How to Create Your Best Shop Profile — Even If You’re Not A Writer
I’m going to start my series of columns here by completely bastardizing one of my favorite writers. As Jane Austen would say (I hope), it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Etsy seller in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a writer.
Good writing can turn your Etsy store around completely. I’ve seen (and redone) listings where two sentences make the difference between an item selling or not selling.
Hi, I’m Holly, and I’m here to teach you to write like a copywriter. I’m going to be writing a monthly column, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know all of you.
But what you really want is writing help, right?
Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m here for. But first, I’m going to start with some advice that I hope you’ll take into serious consideration when you think about your shop and your marketing.
I’m a copywriter, but you’re a writer too. Anyone who runs a business these days is also a professional writer at least part of the time. It’s just expected. What scares people is when writing gets technical, which is about 97.5% of the time when it comes to marketing.
You can work on the nuts and bolts, but you need to start from the belief that you can write as well as anyone else.
As that little imaginary but jolly chef in Ratatouille says, “Anyone can cook!” The same is true about writing. You just need to know the tricks.
So why are we starting with the shop profile?
The big reason is that your shop profile is the first opportunity you’ll have to grab someone with the written word. Most people start out browsing Etsy based on visuals. If they like how your stuff looks, they’ll stick around to dig into your shop more.
Your shop profile is where a potential customer ends up when they like what they see, but want to know more before they buy something. It’s your first big opportunity to show someone that you’re charming, funny, and professional enough to send the thing they order in a timely manner. It’s also a great space to talk about who you are as a person, because a potential customer is more likely to buy from someone they like personally.
Step 1: Make a List.
Start out by making a list of everything you think is fun, weird, unique, useful, or just cute about you or your business. No one is going to see this list (and you can tear it up afterwards if you want) so make sure that you generate lots of different information. You can talk about your polka dot underwear collecting habit or where you went to school. It’s all fair game at this point. Just get it down, and put some duct tape on your inner critic’s mouth.
Step 2: Pick Out the Items You Want.
This is where you can let your inner critic out for a bit. Look at all of the items on your list, and get it down to four or five that you love and think really represent you and your shop.
Here’s the trick: Think about yourself from the perspective of a total stranger. What makes you stand out? How do you do things differently from other sellers? What makes you memorable as a person?
Sub-Tricks: Don’t focus on quality or customer service (unless you have something really unique going on). There are so many Etsy sellers out there with quality goods and great service that it’s seen as part of the package. It seems like a natural thing to show off, but people will just assume you don’t have anything else going for you. They’re wrong, but it ends up being your loss.
Step 3: Create a story.
Since you’ve eliminated the stuff that everyone does, you’re left with the extraordinary stuff that only you do. Use those elements to tell the story of yourself and your shop.
Focus on your personality. Pictures will help sell your goods, but personality is what makes people buy.
In August I’m going to talk about product descriptions, which are the other big draw for your shop writing-wise. If you’ve got any more questions about this stuff, leave a comment and I’ll come through and answer them. In the meantime, happy writing!
Holly Jackson is the owner of Cottage Copy, a copywriting boutique. She lives in Mississippi with an artist, two dogs, and a whole bunch of mystery novels.
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