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HANDMADE + CREATIVE BUSINESS

5 Types of Product Photos Handmade Sellers Should Capture

Want to show prospective customers that your products are unique, high quality, and created by a real, live person? Wish you could show how much tender loving care goes into creating the items you sell?

The best way to accomplish this is to photograph the details that make your products great. The following 5 types of product photos can help convince customers to buy:

Detail Photos

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Customers who buy handmade products love the fact that the items were created by an artisan, not mass produced by a big-box retailer.

The following are some examples of detail photos that you could capture:

  • If your items are hand-sewn, capture close-up photos of your stitching.
  • If you sell handmade aprons, capture photos of the bows, the buttons, and the pockets.
  • If you sell handmade jewelry, capture photos of the clasps, and feature the embellishments that make the jewelry pieces one-of-a-kind.
  • If your products are created with wood, capture close-up photos of the wood grain and any joints where pieces of wood are fastened together.
In-Process Photos

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Customers love to see the time and effort that you put into creating your items, and nothing shows that better than in-process photos.

What materials did you use to create the product? Needle and thread? Glue and paper? Paint and canvas? If your product requires a multi-step process, photograph a few of the steps (without divulging your exact process, of course).

Let customers take a look at your creative process, and that will strengthen their desire for a handmade product even more.

Custom Item Photos

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Do you create custom products for customers? If so, show customers examples of previous custom orders so that they can see what customizations are possible. Customers love the ability to request an item created specifically for them. Showing photo examples of previous special orders lets your customers know that customized products are available for them too.

Artist Touch Photos

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If you sign or initial the products that you create, photograph that personal touch as well! If you include a label on your products, photograph that! If you can’t attach a label to your product, photograph your product beside some of your shop branding (see the example from the LoveLeeSoaps Etsy shop in the photo above). Isn’t that a smart way to display the business branding?

In-Use Photos

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Help customers imagine themselves using your product, and they’ll be more likely to buy. Photograph your product on a model. Stage it with a complementary product. Place it in its after-purchase “home” to show customers how the product can improve their life.

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Do you capture all five of these types of product photos? While not all of these photo types would be appropriate to use in your product listing, they could be very appropriate on your business blog, your Facebook fan page, Instagram page or your Twitter page.

Ask yourself what sets your products apart from the run-of-the-mill products found in an average local retailer. Now show your prospective customers those unique selling points with your product photography.

What other types of product photos do you capture? What product photo techniques have you found to be successful?

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Julie Corbett – On The Dot Creations

On the Dot Creations features handmade creations and shares biz tips with those who sell them. Check out Julie’s free video series3 Reasons Your Product Photography Might Be Turning Customers Away, or her brand new online workshopDIY Product Photography.

How to take care of yourself & your business to help you grow

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Who hasn’t been told: you need to take some time off, you work too hard, you really need to put your feet up and relax, do something for yourself….? Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? But how do you do that? First, we need to find the time in our busy life. Usually our “free” time is used to grow our business, such as working on our blog, keeping up to date with our emails, sending newsletters, selling at craft fairs…. So really how can we take a break from what we love doing?

The real first step is to consider “taking a break” as part of your work. Being self-employed doesn’t mean not deserving to stop for a while. You don’t need a long break, you just need a useful break. You need to “break” your routine to go back to your work invigorated. Ok, you got the point, so now what? What is a useful break for craftsellers and small business owners?

Here are 3 things I recommend could help you :
  • Take a walk in the countryside or in the forest to reconnect with nature. Breathing pure air will help you to “let it go.” Make sure to pay attention to all details around you, use all your senses: try to see what can’t be seen at first sight, listen to every little noise, touch and pick up wild flowers or branches to bring home so you can remember this “wild” we miss when we work online. Go out in the rain even! That would make your home feel cosier when you return. I recommend you to visit this very floral and inspired blog to encourage following her path and find your own: http://frokenskicklig.blogspot.fr
  • Enroll for a course or sign in for a conference: creative people need to be “fed.” We love discovering new subjects, exploring new paths, getting new skills, meeting new people. That doesn’t happen like that unless you choose to. Finally take that e-class or that online workshop you have been dreaming about (even ask them if they accept multiple payments so you know how to finance it more easily). Or alternatively, take part in a retreat, I would love to go abroad by myself and sit on the seaside, just looking…. Check out this hut, who would not like taking a break there, just for a day (or 2 !): http://www.littlebeachhutofdreams.com
  • Be grateful: choose a notebook for 2015, in which you’ll write down 3 sentences every night before going to bed. The exercise is easy: choose 3 positive things which happened to you during the day, even the most little simple thing, it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be true. From a nice cup of tea, or the smile of your baby when you go to his/her bedroom to wake him/her up in the morning (before he/she burst in tears!), to a nice thank you email from a client, write all that made you happy. You will then be able to go to bed “lighter” knowing that your day was good. Leave that diary on your bedside table with a dedicated pen to be sure to do it every night! Mine is shown above in the picture I took of it to inspire you.

With those 3 simple and affordable ideas, you should be able to take care of yourself for real and start now! So what would you chose first ?

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Sophie Chapman — Ma Petite Valisette

Sophie Chapman lives in Normandy and has graduated 10 years ago from business school. As a mother of 3 franco-english kids (8y, 6y & 2 months old) and with a husband that travels a lot, Sophie decided to work from home by launching her online business. She worked at a famous Parisian ad agency before she became a professional trainer.

She now offers online courses for female entrepreneurs and craft sellers. You can find different downloads in her shop and you can also subscribe for online trainings and online entrepreneurship workshops. Most recently she also co-published a business book for french craft sellers. It was the first book in the french market that covered this topic.

