Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
his journey to manhood
Things became even more intimate as Treasure wanted to get a better view of thepasser-bys… (should we mention the girls in bikinis?)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Conributed by: Midnightcoiler
Are you doing everything you can to get noticed by Etsy admin? Tons of shops are joining Etsy all the time, and admin is constantly trying to keep things fresh, and continually discovering new shops and products they like, developing new marketing themes and choosing to promote accordingly. There are no guarantees or entitlements that any shop will be chosen or remain in the promotional sites of Etsy, but there are some things you can do to to increase your chances.
Taking positive action is the best course if someone wants to increase their chances of being noticed or "rediscovered" by Etsy admin. Here are 11 ways to try and catch their eyes in a positive light!
1. Become a vocal regular in the Etsy Labs, fill out feedback forms if
offered. Create listing cards in the Etsy Labs when they are enabled.
2. Become a regular participant in the Etsy Forums
3. Subscribe to all of Etsy's emails, visit their promotions, leave
comments, participate in nominations, interact as much as possible.
4. Constantly strive for shop and product improvements and innovations. Go to Etsy and team critiques, participate and apply changes.
5. Develop a fresh new line of items to add to your shop and promote it.
6. Purchase a showcase spot on Etsy
7. Follow Etsy on Flicker, Twitter and Facebook and any other social
networking site they are on. Leave comments, interact.
8. Create an event including references to Etsy and publicize it. Send newspaper articles, publicity to Etsy admin. Etsy loves having the site promoted.
9. Write an article for Etsy's blog.
10. Create treasuries, especially ones using Etsy's current marketing themes.
11. Promote and support others as well as yourself. Join a team. Mutual support= more exposure. Create good will- payback is swell!
The side benefits are just as important as being noticed by Admin, not the least of which is exposure gained with fellow Etsians, both buyers and sellers. Happy marketing!
The Etsy Treasury Team website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/etsytreasuryteam/
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Carapace was comment number 35 out of 37, as determined by Random.org.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Jill grew up in the town of Newmarket, Ontario, where she began playing the violin at age four. Since this time she has continued to study and perform in the Toronto area where she works full time as a music therapist in palliative care. Jill has always had a love for music as well as photography and design. She has been able to find a creative outlet for these interests through the creation of Sound Images www.soundimages.ca and more recently her Sound Images Etsy shop www.soundimages.etsy.com.
HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
You have 5 chances to enter. Number 1 is MANDATORY, the other 4 are optional for extra chances.
1. Visit Jill's Etsy Shop Sound Images and tell us which of her items is your favorite and why! Leave your comment here, including your email address or Etsy shop name (so we can contact you).
2. Become a follower of the Etteam Blog. If you already are that's counts too! Leave your comment here telling us that you are a follower, including your email address or Etsy shop name (so we can contact you).
3. Snag our Blog Button, and add to your blog or blog roll. Leave your comment here with the URL of your blog where our button is located, including your email address or Etsy shop name (so we can contact you).
4. Twitter about this Giveaway (once daily). Leave your comment here with the URL of your tweet, including your email address or Etsy shop name (so we can contact you).
5. Post about this Giveaway on your Blog or Facebook page. Leave your comment here with the URL of your Facebook page or Blog, including your email address or Etsy shop name (so we can contact you).
Be sure with each comment that you leave your name and email address or Etsy Shop!
Giveaway runs Sunday, November 15th through Saturday November 21st. The winner will be picked by Ramdom.org. We'll be back next Sunday November 22nd, to blog about the winner!
from Etteam & Jill of SoundImages
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Can't wait to find out what happens next for the traveling Meerkats? Check out their blog, or their facebook fan page ! :o)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
The adventure has begun, and to read all about it - stop by Heather's NiftyKnits blog. By the time the Etsy's Friday Finds promotions goes live on Nov 13, 2009, the Meerkats will have been begun their journeys and may have arrived at their first stops.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Right - let's get to know all about beadstylin...
Quickies for starters:
Cats or dogs?
Cats! We have two black kitties. Our male cat is a polydactyl. He has eight toes on each front foot!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Fruit or chocolate?
How about a chocolate-dipped strawberry? :-)
City break or weekend in the country?
Country for sure!
Soaps or documentaries?
Nice hot shower with lots of fragrant Etsy soaps.
Now we’ve got you warmed up…
What brought you to Etsy? Tell us about your shop. Do you sell anywhere else?
Word of mouth brought me to Etsy. I sell handcrafted jewelry. I've been making jewelry for about 12 years now and absolutely love it. It's relaxing and addictive, as well as educational. I do sell at craft fairs and out of my home, but I much prefer selling on Etsy.
