Getting Started With Social Media


Today we’re going to start a new series: Working With Social Media. When it comes to social media, I think all of us are new-bies, just because everything is so new! Remember, it wasn’t very long ago that we couldn’t figure out how to change the ribbons in our typewriters, and now we can share information across the globe in a split second. Mind-boggling at the very least.

So, the first thing to remember is that you are not behind! Don’t feel like you need to catch up with anything, just jump in where you are. A little is more than you did yesterday, and a little more tomorrow will be more still. You will get there with everything eventually.

So, where exactly does one “jump in?” That depends upon what you sell, how you enjoy sharing, how social you want to be, and how much time you want to spend reading blogs and looking at other people’s stuff.

For this week, then, think about these things and make goals for where you want to be in these areas. Then, you’ll have your vision and we can learn together how to realize it.

Looking at these topics further:
1) What Do You Sell?
A product or a service? A “want it” or “need it” product? High dollar or micro sales? Very visual or more conceptual? Depending upon these factors, some social media outlets might work better than others. In some cases, you really have to put your thinking cap on to figure out how you can promote your items on some particular social media outlets. Some I haven’t figured out yet myself. So, I would pick one social media outlet at a time and try to figure out how you could promote your business on it. Look at what other folks do that sell similar items, and see how those strategies might apply to you. You goal should be to be fairly active in at least three. But work on getting just one started at a time! You’ll run yourself nuts if not. Don’t ask me how I know.

2) How Do You LIke Sharing?
Do you love to take pictures? Or would you rather write? Do you like to write a little or a LOT? Figuring out the way you love to communicate is the key to being consistent with it. Believe me, there’s a social media outlet out there for every kind of communicator.

3) How Social Are You? Or How Social Do You Want to Be?
Your followers will come to enjoy and even expect information from you. So, decide now how much time you’re willing to spend a day working on your social media outlets. That includes writing and planning your posts, but also looking and commenting on other people’s posts as well. Whatever level you decide and do for a little while, that’s what your followers will expect. Do any less, they’ll wonder what happened to you, or worse, they might think you’re fly-by-night. Do any more, well, they might think you’re bugging them and leave! So consistency is key, and you might as well decide now what your level of commitment will be. Like I said before, even a little is more than you were doing, so just do what you’re comfortable with.

4) How Much Do You Want to Engage Other People?
Decide now too how much time you’re willing to spend daily reading blogs, looking at Pinterest boards, Etsy shops, Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter feeds, and all the other stuff. You’ll get a lot of inspiration, make some friends, and read a bunch of stuff you could probably have lived without, but it is part and parcel of social media. If you want folks to interact with you on your social media outlets, you just about have to reciprocate. (This is a really hard one for me, so it’s kind of “do as I say not as I do” on this one, and on just about everything else social media-related. I’m still working my way through setting up my three social media outlets!)

So, that should keep you busy this week! I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. If you have tips on how you manage social media, I’d love for you to share that too. I’ll look forward to hearing what everyone has to say!

Until next week! Lisa

What is a Treasury, and How Can It Help My Shop?


What is a Treasury, and How Can It Help My Shop?

You’ve probably seen the treasuries on the home page of Etsy. You’ve also had people on teams ask you to like their treasury. You may have even been featured in one. So, what are they exactly, and more importantly, how can they help you grow your shop?

Etsy’s treasury feature is essentially a gallery of 16 items that the “curator” (i.e. the person who put the treasury together) has chosen to feature. The rules are that a curator can only feature one item per shop, and it is poor form to feature your own listing in a treasury. Treasuries can center around themes, holidays, occasions, or can even be part of a game on a team.

