Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New way to promote!!!

Arlissa of Not So Baby has suggested a wonderful new way to promote your shop.  Check it out!!


"Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays are coming and shoppers are getting ready! If you'd like to promote your shop more, being seen in treasuries is a great and free way to do so...it's even possible the treasury you're featured in could be on the front page of Etsy.com! Wow, imagine how many views and favorite you would have then?!

We've started a new game to help promote whoever wants to play. It's a treasury game and the details can be seen at: www.etsy.com/teams/10238/etsy-mommies/discuss/11246688/page/1/

If you like promoting your shop, making treasuries, or are willing to try something new, then you should sign up! :)

Sign up soon, only the first 15 players to join in get to play and be promoted! If everyone likes this game, we'll continue on a weekly basis."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For a good laugh...

So, my post last month was about Pinterest and some rules you might like to know when taking advantage of the some of the wonderful ideas there.

As I pin things and dream about doing them I often find myself terrified to try it because they often turn out to be laughable and absolutely nothing like what I imagined.  This happens often.

I happened upon this other blog which has people write in and have the blogger post their
pinterest "failures."  They do it in good fun and to show others that we all fail sometimes.

I think I sat and laughed for a good hour.  It is a real confidence booster to know that most people aren't Martha Stewart and things don't always go as you planned.

For a good laugh and a smile today, check it out!  Remember to keep your chin up and you can do it!

http://pinstrosity.blogspot.com/

Crazed Momma
(Naquai)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Men's Gifts

As I was trying to come up with a blog topic for today, my friend mentioned that is time to start looking for holiday gifts. She recommended I make some suggestions for those hardest to shop for---the men in our lives!

Here are a few of my "handmade" favorites for men from Etsy!

--Fingerless Gloves--

Mens Fingerless Gloves - Ready to Ship
From: BugEater.etsy.com





1) Decal for his computer---



--Computer Decal--
Evil Deer Macbook Computer Decal / Sticker


From: BigIDesignsMacDecals.etsy.com
--Cologne--
Natural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for Men
from:
WildRoseHerbs.etsy.com
Natural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for MenNatural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for MenNatural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for MenNatural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for MenNatural Men's Cologne Wild Man Essential Oils Aromatherapy for Men
--Messenger Bag---
Leather messenger bag 16 inch briefcase over-lander retro laptop office satchel travel shoulder bag
From:HandmadeLeatherkomal.etsy.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

What's your grade?

Want to find out how well your Etsy shop measures up? Etsy teamed up with Tailored to give shop owners a chance to make their shop as relevant as possible. It breaks down your shop in to categories and it lets you know what grade that section is at and how to fix it. Give it a try.

http://www.etsy.com/apps/1259669497/etsy-shoptimizer-beta

-Jaclyn

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Pinterest Adventure

Want to know how to spend lots of time on your computer and get absolutely nothing done?  It's a site called Pinterest.  :) 

I have had an account for a while now but hadn't really gotten into it until recently.  Wow!  What a place.  For people who craft such as our members it is a wonderland of ideas and beautiful things.  It is also another way to advertise your wares.  You just create a board called My Etsy Shop or whatever you would like to name it and pin your items.  Here's my board:

 http://pinterest.com/crazedmomma/my-etsy-store/

As I have enjoyed (wasted) my time there, I came across an article that I repinned from one of our own leaders, Ewa.  It is ways to use Pinterest politely.  I have included the link to the wonderful blog where this important information is included. 

