Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns
1. What made you start your small business?
I started for 2 reasons. My family and I move around a lot and I needed a job that I could take with me from country to country and state to state. With an Etsy business, I don’t have to start at the bottom of the employment ladder every time I move. My daughters and I also had a wonderful photographic collection of our wanderlust lifestyle and that is what I used to kickstart our business. Many of our photography art and cards are now in our second shop: stocklanephotography. But I do incorporate photography in the graphic designs of wall art and cards in our main shop: stocklanestudio.
OK, make that THREE reasons! I also had a driving need to express myself creatively and share my love of travel and nature with others. I love the interaction I get from the Etsy community!
2. What do you feel is your greatest obstacle facing your small business?
Conquering SEO, getting those tags and titles just right. And keeping up with Social Media posting!!
3. What is the greatest strength you personally bring to your small business?
Custom art makes up a good portion of my online orders. I really love to contribute to someone’s special moment in life. I gather lots of details from customers so I can design just what they have in mind. I feel my greatest strength is the personal care I put into every package I send off.
4. What is your small business strategy? How have you set up your business in terms of goals, marketing, business planning, etc?
a).Design appealing products that are in demand; b). share my story and market my product; c). use a variety of methods to describe my products
a). Have products that people really want to buy.
This has involved a lot of trial and error for me. I create from my heart and then see which designs catch on. And the market is always evolving so my designs have to keep up.
b). I have to go get my customers, they won’t all come to me on their own. I have to work to draw customers to my shop.
Shoppers will not just magically appear, I have to work work work to get the word out, let them know I have awesome cards, prints and printables and convince them that they need them!
•Once they are in my shop, try to keep them there as long as possible. The longer a shopper is browsing my shop, the more likely they are to become buyers. I do this by trying to maintain a visually appealing home page and first listing page, by adding links to other similar listings in my shop, adding a little humor or interesting background to the listing description, and using up all 5 photos. I only have my social media links in one spot on my Etsy website. Once shoppers on in my Etsy store, I don’t want them leaving, even to visit my SM sites.
c). I use a variety of methods to describe my products. I never know how a shopper is finding my show or how they are viewing my shop. But more and more shoppers are using smartphones to shop. Which is a completely different way of seeing the shop than on a desktop. So I make sure my store looks good from both perspectives. And as a former teacher, I know that different people learn and interact with the world in different ways. So I have may ways to experience my shop: Detailed information is in the listing description, the materials section, one of the photo spots, in my shop about section, policies and FAQ’s and then also in back and forth conversations if need be.
5. What social media sites do you interact on?