Monday, February 7, 2011

PICK ME!! tips for increasing your Etsy treasury potential

Ever wondered why certain items or shops are featured in more treasuries than others. I have certain items in my shop that have been featured many times in treasuries, whereas others seem to be “treasury rejects”.

Of course the scientist in me is always looking for reasonable explanations..aka theories..why Etsy is the way it is. In unlocking the Etsy treasury code, I hope to propel myself AND my fellow team members to the upper echelon of Etsydom..front page. After all, front page, as well as treasury exposure translates into more sales.

(my most recent vintage treasury made for vestiesteam)

So here are some possible explanations and suggestions to help all of us to increase shop exposure through treasuries:

1. Take great photos: This is probably the single most important criteria for selection. Your pictures must be clear, and cropped correctly. I have struggled with this one since I opened my shop, and I continue to plod along in my attempts for improvement in my photography. Initially I fought the front page trends toward what I called “boring backgrounds”. I wanted “interesting backgrounds” that told stories, and reflected my personality..but in reality, like my wild random ADHD personality, my backgrounds were too busy and often distracting. Recently I embraced “change” to create a “unique look” which is more cohesive, calmer and more “treasury friendly”. My first commitment was to make a photography studio in our cabin. I now take most of my pictures there using natural lighting rather than flash. Granted I’m not a Zen master of photography quite yet, but I’m happy to report that my pictures are now featured in MORE vintage theme treasuries. Additionally, more people are adding my items as their favs and MOST importantly, I love my new updated look.

(natural light in my studio)

(bad flash, poor lighting, boring picture)

2. Photo cropping: I see some great items that I would LOVE to feature in treasuries, but what stops me is how the listing pictures have been cropped. Again, this is something I struggle with. Be sure that your thumbnail pics show the ENTIRE item, and that important elements of your product such as spouts and handles are not chopped off. Different angles are ok for showing different aspects of your product-but it makes me a little dizzy when I view a shop where photos tip back and forth at precarious angles.

(Bottles are HARD to photograph..this picture is a little dark)

3. Photography props: Props help create interesting pictures. Here comes the Scientist in me again-but for weeks I “studied” the vintage shops featured on FP. The data collected indicates that old books, lavender bundles, linens, animal figurines, dried flowers/weeds, wooden crates and old chairs were the most frequently used props.

(outdoor natural lighting)

4. Photography backgrounds: GO NEUTRAL..popular background FP colours are greys, ecru, taupe, natural wood and whites.

5. Do your research: Now I sound like a Science teacher, right? This may sound a little “over the top” but I devote a few hours a week to researching popular trends. After being in the antique selling business for years, I noticed that if I included items featured in Country Living magazine in a booth display, they sold. Currently, industrial vintage is HOT. Sign up for Etsy newsletters where they ‘share’ trends.

6. Critique: Swap critiques with a fellow team member or your Etsy bestie. I am SO blessed to have my best friend Anita from Rollinghillsvintage here on Etsy with me. She has been the best mentor for me as I work to improve my shop. She is honest, encouraging and knowledgeable. Both of us realize that our shops will NEVER really be perfect or done, but that they can always be better..and so can YOURS!

7. Use descriptive tags. I often create colour-based treasuries and will look for colours like "charcoal" or "mustard" rather than just grey or yellow. Include team info as a tag. This will help your team members find your items more easily too. Follow current Etsy trends for the month, and tag items appropriately. Don't forget to add "seasonal" appropriate tags.

8. Make a treasury to be in a treasury: I’m surprised when people say-thanks for putting me in your treasury-one day I’m going to make a if this is you, then let TODAY be that day. I’m about as “computer non-savvy” as they come, but luckily my daredevil nature pushes me to embrace NEW adventures. For me creating treasuries allows me to create, decorate, and explore a variety of textures and colours without making a HUGE mess like I generally make in my creations. Warning: treasury making is HIGHLY addictive.

Let’s not fool ourselves, Etsy takes a lot of HARD work, but when you make more trips to the bank..and you find your is SO rewarding. Embrace change!

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