It's been a few days since I last blogged, we've been super busy around here visiting family, getting our loft insulated and generally trying to get sorted for Autumn. I see a lot of love for Autumn going around blogging land right now :-)
So, on Tuesday we visited Gran Gran who is my son's great grandmother, who lives across the country in Swindon. About 3pm I idly flicked through twitter and noticed that Etsy were doing a talk in London that night, free to go. I wasn't sure if I would make it but we whizzed back down the M4 anyway and I hopped on the train to London.
The talk was held in a sweet shop just off Pentonville Road, I regretted not taking a friend as everyone seemed to know someone and although I knew Alice (snapdragonbeads) would be going she wasn't there yet and I felt a bit lonely.
The shop itself had a selection of beautiful handmade products, a sweet shop, tables with vintage-dressed gals knitting and a bar...I headed right for the back where the talk was being held and we all crammed into a tiny room, it was boiling hot! I did manage to wrangle a free screen printed tote bag and a cute badge though - and a free glass of wine.
I'm not going to go crazy listed everything that Matt talked about, the talk was quite long and there was quite a lot of information about Etsy itself which was really interesting, especially how they started up. I'm going to split the contents of the talk over two blog posts as it really will be too long otherwise - and just a note, I'm sharing this information because the talk was free - if Matt hadn't shared this information freely I wouldn't be posting it.
So I'll just summarize the main points that I think will be useful to me (and possibly you!)
The theme of the talk was 'Marketing your creative micro-enterprise' I can't tell you how many times I have run over the phrase 'creative micro-enterprise' in my head the last few days, I love it! Matt was a nice guy too, charismatic and had that fun American habit of using words like 'factlet' and 'caveat'.
The first part of the talk focused on making a business plan to efficiently market yourself. One of the key points, and this is coming directly from Etsy's marketing man, was to 'sell your story'. he described your product as being the merchandise of your brand - and yourself as your brand. I thought this was a super-interesting concept and I think it's something I really need to work on.
He asked what made our businesses stand out, what made up remarkable, and where we hope our business would be in five years, there was a lot of focus on loving what you do, especially if you want to be doing it in a years time.
So, according to Matt, your business plan should include:
Mission Statement - Why & What
Niche - What makes you remarkable
Market Research - What else is out there, abandon things that don't work
Identify Customers - create a profile of your ideal customer, what they read, where they live etc.
Identify Clear Goals
Make a Budget - marketing expenses, business cards, camera.
Matt recommended reading Seth Godin for more marketing information, so I'm going to the library this afternoon to have a look for some.
'Telling Your Story' was an important theme of the evening, and there was a lot of great information about selling yourself as part of your handmade brand. People buy handmade because they believe in the principles of sustainable, eco-friendly, fair trade, unique products, and they want to hear about how you came to create something, why you love what you do and who you are. You can tell your story through tweets, blogging, facebook and most importantly in your shop descriptions and through your items and photos.
Matt suggested making everything you post or write relevant to the profile of the target customer that you established in your business plan - really interesting and so relevant to me and my 'creative micro-enterprise'
So, tomorrow I'm going to talk about what Matt suggested to bring your items and pages up higher in search results, both on Etsy and Google. There is some really great information on search engine optimization (SEO) so come on by tomorrow x
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