504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Katie Did It Shares Etsy Tips!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Katie Did It Shares Etsy Tips!

I am so pleased to have a guest blogger today...Katie!
She recently opened an esty shop and I thought having her share some of her experiences about that would be great (I have not taken the etsy shop leap yet!). So here is Katie to share some of her tips.

Hi there! My name is Katie, and I blog over at Katie{Did}It.
I am STOKED to be here at 504 Main.
I love this blog, and Holly is super sweet!

So, how many of you out there have been thinking about starting up your own small business, such as an Etsy shop? First of all, good for you! It takes a lot of courage to put your product (you) out there. You really have to push that fear of failure aside and just go for it. I recently opened my Etsy shop, but it was only after weeks of fretting about whether or not I should do so, that I actually did it. I just kept thinking to myself, well, what if no one likes my stuff? What if no one buys anything? And then I will have to close down the shop, and it will all have been for nothing.... And that's something we all must face. But one of the things that I've learned is that there is always someone who will like your stuff. Now, does that mean that you will be uber successful and sell lots of stuff? Not necessarily.

I participated in my first craft show in May, and that's really what gave me the final push that I needed to open my Etsy shop. The craft show was small and was held at a friend of mines house. I had a nice little inventory of stuff, and I decided that with what I had made for the show, I would put in the shop as well, to start things off.

First things first, you need good pictures.
Of course. If your pictures are sub par, it is less likely that they will be clicked on when they pop up in someones search. And that's what its all about. Views. Just like your blog, views are the key. A high amount of traffic leads to a higher potential for customers who will actually buy what you are selling. I opened up shop with the pictures that I have now, which are not bad, but are not stellar either. They're somewhere in the middle. I am in the process of upgrading them as we speak. You don't have to be a professional photographer to have great pictures. Its all about the details. Here are some of the things that I have learned about taking good pictures:
~ Lighting is key. You don't want your pictures to be too dark, and you don't want them to be washed out. Use indirect natural light.

~ Edit your pictures. Cropping your pictures is one of the best things that you could do. It allows for a closer view of the product, and cuts out any distracting or unnecessary background "noise".

 ~ Take a picture of your product in use. Are you selling clothes? Put them on a person. Selling picture frames or hanging frames? Put a picture in them and hang them or put them in a place that you would use as decoration so the buyer can really picture how it might look in their home.

Those are a few things that can really help take your pictures to the next level, and help you get more listing views.

The next things isdon't wait to open your shop just because you don't have "enough" inventory. If you only have a few things to start out with, that's OK. Go ahead and list them and get them out there! I know Etsy says to list at least 8 things so that you have a better chance of making a sale. But meh. Just do it.

Don't price your items too low! For realsies. I know that you may feel like you need to price your items according to what other people are selling theirs for, but that's not true. You will never "price yourself out of the market". If some one wants to buy your product, they're going to buy it. That is that. Plus, you have to make sure that YOU are getting paid. You are not a factory that can crank items out one after the other. You make each thing, putting in your time, effort, and love. And at the end of the day, you need to make sure that your cost, labor, and overhead are taken care of... But that can be a whole other topic...

Don't get discouraged. Its very easy to get down in the dumps pretty quickly, but don't. Give yourself some time. Just because you aren't selling things left and right a week after you open shop doesn't mean that you wont, or that you've failed. I'm sure there are some people out there who open up shop and having booming business right away. And I KNOW there are others out there who open up shop and go months before making their first sale. The point is, it doesn't happen the same way for any one person. Put some effort into promoting your shop and your items, and give it some time.

These are just some things that I have discovered on my road to opening my Etsy store. I have lots more of that to share, and will be doing so in a little series over at my blog. So stop by some time and check it out!

Now on to the really good stuff...
A Giveaway! Yeah!

Patriotic accessories - for your house or yourself, are always in season!!

I offer custom photo canvases in a variety of sizes.

I love little girls headbands and have a Couture line as well as an everyday line.

These fun solid wood picture blocks are great for displaying your photos or even recipe cards!

This large stacked wooden frame makes a great statement piece, and would be really fun on a gallery wall!

I love wreaths.
Correction, I have an addiction to wreaths, and make several different kinds.

Thanks to Holly for having me here today!

Stay Crafty My Friends...

winner is Sally!
The GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Open from July 18, 2012 through July 23, 2012
U.S. Residents/Mailing Addresses only
Winner selected at random

As for the giveaway, I will be offering a $20 credit in my shop! Woot Woot!

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Thanks Katie -  such good advice! Be sure to say hi to Katie!

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