Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Be An Expert - Back To Basics - Focus On Photos

This week for 'Back To Basics' were looking at photography. Do your photos show your products in the best possible way?

READ THIS: A great book to read if you feel like you need an in-depth refresh of your photos is this 'The Crafter's Guide To Taking Great Photos' book by Heidi Adnum: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crafters-Guide-Taking-Great-Photos/dp/1844487512 with A LOT of tips on background, props, lighting, and more. 
LIGHTING ISSUES: If your main issue is light, you could try making a DIY lightbox: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Lightbox If your products are too big to fit in a lightbox then consider asking a friend with big windows whether you can take some photos there (you might need to tape white tissue paper to the windows to diffuse the light). 
FIX THE SHARPNESS: If your photos need to be sharper, try these tips from the Etsy Seller Handbook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/6-steps-to-creating-sharper-product/23125317730
LIFESTYLE SHOTS: Do you take 'lifestyle' photos as well as plain ones? Lifestyle photos means you show how the item might be used, or place some props around it to give it a sense of scale or to invoke an emotion. For example if you make jewellery you don't HAVE to show it on a model (though this could be good) but you could show it draped across a jewellery dish - a modern neon stripe dish with bright white lighting if your jewellery is for the young fashionista, or a vintage saucer dish with warm lighting if your jewellery is for the more mature or softer-styled lady.
5 LISTING PHOTOS: Finally - do you use all 5 photo spaces whenever you can? Here's some Etsy ideas on 4 different photos to use: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/4-essential-product-shots-for-your-etsy/22504064051 and the 5th photo could be a photo of your product packaging if that's something special!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Be An Expert - Back To Basics - Starting From Scratch

During May we are focusing on going back to the basics and making sure everything in your shop is as good as it can be. You may have been having so much fun uploading new products that you've forgotten that your 'about' page still talks about products you no longer make, for example. Making sure everything is up-to-scratch will help your customers trust you and make you appear in the relevant searches!

Here's 3 things to go and check right now, and some links to articles to find out more if you need help. Whether you are a new seller or an old-hand, it's worth making sure these are current, and fit with your branding:
Cover Photo & Shop Icon: https://www.etsy.com/uk/help/article/160 (if you refresh your cover photo regularly with new products then returning customers will immediately see what's new in store as soon as they land at your shop. You can create photo collages in PicMonkey or Canva to fit the right dimensions!)
Finally here's a top tip which is good for new sellers, or long-time sellers who didn't know about this -
Top Tip: Your listing titles are essential for Search Engine Optimisation. Fill up as much of the title space as you can, using 2-3 word phrases separated by commas. If you are selling artwork don't put the name of the artwork in the title, put it in the description, as no one is likely to search for that artwork by title. Instead use phrases people are likely to search for. For example, a title SHOULD NOT say:
'Beautiful unicorn wandering through a wood A4 painting'
It SHOULD say something like:
'Unicorn Painting, Unicorn Art, Unicorn Gift, Fantasy Art, Fantasy Art Gift, Girls Bedroom Decor, Daughter's Birthday Gift, Original Art'
Go and make sure your titles are working for you!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Be An Expert - What To Sell - Product Possibilities

If you still need some ideas for new products then have a think outside of your usual product lines. Do you know on Etsy you can sell Vintage Items, Handmade Products, or Craft Supplies? With the launch of the New Etsy Studio Craft Supplies Website (https://www.etsy.com/seller-news/introducing-etsy-studio) now might be a good time to think if you can add any craft kits or items to your store!

See here for some suggestions for what to sell in your Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/what-to-sell-on-etsy/67553338536. If you're worried that you are going to end up with too many craft supplies to store, or too many things to post, then what about considering digital downloads? Click here for some tips on how to get started and what kind of things you might be able to sell digitally: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/how-to-sell-digital-downloads-on-etsy/47330319230
In the EU customers have to pay 20% VAT on digital goods, but Etsy very helpfully collect it and pay it for us - they add 20% onto whatever price you say you'd like to receive and then collect that 20% to pay the government. Here's more information on that: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/etsys-new-collection-process-for-value/26557870596
What ever new items you add, make sure they fit with your brand (or open a new shop with a new brand if you can't get the idea out of your head!). And make sure it's something people will want to buy!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Be An Expert - What To Sell - New Product Ideas

Now you've had a good chance to have a spring clean of your Etsy workspace, and you've made lots of fresh space, what can you fill it with?! New stock of course! If now is your quiet time of year then it's a good time to build up on items to sell. You can just make more of the stock you usually do well with, but what about looking into new products?