If you get a chance to get addicted like I have, feel free to follow any of my boards.  As you can see I am obsessed with finding an easy dinner, any sort of craft, and ways to do my hair easily.  Have fun and play by the rules!  :)

Crazed Momma
(Naquai)

http://www.momcomm.com/2012/09/5-things-not-to-re-pin-on-pinterest/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Customer Service---Vital for Keeping Customers

I was so excited to go and pick up my new computer. I had purchased it the previous day and had been assured it would be ready when I came to get it. When I arrived, even though it was only 10 minutes after the store opened, there was a huge line and only 2 workers. After waiting in line for 40 minutes, I was finally helped. The technician went to get my computer and then came back with disturbing news...it wasn't ready...he did not know when it would be ready....and there was no explanation for why it was not ready.
Being in sales and working with people, I know that things happen. What I cannot understand is why someone could not have taken the simple step to send me an email or text, or call me...since all that information was on the work order.
This little incident in my life just reminded me how important customer service, keeping promises to customers, and communicating with customers is. With a virtual Etsy store, where you often have strong competiton and many choices, it is even more vital to remember to have great customer service, deliver on your promises, and communicate with the customer, especially if there is a problem.
Keep a customer happy and they will return, thus making you successful in your dream!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Featured Shop - Kaice Joy



This week featured seller is Kirsti and her shop Kaice Joy

  Kirsti is a single mom, she loves Jesus, and she has four great kids!  Kirsti does daycare full time during the school year.
She started her shop with the help of her sister-in-law, who is an avid fan of Etsy.  Kirsti had been going thru a divorce, and needed a way to supplement her income.  Her shop was born! Ironically, Kirsti had no idea it was such an amazing community based entity:  she initally just threw things in her shop and then had no sales. It wasn't until Kirsti began to invest and discover this warm community, did her shop begin to get noticed and she had more sales!


http://www.etsy.com/listing/98952961/elmo-blanket-yellow-and-blue-blanket


What does handmade mean to Kirsti:

'' To me, handmade involves using your fingers: manipulating something into another. It is a process that might take 30 seconds or 5 hours, and you might use the click of a mouse, or paints, but something new is created.''

 
 
What is your philosophy towards work?
 
''  I love "work" to be something enjoyable. Working on my shop is relaxing and fun, but not when I am pulling out stitches for the 10th time!! ''

 
 
 
What advice would you give to other Etsy sellers?
 
'' Instead of thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't make something a certain way, I am trying to approach my shop with a "Why Not?" mentality. Why not sew my fabric this way? Why not try this combination? There is no real failure, unless I refuse to try.''
 



 
 
 
Visit our featured shop
 


http://www.etsy.com/listing/109455375/hand-warmer-blanket-kids-butterfly

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Little Something Special

I wanted to share with you a new personal touch I added to my packing. I believe that the Etsy community prides itself on their unique touch on vintage and handmade items. I personally sale handmade items and wanted to include this information on the package. This is what I did. It's a stamp so I can get endless uses out of it. I hope that when people who bought my product sees this it brings a smile to their face. - Jaclyn

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Keep your Head Up!



I’m very happy to be starting up our blog again.  I hope members of our team can find something here that will help them in some small way.  I know that my posts are always very similar, but I tend to write about what is on my mind. 
 
I found myself out in my garden, if you want to call it that, the other day.  I like to garden but somehow my summer got away from me and I really didn’t spend as much time there as I would have liked.  It is more like a garden of weeds.  I was walking along and was feeling discouraged about it when I saw several of the sunflowers that I had planted at the end of the "rows".  They were tiny but lovely.  My thought was that even in the midst of a failed project something beautiful still emerged.  As more time has passed even more sunflowers have popped their heads up and flourished in spite of everything.

I hope that we can look past any possible product and shop mistakes and learn and grow from them.  We can be like a sunflower and flourish in spite of the challenges.  A mistake sometimes leads to the inspiration for a new product line or shop idea.   Keep your heads up and smile!  

"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."
 Helen Keller



Crazed Momma
(Naquai)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Featured Shop of the Week



This week featured seller is Naquai and her shop Crazed Momma Creations


Naquai (nuh kwi with a long i) and I am a stay at home mom with four daughters.  There’s always something going on at her house.She's originally from Texas but came up to Utah to go to school and met her husband and ended up staying here.
Naquai had always admired Etsy and was contemplating doing something to help her husband out and bring in a little extra money. She love crafts of all kinds even though she's not really that talented at them. Her girls had made me some magnets for a gift and one day Naquai just decided that she could make them and then  took the plunge and decided to try selling them on Etsy. Since then,she has added bobby pin sets and bottle cap necklaces. She's always trying new things




