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!