I hear it every day, "I'm not getting any Etsy sales! What am I doing wrong?"
If you've been following my blog you know that I have been studying how to become a successful small business for approximately 3 years. I've spent 16 hour days with, what felt like permanent blood- shot eyes, for the better part of 3 years researching, teaching myself about SEO, taking eye catching pictures, how to work social media to the fullest, & every other aspect you can imagine, to grow my own successful small, handmade business, & now I teach others.
This is part one of a series I'm going to address so if you'd like to follow along, please register yourself at the top of this page where it says "LOGIN/REGISTER". You may also click the "Small Business Blog Posts" listed under "Categories" to the right of this post.----->>
Let's start with pictures because they truly are the most important asset to your business. You can have everything else going for you, but if your pictures suck-no one is even going to see your content because they aren't going to click on your product. I look at people commenting on threads on Facebook, Twitter, & other social media sites that complain about not having any sales, then I click on their product photo's on Etsy & I think to myself, "Do they really not know?"
I sit in amazement that some photo's are literally so horrible & wonder how a person truly cannot know. I look at my photo's, then I look at photo's of my competition & I can tell that mine look awesome, but when I first started out I could tell exactly where I needed to improve.
I've never seen this done before so I'm going to try to go about helping you with this by posting some photo's of a bracelet I purchased from The Jeweled Feather, a shop that pays meticulously close attention to detail in their photo's. I'm going to examine a bad picture vs. a good picture with you.
If you aren't having sales- the first thing you need to examine is your pictures. Request honest opinions from people & make sure you have thick enough skin to handle it. Don't get offended. These people will be trying to help you with your business. Sometimes it's not always sugarcoat-able. I'm so straight forward when giving advice about photographs. If you want a no B.S. assessment on your shop photo's, post a link to your shop in comments & I'll briefly check them out for you and let you know if I think they rock or not.
When you are going to have a photo represent your product- it needs to be a 10/10. Bottom line. People cannot touch your product or see it close up so the visual has to be spot on. If you think you lack the "eye" for a good photo then it is wise to invest in a photographer for your business, especially if it's something you can make and sell over & over again. If it isn't, I strongly recommend investing in a photography class or seminar of sorts if you are serious about selling and taking your business to serious levels.
I've had seller's argue with me that they don't photo shop their pictures because they think it takes away from or makes the item look different than it actually appears in person. Out of over 13,000 sales in the past 2 1/2 years, I have not had someone tell me that my products do not look the same in person as they did in the photo except MAYBE a time or 2 where they thought the bodysuit was a different color, which depending on pixilation and computer screens-colors can vary slightly, which I mention several times throughout all of my shop's and make sure to note in all of my policy sections.
To show you how different taking a picture can be I am going to show you several different photo's of this bracelet I bought from The Jeweled Feather. I've taken photo's with flash & without on 2 different backgrounds. I'm going to show you a good picture from a bad picture. Please let me know in comments which photo's you thought were honestly acceptable.
<<<--------This is photo C. Taken on a hardwood background (very popular background for a lot of sellers) without flash & without being photo shopped. This photo does not represent any of the detail in this bracelet. It is very dull and lifeless.
This is photo D. ----------->>>>
Taken on the same hardwood as photo C, but taken with flash on. Do you see the glare on the table? Do you see how dark the photo looks? Two no-no's right there. Are you starting to see how enhancing your photo is necessary? It does not mean you are altering the item itself or making it look different, you are simply removing the "clutter" from your photo's.
<<<------- We'll call this photo E. Photo E was taken on a white table with flash. Though, the detail of the bracelet is better shown here, the background is too dark. It will not attract buyers.
This is photo F. ---->>
Photo F was taken on the same white table & right after photo E except photo F (this one) was taken without the flash on. See how photo's can vary drastically simply by the flash alone? This photo does not contain the same details of the bracelet as photo E, but it is brighter. That's where you need to learn to make the photo brighter while keeping the detail and removing any shadows, speckles, & imperfections in the background.
<<<------Photo G. Photo G is getting there. It is definitely more acceptable than the others & will probably render you several more sales than any of the other photos. This is the EXACT same photo as photo E. Looks a lot brighter, doesn't it? All while still keeping, and even slightly enhancing the detail to the product. It was rotated, cropped, and both the brightness & contrast were adjusted. I can personally tell you since I purchased this bracelet and currently have it on my wrist right now, that this is the closest photo to representing the product in person so far.
Photo H. Last, but obviously not least since this is the photo that captured my eye and secured me as a buyer! This is the original photo of the infamous bracelet. Now, hopefully you can see how different pictures can look & why it IS so important to capture the right look for your product!
I bet you're asking yourself, "How did she take these pictures?" or you're telling yourself, "She must've had a big, fancy camera to take these photo's". WRONG. These photo's were taken with my cell phone & photo shopped with an app!
After examining the photo's above, please give your honest opinion, in the comments below, on which photo's you thought best represented the bracelet & why. If your thoughts were that it doesn't really matter because you liked the bracelet in every photo- I want to know that too & why!
If you'd like honest opinions on the photo's in your shop or for your small business, include a link to your shop in the comments below & I'll do my best to respond to you all with honest assessments!
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