What does handmade mean to Naquai

"Handmade is something that someone has taken the time to think about and create from their heart. It is a process and giving handmade tells someone you took extra time to pick something out just for them. "


http://www.etsy.com/listing/91068139/handmade-hand-stamped-thank-you-tags

What is Naquai's philosophy towards work

"I would say that I am a perfectionist and sometimes that gets in the way of me actually enjoying what I am doing. I always have the idea of work first and play later BUT I have found that life doesn’t work that way and you should find a way to work when you can and be pleased with the things you can accomplish and also find time to play and relax. (I am working on this.) "

http://www.etsy.com/listing/86002066/white-rose-cabochon-and-silver-green


 Naquai's advice other Etsy sellers:
"I would just say don’t give up! Etsy has given me a place to interact with other people who are struggling and trying to raise their families and do something for themselves too. Etsy has a great community vibe to it and is a wonderful place to learn. There are so many others willing to help. I keep telling myself that if I quit I will never find out what I could have done with this endeavor. It takes patience."

http://www.etsy.com/listing/97436193/bakers-twine-spring-colors-red-orange



Visit our featured shop




 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heidi's Tips & Tricks for 6/27/12

This post, I'm going to talk a little bit about PACKAGING and how it can enhance your store and product.  When you put a little extra thought and effort into this final stage, it can make a big impact!

We all put a lot of work into our items.  From the initial design to the sourcing of quality supplies to the creation of the product to the photographs and listings themselves.  When those sales come in, it gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride that all of our hard work has been seen and appreciated.  How you proceed with the next and final step, the packing and shipping of your creation, is an opportunity to both thank your customer for supporting you and show them that you put just as much care into every stage of the process, even after the money has come in.


What sorts of things can you do to make your packaging special, without adding too much to your costs?  Here are some suggestions of what I've seen or heard people use:

- Wrap item in tissue paper.  Economy tissue can often be bought at a packaging store for a very low price and in colors that match your brand.
- Once wrapped, tie the item with twine, scrap strips of fabric, or yarn... perhaps something you already use for the product itself!
- Protect fragile items with clean packing paper.  You can get it from moving supply companies, or go to a local newspaper office and ask if they have any roll ends they don't need and are willing to sell or give you!
- Get thin organza gift bags for small items.  Ebay is a great source for stuff like this at very low cost!
- Muslin is a lovely material that you can purchase in a couple different "weights" suitable for your items.  Muslin bags are stronger and a natural material that can be great for small toys, anything with multiple parts, teas, jewelry, soaps... all kinds of things! 
- Even clean, white paper folded neatly and professionally and with an attractive sticker can be a simple packaging that just shows a little bit of extra care.

Other ways you can use packaging to make your store and products stand out including tying your brand into the "extras" you send along.  For example, your business card should go with every package to remind your customer of who you are.  You might consider including a hand-written note on the back or possibly a coupon code for future purchases.  In any case, a quick hand-written thank you note is always something that is appreciated to show that you are a real person!  Return address labels are another thing that you can use your brand image to "fancy up" your packaging a little bit.  Also, make nice, professional-looking product cards if applicable.  If you need or want to include information like washing instructions, how-to's, or other information, make sure you do it on quality paper with a font or colors that match your brand... don't just print it out on 8.5x11paper in boring old Times New Roman and stuff it in the box.  Use card stock or heavier weight paper, consider color, and perhaps invest in a pair of fancy-edging scissors or a shaped hole-punch.  Use stickers with your brand image on them.  There are LOTS of ideas you can use to make your packaging special, show you put thought into it, AND showcase your image so you are remembered.  

And finally, use quality shipping materials.  Consider how you package is going to look when your customer receives it.  While there is of course nothing wrong with reusing packaging materials, make sure they are clean and rip-free.  Ensure they are strong enough to protect your products.  Make sure address labels are legible and affixed properly.  Consider the safety of the items inside the parcel should it get wet or be handled roughly.  Use packaging the appropriate size.

