Human Being No. 1: "Where did you get that __________? (Fill in the blank with whatever works best for you.)
Human Being No. 2: "I got it on Etsy."
This is bad. Very bad.
Human Being No. 2 doesn't even remember where they got that awesome thing or they are just really lazy.
Human Being No. 2 isn't promoting for you.
Human Being No. 1 is not going to search all over the Good Lord's creation looking for what Human Being No. 2 has.
Don't let this happen to you. Now, I'm not an expert on branding whatsoever, but I have been trying to step up my game. Most recently, I've purchased laser engraved acrylic charms for my bracelets. Why? Well, unless the customer carries around the tiny Ziploc bag with my information on it at all times, they probably aren't going to remember where they purchased their bangle from.
Let's back up a little.
What do you want your shop to say?
Branding starts right at the beginning. As soon as a potential customer visits your Etsy shop they should see consistency. Your Etsy shop should have some sort of a "vibe." For example, I like to think of my shop as classy, fun and Southern. My banner and shop name are consistent with those ideals. If you are selling skulls and motorcycle parts surely you aren't going to have a fluffy bunny as your mascot and the name of your shop isn't going to be something sickening sweet. It's gotta be tough. You don't want to throw off your customer. Personally, I would find it a little off putting. A shop with a bunny logo and a fru-fru name doesn't really sound like a place I would want to buy my motorcycle parts (if I had a motorcycle.)
A tagline is also something to think about. A tagline is a short phrase that sums up what your brand is and what you are selling. My tagline is "Sweet. Southern. Handmade. Style." It really sums up what my shop is all about. Originally, my tagline was "handmade greeting cards and gifts made with paper and love." That's a mouthful. Plus, I haven't made a greeting card in probably over a year. It just wasn't relevant anymore.
Who do you want to buy your stuff?
Okay, most likely, guys aren't going to shop with me unless it's for a gift. So, my target audience is definitely going to be women. Now, my pricing level is geared towards the lower end of the spectrum and this isn't because my items are of lower quality, it's because I don't like to price gouge people and my target audience is women who are looking for a bargain.
So, if you are selling skulls and motorcycle parts, your target audience and price points are going to differ from mine. Clearly, motorcycle parts are going to draw a different crowd and those sorts of items are more expensive. You have to reach out to those who you think are going to enjoy and use your product.
Why is your stuff so dang awesome?
Let's take a look at my expand and stack bangles . Of course, those women that I'm targeting could buy the well known Alex and Ani expandable bangles that every boho chic twenty-somethings have stacked halfway up their arm, or you can buy mine. My bangles are well made, they are made differently and they are unique. (Rarely, do I make the same thing twice.) Most importantly, they are less expensive but you get the same look for less. You can buy 2 or 3 of mine for the price of one Alex and Ani bangle. It's really a no brainer unless you really like well known brand name stuff.
Basically, you need to let your customer know why they should buy from you. This should be in every item description. What does the product do? How is it made? How will it benefit the purchaser? How will it make them feel?
You need one of them fancy picture things.
This is also known as a logo. What is a logo, you ask? It is one of those images that we get inundated with on a daily basis. Everyone knows what the Honda symbol looks like. What about the FedEx logo? Better yet, the Golden Arches of McDonald's? You see logos all the time. Create one that goes with your shop's ideals. Keep in mind the design and colors. That fictitious motorcycle shop that I've been referring to the whole time is going to have something dark and probably chrome. Mine? Right now it's a mint greenish color with doilies. The font is Learning Curve which I feel takes you back to a more simpler time when you were a kid. The items in your shop must reflect your logo and vice versa.
In order for all of this to pay off, you have to work it. You have to be the brand. Put that logo on everything such as business cards, a window sticker for your car, letterhead, email signatures, whatever you want! Also, use your own product! If you make jewelry, wear it. If you make dog collars, put it on your dog. If you sell baby booties, find a baby to wear them (but be careful with how you do that - moms are touchy. Ha!)
Earlier, I told you that I wasn't an expert on anything like this. This particular entry has taken me three or four days to complete - this was seriously the hardest blog entry. Ever. There is so much more to all of these little points but hopefully my little bit of advice will point your branding skills in the right direction to having a very memorable brand and Etsy shop.
So, the next time you sign into your Etsy, ask yourself, "Am I memorable enough?"
Good luck and God bless!
...until next time...