I know, you’re saying, “OK, if I can’t put my own listing in a treasury, what good will making one do me?” The answer lies at the heart of the way Etsy works. You see, treasuries give people an opportunity to look inside other shops that they might not otherwise. Many shoppers on Etsy just enjoy looking at things, and they buy when they see something they fall in love with. Treasuries offer them an interesting way to shop for things they love. Buyers can search for treasuries when they are looking for something specific. Curators can tag treasuries so that buyers can find the treasuries they want by their tags. So when your item is featured in a treasury, you have a good chance of reaching a potential buyer that you might not have reached in a traditional search. Essentially, treasuries are just another way to be found on Etsy.

Now, there are two parts to participating in treasuries: making them and being in them. Let’s talk about making treasuries first.

When you create a treasury, tell the people you featured that you featured their item and give them a link to go visit it. (Shmetsy is a great tool to use for this.) So that’s 16 people that get a convo from you. They feel so great that you featured your item. They go and favorite your treasury. They leave you a nice comment. Maybe they even share it on their Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Pin it on Pinterest. Everyone in their social media feeds says, “oh wow, what a beautiful treasury! Who curated this lovely piece of work?” Then, of course, you’ve put what you want to say about your shop in the comments so people can find you. Even if it’s only 10 or 20 people a week, that exposure could add up.

Now, the second part, getting in a treasury. How do you get in a treasury, then? One sure way is to be involved in a treasury-making team. Usually, team members feature each other in treasuries, and get to know one another in the process. How can that be an advantage? In order to make a treasury, a curator has to take a fairly good look inside your shop to find the right item to feature. If you are playing a treasury game weekly, you might have 16 people coming to your shop and taking a good look to find a listing they’d like to feature. That’s 16 people that might not have taken such a good look otherwise. Even if the curator doesn’t like or need your item, she has friends, and she talks to them. If those 15 people tell just one person a week about your shop, then, you’ve got some more people visiting you. The other advantage to playing regularly is that curators and team members get to know your shop throughout the year. If they see your items repeatedly, they are more likely to think of you when they need what you sell. Participating in the team’s discussions, or volunteering to help is even better. People begin to have several associations when they see your shop in a treasury, or your comment in a discussion. All of these factors add up to something that you can’t buy with advertising—a personal relationship.

What’s All this Favorite-ing and Hearting for, then?

The purpose of favorite-ing and hearting treasuries and all of the items is exposure. Every time you favorite a treasury, or an item, it winds up in the feed of everyone who follows you. That goes for everybody. So, if 20 people come and favorite your item, then it ends up being seen by the followers of 20 people. Go and look at how many followers you have. You can bet that lots of folks have more than you do.  That can add up to a lot of people!

So, by making treasuries, you have the opportunity to engage a small number of people in a big way. By being in treasuries, you have the opportunity to engage a huge number of people in a small way. You need a little of both for your shop to be successful.

That’s the nuts and bolts of treasuries. Take a look at the treasury teams out there and just jump in and play one. There’s lots of nice people making cool stuff out there. There are a few rules, so my next post will be more about the do’s and don’ts of making treasuries. Happy hunting!

(Some Of) The Basics of Facebook


The Basics of Facebook

Thinking about starting a Facebook business page? Or do you have a page that hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet? You aren’t alone! A Facebook page is pretty easy to set up, but it’s a little hard to get the hang of what you’re supposed to post there. So, here are some ideas and tips that might help you get started.


1) Stalk for A While
I did this before I set up my Facebook business page, or any pages for my customers. I probably looked at hundreds of business pages over the course of a year and a half. I tried to figure out what exactly they were doing that could be of use to me and my business page. Bottom line, I needed to be sure that maintaining the page would be worth my time. Would it make me any money, in other words.  So, have a look at businesses similar to yours. What do they do on their Facebook pages? Contests? Like and share promotions? Do they share fun sayings or memes? Do they post sales or new items? Do they have polls? Do they ask questions of their readership? Do they post coupons? Whatever they are doing, think about how that might pan out on your Facebook business page. Could you market your product that way? If so, give it a try for a while and see how it goes.

