology for the best tips. I briefly spoke about teams and forums when talking about avatars, but now that Etsy is growing more popular with so many great sellers to chose from. It is crucial to be on teams because getting involved  is the best way to be found. If you haven't joined a team yet I urge you to at least join the Handmadeology Team or the Etsy Success Team to get the most up to date and helpful resources.  

Hope this helps you on your journey to not only making what you love but to also bring it to a customer who loves and appreciates it- All with the magic of the global community found on Etsy.

Happy Making & Super Selling

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