Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Networking (#3 How to Market Your Brand Online)

How do you network online? There are many ways to network online so I will be breaking up this article over a few posts yet to come. Firstly I’ll start with blogging, since well… you are on my blog reading this! I would love comments from fellow sellers on how they are making their blog work for them so please leave comments!

I have just gotten into blogs (as you can see). I love to write articles that can benefit other sellers or buyers online.

On my blog you will find now (and in the future):
  1. Marketing Articles
  2. Interviews with Sellers & How they do Business
  3. Featured Sellers
  4. New Products
  5. Treasuries of Favourite Items & Sellers
  6. Giveaways & Competitions
Here are some tips for fellow bloggers or those of you who may be thinking of starting one. 

There are plenty of free blog templates online for you to look a little different. It doesn’t take too long to work out how to use them. What is great about blogs is that you can get one for free and use pre-designed templates without having extensive HTML coding experience (phew!). One thing I did encounter with is some of the free templates were created in Word Press and aren’t compatible so they will have tabs at the top of the page like ‘home, contact, products’ but these wouldn’t work – so be mindful of that when testing and choosing templates. It took me a few goes to get one I like the look of and that is functional.

I started many years ago on just writing a general diary of my daily events, they were pretty funny too because it was all based on customer service and the people I encountered… the weird and wonderful… Now I decided that I needed to get back into the blogging realm to boost my brand name on google searches and get more fans of my product! Blogs are great for your product launches, new ideas etc

Your number of followers isn't the end of the world. I never stressed about how MANY people I had following my blog, it’s more about quality… about promoting to others that can relate to your brand and products and making new friends internationally.  Recently I decided to up my followers and I did this by putting a post in the Etsy forums to find new crafters and I followed their blogs too, this was successful as most of you who may be reading this followed me from exactly that. Follow Others – find blogs that interest you by searching the web on a topic or posting in a forum.  Follow others and make comments on posts you like!

You need to have interesting content in your blog otherwise you won’t get anyone reading your blog. Offer something more than your normal website offers so people have a reason to check it out! (personal profile, other sellers, hints and tips, videos, giveaways etc).

Not everyone wants to hear solely about what YOU sell, feature some of your favourite sellers and spread the word. People appreciate new insights and new finds.

One downside of a blog is that not everyone has one, so can’t follow you or don’t know what to do to sign up.  This is where social networking is great to target other markets that may be missed via the blogosphere! My next article will be on these networks…

I love this idea from Secret Safe Books, takes me back to my childhood and wanting to find secret passageways in houses and finding new places to hide my diary! Check out her Etsy store.

Loving Florence & The Machine!

If you haven't heard of the band yet, I suggest you have a look into them. She has such a beautiful voice. Very inspirational for while I work...

My Favourites are You've Got the Love and The Dog Days Are Over

Monday, 29 March 2010

New Feather Earrings!

I went a little design mad over the weekend and came up with these little beauties... hope you enjoy! I have added the Tribal Blue & Brown Feather Earrings to my Etsy store... the rest very soon!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wonderful Insights from a Secret Seller!

I have been trying to find out the secrets to Etsian success and I came across Secret Jewellz

Kathy was very supportive and has provided some valuable insights... Here are a few Questions and Tips for sellers.

Might I also add that Kathy has some fantastic pieces in her store at great prices and has really nailed it with her Banner - it is branding at it's best!

How long have you been selling on Etsy and how long have you been selling in other areas?
I've been selling on Etsy for a bit over 3 years now. I have also sold at my local market for 2 years at the same time I started Etsy. I have been on MadeIt but only list a few items now and again. 

Is this your full time job or a hobby?

This is a hobby but can border on full time at certain times of the year such as at Christmas time. Although I have a big once a year sale which I start in September and everything seems to snowball from there. 

Describe your typical day/week relating to your business 

Typical day for me is checking my shop first up in the morning for convos and sales. Checking also to see if the sold item is my stock pile or needs to be made up. 

If I am doing a new listing a lot of my time is spent trying to take a good photo. I can take up anywhere up to 15 photos choosing different backgrounds and then making my choice.

I love to use Flickr and think that good photos are really important when selling an item online. 

Also sometimes I like to make up a little story or give a sentimental and meaningful description with some of my pieces. Customers have told me that they have bought a item because of the little story or sentimental meaning of a piece that I have written. So I feel like I have made a piece that means a lot or has some sort of attachment to it and has really made me feel good about what I do.

When things are slow I play around with my supplies and see what new ideas I can come up with. Sometimes a messy table can be a good thing. Although at some stage when I look my work bench and can't get anything from it I clean up.

I belong to two street teams on Etsy. The DUST (Down Under Street team) and EUFAG (United Filigree Artists Guild). 

What do you think makes you stand out when customers purchase from you versus your competitors? 

I think that my brand stands out. I love doing things that are a bit quirky and different. I have been fortunate enough to also have wonderful people who blog about my jewelery and also being in treasuries. I try to do the same for other sellers also. 

Do you have the same or better success elsewhere? 

I have to say Etsy has been the most successful selling venue for me. I am addicted to it and have always amazed at what I find there.

Are you a buyer and seller on Etsy or just a seller? 

I am a buyer and a seller. I love the supplies section and have also purchased gifts for family members and things for myself. Lately baby oriented gifts from Aussie sellers on the dust team have been my recent purchases.