Remember, the packaging is the last thing that you will see of your item... but it is the first thing that your customer sees.
~ Heidi

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Naquai's Favorite Item June 26, 2012

While looking through the new item posts I came across this awesome necklace.  I am done having my babies but wish this would have been around when they were teething.  :)  Something beautiful for you to wear but that they can munch on too.  Perfect! 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/103012830/neon-jewelry-nursing-necklace-teething

Neon Jewelry Nursing necklace/ Teething necklace for Mom to Wear and baby - neon green yellow orange hot pink - 100% cotton wood beads
This lovely item comes from GerberaHandmade.  Check out her shop!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/GerberaHandmade?ref=seller_info

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heidi's Tips & Tricks for 6/20/2012

This week I'm not so much sharing tips, as I'd like to just offer up some ideas you might want to try for Etsy's new "ABOUT PAGE".  This page was just rolled out on June 7th, and I really hope that many of you have had an opportunity to explore what it is about, read some that may have been completed by some of your favorite shops, and possibly have tackled creating your own!  This is a neat new feature that, I feel, is a positive move on Etsy's behalf and in this article I'm going to share why I think that, and some thoughts on what you might consider including in YOUR About Page.


One of the reasons I think that this is a great addition to Etsy, is that as a customer, I love to feel like I know who I'm purchasing from and have something of a connection with the people behind the shops I buy from.  I've bought many many things on Etsy.  Some experiences have been amazing, and others just nothing special.  It's the ones that I feel I was treated well by a real person though that I remember, and recommend to others.  As a shop, therefore, we should use any opportunity we can to shine and connect with customers so that WE are the ones that stand out!  The About Page will give us another opportunity to do that.

Another reason I like it, is that it will set a standard that some of the less-honorable shops will fail to meet.  This isn't an all encompassing statement, just a very general one, but resellers generally have a hard time faking the personal side of their shops, and by using our common sense, we can choose whether we want to use the About Page to help us determine who really deserves our business.  Personally, I will feel more comfortable trusting a shop that is willing to share with me a small glimpse into their shop.  Trust in the online world is not always easy, and I'm willing to take the extra step of putting together a page that will help my customers to know they can trust me.

So what exactly IS this About Page thing anyway??

The About Page is a place for you to share with customers a little more about your shop.  Notice that I'm suggesting the focus be your shop, and not you as a person.  This is, I think, an important distinction.  While it is perfectly fine if you truly wish to share about you as a person on your About Page (it is your page after all!)... my recommendation would instead be to try to focus on your SHOP.  We all still have a "profile" as well... which people can read if they click on our name on the lefthand menu... and that is a better place to talk about yourself as a person now that there is this separate place that to talk about your shop.

 So what sort of things can you talk about?
- How and when did you get started in your particular medium?  Who taught you?
- When did you first launch your shop?
- What is the inspiration behind the items you make or your unique designs?
- What keeps you going every day?
- What is the story behind your shop name?  (This is the approach I took to my page)
- Are there any funny or special stories behind a particular item?
- If you have people helping you, how do you work together/share the load?
- Talk about the process for making your items
- Describe where you like to do most of your creating.
- Talk about your stash of fabric, ribbon, notions, paints, yarn, or whatever materials you use.

Brainstorm about what goes into everything you do... somewhere in there is something you can share on your About Page!

Now... on to the photos.  I LOVE that we can now share photos to bring people inside our shops and processes.  However, I can certainly see how this is making many people balk!  First, there is the image on the righthand side of the About Page... the little round picture that (gasp!) seems to be asking for a photograph of ME!  Don't panic!  I think a lot of us are not the type to really want to put a picture of ourselves up for the world to see... and you don't HAVE to!  But, before you say "whew" and dismiss doing that, consider what it might do if you DO.  It was hard for me to find and post a photo of myself.  One, because there aren't that many of them out there as I tend to be behind the camera.  And, two, because I'm very critical of photos of myself!  I did find one and post it though... because I have been really enjoying being able to put a face to a name of my favorite shops!!  If I'm enjoying that so much, I'm sure others are too... and that makes it worthwhile.

