Friday, June 24, 2011

Feature Article by FreeHippie

I was hanging out in my Etsy Georgia Team forums and came across this great post by FreeHippie. Her work is pictured at the right.

The post that follows was written by her but I really wanted to share it with you all! I hope you like it and find something in here that will work for you!

""This isn't my first shop, though, it's my third. The second is totally targeted at one writer's fan base and doesn't count. But with my first shop I made every mistake, lol. I want to share what I've done with this shop for anyone this might help:

1. I decided on a niche (hippie) with low cost supplies (hemp, beads, etc) and products that I am fairly quick at making. Anything past your basic hemp items (like my hand stamped stuff) was me branching out, trying new things with the profits from my sold items.

2. Researched my competitors for all SORTS of things!

...A. to make sure my items were unique not just to me but different from them. If you had been watching my shop from the beginning you'd be amazed at the difference.
...B. To see what their price ranges were. Remember to check to see if they're selling anything or not.
...C. TAGS. I wanted to know how they tagged their most popular items. NOT to copy but to get ideas for my items. For example, I noticed many tagged not only their target markets but tried a few slightly outside their target.

3. I set a firm MINIMUM renew budget. I try renew everyday and more than once. My minimum was at LEAST three renewals a day on a day with no sales. This only totals to $18.00 for my main source of advertising. That is for a slow month. I have never paid this little. I tend to pay more around $30 a month (in renewal fees only) and that's $1.00 a day. People REALLY underestimate the power of renewing. Some people put their items up on their pages and don't renew until it's about to expire - or only renew once a week. Get your stuff OUT THERE!

4. Never renew all your items at once! Spread it out! For my minimum, I would renew in the morning, mid day and right before bed (sometimes midnight).

5. Don't just renew, branch out. Try different items, look at what is hot not just in Etsy but in fashion magazines and figure out a way that you could make your own version - with your own personal flair - in your store.

6. If something sells, try it again. If it sells again try it again AND try one more in another color. You may have a great repeat seller!

7. I Tweet (though I rarely advertise there anymore, it's more just a place to BE) have a blog, a Flickr account and Facebook page. I use all but I don't badger people with products, products, sales, "buy my stuff". I try to put content first, product second. SHOW YOU! Help your customer's see the "behind the scenes." I have sold things thanks to all of these and it's because I am ME, I am honest, I make my products interesting and my customers relate to me.

8. I've done Giveaways on my sites and with others. My tips here are:
...A. Make sure the blog is related to what you're selling.
...B. Make sure the blogger updates a LOT - at least 2 times a week.
...C Make sure they have a LARGE following and will do at least half of the promo work for the Giveaway.
...D. Make sure you can afford the Giveaway in the first place. I just wanted to let everyone see some of the "bigger", more helpful things that I have been doing. Thanks to Etsy I have been able to pay most of our bills, keep food on the table and survive during the unemployment of both myself and my husband! YAY!""

Thanks to FreeHippie for letting me share this info. Be sure and click on her shop name above to find out more about her.

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