Friday, March 30, 2012

Learning from the Etsy Success Symposium: Get Found

The people at etsy held a symposium today all about how to get noticed. The bits of it I did manage to catch were full of all sorts of information that I hope to apply to my shop over the next little while. I am however, a little sad that they couldn't have chosen a rainy day for it, as I had a lot of farm work to do this morning and I missed some of the best bits. Good news for me, and you if you are interested, they promise to have recordings of the videos here.

key points that I learned:

  • Take full advantage of key words and titles.
  • use social media efficiently. It takes time away from crafting, so maybe dedicating 2 hours a day to the 3 people that follow me on twitter is not the best idea. (oh, wow. It's actually 8 people now!)
  • Tell a story - both about yourself in your profile and about each item. Tell the story with both words, and if possible, photograph. See the Superhero section of the work book for ideas. (on the off chance that someone from etsy ever gets lost and accidentally stumbles over to my blog - I LOVE THE WORK BOOK! just sad it didn't agree with my kindle. maybe next year, add kindle supported pdf files?)
  • improve my photos - now, that's the big one!

I want to create a unified theme with my etsy shop and I haven't done that yet. So far I've just been putting items for sale as they come ready. It's time stop and retake my photos.

When I sell my yarn in the local shop, it's easy to express the quality. Yarn is such a tactile shopping experience. Sure, the visual appeal draws people to it, but in the end, most people want to pet the yarn before investing in it. With hand spun yarn this is extra important because the quality and intended use can vary so drastically.

How can I prove to the internet that my quality is better than average. I know that I can spin a good yarn (what pun?) but how to convey that in five photos or less? That's the issue. This is probably why I'm pricing so much lower than I would if selling in person. Let's call it an introductory discount and assume the prices will return to normal when I get my shop all nicely polished.

Take this yarn for example:

It's one of my top quality yarns. It's ultra fine lace weight, handspun yarn. It's spun very strong, very soft, and very consistent. I spun it up to be used as warp for a scarf or perhaps a shall. But how to show all that in a photograph that will make people click and learn more?

First attempt at taking photos was not very good:

In fact, the word dismal comes to mind. I wouldn't click on this, level on buy it. Why expect someone else to do better.

Here's my second attempt:

A few props to express quality. Pen cleverly pointed towards the yarn (a little trick that I remember from high school art class) to encourage the subconscious to pay closer attention.

One thing I've done is to choose a slightly textured cloth for the background. Personally I don't enjoy photos where it looks like the object is just floating in space. I find, for me, it's much more difficult for me to imagine what it would feel like to interact with the object in the flesh.

I don't know if this is going to work, but it's a start. Too many chores still to do on the farm today. Insomnia is in full swing, so I'll see what I can do when the sun goes down.


Josiane said...

I can imagine how hard it must be to convey through pictures how wonderful your yarns are. Here's wishing that it gets easier with time and experience.

Anonymous said...

Someone over at Etsy DID stumble upon your blog and will whisper words of a Kindle accessible version of the website, if at all possible... Thanks for blogging about the workshop and the workbook!