If you really really don't want to put up a picture of yourself though (and I will admit that it is better not to if the only picture you have is not good quality or makes you look non-professional - ie. be careful about the image you are presenting of yourself)... some suggestions of what you might put in that little round photo are:
- a photo of you hands actually making your item (obviously you'll need help for that).
- a photo that reflects your shop graphics, similar to your avatar but bigger.
- a photo of your shop space (be it a brick/mortar storefront, your workstation, or your desk)

Now, for the five BIG photos... again, don't feel stifled!  Explore examples of what other shops are doing and see if you get any ideas for what you can do.  I know a lot of us don't have nice, neat, attractive craft areas that photograph well... so don't do it then.  :)   No one is saying you have to.  Again, better to go with photos that look professional and crisp than show off something that doesn't reflect back well.  Some other suggestions:
- a collage of your creations (especially if you make a variety of of items).
- an image of you working... you don't have to show your face if you don't want to!
- an image of the process you go through for your items
- a collection of materials or tools you use
- a small sampling of your inventory all set up nice and neat
- a pile of packages all ready to be mailed (again, set it up nice and neat!)

You are all, of course, welcome to check out my About Page found here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleTadpoleDesigns/about/
to see some of the images I chose.  I still have one blank space I haven't decided what to fill with yet!  I have an image of our pond (relates to my story), an image of some of my inventory and some of the materials I use for my creations, and an image of my own hands crocheting with some yarn and part of a fishing set in the background.  And of course, you can read my story and see if it gives you any ideas for your own.  Plus, explore other pages!!  Check and see if any of your favorite shops have done theirs yet and see what you can learn about them. 

And remember, your About Page isn't set in stone!  You can tweak and play with images and text as much as you want... or ask for help or critiques or proof-reading from someone you trust.  The point is... give it a try!  You put a lot into your shops... use this page as an opportunity to tell potential customers a bit more about that!

One final word of caution.  It's pretty easy to over-share personal information if you focus too much on yourself.  Remember that anyone can read what you post, and it is important to be cautious about what personal information we are sharing.  Since we are moms, often our inspiration is going to come from our kids.  Be careful though about talking specifically about your children's names, ages, or even genders.  Don`t post pictures of your children on so general a page.  Don't get too specific about where you live or if you work outside the home or what school or church you go to.  Just use common sense... people want to know you, but they don't need to know THAT much!  Remember to be safe with your online presence.

And last but certainly not least... PLEASE share with us here on the team if you have put together your About Page!  I`m loving reading about shops I`ve come to recognize and admire on my various teams and it would be fun to have a bunch of Etsy Mommies shops to get to know a little bit more!

- Heidi

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ewa's favourite item of the week

These handmade booties are the perfect gift for the new mom to be. Soft and sweet, will look good on any new born baby.
I have to also add that I asked Jaclyn to make them in a bigger size  and she did. I am very happy with them and would recommend them.



to see more beautiful designs

Visit



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Family Fun... Pick Your Own!

Yesterday we went as a family to go pick plump, juicy, ripe and ready Strawberries!!  This is an activity we do every year, and not only with strawberries as we also go again in July for Raspberries and in September for Apples!  It's a really fun way to do something together as a family... and it doesn't end in the field either because when you get home you get to start making yummy treats with your fresh picked produce.  Mmmm berry cobblers and smoothies...



Curious whether or not there are any Pick-Your-Own farms in your local area?  Check out http://pickyourown.org/ to find a list of farms and what they offer.  It's always a good idea to call ahead to make sure that they are indeed in picking season and ask about hours and prices.  Have fun picking!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Featured Shop of the Week



This week featured seller is Fuegodelcorazon 
Fuegodelcorazon   is a mom to a special needs boy. She received her degree in photojournalism and graphic design. But after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and unable to do her work, her mother inspired her to start making jewelry as an outlet.  She started her shop because I love making jewelry and she also needed a way to make money




What does handmade mean to  Fuegodelcorazon 

"Handmade....mmm....made by me, or put together by me. That is the best way I can think of it. "


http://www.etsy.com/listing/95251944/steampunk-earrings-clockwork-with-fire?ref=v1_other_2


What is  Fuegodelcorazon 's philosophy towards work

"Make jewelry that I would wear, and make quality of jewelry that will last."