2) Please Keep it Positive—Be a Source of Inspiration, Humor and Encouragement
I can’t stress this enough!  Remember, your followers are watching; many of them see your posts, but they can also see when you post on other Facebook business pages. Make sure that you are positive and upbeat all the time.  I (used to) like a page on which the business owner would post how frustrated or disappointed she was with her vendors, her customers, herself, what a Negative Nancy! How depressing! I would rather have heard about her cool products—give me a coupon or show me something new, for heaven’s sake! Don’t tell me how awful everything is; I already know that. That’s why I was looking at her page—to forget how stressful and frustrating life can be sometimes. Instead, think of your followers when you’re reading blogs, or scrolling through your Facebook feed. If you see something you think your followers would like, share it over to your page. Don’t forget to wish them well on holidays, and take several opportunities a year to thank them for following you. You can offer Facebook fan only specials, or just say thanks every now and then.

3) How Often and How Much?
How often should you post? How much should you post? It depends upon what you sell and where you’re selling it. If you have a brick and mortar shop, I think you can get away with posting several times a week to a couple of times a day, provided that you have something relevant to say. For instance, you can invite them to stop by after work to pick up the cupcakes you just took out of the oven (of course you’ve taken a scrumptious-looking photo to show everyone how awesome they are.) You could announce that you just got something cool that everyone has been waiting for. That kind of thing. If you have an online store, I think it warrants a little less posting, simply because you don’t have the advantage of encouraging people to come into your shop and you don’t have the interaction with customers daily that would spur some good Facebook chatter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an active and interesting Facebook page. Try to think of ways to engage your followers at least on a weekly basis, beyond just posting new items that you’ve listed. As I said before, sharing content works well; as does asking questions of your followers.  (What should I make next? What do you think of the new Pantone color of the season?) Try different approaches and see how your followers respond.

4) Learn How to Use Facebook Insights and Monitor Them
Facebook has statistics software that can help you figure out what posts are the most effective. They even have a service where you can compare other pages to yours. Learn how to use their software and monitor it often. When you have a promotion, make a note of how it did, in comparison to ones you’ve done before. It won’t be long before you’ll know what works for your page.

5) Try Promotions
Give Facebook promotions a try. You can do your own, or you can use a service. You can have contests, coupons, like and share competitions, drawings for prizes, and lots of other crazy stuff. Again, be on the lookout for promotions you see on the pages you like, and adapt them to your page.

6) Be Consistent
However often you decide to post, make sure that you are consistent. Try not to post daily for a month and then not post at all for three. Your followers look forward to your posts so make sure you check in with them at least once a week. You can schedule posts in Facebook, so take advantage of that feature. If you have a weekly post of some type, schedule them in advance so you don’t have to remember every week.

7) Remember, They Followed You
Your followers chose to follow your page! The want to hear what you have to say. When you write posts, think about how what you say will affect them. Again, stay upbeat and positive. Make your followers excited to hear from you. Strike a happy medium between asking them for something (look at my new stuff, or buy this cool thing) and giving them something (here’s a funny picture, I thought of you guys when I read this article.)

Facebook is new to everybody. Businesses are constantly innovating, and Facebook itself is coming up with new ways to interact with people. Bottom line, though, Facebook is a way to communicate with current and potential customers. So, give it a try!

Shop Tags—What the Heck are They?!


Shop Tags—What the Heck are They?!

So, what exactly are tags, and how can you use them to your advantage in your listings? Tags are small portions of text that buyers are likely going to use to search for your item. In my case, a tag that folks would use to find things like I sell would be “Etsy Banner Set.” Try it out—think of a short bit of text, one or two words, that you might use to find your item. Do a search on that term on Etsy. What do you find? Did one of your items show up? A bunch of things similar to yours? That’s the idea. Putting tags in your listings make it easier for Etsy’s search engine to find your items and put them toward the front. Here are a few suggestions on good ways to use tags, and how to find good ones for your items.

