Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BIG ETTEAM GIVEAWAY! - NiftyKnits' Alchemy Meerkat and other fabulous prizes!

For those who haven't followed the story, it's well worth reading! Three little meerkats from Niftyknits have been travelling around the world, staying with friends from Etsy's ETTEAM and collecting souvenirs along the journey.

For the interactive version of Alchemy's map CLICK HERE

The third meerkat, Alchemy, is now packing up her souvenirs ready to take to her new home!

The souvenirs are just amazing (total prize package is now vouchers to spend in five separate shops, an ipod cosy, a quilted mat, a silver shoe pendant on 18" chain, a felt lady, earrings, four Art cards, an embroidered ring, a mini-fascinator, a luggage tag, a horsehair cellphone charm, a papier mache house and badge, a trinket dish and of course Alchemy herself) and worth at least $175 not including the discount vouchers - which will push the total value way higher!


To enter, go to any of our participating shops listed below and let us know your favourite item from the shop by leaving the link in the comments section here on this blog. We're being super generous, so you can go to each and every shop if you wish and post your favorite item here, so that is a staggering 18 possible entries for each person that enters.

**A NOTE OF CLARIFICATION:  You MUST leave each entry in a SEPARATE comment.  If you put them all in one comment - then you only get one entry.  If you put them in 18 separate comments then you get 18 separate entries.  

***REMEMBER TO LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN ON EACH ENTRY (You MUST leave us one of the following ways to contact you in each entry:  Your email address, Etsy shop name, Facebook or Twitter account name).



***This giveaway will end on Monday, JULY 5th at 12Midnight PST and the winner will be announced on the Meerkat World Tour Page and here on the ETTEAM Blog.
***  The winner will be chosen by Random.org. 

Let the giveaway begin!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot Etsy Seller Tips from the Etteam

The Etsy Treasury Team is not just about making Etsy treasuries. We're a pretty fabulous group of Etsy sellers that have expertise in many areas. We do monthly shop critiques of our members shops, host giveaways, and share a lot of awesome marketing and selling tips with each other. We thought it would be fun to have each Etteam member share one of their favorite Etsy seller tips and share them with you here - so you can benefit too! We hope after you've read through our tips, you'll drop us a comment with your favorite Etsy tip as well!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Etsy Treasury Team

1. From Reema of Trendie Treasures: Customer is the King! A happy customer will come back and bring more customers..... for an online business I would engage with customers to make sure his needs are catered to in every way and he's happy.

2. From Rose of Waterrose: With the changes at google you have an excellent SEO tool built right into your browser. Have you noticed when you type in a word/phrase to search for something up pops a list of suggestions? The suggestions are the top keyword/phrase searches on google. Choose to use the top, or choose to use the middle choices where the field is less crowded. Use some of these words at the top of your item description or in blog articles or titles.

3. From Shay of Just Peachy: When you create a new listing if you don't want to post it just yet here is a quick way to put your listing on "hold" until you are ready. Create your new listing, but on the last page, before you click "finish", go to your favorites folder in your browser. Create a folder called etsy items need to list or whatever you want to call it. Then add this page to your favorites, and make sure it's in the folder that you made so you can easily find it again. After you have done this, close down the browser. Come back any time you are ready to list by just going to your favorites folder, open the page and just click "finish".

4. From Pam of PJLacasse: One of the biggest things you can do (to improve sales and views) is Networking.

5. From Nicole of Nikid: Treat your Etsy shop as you were a speciality shop: Offer great customer service and go the extra mile. Your customers will not only appreciate it, they will give you more business in turn.

6. From Jaci of ByTheWayByTheWaySide & ByTheBy: I struggled so with photography - everything was so dark and when I lightened them in Picasa, it just made it look like there was a white fog on the item.  Then I found the "EV" setting (Exposure Value) on the camera.  I set it to plus .3 or .6 and it opens the aperture to admit more light, while keeping the shutter speed constant.  It takes away the dim look of photos.  If there is one tip I would give for people wishing to be in a treasury, it would be to make sure your photos are light, clear and crisp!  Easily achievable with this tip!

7. From Donna of ValentineFiberArts: My Etsy tip is to join some Etsy teams.  Teams will offer you a variety of benefits.  First you will meet alot of nice people and then you will have Etsy friends.  Teams offer support when you have a difficult customer, tips on sales and other marketing stratgies.  The combination of team members will offer to you a wealth of knowledge and team support.

8. From Karrita of MyMother's Garden: My favorite tip to share is about the importance of tagging your items for free advertising.  Tags are the keywords  that  sellers use to help people find the items in our shops when they search on Etsy or any search engine that will then link back to your shop. When creating tags for your listings you'll want to include style, texture, size, motif and patterns, and specific colors. If you come up with the best tags for your items you may be pleasantly surprised to find your items pictured on Google with a link directly to your shop. (For more detailed information on tagging your items for maximum exposure check out this great article from the Etsy Treasury Team:  http://etsytreasuryteam.blogspot.com/2009/03/tagging-for-maximum-exposure-in-etsy.html).