What’s the favourite item you’ve made so far?
My favorite item was a metalsmithed earring creation I named "Silverleaf". I toiled for hours over those earrings, soldering, sanding, and polishing.
What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt (about Etsy) so far?
Renew, renew, and renew.
If you could start again, is there anything you’d do differently?
I'd like to get a bit more into metalworking. And, once I get my new torch set up, I will continue to add my lampwork beads to my shop.
What have you been doing today that I’ve interrupted?
Not a thing. Just recovered from a craft fair, and it feels good to get off my feet.
What’s your top marketing tip for today?
It's all about presentation. There are others out there who are selling similar items, so you have to be creative in not just WHAT you do but HOW you present it. And that means outstanding photos, detailed, interesting descriptions, and excellent customer service.
Thanks Jeannie! If you're hankering for stunning jewelry, don't miss Beadstylin's shop
Friday, September 25, 2009
As much as we don't want to admit that the holidays are just around the corner, for those of us that sell potential gifts, it is important to start thinking about the holidays now! I just went to the Etsy Virtual Lab on holiday products and they had some great tips that I thought I'd share with everyone:
1. personalized items
~use names, initials, numbers, anything you can personalize ~hostess gift sets
2. Secret Santa gifts
~presents for neighbors, coworkers
~offer bulk orders so people can stock up
3. Quirky items for men
4. Home decor
~ entertaining, favors, invitations
Use holiday colors --take current items and use new colors:
~blue and silver
~red and white
~blue and white
~stage pictures with holiday themed items like berries, snow, tree branches
~when you take pictures think about what you would look for if you were shopping
for something in a store
~try to picture someone using the item
~put a group of photos together almost in a grid using picnic.com
~never use a flash
~always use the macro setting on your camera
~use natural light
~use a solid background
~don't give too many options if you do custom work, i.e. Don't list one item
with with 5 different color choices and monogram, instead list that item 5
different times in each color, then use just the monogram as the option.
~create sets of things to hit different price points
~for the holidays use the Sections to organize by price category
~if you have a two items that coordinate, make sure you link to that item in the
~Write a good first paragraph description! This is what shows up in a google
~When you create a new listing, above the materials box there is now a button
that says "How it looks in google" so you can see what your listing will look
like when it is searched
~Send along coupons with orders now for holiday specials.
~do not tag with potential uses for items
I hope this is helpful for everyone! I'm all jazzed up about the holidays now
and I just got some new holiday die cuts in the mail, so I'm off to design up
some gift tags!
Happy Holidays?? :o)
Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
Friday, September 18, 2009
Cats or dogs?
CATS! Hubby and I have 5 cats including two black ones. You can see them in rare moment of brotherly love.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek. Hubby and I are long time trekkies and For many years I take part in organizing the Israeli annual sci-fi convention.
OH WOW! finally I meet a team member who is more of a trekkie than I am! Live long and prosper Hadass!
Fruit or chocolate?
Really hard question. First chocolate and then some fruit, especially the pink ones. I love anything pink.
Pink, fuchsia, rose, blush, flush, mauve! (I've just copied the correct line from the excellent tagging list).
Any meal which includes good bread with a hard crust.
Soaps or documentaries?
City break or a weekend in the country?
Hubby and I love to travel. Hubby dreams of storming the wild on a jeep with large wheels and I dream about finding a good restaurant nearby.
Now we've got you warmed up:
What brought you to Etsy? Tell us about your shop.
I make and sell handmade beaded jewelry. Each of my items is my design, handmade and one of a kind.
Since childhood I've been interested in all kinds of handmade. Four years ago, a friend showed me to crochet jewelry and I've became addicted to beadwork. Beadweaving is all about playing with colors and that is what fascinates me.
Since then, I've made a lot of items, kept them in a drawer somewhere and never wore them.
Last year I was diagnosed with cancer, had chemo and sat home for 6 month. I had the time on my hands, so I've arranged my drawers and decided to start selling my items. After all, I don't wear them, so why not let someone else enjoy them?! That how I've opened my Etsy shop.
What's the favourite item you've made so far?
My favourite item is always the last item I make. I try to improve my work with each and every item. Now I working on a pendant inspired by the Celtic Knot and I fascinated with this design.
What has been the most useful lesson you've learnt so far?
Every lesson I've learned was useful, I think.
However, I think the best lesson I have is about photography. I learned a lot about photography since I've started with Etsy, and got a lot of useful advices from ETTEAM members. Before that I was so cluless and afraid to use the camera and never thought I could get a good picture. My pictures still needs improving, but now I know how to make them better.
