Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marketing Strategies Critique: TerrBear37

Our critique today is for TerrBear37. The theme is marketing strategies. Please post your feedback in the comments!


  1. This is a great picture

  2. I have to do this in 2 parts. So Sorry! :)

    I said I would take some time to look over your different sites on Etsy, blogs, social media, etc. because I firmly believe marketing your shops is more than just selling your items, you're selling yourself as a creative individual. I also feel that those sales can be made by connecting to your buyer.

    I would consider rearranging the shop announcement just a tad. By looking at your banner, I can already figure out your name, if that is what you'd like people to know, and I would also move the "Thanks for stopping by" blurb to the end of that paragraph. It seems to me that all the SEO friendly keywords start in your third sentence and I would want to move those as far to the beginning of the paragraph as I possibly could.

    I think the one thing that jumps out at me the most in regards to your item listings is that your descriptions pretty much give a physical description of the item and that's it. I think what you need to do is figure out a way to connect the buyer with the item right off the bat. In particular, let's look at your Celebrate Card.

    You give a description, which is fine and all, and then you end it with "Great card to help celebrate any occasion. " If I were writing that description, I'd open my description with that last sentence and get the buyer's mind turned on to needing that item immediately. I'd also rewrite it so that the language is a little livelier and more active. For example: "A colorful card for birthdays, accomplishments, and other happy occasions, this card . . ." and then follow up with the description. This also makes it a little more SEO friendly by using important words that quickly describe your cards. If they're reading your description, they've already clicked on it and can see what it looks like. It's up to you at this point to convince the buyer why they need the card.

    I think this concept - connecting with the buyer - could be applied across all promotional venues in some way. Connect to their needs, be it through function (like a card for birthdays) or through emotion (like a vintage style card that may stir up childhood nostalgia).

    Don't hesitate to mention what inspired you to make the item. Was it a color you saw? A funny phrase? A dessert you tasted? Little things like this make you and your items a little more personable and help your buyer think "Oh, I can relate to that".

  3. Part Deux - Blogspot said my post was too long!!!!

    BLOG/Facebook/Social Media
    Emphasis on the importance of language

    Whether we like it or not, what we say in our social media outlets reflects on us AND our business.

    For the sake of time, I mainly focused on the first page of your blog.

    The first thing I noticed were the connotations that opened up your first blog post. When I scanned it, the phrases "winter", "yuck", and "weather sucks" jumped right out at me. I think, also, you opened a couple of the next few blog posts with "I'm sorry". Why the apologies? Etsy, homeschooling, nails, a family, and who knows what else. You're a busy person engaged in lots of things. There's no need to apologize for that.

    Now, I can't tell you what to write - free country, free speech and all - but I'm just hoping to emphasize how language and its' nuances can influence how we as a business and representatives of our business are perceived. People read between the lines whether or not they realize it. You kinda have to step outside yourself and look in.

    So what's a girl to do? Make lemonade. And if the lemonade needs a shot of rum, then bottoms up! Weather sucks? "Looks like Old Man Winter is keeping me home today . . .". Busy? "These past few days have been flippin' nuts! BUT, I'm glad I finally get to tell you about . . .". Have a new listing? "Check out my new listing. I love how it turned out"!

    It's really about learning to put a fun, positive, cute, snarky, humorous, or energetic spin on things. Emote. Be yourself. When you put a little bit of yourself in your words, people will start to relate to you. It's a little foreign at first but, like tying shoes, it comes with practice.

    Emphasis on "Fresh"
    One thing that I think all shopkeepers need to ask themself often is this: What Am I Doing to Keep Visitors Coming Back to my blog/shop/fan page?

    Do you offer interview or spotlight opportunities? I know when I'm featured, I tell the whole world. Treasury, interview, it doesn't matter. Item mentions you think are cute or interesting? Do you do weekly Etsy wishlists? This doesn't require a ton of time and I often let a shopkeeper know if I mention an item on my fan page. Even if they don't join your fan page or follow you otherwise, you've at least made a positive connection with another seller. That kind of networking is never a bad thing.

    Etsy bloggers do these things because it brings eyeballs to their shop or blog. They know other Etsy sellers have buyers, too. When you mention their blog to your network, it opens up a boatload of prospective buyers for them. You can use this to your advantage as well.

  4. Ok, make that three parts!

    I know you had a specific request for price critiques, but to be honest, I don't know what you put into your items in terms of cost or what you pay yourself to cover your expenses. Frankly, if you can connect to your customer, motivate them to buy your item, I don't think price is an issue.

    A few weeks ago I mentioned via e-mail that I had a $10 card that I sold. I also had a more elaborate $15 card. Got tons of views and hearts, but no sale on Etsy. An Etsy admin told me that she thought my item was more like an art piece and she thought no one was buying because it was underpriced. I thought "What the heck. I'll raise the price again because I can always bring it back down." That following weekend I sold that elaborative piece at a craft show for $25.

    My husband works in retail sales and has consistently been a top 5% performer for his very large employer in the past decade. Whenever I come across these same issues, I value his opinion.

    When I asked him about item prices in his tech-related store, what he told me was that, among other things, pricing is often indicative of a manufacturer's confidence in an item's ability to sell. The products that aren't so great tend to be priced lower so that they can move it off the shelves.

    He advised me that when I priced my items to price them slightly above where I feel comfortable selling them. I could always come down and, if I do have to come down in price, I can still feel good about the sale.

    I hope this helps somehow. I'd love to say "Go Higher or Lower", but I inevitably can't. Only you know how much time and love went into each creation.

  5. Jen - excellent points! Excellent observations. Some very good things to think about for all of us.

  6. Jen, if you ever want to critique my shop, have at it! You've included an amazing number of tips and really went deep on this!

    Okay, back to Terri!

    Nice shop! Colorful banner which tells us what you sell.

    We all know that you've been working on your photography and I can really see the difference! Great! I hear that's often the top tip of etsy sellers: good photos!

    Pricing seems just about right to me -- you should probably know better if you're making money at these prices, with the costs of your materials, etc. And don't forget to pay yourself too, at least minimum wage!

    You're starting to get so many cards that it might be time to separate them out into separate sections -- you don't want to have so many items in one section that you overwhelm people.

    I was looking through your cards to see if I could suggest different subcategories for your cards and noticed that most of your cards are blanks, which is fine, but I wonder if you might throw in some more event cards, like birthday or anniversary, etc? Often when people need a card, they're looking for something like this. Just a thought. Then you can have a "blank cards" category and a "birthdays" and other categories.

    That's all I notice at the moment!

    Good luck!