Friday, October 30, 2009

Customized Shop Analysis

I am very excited to announce my new service available on Etsy. Please check out my shop for details on the customized shop analysis. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

etsy photo tips

Etsy has a great series on the storque from last year I believe titled "How-Tos for the Holidays". I wanted to share with you the video on photographing your items - it is chock full of great tips and ideas for taking great pictures of your work.

Also - don't forget that today is the last day to enter the giveaway. It seems that Amanda's cards are quite popular around here. good luck!!

(Every Picture Tells a Story hand stamped necklace by Kristen's Custom Creations. Thanks Kristen!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Free Accounting Software & Tutorial

If you are like me, business accounting is something that always seems to end up as a bottom priority. We are already heading towards the end of the year, and I have a LOT of catching up to do! I am happy to say that Holly from Accounting Spot comes to the rescue once again! On her fabulous blog, she points out that Quickbooks offers a totally free solution called Simple Start. Holly is offering a free tutorial that walks you through how to set up Quickbooks Simple Start to work with your Etsy shop. I now know what I am doing this weekend :) Thanks Holly!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Five ways (under $15!) to boost your Etsy business

I am really so impressed with the business savvy of Amanda from Social Circles. As you probably know, she is offering an awesome giveaway for my readers. She contacted me again and offered to give you even more fun stuff ! First she wrote this wonderful article on 5 really smart and economical ways to market your Etsy shop. Also, she is offering my readers 12 free cards on their orders by mentioning Handmade Success. Thanks so much Amanda!


Five ways (under $15!) to boost your Etsy business
by Amanda of Social Circles

1.(FREE!) Get some constructive criticism from your family and friends. You’d be surprised how informative they can be- ask at least 3 family members/friends to view your site and offer you 3 things that they like about it and 3 things that they think you need to improve on. Include someone who has never really been to your site before so that you can ask them how easy your listings are to understand, etc. You’d be surprised at how helpful this can be! Now you will have a list of things that you are doing right, and things that you may need to work on. Also, if you want to take it a step further, and have specific questions about your site, you can even create a free survey (

2.($10-$15) Invest in the branding of your business. If you don’t already have a professional looking banner, get one asap! Business branding is one of the keys to success. If your shop doesn’t scream “professional”, chances are that your clients won’t think your work is professional.

3.(FREE!) Do you have a mailing list? No you say? Wait a min--- if you use paypal and have Microsoft Excel- then you may not know it--- but you do! Just follow the steps below. Use your new mailing list to market upcoming sales and events. To make it more interesting to your clients, include an article, jokes or tips relate to your field.

Log into paypal click “view all of my transactions” on the right side. When the screen comes up you will see a small link on right side that says Download “CSV” click it! Choose “tab delimited – all activity” from the box that pops up. Once you have chosen this, the file will take a minute to download. Then a screen will pop up that says “Do you want to open or save this file” click “Save”. Save the file to your desktop. Now open Microsoft Excel. Click “file” then “open” and locate the file on your desktop. When you choose the file a window will pop up. Make sure “delimited” is checked and click “next” until you are all done. “POOF!” Like magic you will have your own mailing list of all your customers! Here is a link on how to open a tab delimited file in Microsoft excel if you need help., just scroll down to “Importing Tab or comma Delimited File”

4.(FREE!) Have any happy customers? Use their testimonials! Have you received any great feedback from your customers? Ask them if it is ok to use their feedback for your site. On the front page of your site in your shop description write “a few words from some of my happy customers” or “featured feedback”, and include their feedback. Talk about credibility! Not every etsian knows that they can read “feedback” or has time to do so. By placing feedback on your main shop page for everyone to view, you just added a huge amount of credibility to your site. This is especially important when starting up a new business!

5. ($14.95) Get a unique one of a kind business card that stands out from the rest- and then pass it out like crazy. Your business card is one of the first impressions of your business. Make it a lasting impression with a fresh new design. One of my favorite new shops on etsy offers super chic cards: socialcirclecards. These one of a kind round cards come complete with their own carrying case that clips to your bag- so they will travel with you wherever you go. Now when you meet a new mom at a park, or see a bulletin board, you won’t be caught without a card. Pass out your new cards everywhere- give them to your friends, pass them out at the playgound, give some to your hairdresser, the possibilities are endless! These little cards are great attention getters and ice breakers because they are different! Tell Amanda that you read about her cards on the “handmade success” blog and she will even offer you 12 free cards with your order.

Friday, October 23, 2009

business/calling card giveaway!

I was so excited when Amanda of Social Circles contacted me for a giveaway. Amanda's cards are unique and noticeable - a great marketing tool themselves! There are countless ways that you could use these cards.

Amanda is graciously giving away one free starter set of cards (24 cards and case- a $18.90 value w/ shipping. I know the hardest part about winning this giveaway will be actually choosing the right cards, they are all so adorable.

After you visit Social Circles, post a comment to this blog post letting me know what your favorite item is from Amanda's store.

Please be sure to leave an email address (if not in your profile) so I can contact you if you are the winner.

EXTRA ENTRIES - For each of the following you will be given one extra entry in the contest:

*Blog about this giveaway and post a link in the comments of this post.
*Send out a Tweet about this giveaway and post a link in the comments of this post.
*Subscribe to the Handmade Success blog email or RSS feed. Leave a comment on this post indicating that you have done so.
*become a fan of my Facebook page (if you are already a fan, let me know) and leave a comment on this post indicating your Facebook user name.

END TIME - This giveaway ends on Friday, OCTOBER 30, 2009, 9:00pm PST.
WHO CAN ENTER - Anyone with a valid email address (will be notified this way).
PICKING WINNER - Each entry will be assigned a number. After the contest is closed, a number will be randomly generated. The entry associated with that number will be the winner! If I do not hear back from the winner within 5 days of notification, a new winner will be drawn.
WINNER NOTIFICATION - The winner will be notified via email within 24 hours of contest end, as well as, a post here on the blog.

