Thursday, June 24, 2010

A little Secret about Promoting

Yesterday I was talking to my sister about how to promote her Etsy Store. I had already given her a long list of ways to promote, including using facebook, twitter, blogging, giveaways and the Etsy forums (see the end of this post for useful links to these) which she is already doing.

My sister was asking if there was anything else she could do, and then it dawned on me that there was something else. Something that I had not ever really considered "promoting" as such, but it had definitely helped me become a relativity well known face on Etsy.

What is this secret you ask? Well, it is sharing tutorials and bits of advice... a just like I am doing right now. By giving back to the community you become better known and at the same time you are helping what I like to call your Etsy Karma. Giving your time to help others really is a reward in it's self, a little bonus is that you become known for being a helpful person, which can only help your brand.

"But what advice can I give?" You say to me "Everything has already been written! There are already loads of articles and blog posts about every aspect of Etsy and running a business"

Well yes, this is true! I am not certainly not the first to write articles on how to compile your Shop Policies, or how to make a light-box and edit your photos. But I did not copy these other authors (Plagiarism is a plague on the internet, please do not lower yourself to this level - people will be able to tell when the writing is not yours) I simply wrote from my own experience and understanding. I include things that I have discovered for myself, and share my knowledge in a way that I hope will help other sellers succeed on Etsy.

Still stuck? Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Choose a topic you are interested in. Readers will be more interested in your subject if you are
- Share tutorials on how to make things, use lots of photographs.
- Is there something you know that could help other Etsy sellers? Perhaps you found a useful website to help you collect together data, did you discover a clever way to pack shipping boxes faster? Share with your fellow sellers and they will remember you.
- If tutorials and blog posts are not your thing, is there something else you could do for the community? (this is why making treasuries is such a beautiful idea, you are helping others and boosting your Etsy Karma)
- Has someone asked you for help with something recently, or expressed a frustration that they don't understand an aspect of Etsy properly? Did you know the answer? This is a great way to find ideas on what knowledge you have to share.
- Did you spend hours trying to figure something out when you first started on Etsy? Share what you know!
- DO NOT directly copy other people articles or use their photos. Doing this and getting caught (and you will get caught) will only serve to make your store very very unpopular! The Etsy community does not take kindly to this kind of behaviour.

So there it is, a little secret that could make a big difference to your store and help others at the same time.


Here are the other links I promised:
Get the Etsy Sales you want:
Pimp your shop:
Places to promote:
Etsy forum threads on promotions:

Free Marketing course! This 5 day course is the BEST I have found yet:
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4:
Day 5:

Written by Anna from The House of Mouse

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stop saying you don't have a live model...

written by

You do. Yourself.

If you really want to show off your creations on a model, it may be time to put on your big girl panties and learn how to use the self timer on your camera.

Yeah yeah, I hear a cry of 'But I look terrible in pictures!'

Very likely you do - and that's because modeling is actually a skill, not a gift of genetics. Okay, it helps if you look like Kate Moss, but it isn't necessary in order to take a good shot of what you're selling. But I can assure you that even our dear Kate had to LEARN how to take a good picture. Just like how you learn to use your camera, you need to learn how to model.

They have classes at the big agencies for just this purpose. I used to teach one.

So here are some basic things you can master:

1) Nerves - nothing looks worse in a photo than nerves. One way I beat this is reminding myself that it's not about me, it's about the product. No one is coming into my shop to see how ugly/skinny/ridiculous I look, they're coming to see the clothes. Therefore I need to do my job to show off the clothes in the best way.

2) Angles - Y'know how we're always told never to shoot our product straight on and centre? Same with a person. Limbs bend in many different ways - use them.

3) Hands: One major thing that people have trouble with is their hands - usually the more you think about relaxing them the tenser they get, so try bending your middle fingers slightly - your hands will instantly relax and look natural.

4) Think about negative space - if your arms are straight down the sides of your body, you now look as wide as your body plus two arms. Do you want to look wider? Yeah, didn't think so. Aim to separate your arms from your body a little bit so your figure is visible. For example:

One arm is by my side, but held slightly away so there's space between my waist and my arm, the other is on my hip. Another point is not the break the 'line' of the outfit - always place your hand under the waist line slightly - not on it.

5) The most flattering pose is going to be one that makes your body look longer - there's a reason most models are very tall, clothes look better in photos on a long body type. However, if you're titch like me you can cheat. Check out my dear friend Alex in this picture:

See how her body makes an 'S' almost? I swear this looks good on everyone, the trick is to put all your weight on one foot and rest just the toes of the other on the floor, and move your shoulders off to the side without the weight.

6) Facial expression - forget the camera is there and think about something or someone nice - run a little day dream in your mind while the camera clicks. Looking off to one side is always gonna be more flattering than straight on:

7) Most importantly, learn to be self critical. That doesn't mean focusing on all the things you don't like about yourself - we all have issues with the way we look, but I promise no one is looking at your nose. Look at the picture as a whole, and decide if it's showing the PRODUCT to it's best advantage. Take lots of photos, you can always delete them.

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