9. From Lauren of Originals by Lauren: I do alot of alchemy and custom orders. First of all, I ask alot of questions to make sure we are both on the same page.  Then I save all emails and convoes until after the item is received and positive feedback is left. This way if there is any confusion, I have proof of what they asked for.

10. From Heather of Nifty Knits: My top tip is to embrace the international spirit of Etsy by making sure you have shipping profiles in place for across the world. Google Analytics showed me that in last month alone my shop received visits from 57 different countries. It would be foolish of me not to ship to any of them with an urge for a meerkat! With time zone differences it's best not to rely on potential buyers sending you a request for a shipping quote, Etsians are often impulse buyers, I don't want to have to wait for hours while you sleep and have a life before checking a price for me, so please add some in now!

11. From Krystle of DKJewels:  Always be your own critic. It can be very easy to get stuck in one specific mode of doing things. I am always having to force myself to take a step back and see what I can improve on. I have redone my pictures many many times. Constant improvement is a must in my opinion. It keeps things fresh and new.

12. From Yael of TheJoyofColor: We all know that a good photo is essential for selling on line.  My best tips (after a year of experience) are: Buy a good camera it makes all the difference, ( I have an SLR Nicon DX); Try to take picture in daylight  colors looks better and correct; Shoot some basic plain picture that shows your item as it is; For the first picture - the eye catcher try to shoot a more "artistic" Styled or close up, a unique angle that inspires the imagination.

13. From Teresa of TeresasPrimTreasures: My best tip is join a team! It's amazing what you can learn from others!

14. From Jenny of AuthenticArts: The most important tip I have about getting good pictures is to play with the settings on your camera!  (I use a point and click digital camera beside a large north window, I set the jewelry on a grey background and have white mat-board set up on two sides to reflect light onto it.)  But the most important part is that I set my camera to "snow" scene setting, adjust the exposure to +2/3, put it on macro and turn off the flash.  The only editing I need is an auto contrast!  Better and faster pictures.  (I use different settings for portraits with the same fast results.)

15. From Celeste of CricketsCreations: It's helped me tremendously to have confidence in my own creativity and ignore any doubts. I am a big believer in designing all my own work.  Rather than looking at others’ designs for ideas, I follow my own inspiration or my customers’ custom orders.  I even have a little chant I made up that I often sing while working:

Follow your heart
Do what you want to do
Follow your heart
Do what you were born to do

16. From Lauren of LeapingGazelle: Get connected! Become involved in a community in the best way that fits your art, your schedule and your life. Running a business can sometimes feel like a lonely venture, and meeting up with other creative minds, whether it's on the internet or in person can help fuel your creativity, give you ideas for marketing your business, and provided you with people power... because you don't have to figure out everything yourself. There are so many people who've already done the legwork willing to share what they've learned.  I highly recommend joining an Etsy team, getting involved in twitter or flickr, or finding a local group in your creative medium.... it's amazing the amount of energy and ideas a group of creative minds can generate.

17. From Sandie of ZaftigDelights & KnitzyBlonde: Never say never: Think about the amount of time we sellers put into promoting our shops - its a lot! So if someone actually makes the effort to find me and convos me about something they want - (recently someone asked me to copy a pattern of a favorite dress which I do not normally do) or anything that I'm not used to doing, say YES! Its a great way to add to your repertoire. If someone asks for something that I do not normally do - do the research and see if it is possible. Most of the time, the buyers are willing to pay the extra dollars it may be to accommodate their request. So don't let potential customers walk away - get out of your comfort zone and give it a shot!

18. From Lynn of MidnightCoiler: Always acknowledge a sale as soon as you receive it. Send a personalized email using the the buyer's first name, when, how and what you'll ship, confirm their special instructions, give a heart-felt thank you and sign your name.

Monday, June 14, 2010

ETTEAM Featured Etsy Seller - My Unique Inspiration

Contributed by: Heather of NiftyKnits

This is... My Unique Inspiration

Quote sign

Favourite colour?

Well this is a more complicated question than you might think it should be. At the moment, it's cobalt blue to wear, red for the house (every house should have a red wall somewhere), and pink simply because I LOVE it. Lately, green has been way up there in my favs also. It is such a happy color :)

Favourite smell?

Oh this is easy... Chanel Mademoiselle. My great grandmother wore Chanel, and I take after her in so many ways, it just follows that Chanel would be my scent of choice as well. Oh, and a close second is the smell of coffee ready before I get out of bed in the morning.

Dance Live Love wallhanging

Favourite place?

DISNEYLAND. Hands down. I used to go there all the time as a child and even now when we need a "girls weekend" my grandma, mom, sister, and I still go. That place holds more happy memories than I can even count.

Favourite sound?