  Fuegodelcorazon 's advice other Etsy sellers:

"Patience and perseverance"



http://www.etsy.com/listing/86010042/free-shipping-rondelle-swarovski-crystal


Visit our featured shop

Fuegodelcorazon 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heidi's Tips & Tricks for 6/13/2012

This weeks topic is... DESCRIPTIONS

I think the first and most important thing to remember about writing descriptions is that this is the part of your listings that is taking the place of the customer being able to pick up your item and examine it, AND consider why it is something they want to buy. Therefore, approach your description as if you were telling them all of the different things that they would observe had they the opportunity to do that and point out what is so great about YOUR item.



Writing descriptions needs really a two-fold approach. First, you have to be the creator of the product and describe in detail what it looks, feels, smells like. You also have to be the customer though and think in terms of what makes YOU buy something and translate that into your listings. That's the tricky part so I'll start with the layout and details of items and then tackle how to write to/as a customer.

LAYOUT

Finding the balance of "just the right amount" of information might take a bit of trial and error. Basically, you need to include all pertinent information, but not overwhelm your customers. If you need to include a lot of information, make sure you are organized and logical. The very first thing your descriptions need is a brief one or two sentence introduction. This is very important because this intro has weight in searches both through Etsy and search engines AND it is what will capture and encourage a customer to keep reading. To optimize this, you need to include all your most important keywords in sentence form and make sure a summary "what is it" of your item is made. You will expand on it later... this is just to "punch it out there" so to speak.

Here is an example from my shop:
"Snap Belts keep your lean toddler or preschooler's pants up in style! Simple to use... just snap the elastic through the back belt loops for a snug waistband"

This tells people right away whether or not this item is what they might be looking for. Do they have a preschooler that needs a belt? Easy to use. Elastic and snaps. Answers the question "what is it" briefly and includes vital keywords (which are mirrored in titles and tags... as a side note, doing this increases the weight your item will have in Etsy searches!)

When you write your first few lines, look under the "description" box while in edit mode and take note of what appears in the google preview. Does that include all your keywords and could stand alone to catch a customer's attention?

The next thing that should come in your description is a quick rundown of the item specifics in order of what would be most important to your customers. Don't be afraid to use bulleted lists and spacing to make sure things are organized and succinct.

End your description with a quick conclusion. This might include whether or not you do customs, how to contact you (perhaps a link to the conversations feature), or other information that isn't vital to the specific listing but you feel is important to share.

DETAILS (the middle of your descriptions - in NO particular order... you should rearrange these details according to the most important info for your item and combine them of course when possible to keep things as concise as possible... this list is just to get you thinking of things you might have missed or could add)

You can't rely on your photos to describe your item for you. The two need to go hand in hand. You description should still include things that might seem obvious to you from the photos.

Size. Include actual measurements if possible, and certainly general size if it is a clothing item. You may also want to include weight if, for example, it is a heavy pair of earrings or with have to ship at an "overweight' rate.

Color. Remember that computer screens may show color differently to different people (even our desktop and laptop show colors slightly different). Use adjectives whenever possible. If you aren't familiar with how a color might generally be described, there are so great color charts on wikipedia when you search more general colors, or go through your kid's crayon box and see if you can find something similar! For example... is your item Kelly green, Sage green, Emerald green, Grass green, Mint, Pistachio, Forest green...

Type. Is there a "proper" word for the item? If it is a girl's outfit for example, is it a pillowcase dress, peasant dress, tunic, romper, bubble romper, bodysuit (do not use "onesie" as a decription or tag unless you it is Gerber brand, this term is protected by trademark), kimono style, wraparound, etc.

Material. What is it made of specifically? Silver plated, silver, pewter, stainless steel, nickel, etc. Acrylic, oil, latex, watercolor, etc. For my nursing necklaces, instead of just wood I specify hardwood, instead of just oil I state that I use Organic Sunflower oil, instead of cord I say black nylon, and in each one, the stone bead is described by type of stone and color.