Check out this Etsy Seller Handbook guide to 6 Tips For Generating Fresh Product Ideas: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/6-tips-for-generating-fresh-product/74918103154 
One more tip I'd add to tie in with the article is 'what key words will people search to find this item?'. This extends the 'do people want or need this' tip, to also think about how they will actually find it. What SEO will you be able to use to make sure the item is found?
While you are still in the planning stages of your product write down some key words that you could use in the item listing details and tags. And remember it's best to have 2 or 3 words together as a phrase rather than single words - 'Father's Day Gift' rather than just 'Dad'.
Adding some fresh products to your shop will give regular customers new things to be tempted by, or catch the eye of some new customers. Enjoy creating!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Be An Expert - Workspaces - Make Yours Inspire You

Do you wake up eager to go into your workspace? How does it make you feel when you enter it? Make sure your workspace is inspiring you to be the best Etsy seller you can be!

Etsy regularly has an 'Inspiring Workspaces' feature which you can see here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/search?query=workspaces take a read through to see some beautiful places to create and gather ideas for your own.
If you think you need to sort out your storage a bit, you could make a desk organiser: http://thelovelydrawer.com/workspace-goals/, if you have lots of vinyl to store you could use Ikea bag holders like this crafter: http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2016/07/vinyl-storage-ideas-silhouette-cameo.html?m=1 or maybe you could make a magnetic spice rack: http://www.gardenbetty.com/2013/03/make-your-own-magnetic-spice-rack/ then fill it with buttons or beads?! What ever your storage need there's sure to be a DIY solution!
Share your inspiring workspaces or storage solutions using the #DorsetTeam hashtag on Instagram and Twitter so we can see too. You can also check out the #DorsetTeamDesks hashtag to see some desks and craft rooms that members shared in January!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Be An Expert - Workspaces - Spring Clean

Hopefully by now the weather is warm enough to throw open those windows and have a spring clean in your office or Etsy workspace!


Here's some tips to sort out your space:
  • Have some things which inspire you on display - but don't have so many that the room feels cluttered, or your mind will become cluttered too
  • If you have lots of odds and ends of packets or things which are nearly used up then put them in a 'use-it-or-lose-it' basket - if you don't use them up in the next month then give them (or throw them) away
  • Label your drawers, boxes, shelves and other storage so that you can quickly and easily reach for the right item - a few hours spent organising now will save you lots of time on busy work days
If you'd like some more inspiration take a look at this post by Mollie Makes on Decluttering for Makers: http://www.molliemakes.com/craft-2/creative-corners-decluttering-makers/ or perhaps you can make this DIY Pegboard on eHow by Fran from Fall For DIY: http://www.ehow.com/how_6548599_make-own-peg-board.html

Next week we will be looking at some more workspace ideas!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Be An Expert - Keeping Track - Recording Reach

Do you regularly look at your reach for your shop, checking your Etsy and social media stats? If not, you should!

Here's 'five shop stats you should be tracking' from the Etsy Seller Handbook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/five-shop-stats-you-should-be-tracking/22398388701 which explains how to look at a few stats and why.
Here's some more information on Etsy stats of you aren't familiar with looking at them: https://www.etsy.com/uk/help/article/541
Social media can be a bit trickier to track. You can use a paid system like Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/en-gb/products/social-media-analytics) to help look at everything, or you could individually look at stats on each social media account yourself. For example, on Instagram you can switch to having a business profile, rather than a personal one, and then you can see 'insights' into how well your posts are doing (see more information on this here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/788388387972460).
You can create yourself a spreadsheet to input some information - think about including how many times you posted on that social media in a month, and whether your follower numbers went up or down. Record which posts performed best so you can start to see a pattern of what kind of images and links your customers like to see. Think about which hashtags worked well too. And when you look back and see a social media post performed well, check out that date under 'specific dates' in your Etsy stats - did you see a spike in people visiting your shop from that channel? Did it result in favourites / sales? 
Team Member Chibi Chi Designs has shared a social media planner which could help, with space to include your social media fans / followers at the beginning and end of each month. Check it out here: http://chibichidesign.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/getting-to-grips-with-social-media.html
Make sure those social media posts are converting - by keeping track of them you can see which channels and which style of posts are worth spending your time on!

Monday, 27 March 2017

1 week left to apply for the Dorset Team Christmas Fair 2017




A massive thank you to everyone who has applied for a space at our Dorset Team Christmas Fair so far. There is just 1 week left to apply to be a stallholder at this year's event.

This year we are very excited as, following feedback from both customers and stallholders at last years event, we will making this year's fair a two day event with the opportunity to apply to sell either day or both days. 

The event will take place on Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne.


For more information on the event and to apply please see our Facebook event page where you will also find the online application form : www.facebook.com/events/380837568923443/