If you could start again, is there anything you'd do differently?
I need to promote more and better. I'm struggling with all the different promotion ways and not focused enough.
How do you see your store developing?
I hope to make better and more original and interesting beaded jewelry. I hope to sell my designs and not just the jewelry itself. And of course, I hope to see more sales.
What have you been doing today that I've interrupted?
I'm going to continue working on my beaded Celtic Knot.
What's your top marketing tip for today?
Facebook. Just signed in yesterday and already an addict.
Thanks Hadass! I'm very impressed by your positive stance towards the dreaded C, and wish you every good luck for the future.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One year ago a magnificent thing happened in my life. A huge yellow bus rolled up to my door took both my children away and promised to bring them back in several hours smarter (and hopefully tired). As I marveled at my youngest going off to kindergarten it occurred to me that our family could use another income. Because my older child has a profound physical disability and misses @ 40 days of school a year, I have to have a very flexible schedule. I was also tired of doing what I was told (Ok, it was mostly the kindergartner bossing me around, but still…) and in truth I really didn’t want to get out of my pajamas most days. I didn’t want to do childcare (I was enjoying immensely the recent cutback in hours of that job) So, I turned to something I loved and was good at, napping. Just kidding, I couldn’t find a way to make that pay, I turned to sewing.
Now I said it was possible, not easy, and not fast. I tried to sell my bags to local stores, the commission was huge and the profit sucked and I had to deal with people crankier and more badly tempered than my kindergartner. I tried to sell my bags on Ebay, It took a lot of work, the fees were high, and I hated the auction format. I gave that up in 2 weeks.
Then I found Etsy. I opened my shop one year ago today. I listed a bag and watched, and watched and checked my e-mail and checked my views. In retrospect, it would have been a much easier year had I know a few things… or had patience or much of an attention span… but I digress.
Lessons from my first year....
***Believe in yourself and your product!!
I wasted a lot of time obsessing over when and if those first bags would sell, and questioning the viability of my product. If your shop is slow, make something new, make more of stuff that sells well, take a walk, have a cup of tea and brainstorm. Read The Storque http://www.etsy.com/storque/ you will find great info there! Join a social networking site (UGH! I know, I thought it was a waste of time too, it wasn’t!! I’ll get to that later) or take a nap, it really does help sometimes.
***Don’t waste as much time as I did obsessing over the heart-o-matic. Truth is I still do, but pretend not to.
***Join a team! http://team.etsy.com/
You will get so much information and support by joining a team. Learning from each other’s mistakes and successes as well as having others who are in a similar situation to bounce ideas off, or commiserate with really helps!
***Plan for success!!
I spent so much time wondering what I would do if this didn’t work out I was completely unprepared for the sales that started to come in. Frankly they really cut into my naptime.
As a tool for planning for success, or just to keep yourself sane, I can’t stress this one enough! If you have to spend 5 minutes finding the packing tape only to discover the hole punch that you couldn’t find and bought a replacement for yesterday, you’ve wasted time, money and caused yourself more stress than necessary. Trust me holiday season will be stressful enough without this!
I bought a dry erase board and hung it on the wall in my sewing room. When I get half through a roll of ribbon, I write that color on the “order” board. The same goes with opening the last bag of 12” zippers, or making a bag and realizing I only have half a yard of that fabric left.
I Keep a notepad with me and write everything down! I write down promo ideas while watching TV, sketch in the doctor’s office, notes to remember which playmate I’ve left my daughter with that day… I can’t trust myself to remember everything! Make lists, lists are the business owner’s friend! Just like play dough and gold fish crackers are a mom’s friend. Don’t go anywhere without a pad of paper, goldfish crackers and those small cans of play dough, ok, and the number of your local bail bondsman if you think the day might get tough.
Stock up on shipping supplies, make sure you have extra ink cartridges, paper, tape and whatever packaging you use. The last thing you want to do when you are backed up on orders is have to run out and buy tape! This is especially bad in my local store since the “school supplies” are inexplicably across the isle from the cookies and crackers. Last time I made an emergency tape run it took me 45 minutes and I came home with Oreos and 2 boxes of Rye Triscuits. That tape left me $15 poorer and 2 lbs heavier. I could have used that time to nap and saved that money for my bail bondsm… I mean for my kid college fund.
***Only pack one order at a time. I sent a bag to Australia that belonged in England and vise versa (no freaking joke). Once I was aware of the mistake I told both customers to keep the bag they had received and sent the correct bags the next day. It was an expensive way to learn that lesson (why did they BOTH have to be international?!)