Do you heart other sellers and if so why? 

Yes I heart lots of sellers and items. If something catches my eye which I love I will heart it be it from a competitor, supply seller or other seller. I just love to admire a lot of things and it never ceases to amaze me the wonderful talent on Etsy. 

Any general tips you have come across for fellow sellers that you may want to share…
Believe in yourself and your product. Enjoy doing what you love. Step back sometimes if you have too. Don't be too hard on yourself. 

If you want something badly enough it will happen. Hard work and consistency. It takes time to build a good customer base. Give the best customer service you can possibly give. 

Try new techniques to keep your store fresh and full with different types of things. Variety is a good thing. As an example I have started teaching myself how to do metal hand stamping. A whole new world has opened up there to incorporate that into my work.

If you would like to view Kathy's Store - visit Secret Jewellz

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

Welcome to my brand new topic! It's all about sellers helping fellow sellers!

I will keep this post going so long as there is an interest.  Do you want me to help you with product ideas and marketing your craft online?  

In return all I ask is that you pick a fellow seller you admire and post a suggestion for improvement on your blog... keep the thread going!  Just link it to my blog so I can see too.

Here is an example.

I absolutely adore these pencils by Missisaau

I love her creativity and my one suggestion would be considering packaging as part of the product. I would love to be able to buy pencils in a pencil pouch, since I'm an artist and love to be neat!  Maybe pairing your items with a seller such as Henry & Zoe as a special offer or even as a giveaway or craft swap.

What do my fellow sellers think? And would you like to contribute as well?

Monday, 22 March 2010

My Treasury made it to the Front Page of Etsy!

Very Excited to announce that my Treasury was on the front page of Etsy! Unfortunately my product wasn't but I am very happy that I got my fellow sellers up there... Here is the screenshot

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Worldwide Cherry Collection!

Well I have been waiting for a Treasury on Etsy for some time now and thought bugger it - I'll just add my favourite items on here!

Cherry Inspired from across the globe!

Column 1:
Noogal Creations "Cherry Delight" - Please Eloise "Juicy Red Cherries" - Sweet Berry Bird's "First Cherries" - Merritt Hyde "Rustic Cherry Metal Painting"

Column 2:
Spice Rack Designs "Perfect Circle"My Very Button "Retro Yummy Cherry" - Tzaddi Shop "So Very Cherry"

Column 3:
Zara Carpenter "Very Cherry Baby" Cozzy Cottage "Yellow & Cherry Dish Towel Set" - Art Essence "Organic Still Life Cherries" - Atlantisak "Merry Cherry"

Monday, 8 March 2010

Product Development (#2 in How to Market Your Brand Online)

  • Make Something you Love & Have a Strong Theme or Brand
Every seller goes through stages of ‘finding’ themselves and I think the best way to see this is through their products. I started off making general beaded jewellery and needed to find my niche in the market… then I did through Feathers and Origami! I also find I am attracted to sellers that make unique pieces that I couldn’t normally find in shops, or quirky ideas that make you think ‘Why didn’t I think of that!?!’

The hardest thing for me (and I’m sure a lot of fellow creators) is to know what areas you are going to specialise in. I have seen a lot of forums that dabble in ‘is my shop confused’, and to be honest most aren’t confusing as the seller’s style flows through the shop.  Just because you have a lot of different products (pillows and scarves) doesn’t mean your shop will be too confusing for buyers.  If you have a ‘theme’ or ‘sense’ about your creations it won’t make much difference what you sell so long as that remains the same throughout.

I have thought about product expansion a lot lately.  I like making earrings but also like making hair accessories and with different materials (paper, feather, chain). In essence I am still keeping within the same category (jewelry and accessories) but sometimes it’s hard to know what to focus on or what will sell the best! 

Here is an example of having a strong brand and being able to use this across various mediums - Prints, Dolls, Paper Goods & Accessories! 

  • If Possible, Incorporate Seasons & Events into your Pieces
Rather than following trends, why not follow seasons and events and work these into your pieces? I have found this works really well for sellers. For example having Halloween themed products in October or Green things for St. Patrick’s Day. Your chance of being picked for the front page of Etsy and on e-newsletters increases as well as searches for these products by customers.

  • Be a Specialist in Your Chosen Category
I also really like sellers that specialise in one particular item. If you are onto a good thing… just focus on that and don’t try to dabble too much into other areas.

Another area that seems to do well online is wedding products.  There is always a market for weddings so designing elegant jewelry, hair accessories and even wedding invitations usually work very well. 

Here is an example of being a specialist in a chosen area.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Pretty Pin Up!

I am so glad I stumbled across Joolz by Airdrie!

Airdrie designs and makes all her own jewellery and I just had to give a shout out to her because I absolutely love anything Pin Up inspired and her latest creations are amazing! I can't wait to get hold of one...

"I love playing around with eco-chic ideas, and my faves in the new collection are pieces made using recycled materials including vintage playing cards, old kid's toys and recycled umbrella silk. You can check out the new collection at" Airdrie

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

March Promotion!

Purchase from my March Promotion section on Etsy to get a FREE set of Feather Earrings!

Tell your friends!

Lampwork Fun!

Brand New, Just created... my Forest Fantasy Bracelet...
Handmade with Australian Lampwork Glass Beads - 4 focals, 2 etched.
I would love opinions on this style of bracelet...