Sunday, February 20, 2011


TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS TEAM CHALLENGE: FOLLOW THIS LINK: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7978/etsy-entrepreneurs/discuss/6787871/

Team Challenges are designed to help ALL of our members increase exposure to their shops and increase sales. Our team have new members enrolling everyday, so I have to design the team challenges in series of lessons. That way, the new members will not feel like they are falling behind. They can follow and catch up to the rest of the team by simply following these lessons in order. This is the 1st lesson so we all have a fresh start. Ok, here we go....

Starting a business is a difficult challenge and it is also an art. As business owners, we have to wear many hats and have to be a jack of all trades. I know how overwhelming it can be to start a new business venture. Even if you are not a new business, you can still benefit from our team challenge business series of lessons. The market is always changing so you have to make sure that you are adapting to the changes each season. Plus, there are always something new out there to learn. Now, since there are so many topics and lessons to cover, and each of our members are on different growth level of their business; I have to make sure that we are ALL on the same page so that we can move along together.

Now, keep in mind that we all have different business needs. So if the lesson does not pertain to you then you have no homework for the week. Treat these lessons like your weekly homework. Each week, you will be assigned new homework assignments. Your reward at the end of the semester (lesson series) is to see growth in your business and sales.

First off, like I have mentioned earlier, to move forward together as a team, we cannot be doing random things here and there online or in forums. This is extremely non-productive. So to move our team along, I have to make sure that we are ALL on the same page and we will be starting off our Team Challenges on a level playing field. That way, we will ALL be able to grow together. Even if you think that the lesson pertains to you, please don't discount the lesson entirely. Before you decide that the lesson is not advanced enough for you, please give it a try. There is ALWAYS something that you can improve on because the market is always changing.

LESSON ONE: Store Makeover
1. Make sure that you have a cohesive theme and look throughout your store.
1a. Make sure you have a banner with your store name and logo
1b. Make sure you have an eye catching avatar
Your Avatar should be something interesting. It should be eye catching. It should make you want to click on it if you see it in a forum, chatroom, or facebook.
It could be your best selling item. Something that screams You. I see some people putting their picture up as their avatar, but let me ask you this question: If you see someone's picture in a chatroom or forum, would you click on it? Does it catches your eye? Does it stand out among the thousands of other images online? Does it tell others what you are selling? Does it represent/fit in with the theme of your shop? Now do you see my point. It is up to you if you want to use your own picture as your avatar, but I do not think that it is a good idea.
1c. Make sure you have set your store policies: including Returns and exchanges. Many people do not have a return policy in place and then when something goes wrong, then it's just a big mess because you did not state your terms ahead of time. Your store policy is a place where you can state your store terms and what your customer should expect from you and your shop (especially if something were to go wrong). And it is where you can lessen your liabilities. You should state a clear return and exchange policy. Also include shipping and insurance info here too. Just in case, if something were to go wrong, you would be covered if you state it beforehand in your store policy.

2. Take Great Photos
Good photos are not enough...it must be GREAT!
Online shoppers do not have the luxury of feeling and touching your products in person. So your job is to be able to do that for them. You should create an experience for your shoppers by the way you portray your products. Suggest how it is used, but don't just say it, show it with pictures.
2a. Lots of lighting (use natural light, no flash).
2b. Use light color background
2c. Do not use distracting props
2d. Ask yourself if you were in your shoppers' shoes, would you buy your own goods by just looking at the pictures? If you wouldn't buy it, then chances are your customers won't either.
2e. You do not need an overly expensive camera to take great photos. This is a secret, but some of the pictures in my shop were taken with my cell phone camera...can you tell which ones...exactly my point! A good source of natural lighting is the secret to taking great photographs.
2f. You do not need to be a professional photographers to take great photos. Just practice practice practice. Also, another tip is taking as many photos of 1 item will give you a better chance of getting a great photo out of the bunch. A professional photographer once told me that his secret to taking amazing pictures is to take as many of them as you can...you might be able to use only 40 photos out of hundreds. But 40 amazing photos is better than hundreds of so so photos. Do you see my point.

3. Lastly, make sure that all items in your shop follow the same theme and color scheme. When you open an Avon catalog or some other store catalog, all of the items look like they belong to 1 collection. There is no single item that screams, "I don't belong here." Now, make sure your shop is the same way. Your store is like an upscale catalog...now it is your job to stage your product and use the right color schemes (use a light color background for your photos)

4. Write a good description of your products. Paint a story. Suggest some uses for your products. Many shoppers might admire your products but they are only lookers and won't buy because they don't know what they will use it for. It is your job to consult them on what they should should it for. Lastly, answer this question for each of your products (in your customers' point of view): Do I have to have this item and why?

Alright...you are done! See that is not so bad!
Once you have completed this assignment, post your store here and we will critique your shop (optional). By posting your store below you are agreeing to have our members visit and critique your shop. Doing so is extremely helpful for our members who feel that they need a non bias opinion. Please remember not to take our critique personally...remember it is just business! Ok, now let's all have fun and help each other out!

TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS TEAM CHALLENGE: FOLLOW THIS LINK: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7978/etsy-entrepreneurs/discuss/6787871/

1 comment:

  1. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Norkki


    This is my first week as a new shop and a member of this team.. I would love to hear what you have to say about my shop and what I can improve. I am in many treasuries all ready and would love to start making sales! Let me know what you think of the shop.