Staying Productive During a Pandemic

Photo by KYLE CUT MEDIA on Unsplash
The world is in turmoil. A virus has people afraid for their health, their families' safety, and their ability to survive.

Unfortunately, it's bringing out the worst in a lot of people.

The government has told the country to socially distance itself while it tries to manage the situation. And, many people have gone overboard, buying up things like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants.

While I'm not out over-shopping and hoarding essentials, I'm working on my shop and learning all I can about how to run a successful handmade business.

If you're like me, you may be thinking, What's to learn? You just make something, upload it to the website and set a price. Oh, but you'd be wrong. There's so much more to learn.

Photography Matters

Apparently, a photo can make or break your listing.

I can see where that's true to a certain degree. But, I don't agree that a listing needs magazine quality photos to sell.

Since I take photos with my phone and upload them to the mobile app, I try to get the best angles and depth. One thing I do need to do, however, is get a consistent background going.

There's one jewelry artist who's photos are stunning. I aspire to those kinds of photos. But, for now, I have to use what I have.

Etsy has a guide on product photography, but it's vague and doesn't go into detail about anything. I'd use a lightbox, but I think a plain white background might be boring to look at.

So, for now, I'll upload what I have and update photos as I acquire better backgrounds and props.

Listing Titles Aren't Complicated

When creating listing titles I describe exactly what the product is.

While naming a piece is a popular practice, I don't name my pieces and expect people to find them. I'd have to be pretty full of myself to think someone would be searching for the item by its name rather than by what it's made of.

Listing titles like, "Julia Necklace" and "Kelsey Earrings" don't do anything for people who are looking for specific metals, stones or combinations of the two.

For example, I have a set of earrings made of freshwater pearls and sterling silver. If my listing title was "Hoity Toity" the searcher would have no idea what the hell I was talking about. So, I list them as "Sterling Silver Freshwater Pearl Earrings." It's simple and accurate.

I can get fancy with the name later, inside the description as I discuss the item and why anyone would want to buy.

You Need a Banner to Be Taken Seriously

Etsy shops need a banner to look professional. Or, at least that's what I've been told.

I don't know about that, but I do know it makes the shop page less boring to look at. Without a banner, the shop is just a white page with a bunch of items and prices on it. It's pretty plain.

The banner doesn't have to be overly-designed. Mine is a script-type font on a black background with simple images on each side of the shop's name. It works for the time being. It's actually the same banner as on this blog.

When I turn a profit on my items, I'll upgrade to a more sophisticated banner. 

Branding Has Something to do With Success Too

Okay, don't get me wrong. I know how branding can benefit a product/company.

But, it's hard to establish a brand when there have been no sales, yet. I do use Instagram, and I really need to update my YouTube. I'm considering just incorporating Gio and Grace into my Creatively Yours YouTube channel. But, I know that there are lots of people who run 2 channels, and maybe Gio and Grace needs it's own?

I don't know yet. It would be a good idea to do a few tutorials on how I make my jewelry, or a behind the scenes, or something. I'll see.

What do You Think About All This?

Since I'm so new at this, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Are you an Etsy seller? A customer? 

What do you look for in an Etsy shop, a listing, a product? How does a seller grab your attention?