How is it made? Serged, french hemmed, woven, quilted, hand-tied, etc. If there is a process to how it is done that makes it unique, include that so that your customers know what you've put into it to make it so wonderful.

Care instructions. Is your item machine or hand washable? Include specific details such as "wash on cold, lay flat to dry". Will it need or might it be desirable to treat it later on (can it be polished or rubbed with oil to maintain the beauty?)

I'm sure there are lots more things that can be included in the details of specific items... if there are any you want to share please do so!

NOW THE TRICKY PART

How to use your descriptions to hold-on to a customer and convince them that YOUR item is the one to get! A professional description and photos says a lot about yourself as a designer/creator and about your items. I think most, of not all of us, have competition here on Etsy that makes similar items so how do we encourage people to buy our product?

Well, first I want you to forget about competitive pricing (and if you haven't already read it, please read the post from several weeks ago on pricing to find out why!)... and I want you to think about what makes you buy one thing over another. We buy Campbells soup. Why? It's thicker, has better flavor, I like the recipes on the back of the can :) , and I like actual chunks of veggies in my soup rather than tiny shreds you get in some kinds. What makes you buy one type/brand of diaper over another? What makes you like a specific pair of jeans? What would sell you on a set of sheets or new towel? What do you like about your car? (I liked how in our old car there was a cover over the mirror behind the sun visor... our current car doesn't have that and it's something I'll be looking for in our next car! Sometimes, it's the little things!) :) We are all customers, so it's just a matter of shifting gears from be maker, to thinking about what appeals to customers.

You should also talk about the craftsmanship that make your item special and stand out from others. Are your wooden toys cut, sanded, and sealed by your own hand? Did you dye your own wool for those knitted overalls? Do you use organic products to make or treat your products? Are the edges of your ribbon heat-sealed or stitched to prevent fraying? Are your materials fair-trade or local? Do you include special packaging for your items? Is the material you use designer? Think about what made you choose certain materials or processes and tell your customers about it! They won't otherwise know what goes into your product unless you tell them.

Describe how your item can make their life easier or better. Is your design more efficient than others for some reason? Can it save them money or is it better for the environment and how? Does the materials you use offer a stronger or more long-lasting product? Why did YOU design it the way your did??

AND FINALLY...

There is one more thing I want to mention... while using the copy feature is fantastic for saving time, make sure when you do so, that you read over your description again and just make sure that all the information you included is still accurate. You may accidentally copy a mistake and taking a quick minute to review when you copy or renew an item will ensure that you don't accidentally make yourself look bad by reposting something that isn't accurate. :)

I hope that this has given you something else to think about in terms of writing descriptions that you might not have thought of. For some of us, we ramble too much or our descriptions could use some more organization... for others, more details are needed to really express completely what we have to offer.

Heidi

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Featured Shop of the Week



This week featured seller is Kelly Hoag and her shop Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique


 Kelly anis a SAHM. Her daughter, Shelby, is 5 years old and started Kindergarten this year. Her son, Gage is 2 years old and is about the size of a 4 year old:) She's married to the best man she knows(aside from her Dad). He is a Special Education Teacher and an amazing father.

Her daughter, Shelby, is a total girlie-girl. She loves all things pink and purple. She LOVES clothes, shoes, and accessories. When Kelly would shop for her, she would always look at hair accessories(clips, headbands, etc). Kelly always felt they were poorly made, over priced, and un-original. So, she found some tutorials on the internet, rounded up some fabric scraps and other craft supplies and started creating. Shelby was thrilled! And she found that she really enjoyed the process. Since Kelly is a major flower lover, she incorporate flowers into her pieces and use them as inspiration.
When she was 15 years old, Kelly was diagnosed with Juvenille Rheumatoid Arthritis. About 6 years ago her condition worsened and started to impact her life. Kelly had to stop working. And while she loves her job as a SAHM, Kelly haa always felt like something was missing from her life...something that made her "Kelly" and not just "Mommy". So....when he husband suggested that Ishe starts selling her creations, Kelly was thrilled. She already loved Etsy, so Kelly thought it would be the the perfect place for her to share her work.