Dedicate space if at all possible for your work; nothing puts the brakes on inspiration faster than having to lug everything out of a closet or from under the bed to start working on that new idea. Great accessible storage starts with shelves, in my opinion, which since this is my post, is what matters most (hey, I’m a poet!) you can see how I’ve set up my studio here http://cuttheclutter.blogspot.com/
***Ship internationally, it really isn’t that difficult! (Just make sure you send the right bag!)
***And yes, social networking does work. I joined twitter a few months ago and my sales have almost doubled. It takes time and energy and not everyone has the personality for it (personally I pretend to be sort of irreverent and funny). You aren’t going to get very far if you just talk about your product and post links all day. I have spent quite a while building up a small but great following, I “know” a lot of these people, we chat about everything from recipes to how I figured out that my puppy had eaten blue and green crayons (seriously it’s a hilarious story, really leaves you with a clear mental picture) Anyhow about once or twice a day I also post a link to a new listing or to a bag that has sold and been relisted etc.
I also run promotions through twitter offering an item from my shop to the x # retweet. In my most recent promo I offered a bag from my shop to the 500th re-tweeter of my promo, which linked to the bag. Within two days I had over 3000 hits to my shop from twitter and 300 new twitter followers. The last time I gave away a free bag, I announced the winner on my blog, which advertised a sale for my twitter followers that if they bought a tote they got a matching pouch free; it resulted in 10 sales in 3 days.
***Improve your photography skills!!! Unless you are a professional, there is room for improvement. I look back at the photo of the first bag I sold and think it is a wonder anyone bought it! Photography is NOT my strong point and I am lucky enough to have a product that sells well with a full frontal. I hang my bags on a wall and shoot. But, I’ve found the best wall in the house, lots of natural light, I shoot at a certain time of the day when the light is good etc. I still don’t have great photos, but they are a huge improvement from a year ago.
***Have great customer service! Be upfront with customers about what to expect from you. Fill in your profile and policies. Stand behind your work, it is better to take a return than have an unhappy customer! At this point I have about a 10% return rate. You know you are doing things right when customers come back again and again. I send a thank you note with all my orders. I buy 8 cards for $1 at Michael’s and cut them in half. For less than a dime the customer gets a hand written thank you note. It just takes a minute and reminds the customer why they bought handmade. Customers are the beginning and end of your success; make sure they know you appreciate them.
***Be flexible and open to new ideas!!
My daughter told me that lots of people don’t want other to be able to see into their bags. I loved my “peek-a-boo” windows and thought it was a “signature look”. I grudgingly made bags without it as well, and they are now about half my sales.
***If you are going to procrastinate at least do something useful. When orders are backed up and e-mails unanswered and you just can’t bring yourself to face it, procrastinate a little… but do something useful. Take a shower (remember those?) nap (yeah, it’s my answer for everything) pick the crayons up off the floor, make some new friends on twitter, seriously if they can spend all day talking to strangers on a computer, they either have money to spend or can at the very least recommend a good bail bondsman. Either way your aces!
** Read the forums and don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take all advice posts even this one with a grain of salt. Really, if sales were that great how would I have time to write this?
***Laugh a little, life is short.
Thanks to those of you who managed to make it through my (somewhat humorous) soliloquy "Yes!! you can" (above) on surviving parenthood and Etsy.
Along with the references to play dough, goldfish cracker and bail bondsman I suggested taking some time out of your day to Twitter and gave an example of what Twitter has done for my sales.
I've received several convo's, tweets and a couple emails about how to go about a Twitter promo and specifically how to count.
So, this is what I did. I tweeted a message That said
*WIN THIS TOTE* (link to my item) 497th RT wins, max 1 RT per hour
I set my heart-o-matic so that I could see how many people dropped in and more importantly how many looked beyond the promo bag!
I let twitter do it's thing... And I RTed this myself about every 4 hours.
It is important to mention that I have spent a lot of time tweeting about other things than my shop, I at that time had 2600 followers, many of whom where not porn bots!
As for how to do the actual count Make sure you include something like 1 RT per hour or someone will sit there and RT it again and again and again (someone probably will anyway) then when you need to count how many there have been put (in my case) @hautttotes 497th in the search bar in Twitter. All the tweets with "@hautttotes 497th" will be included. You will have to then go to the bottom and count up, skipping the people who RT every 5 minutes. It takes a while but is totally doable.
Give away something good! NO one is going to RT a promo for a $5 gift certificate if the stuff in your store starts at $15!