SO, Good luck!

Monday, October 19, 2009

we have 5 winners!

A warm congratulations goes out to the following winners of a 30 minute marketing consultation with me:

Jewels of Hope
Jillian Frances
Serendipity Handmade, and

I must say that I got SO excited while looking over your shops. My head was swimming with ideas for ways I can help you improve where you want and need to. I will be contacting you shortly to schedule your consultation!! To the rest, thank you so much for your entries. I wish all of you the best as always. If you would like to purchase a consultation, email me for details.

Friday, October 16, 2009

etsy holiday open house

Looking for a creative holiday marketing idea and a way to find a new audience? What about finding some other local crafters near you, and hosting a Holiday Open House for all of your friends? You could have it at someone's house, or find a local shop who would also love the traffic. You would all share the cost of light beverages and appetizers and have your work on display. You could advertise it to your friends as a holiday "one-stop-shop" event with the added benefit of supporting local artists and friends. You could use the Etsy shop local tool to find people near you.

Has anyone ever tried this? This really doesn't just have to been for the holidays. You could do a Valentine's Open House, a Spring Open House, etc, etc.

(Red hot rose fascinator clip by Sara Peach's Hair Accessories. Thanks Sara!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

let's help each other

Danielle from Twist21 emailed me to share a cool forum link. She created the thread "let's help each other" on the Etsy forums, and I think her idea is really resourceful and brilliant! You pick an item that you like from someone above you on the list and share it for them via Facebook, Twitter, or blog. Then you post about it and you are on the list for someone else to return the favor. This way your product gets shared with an entirely new channel of people. Great idea Danielle!

(Eco Bamboo Tote Bag by Avendano. Thanks Mildred!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cross-promoting your Etsy shop

Wow, you really have to check out this fantastic article. Double Your Marketing with Cross-Promotion is a concisely written how-to guide for increasing your traffic by collaborating with another Etsy seller who shares a similar audience as you. Bonus - the author will help you find someone to partner up with! I highly suggest working on this for your holiday marketing campaigns. Please share with us if you have tried this strategy and how it is working for you!

(Fuchsia Crystal Spiral Necklace by Christine's Beadworks. Thanks Christine!!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FREE Etsy Business and Marketing Plan Consult wtih Jordan Moore of Handmade Success

I am a very lucky woman to have met all of you over the past year. I am blown away on a daily basis by your talent, motivation, effort, and most of all by your kindness and mutual support of one another. I am proud to be a part of your community - thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms!

I would love to do more for you and have been searching over the past few months for ways to do this. First, I wrote the free Etsy 30 Minute Social Networking Kit which, judging by the feedback I received, proved to be useful to quite a lot of you. Now, I am so excited to announce that I am launching a consulting service - and to kick it off, I am giving away 5 free sessions!

The Service:
The Handmade Success Consultation is a 30 minute telephone conversation with yours truly. Over the course of the consult, we will review everything and anything related to running your handmade business - your product line, your Etsy shop branding and copy, your marketing efforts, and your advertising strategy. I will listen to your concerns and craft a strategy for you to improve upon each of these areas and give you advice on how to streamline your efforts so you can spend more time creating your product and less time on the computer. We will talk about your goals for this month, this year, and beyond. At the end, I will follow up in writing with a concise marketing plan for you to refer back to. Sound good? The charge for the consultation is normally $75.

The Contest:
To enter to win one of the free consultations, you must respond with a comment to this post describing your biggest frustrations in running your Etsy shop/online business. You will get one (1) extra entry if you blog, tweet or share this contest on Facebook and post the link in the comments.

I will be selecting 5 entries at random to win the free consult. Entries must be received by midnight PST Friday, October 16, 2009 and I will announce the winner on Monday, October 19th. Good luck, and I really can't wait to work with you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

50 Ways to Market Your Shop

I just came across this really fantastic list of 50 marketing ideas on It was written for retailers, but most of these will apply to you and your Etsy shop. Happy Friday everyone!!

(Camphor Bowl by The Norsk Woodshop. Thanks Patrick!)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

5 Tips for Getting More Facebook Fans

I received an email from a customer who was particularly daunted by the idea of building her Facebook page wondering how she would ever be able to build a big fan base. She asked me for some extra tips and I thought I would share them here too. She has an etsy shop and also a tanning salon, so you will see I came up with some ideas for the salon as well. (names have been changed)

1. The best trick I can reveal to you about getting fans is to have as much interactive content as possible. This means that when you post something it should be an item that makes people want to mark as "like" or comment on it. When they do one of these things - every single friend in their network will receive an update that "Jane Meyers commented on a post from Debbie's Tanning Salon". Then their friends will click the link out of curiosity, and their friends, etc. This is how you go "viral" on Facebook.

2. I would suggest doing special Facebook-only campaigns. Come up with special offers for Facebook fans only.

3. Post polls, quizzes, facts about your could come up with some funny posts like "overly-tan celebrity pictures" and then you could explain how to end up not looking like that! You could do a contest for a free session, etc, etc. Just get people engaged and the rest will follow.

4. You may seriously consider paying for a Facebook page ad up front. $10/day will really help you lay your foundation for your fan base.

5. Don't wait for your old high school friends to find you--find them! And after you do, invite them to become a fan of your page. You need to try and become "friends" with everyone you have ever met, and then send them an invite to become a fan of your shop. Now is not the time to be shy!

I hope this helps some of you too...and let's make THIS an interactive thread. Please share with the group what has worked for you in building your page!

(Pick a Peach print by WozArtStudio. Thanks Florence!)