Check mini-guide below the alumni list. Improvements and suggestions for the mini-guide are greatly appreciated!
The Alumni Studios below have had their first sale!
(1) - This studio was a Gold Poll Topper
(2) - This studio was a Silver Poll Topper
(3) - This studio was a Bronze Poll Topper
(4) - This studio was a First Honorable Mention Poll Topper
(5) - This studio was a Second Honorable Mention Poll Topper
If you haven't already,
* if you are pro, become a member of the Shops with Less than (10) Sales Guild for that little extra boost for your first sales,
* join in Link Love to be seen outside ArtFire,
* post once a day in the Item of the Day thread under the Contests and Promotions area,
* whenever you get a chance, check to see if there are any threads you could participate in with a photo of one of your items,
* use the Feedback Forum to get help with your SEO if you don't see search engines coming in to your pages,
* and generally use every opportunity to be and to be seen as a professional seller (and if you are having fun while doing it, that's a Bonus!).
* The ArtFire staff have written an awesome step-by-step guide to being successful in an online business. Check it out: 45 Day Success Guide.
* Last but not least, find some quiet time and sit down and read through the links on this page: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=my_artfire&op=promote -- They are all very well written, and WELL worth it! Staff have recently started adding help topics here too, so please do check them out.
Wishing you all many more sales!
Thank you so much MV. My customer emailed me and said she found me through your forum post so I came looking. I didn't even know. Really made my day. Thank you!!
1. Haveyou set up with an eye catching avatar and banner that reflects thespirit of your shop? This is usually the first thing a buyer sees whenentering you studio. A well done look will make your studio invitingand welcoming to customers.
2. Do you have your shopannouncement, bio, policies completely filled out? Buyers want to shopsecurely and that doesn't just mean with their credit card. They wantto feel comfortable with who they are doing business with. Having thesefilled out completely will assure the buyer that you are serious andknowledgeable about your business and how you run it. It will put themmore at ease to see that you take care of the customer.3. Do youhave crisp, clear pictures? Remember that a customer can not pick upyour item and hold it and feel it. They have to get these impressionsfrom your pictures. You don't have to be the greatest photographer inthe world but try to aim to get the photos in focus as well as showingall aspects of the item. Use all the slots for photos if you need to. The more photos the more detail. You may want to get a full itempicture, close up macro shots of details and each component of youritem. You never want your customer to have to guess about a part ofyour piece. Your photos will improve over time as you become morecomfortable taking them and editing them. Use photo editing software totweak your pictures. There are several free programs that you candownload to help brighten, sharpen and balance your pictures for thebest results. Just play around with it and see what happens. It willcome easier in time so you know exactly what you need to alter to getthe best result.
4.Do you have descriptive titles? SEO is a hugepart in drawing customers from off site. It may be a tad daunting atfirst but it really isn't that hard once you understand the basics. Your titles and the first paragraph of your listing is what will getpicked up by searches. You want to list each item descriptive enough sothat when someone searches for keywords related to your item, it willget picked up. The more descriptive you can be, the better chances ofit being found. So use color, size, type, material, anything that is akey point of your item. The first paragraph should also containkey information about the product.5. Do you have a clear andinformative description? Just like with pictures, your description canplay a huge part in whether or not a buyer actually commits to buy. Youneed to be able to fully describe your item completely. Just as before,a buyer can not pick up your piece so you have to tell them about it. You need to relay the size,material, describe each component if youcan. The more information you give a customer, the more chance theyhave to really be able to envision the item. You want them to reallyknow for a fact that they want to buy. This means to give all theinformation that they need. Think about what you want to know about aproduct before you buy it and convert that into your own listings.
6.Are your prices reasonable? Think about the materials you used andremember that you are an artist. You don't want to undercut yourselfand give your hard work away. Each seller calculates their pricing adifferent way, so I can't comment on how you should price. However, Iwill say, think about what your goal is with you pieces. How much of aprofit do you want to make. Think about overhead, fees and anythingelse that will come out of that sale after you get paid. You might wantto start a book keeping track of you material so you know how much wentinto certain pieces so that you can at least make back the amount formaterials. In the end, the price is totally up to you just think aboutwhat you want to get out of it.7. Are your shipping pricesaccurate? Shipping can be a huge headache. The questions of do youwant to only ship domestic or worldwide, how much should I charge arethe most asked questions around. Mainly just because they are thehardest to determine. You have to think about buyers from othercountries that may look at your items and may not be able to purchasebecause of shipping. You can always take a package to your local postoffice and get a rate quote for a far country and that will give you abasis. Then you can set your shipping rate at that. Now if you arereally unsure about how your buyers will see that rate, offer to refundsome of shipping if it is more than US $1.00than what you have quoted. This is a great way to show your buyers thatyou care about them and you are not out to make a ton of money off ofshipping prices. It shows that you are being cautious but you will takecare of your customer. This can be a huge comfort to some.
8. Areyou using tags properly? Your tags are the keywords that are used tofind your items. Just as your titles, these keywords are a huge part inmaking sure that buyers can find you. Use any descriptive word thatbest describes you item. Remember, the more descriptive you are, themore your items will pull up in searches.
9. Do you have afull shop? All studios now have unlimited listings, utilize thoselistings and list, list, list. The more you have in your shop, themore chance you have to have a potential sale. Buyers want to be ableto browse a well stocked studio and decide what they want. Differentcolors, material and sizes are all a part of the buying experience. Make sure you have that option available.
10. Are you thinkingabout your target audience? In other words, who do you want to targetyour items to. Are there certain price ranges, styles and people thatyou want to market to specifically? This is a big part of helping youmarket your pieces as well. It will help in how and where you may wantto place ads to promote your studio.
11. Do you have a widevariety of items and options? This is for those that want to market toa wider range of people. This will give buyers a good wide choice ofwhat they want to buy. These options will usually keep a buyerinterested in your studio and the longer they browse, the higherpossibility that they may find something that they want to buy.
13. Are you blogging? Blogging is agreat way to promote your shop, both with the ArtFire Blogs as well asBlogger or other off site blogs. This creates a "face" behind yourshop. People can learn about you as a crafter, artist and person andwill make potential buyers more comfortable with you as you have loweredthe seller/buyer wall. This is a great place to talk about what you didthat day, upcoming projects, new items, sales and coupons. You canoffer benefits for the people who follow you by giving special deals andcodes for discounts. You can also offer giveaways which may in turnboost the potential of repeat customers. By opening yourself up to yourbuyers, you create a friendship that will put buyers at ease in knowingthat they can seethe person behind the studio and avatar. The realperson factor is always a huge part in making sure that they feel securewith you.
14. Don't get discouraged. The main thing is to notget discouraged if you don't get sales right away. Consider thingslike time of year. Certain months are just slower than others. Thefirst of the year is always slow because people are still reeling overhow much they spent for the holidays and it takes time to get the billspaid down enough so they can start spending on "wants" versus "needs".
Nowthis is only a basic checklist of thing to keep in mind and I won't saythat it is a guaranteed sale maker. It can however get you on the righttrack to possibly picking up speed. I hope that anyone who used thiswill understand that it is meant in the best way to help boost everyoneand put you in the mindset that you can sell. Sometimes it's just asmall thing that will make a difference.
Gothic Jewelry Designer, Chainmailler and all around Wild Child!