Sunday, April 1, 2012

Etsy Success Symposium

Well, originally my plan was to wake up on Friday morning, eat breakfast, then let the hubby take care of the kids while I bust out my notebook and watch the symposium all day.

........That didn't happen.

Life happened instead, and the hubby had one of those rare days where all he wants to do is spend time with me ( =O ), so I had to take him up on the opportunity and ended up spending most of the day with him. Not complaining! But because of this (and 2 screaming kids) I didn't catch as much of it as I would have liked. But this is what I caught.....

Storytelling: I don't know how much this relates to my product. I sell bows...... Not much of a story behind that other than maybe the decision that got me to choose to fabric and the style of the bow..... Not very interesting. I do think I need to go into more detail about how the bow is made though.  Like.... how I heat-seal all my bows' edges by hand from a candle to avoid fraying. That's important! It means that it's going to LAST. I should be telling my customers that. Definitely something to think about.

Prices: People don't buy into the "I'm selling amazing items for super low prices". I was selling bows for about $5 a piece..... That was almost no profit. But I thought to myself "I'm just starting out, people won't want to buy my stuff if it's too expensive, maybe I'll raise the prices later when my shop gets busier." ......But honestly, my customers are probably looking at my prices and saying "Wow, this bow must have been stapled together for that price." So I went back and repriced EVERYTHING. I gave them prices equivalent to how hard I worked on them instead of how much they costed to make. I need to start paying myself fairly. And you know what? I went back later and looked at my inventory in my shop with the raised prices, and magically felt BETTER about my work. I was definitely shortchanging myself. I also need to be able to hold sales and give out coupon codes without worrying about losing money on it. They need to be at a price where I will still be making profit even if I sold it 25% off or something. One person at the symposium pointed straight at the camera, and said something like "YOU ONLINE. Go to your store and double your prices right now. I'm serious." So I took that to heart, and I feel like my prices are more fair to me and also give proper credit to my bows and their quality now.

Photos: .......Oh my lord I have been over-exposing my photos to light. They all of a sudden look terrible to me!! One person at the symposium mentioned that if you're not sure if your photos are up to par, you should take some frequently Front Paged items and put them all in a treasury with one of your items to see if they blend together nicely. Mine totally don't. I feel like my bows are really like... IN YOUR FACE close to the camera. No bueno. Also, there was a little "commercial" between sessions that teaches you how to take proper and professional photos. I was already doing most of her techniques, but she said "Don't be afraid to experiment with props." And that is something that I haven't really done. I generally put the bow on the white paper, take a bunch of different angled photos, then slap it on my daughter and take some more photos. I should be trying them on teddy bears or in the foreground of some pretty jewelry that could work with it or something. I need to play around with it more and have fun with it.

Pinterest: ......Apparently a lot of Etsy traffic comes from Pinterest. I just barely joined this site myself.... And I still barely know how to work it. I need to figure it out. Seriously. If anyone has any tips or tricks about Pinterest, or just wants to teach me how to use it, I am open and thankful for your advice.

Craft Fairs: I really am interested in doing these some day, and those folks from Crafty Bastards really helped me see what will and won't work when that time comes for my business. How to decorate your booth, what to plan for, what to bring, what's important and what isn't, etc. I wish I had written down more notes about it to refer to later when my 1st craft fair comes up, but I didn't because I was busy holding a baby in my arms while watching. Bummer!! But hopefully with their guidance, my first attempt will be a fairly successful one. There are no craft fairs around these parts (I sound like such a hillbilly right there), but there is one in SLC every year. The deadline is coming WAY too soon for me to participate this year, but maybe next year I will attempt it. It should be a good starter fair before I (hopefully someday) move on to Renegade or even the Crafty Bastards showcase.

Well, I learned a lot. If you didn't catch it they still have all the videos available on the online labs page on Etsy, so you should check some of them out. Hope they help you as much as they have helped me so far!!

Remember to join me again tomorrow for Made of Money Monday #2!! I have some great stuff lined up. Thanks again for reading~! <3


1 comment:

  1. You're right on about the pricing and storytelling. I find many shops have trouble asking for the real value of their product. I tell them to price it to actual value or they are devaluing their product line. As for storytelling, it's so important to realize that your process is normal to you, maybe even boring by now, to your customer, it's something new, interesting, and exciting.

    I write about Etsy and Small Business Success at and produce strategy guides sold in my Etsy Shop