Don't, DON'T just tweet about your shop and what's for sale!!! If you do, people will unfollow you and it will give Etsy a bad "spammy" image.
Don't use too small a number! You want it to take a while for there to be a winner! The point of this is for the followers of your followers to see this and tweet it on!
My 497 took less than 24 hours (note to self, bigger number next time) It resulted in 3000 views to my shop about half of which were not to the item linked! In addition I got about 300 new twitter followers (people love you if you give them free stuff!)
Now this would do me no good, other than to boost my twitter popularity if it didn't translate into sales!!! Here is how I did that.
When I had a winner I tweeted "There is a winner!!! Is it you? Check here to find out (insert my blog link)"
On my blog I put a post with photos of my bags (linked to the listing) and a message that said something to the effect of Congratulations X!! (Link to their twitter account) If you had your heart set on a tote and didn't win, I have a special promotion for my twitter followers (I offered a free matching pouch with tote) you can offer a discount, whatever. If you purchase from my shop in the next 5 (obviously you could use more or less) days and put "Twitter" in the notes to seller....
Blah, blah, blah, you get the idea from here. The last time I did this it resulted in 10 "twitter" sales (at @ $38 a bag, that's not bad) so far (less than a month) 2 of those buyers (and the previous winner!) have come back and bought additional items!
I also suggested people tweet the winner to congratulate them (you would be amazed at how many did!)
Friday, September 4, 2009
Entry number 29, is:
A hearty congrats to the winner, JanetFaye!! Janet, watch your email. We'll be contacting you right away to get your address for shipping out your new earrings.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A little about Barb:
I'm a sculptor at heart and I approach jewelry making from that perspective. I have worked with many different artistic mediums but the ones that always call me back are the tactile ones. My best work is accomplished when the raw materials come from the earth. I love watching a strand of silver or copper slowly transmute into something that can be worn and loved and I also love adorning that transformed metal with beautiful, organic stones."
So, how do you enter to win these gorgeous fall earrings? It's easy, you can enter up to 5 times by doing any or all of the options listed here (although the first one is mandatory). Be sure that each entry is left in a separate blog comment. If you do all the options and put them all in one comment, you will only have one entry. The winner will be determined by random.org. Be sure you put your email address or name of Etsy Shop with your comments so I can contact you if you win. Here are the entry options ....
1. For one entry: Visit the Etsy Shop of StrandsofLight and tell us in a comment here what item of hers is your favorite! - This one is mandatory!
Here are some other ways you can have extra entries for this giveaway:
2. For a second entry: Follow our ETTEAM blog - and let us know in a comment here. (If you are already a follower - just let us know - it counts!)
3. For a third entry: Follow Strands of Light on Twitter, and Tweet about this giveaway. Let us know about it in a comment with your Twitter account name and/or link to the Tweet.
4. For a fourth entry: Grab our Etteam Blog Button or our Etteam Widget and add one of them to your blog. Leave us a comment with the link to your blog where the button or widget is displayed.
5. For a 5th entry: Blog about this giveaway on your blog, and leave us a link to your blog post in the comments section here.
And there you go. 5 chances to win these fabulous earrings. The winner will be chosen by Random.org from the verified entrants who have commented here on this blog.
We'll be back here next Friday, September 4th to blog about the winner!
Spread the word!!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
For my most recent treasury I searched for intriguing photos that really drew me in. This was my first choice:
I love the angle, I love the contrasting textures, I love the way you're clearly on the edge of a larger picture - and most of all I love the way I'm not sure what it is! Just thinking of the textures alone, I can see some vertical lines on the right - what is it? Is it wood grain?
Here's the item in ByTheWay's shop
Time after time I kept coming across photos I wanted to use all from the same seller - and those of you who are treasury addicts like me know that is not approved of. So I decided to devote an entire poster sketch to the photographer in question (click on the poster sketch to enlarge it):
All of these pictures work so well in my opinion. They almost *force* me to enter the shop and check out the other 4 photos. You'll no doubt have noticed there is more than one shop? bythewayside.etsy.com, ByTheBy.etsy.com and
ByTheWay all share the same attention to detail, the same method of catching our attention by not showing us everythign at once.
The first time I really noticed the unusual photos were in this shop was with this photo:
I had to look twice, because at first I thought I was seeing a leather bra on a torso (ok, maybe that's just me!)
It's actually (as you more normal folks will have realised) a pair of high heeled shoes photographed upside down. So much more striking than a more conventional photo.
I'm on a mission to improve my own product shots - and what better way to learn than by looking at the success of others?