1) Use Them All
Etsy allows you to use 13 tags, in addition to the categories that you have to put your item in when you list it. Use them all in every listing. Try using specific descriptions (shower gift) and broad ones (baby gift.) Think of other ways your item might be of use to buyers, condense that thought into a couple of words and use it as a tag. Try to think of what a buyer that needs your item would search for. Make them specific enough so that buyers won’t say “what’s that doing there?” (Use “green glove” instead of just ”glove.”) But don’t be so specific that no one would ever search for that term (“chartreuse glove.”)


2) Get Inspiration
Open up an Etsy window and put one of your tags that you’ve developed in the search bar. What do you see? Would your items fare well on the page? If not, keep looking for tags until you find a few that get results a lot like your items. Click on the listings in the top row and scroll down to the bottom and look at the tags. What are they using in addition to the one you chose? Would any of those, or a variation thereof, work for your item? Try them out in a few of your listings and see.


3) Pretend They Are in Front of You
Let’s say you were selling your item in a brick and mortar shop. Someone comes in and asks for “such and such” for her next event or occasion, or to go with her new clothes or furniture, etc. What does she say that you leads you to choose your item to show her? Condense that into a couple of words and use it as a tag in your listing.


4) Don’t Forget Holidays, Seasons and Events
If your item looks the least bit fall-ish, add seasonal tags to it. Do the same with other seasons. Don’t forget that it’s always summer (and winter) somewhere, so anything seasonal should have seasonal tags all year round. Remember to tag holidays too, if your item would be appropriate, including ones celebrated worldwide. Could your item possibly be a Valentine’s Day gift? Say so in one of your tags. I’m not sure this works as well with Christmas, just because everything just about could be a Christmas gift, but I think you can get mileage out of the other holidays throughout the year. The same goes for events and occasions. If your item could be a great gift for a Quinceanera, or a house warming, put it in your tags.

It takes time and diligence to get tags right, but they are worth the trouble. No one is certain exactly how Etsy’s search engine works, but tags are an important part of the equation. If you find a tag that really works and puts you on the first page of your search, congratulations! Be sure to keep checking that tag in your search to make sure it still is giving you the results that you want.

OK, go make some tags, I’ll wait here.


Listing Descriptions—What Do I Write?


Shop Descriptions—What Do I Write?

When it comes to listing descriptions, more is better than less. I know it is a pain to write about your piece. But how else will folks know how cool it is? Here are some ideas to get you started.

1) Pretend They Are In Front of You
Let’s say you were sell your item in a shop. Someone walks in, sees it, and asks you about it. What would you tell them? What would you ask them? (ALWAYS ask questions, right?) What would be the top three selling points that you’d tell the person about your item? Make sure those come first in your description.

2) Help Them Solve a Problem
How is your item going to be just the thing they need to solve their problem? After all, people buy stuff to solve some kind of problem they have, right? They buy the necklace because they need something to wear with their new sweater. They buy the hat because it’s 10 below in Minnesota and their head is freezing. They buy the toy because they need something to give their niece when she visits next month. They buy the soap because they stink. You get the idea.  You might have to ask and answer the questions for them, since they aren’t standing in front of you. You could say, “looking for that special statement necklace to wear to your class reunion? This necklace will turn everyone’s heads. Even the popular girls, and your old boyfriend’s!” Maybe that’s too much, but hopefully it makes the point. Get to the heart of why your customer needs what you’re selling, and then tell them why they should buy your item instead of the one they just put in their shopping cart.

3) Keep Instructions and Rules Simple and Positive
Nobody likes to be told what you can’t do for them. On the other hand, you have to clearly state what you can accomplish. Strike a happy medium by being as specific as you can about details and state them in the most positive way possible.