http://www.etsy.com/listing/82094936/sale-rosette-lace-headband


What does handmade mean to Kelly

"I have always loved anything handmade. When something is hadmade it is always unique...not something that just came off an assembly line. Handmade means someone put their time and heart into making something special"




What is Kelly's philosophy towards work:

"You only get out what you put in:) "


 


Kelly's advice other Etsy sellers:

"I am still pretty new at this, so I probbly need more advice than I can give. I would tell new Etsians to take it slow in the begining. I tried to do way too much, way too fast in the beginning. I have learned to step back and slow down. When I push too hard I get burt out, and that really stiffles my creativity."

 


Visit our featured shop






Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Tips & Tricks for 6/6/2012

This week I'd like to give you all a quick little rundown on a topic that is small... but mighty!... CUSTOMER SERVICE.

When you think about customer service, you might picture large companies.  But really, it's just a couple big words that really mean something very simple... connection.  This is not going to be a long article in the way that you may have come to expect from me, but it is no less vital to your successful business due to it's relative brevity.  Basically, the approach you take with your customers says more about you as a crafter than you might think and because of this it is important to consider what you can do to be the very best you can be!



Communication

- Respond to each and every contact a buyer or potential customer makes with you.  Most of our communication will be virtual through email or Etsy convos.  While that means it is unlikely you will be responding to someone's inquiry immediately, you should do so at the very earliest you possibly can.  If it takes you a day or more to get back to someone (unless you have a good reason such as being out of town or your computer broke down), that is too long.  At the very least, return their message to say you received it and will respond in detail by such-and-such time.  Remember, the longer you take to get back to someone, the more likely they will continue to search for a similar item from someone else!  Delay may cost you a sale.

- Use proper grammar and sentence structure!  This may be more important than you realize.  Many people will paint you in an unprofessional light if you neglect to use proper punctuation, capital letters where appropriate, and format.  Even if your answer is "no, I don't do or have that", take the time to say it the right way!  

- You should always start and end your responses with proper greeting and a sign-off.  If you communicate back and forth several times, you can drop the greeting/signature... but not until you have developed a good communicative relationship with the other person.  And at the end of all the messaging, once again sign off to complete it.

- Be honest.  If you aren't able to mail something right away, tell them.  If you experience unforeseen delay with finishing a custom item, tell them.  Never forget that the customer on the other end of the transaction are real people and are likely excited and anxious to get their package!  A little honesty goes a long way to encouraging patience and creating loyalty. 

- Be FRIENDLY!  If someone has taken the time to find, buy, or ask a question about your items, it means they already consider you to be worth their time!  Don't disappoint them by being short.  Take the time to respond to the effort they put forth and let them know that you appreciate them checking out your shop.

When Problems Come Up

- If someone has an issue lets say with a delayed package or damaged item... address it promptly and make sure they know you are trying your hardest to fix it!  Tell them what you know.  When was it mailed exactly.  How was it packaged.  What does the post office say about delivery estimates.  Can the item be fixed themselves?  What is your policy for returns and, in the individual case, are there any exceptions (such as if you failed to protect it properly with packaging)?  Ask for pictures if necessary.  Double check they gave you the correct address.  Check the calendar in case of holiday delays.  Sometimes, people will be unreasonable... but until you are certain of that, make sure they know you are taking their concern seriously and giving it prompt attention.

- Make sure you have your policies spelled out regarding returns, exchanges, etc.  This speaks to your professionalism and gives you somewhere established to direct them.

 Remember, most people that shop on Etsy are expecting to get a higher level of quality than they would at some box store... and that does not only mean in the items themselves!  People are looking to make a connection to an individual through their craft and their service, and YOU are that individual!  Make yourself stand out... take the time to prioritize all those who reach out to you and you may be surprised at the difference it makes in helping your business grow and succeed!

- Heidi