The sound of the words "I Love You" being spoken. I think that they are important and everyone should hear them and speak them at least once a day :)


Favourite way to spend your time?

This is impossible to answer with just one thing. I love to read (it relaxes me) I love to hike, camp, climb, run, bike, cook, create, and relax with friends. I can't pick just one thing!

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

I always think that I have a "favorite" set of letters, but then I make something new that tops it. Right now my favorite is the brightly colored LAUGH sign.



Because it reminds us of the importance of laughter and joy in our lives. Plus the colors and papers are amazing. I am out of most of those papers so that is a one of a kind sign. I have thought about pulling it and keeping it for myself, but lets be honest here- I have more signs around my house than necessary.

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?

This is a hard one! There are so many amazing artists on Etsy. I have been following this photographers work for the longest time, Irene Suchocki, and I am absolutely in love with her work.

follow your bliss by Irene Suchoki

MySelvagedLife has some of the most incredible jewelry and I also love PomLove's poms.


Each of these artists are so unique, creative, and talented! How could I not love them? One thing Etsy has made me realize is the importance of supporting fellow artists... That means taking the time to make purchases online and supporting people whose work I really believe in.


What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

It's a lot of hard work, but you get to interact with some amazing people as well as discover some incredible artists. Like I said above, I have completely changed my mentality about where I will spend my money. Local artists and fellow crafter's are where its at! Also I have learned about the importance of building a community around me. For me, it is less about SELL SELL SELL and more about finding out about other people and building connections that eventually may -or may not- lead to sales (and that goes both ways!)People have so much to offer other people in the way of ideas, connections, advice, and friendships. Ultimately, people are what are important, not sales.

Thank you - inspiring sentiments from My Unique Inspiration! I totally agree about needing and valuing our online communities (especially Etteam xxx) but for me, sales are pretty important (or we don't eat!)

find My Unique Inspiration on her blog, on facebook and on twitter,
and of course in her Etsy shop where a few new products are offered with free worldwide shipping!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's good to share!

One of the best things that can happen to your next blog post, is to have it go viral. Regardless of the content, to have it read by hundreds or thousands of people is really cool! The tough part about that, is getting it to happen.

For me being an Etsy seller, marketing my goods is very time consuming. And like everyone these days, I'm always scrambling to find time to "promote" what I do. I have 3 Etsy shops, a facebook page, a Twitter account and a blog. Besides that I need to find time to make my items for my shops (knit, sew, etc.), and still cook a meal or two! It is always wonderful when someone "retweets", posts to facebook or blogs about something I've said (or one of my creations). It gets the word out for me (which I'm deeply grateful for), and certainly helps me with my time management issues. Now if I could only find a way to make it easier for someone to promote me and my stuff. Hmmmmm?

Well, I did find a cool tool (bar) that helps!  Last month I stumbled across Wibiya. What's Wibya, you ask?? Well, look down at the bottom of this very page that you are on now. You'll see a toolbar. That's Wibyia!! And I think it is fabulous!

From Wibyia site: "Wibiya provides an interactive and user-friendly web toolbar that allows you to integrate a host of web applications directly onto your website. The Wibar web toolbar has many advantages, allowing you to add features and tools for your website’s visitors to use without leaving the page. This will promote your website’s content, while increasing time spent on your website and the interest your website generates. Add web applications such as live notifications, itranslation, 3D photo galleries, a direct facebook and twitter connection, smart shares and much, much more. The Wibar web toolbar gives you access to these applications from a single custom toolbar that will appear on the bottom of your web page. You can also become a fan of Wibiya (on facebook) and receive regular updates on new applications and events."

One of my favorite features is that it integrates Facebook and Twiter with your blog. Adding the tool bar will enable your readers to tweet and write to your Facebook Fan Page (or theirs) from your website and share your content. It will also provide a full Twitter experience including Search, Latest tweets, Tweets about each page and more. There is also a link to bring your Facebook Fan Page stream to your website and grow your number of facebook fans.  Wibiya helps you to engage readers and raise page views with apps such as Latest Posts, Real Time Users, etc. It helps you to gain traffic from social networking and track your traffic growth through simple analytics tools.

Take a few minutes and browse the little tool bar below, and you can see all the fabulous apps I've added to my tool bar to make it easy for my readers to interact and stay on my blog longer.  One of my fav Wibiya apps is "Photo Gallery".  See the little blue circle - click on it, and it allows you to see all my Etsy photos from Flickr.  Isn't that cool!!  Another fun thing, mouse over any picture in a blog post - it automatically offers for you to "share" (smart share) with options of whichever social media you choose as well as email and "print this out".

Wibiya is super easy to install.  I works on all blog platforms, and will walk you through the process of adding it to your blog.  I gotta say, Wibiya was just too cool to keep to myself, so I'm sharing. ;o) I hope you find it as fun and helpful as I have!  Now, what are you waiting for, head on over to Wibiya and download the toolbar for your blog!!