4) Find Your Voice—and Use it Everywhere
Let’s go back to your storefront again. You see customers you know come in every day. What do they think about you? Are they glad to see you? Do you treat them the same way every time they come in? Or do they wish the other lady was working today? Are you moody, negative and unhelpful? How about the new customers? Are they glad they came in? Does how you act and what you say have anything to do with that? Of course it does! So, how do we translate that into a shop description?  Etsy is a very social web site. People want to know the people they are buying from. They will buy from someone who is friendly and helpful, and that starts with your description. Let your personality come through. Again, pretend you’re talking face-to-face with your buyer. Engage them and charm them with your wit and personality. Then, once you’ve got a voice, use the same one in your convos, in your print brochure, on Facebook, on your blog and everywhere you are. Be positive, helpful, and informative. Having a consistent voice will really pay off in repeat business. Just like the folks who walk in your store and are glad to see you, your voice in your descriptions will make your buyer glad they stopped in to shop at your store.

OK, go work on those shop descriptions. I’ll wait.

Listing Titles–Are They Important?


Listing Titles—Are They Important?

Well, yes they are! You knew I was going to say that! Just like your lead photo in your listing, the first few words of your title need to be eye catching, interesting, and make folks want to click on your pair of earrings rather than the listing next to yours. How do you do that?! It isn’t easy, and what exactly you should write depends upon what you are selling, but I do have a few general guidelines to help get you started.

1) Tell It Like It Is
Have some words in your title that would be what people would search for when looking for your item. What does that mean? Let’s use the earring example—what would your title be? So, you’re going to put “earring,” for sure, right? But what KIND of earring? Dressy or casual? Drop or Post? Pierced or Clip? Gold or Silver? You get the idea. If you were looking for your pair of earrings, how would you describe it? You can also pick up clues from the Etsy search bar. Type the beginning of your search term in the Etsy search box–what comes up in the dropdown menu? Would any of those search terms work for your item? If so, try them in your listing title.

2) Get Inspiration
Go on and open up an Etsy window, and type the description you came up with in the search box. What do you find? Are the earrings in the same vein as yours? If not, keep trying until your earrings would hold their own in the listings you see. If so, have a look at the listings on the top row. What are they doing with their titles that you aren’t? Think of how you might apply some of what they are doing to your title. Don’t copy it, of course! Just use it as inspiration. Write a new title for your listing and try it out for a while. You might try several different titles for similar earrings and see which ones get you closer to where you want to be in your search.

3) It Can Be Long, You Know
There are some restrictions on what you can put in your title. For example, you can’t use punctuation, like exclamation marks and asterisks. Etsy just wants to keep it from looking like Ebay! Barring that, though, you can write quite a lot in your title. The limit of 140 characters is more than enough to say what you need to say. So, try using more words, more descriptions, more occasions, more materials, and see where you wind up in the search. For the “official” guidelines of what can go in a title, go here.

4) The First Three Words are Most Important
You’ve probably noticed that Etsy only allows visitors to see the first few words of an item’s title on the search page. Officially, it’s the first three words, so, make your first three words really count. Again, look at the leaders in your search and see what they are using. Adapt your listings to be similar. It’s a good idea to repeat your three keywords in your item description and in your tags, if they will fit.

So, go do that. I’ll go get myself a cup of coffee. Meet ya back here in a few.

Using Etsy’s Steps to Success


Etsy’s Steps to Success

You’ve made all of your cool things. You’ve taken pictures. You’ve written your descriptions. You’ve uploaded them to your shop. Now you’re saying, “people, **PLEASE** come buy my stuff!” Am I right? This series will give you some ideas, suggestions, of what to do next so people will indeed come buy your stuff.

Before we get started, let me remind you that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re shop can’t be either. The important thing is to make progress, however slowly, toward your shop, and it’s marketing, being the best it can be. It’s actually an ongoing process, always getting better. So, don’t panic! Don’t worry if you haven’t done some or any of these things yet. Don’t worry about last season, or any missed opportunities, or much of anything. Just jump in where you are and always look ahead to bigger and better things for your shop.

The first place I suggest new Etsy sellers go for helpful advice in marketing is to Etsy itself. They have fabulous support, with articles, guides, and most importantly, their Steps to Success. Etsy’s Steps to Success are a group of several things that Etsy has found that successful shops have and do. If you take the time to go through these steps, you put your best foot forward in Etsy. You can find the link to Etsy’s Steps to Success page in the Resources section of the links to the left of the page in your Etsy shop.

