It’s been a while since I’ve added some new items to my Etsy shop and today I’ve listed three new charms so I thought I’d share some behind the scenes steps I take for adding things including deciding on what I want in my shop, making purchases from suppliers, getting the charms or paper goodies ready to be photographed, editing the images and creating the actual listings.
These days, my most popular items are my charms so I mainly concentrate on these although I still have ring bound planner dividers, dashboards and page markers available to purchase. The charms I choose are mainly related to nature but I also select items which I think will be popular at the time or will be classics which I will have in my shop long term.
Ideas for charms can strike at any time so I make a note in my bullet journal daily records as soon as I can and then I transfer to a dedicated spread containing all of my initial ideas. Of course, not all of them come into fruition as I have to do a bit of research on availability. If I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I will just spend half an hour or so checking what my usual suppliers have in their stock – this is particularly easy to do on Etsy as new items of my favourite sellers are shown on my shop homepage without me having to do anything!
When I select and purchase items (after checking the photos and descriptions really carefully), I make notes on the key features of the charms in my BuJo e.g. size, materials, keywords to describe them etc. which helps me when I get round to listing them. I also write down the keywords I used to actually search for the products as this is gives me ideas for what to use in my listings. Finally, I note how many of each item purchased and total price including shipping so I can make an informed decision about pricing when I come to listing.
I usually photograph the charms and edit in bulk to make the process more efficient. Today I’ve photographed three charms and have taken at least 8 images of each in different orientations. I wait until the afternoon to do a shoot as the lighting in my living room is better then. I also need to wait for a day when it is fine but isn’t too bright so that I can get decent photos. I also need to get changed into a plain white or cream top if I’m photographing charms with them being highly reflective to minimise reflections on the silver or gold! ( I have a small collection of assigned photography tops for this purpose would you believe). The background of my charms is actually a laminate floor tile with a slate effect and I think it provides a good contrast to my charms and adds a nice bit of texture.
To minimise the editing of my photographs, I shoot (warning – technical photography speak coming up – please read as ‘shoot in a way that makes good photographs’ and move on to the next paragraph if you don’t wanna hear the specifics ha ha!) with the 4:3 aperture on my DSLR (as this is what Etsy wants the size of photographs to be) and try alter the F stop to a size which allows plenty of light to hit the lens but still allows the customer to see all of the detail in the charm.
I’ve got the listing process down to a fine art and my newer products are listed using a set template (which I have saved as a MS Word document) that doesn’t take long to edit for each item. The creation of tags is different for each charm and I need to think hard about what people might type into the search box if they were looking for a product like mine. There are programs you can use to help you but they cost money and I would rather not reduce my profits by purchasing one of them.
I tend to share my new products via Instagram and on my shop Facebook page but this is something I need to become more consistent at. I’m not so good at advertising my things and tend to rely on customers searching for them on the Etsy App rather than showing people my products. I need to work on my social media presence and will probably add a target to my business goals for next month.
As you can see, there’s lots involved in running an Etsy shop if you want good photographs of items that sell. When I first began as a seller three years ago, I thought it would be quick and easy but it’s actually very time consuming. I’ve got quicker at doing things with practise but I still put lots of effort in each week. I have enjoyed having customers from all over the globe and it’s so lovely when they come back to my little shop again again so all the hard work is worth it.