What are Etsy’s Steps to Success and why should you do them?

1) Photos
Bottom line, if your photo doesn’t stand out from the others on the page, you’re finished before you’ve started. Needless to say, eye catching photos are just as important in your other marketing—Facebook, promotional materials, and other social media.  I’m not a guru on photography by any means, so seek out the articles on Etsy that talk about photography. There are many great ones.

2) Stock Your Shop
Etsy suggests that you have at least 30 items in your shop. Why is that? Because the more items you have, the more you look like you’re in business. The more you look like you’re in business, the more confidence people have in you and in your product. Nobody wants to buy from a fly-by-nighter. Don’t let that be you.

3) Accept Credit Cards
Well, Etsy probably likes you to take credit cards through their system, of course. But there is some truth to it as well. Make it as easy as possible for people to spend their money in your shop. Offering both Etsy checkout and PayPal makes it easy for everyone to buy from you.

4) Connect With the Etsy Community
Joining a team (or multiple teams) may not seem like such a big deal, but it is absolutely essential. Teams are the Kiwanis Club (or Junior League, BSF, Faculty Women, PTA, and all the other stuff we join) of Etsy.  And, just like Kiwanis Club, you have to talk to people, mingle, be nice and friendly, ask people questions, and volunteer for stuff for people to really appreciate what you have to offer the team. Etsy is a very social place. Just like you do in your own town, people love to buy from folks they know. So, try out teams. You’ll learn a lot, and besides, it’s fun!

OK, so go do all of that. It’s OK, I’ll wait here.


How to Upload Your Etsy Profile Photo

Have you just purchased new Etsy graphics from me? Thank you! I’ll help you get them loaded into your shop! This article is about how to upload a profile photo. If you need to upload your Etsy banner, check out this post.

Step 1:

Go to the Etsy homepage and log into your shop.  Go to the “Your Account” link in the top right-hand corner, and choose “Public Profile” from the dropdown menu.


Step 2:

On the “Public Profile” page, your profile photo is the first section. Hit the “Choose File” button, and go to the folder in which you have your profile photo that you’d like to upload. In my sets, it is a file called “smallavatar.jpg.” Choose your file and click the “Open” button in the window.



Step 3:

Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the “Save Changes” button.




Step 4:

Your profile photo should appear in this spot after saving. . .


Step 5:

Hop on over to your shop and check out your cool new profile photo! You may have to hit your refresh button in your brower if you had your shop page already open.



And you’re done!

If you need help with your Etsy banner upload too, check out this post.

Need a new look for your Etsy shop? Let me give you a hand!

Check out my shop

Contact me

How to Upload Your Etsy Banner

If you’ve just bought a new Etsy Banner Set from me, thank you! I’ll help you get your new graphics loaded in your shop!

Step 1:
Go to, and log into your shop account. In the top right-hand corner, hover your mouse over the “Your Shop” link, and choose “Info & Appearance” from the dropdown menu.


Step 2:
Once on the “Info & Appearance” page, hit the “Choose File” button. That’s the second section, after your shop title and tagline.


Step 3:
A window will pop up, so go to the folder on your computer in which you’ve saved your new graphics, and choose the file called “banner.jpg.” Hit the “Open” button to load that file into your Etsy shop.


Step 4: — Very important!!
Now, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and hit the blue “Save Changes” button.


Step 5:
After you’ve hit the “Save Changes” button, your new banner image should appear in the space under the “Choose File” button.


Step 6:
Go to your shop (you can get there by clicking the small button in the navigation bar on the web site—it is a little square and it’s to the right of the heard-shaped favorite button) and view your new banner in all of it’s glorious beauty!


Drop me a line if you need help—of course, if you need a cool new Etsy banner, I’ll be happy to help!
Contact Me
My Etsy Shop