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Movers & Makers Summit: Detailed Itinerary!

large-circle1I know some of you are still considering coming to the Movers & Makers Summit in Charleston, SC at the end of this month and I am happy to share with you the detailed itinerary for the weekend! There are only a few spots left and I hope you will join us!

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The Movers & Makers Summit is an east coast intensive for a small, intimate group of twenty women and it takes place in a luxurious and comfortable oceanfront home. You’re invited to come away with us to escape the hustle, reset your focus and breathe new life into your career plans.

Here’s a deeper glance at the presentations for the weekend:

Lisa JacobsShattering the Glass Ceiling. What would you do this year if you knew you could not fail? Forget the ever-elusive “big break,” and learn how to create your own career breakthroughs.

Bonnie ChristinePursuing your Creative Dream: Living your creative dream is fulfilling, exciting and POSSIBLE. Learn how to stay focused on your dream, expand your audience and increase your profits!

The Ins and Outs of Surface Pattern Design: The world of surface pattern design is filled with wonder and excitement. Join me as we discuss how to get started, get noticed and begin your career as a surface pattern designer!

Kerry BurkiSlowing Down To Move Forward: Is your mind is filled with ideas and you don’t know where to start? Do you feel like you are hurtling yourself forward with no real direction? Let’s take some time to slow down, figure out what doesn’t work, what you enjoy and profit from and make a plan for the future. 

April BowlesCreating Your Own Success: I’m sharing the five biggest lessons I’ve learned while building my business, giving tips and advice along the way. I’m pulling back the curtains to reveal what it really takes to build a successful, creative business on your own terms including marketing so that it feels good and not scammy, building habits that make things easier and going pro once and for all.

Paige French iPhone Photography + providing professional headshots for everyone who attends to take home with them and use in their business.

Plus, yoga on the beach!

I am just so excited about this retreat! I know that everyone involved is going to leave feeling refreshed, confident, focused, connected and ready to make a positive change in their business and in the world!

Click here to purchase your ticket and to learn more about the event. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions! XO!

 

Re-Defining Success Using the Third Metric

 

crusoeWhen starting a business, no matter how large or small it is, it often starts with a detailed business plan. That business plan outlines your short-term goals, long-term goals and the overall growth of the business. It is plan to gauge the success of your business. A business plan is then followed by a series of goals, whether it is monthly, quarterly or yearly, a series of checkpoints that are often financially driven.

Meeting or surpassing those financial checkpoints can create a major boost, both personally and professionally. But what happens when you don’t meet those goals, does that mean your business is not a success? And because it is your own business that you are creating literally from the ground up, that you are not a success either?

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, created the Third Metric to complement the traditional metrics of success, power and money. It is a concept that she outlines in detail in her book, Thrive. The Third Metric defines success by a life filled with well-being, wisdom and wonder. I discovered the Third Metric earlier this month, as I was outlining my own goals, both business and personal, as part of the beginning of a new year as well as reflecting on the previous year. Much of my time is spent on how I can grow my jewelry business, when will the next collection launch, what store will I open next, etc. All of these activities feed into measuring the first two areas of success, power and money, but I failed to evaluate the Third Metric.

With the launch of my own business, many areas of my life have blossomed more than I ever expected. Crusoe Jewelry is created often in collaboration with my boyfriend, who has a strong design background. Also, my studio shares space with his wood-working shop. Working together in a creative capacity has created a new level in our relationship. The flexible schedule has allowed for me to deepen my yoga practice, taking as many as three classes a week. I control my time, so sometimes I work all weekend so I can spend the next weekend with my friends or family. I have explored new activities, including joining a book club that led me to exploring The Third Metric, as well as new friends and lots of laughs. Using The Third Metric, I am successful beyond my wildest dreams. It is a measuring system that I implore all to use to re-evaluate their own success.

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Maya Ahluwalia – Crusoe Jewelry

Maya Ahluwalia is the designer behind Crusoe Jewelry, a fashion jewelry line inspired by nautical motifs, but interpreted into stylish designs. Crusoe Jewelry is created for the fashion-forward consumer with an appreciation for quality with an artisanal approach. Each design is hand-crafted in her Brooklyn-based studio.

In addition to creating Crusoe Jewelry, Maya is a marketing consultant with expertise in jewelry, fashion and luxury. Clients include Michael Aram Jewelry, Shawn Ames Fine Jewelry, Wells House Bed & Breakfast, and the LOU Lookbook

The Complete Etsy Kit 5th Edition is Live!

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Hooray!!! It’s here!!! I am so excited to introduce you to The Complete Etsy Kit 5th Edition! It has been almost 3 years since the last update so this is practically a whole new kit. It has a new look, new format, new links, new tips plus new printable worksheets (Social Media Checklist and Weekly To Do List) that coordinate with the kit! All of the kits that used to be separate are now available in one ebook. 78 pages to be exact! This newly updated kit has all of the kits shown in the photo below including 2 new sections: Etsy Extras and Resources!

 

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Want more sales and traffic to your Etsy shop? I tell you how! Wonder what top sellers are doing to get all of those buyers – day after day? It’s in the Kit! Worried about the new changes to Etsy? Don’t be! Don’t have a clue about SEO? Not a problem! Wish you could create a schedule for social media? I have worksheets for that! Want to create a press kit? I got you covered! Overwhelmed by all of the advice and opinions about marketing your craft business and looking for some concise advice? You are in the right place!

Selling your work somewhere other than Etsy and want to know if this kit will help you? It will! Do you have questions about The Etsy Kit? Email me and I will be happy to chat with you about your small business!

Over 4,000 thrilled customers have used this kit to find their own paths to Etsy success. Now you can benefit from my long hours of research and years of experience by putting it to work in your own shop!

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I have been a busy little bee taking into consideration all of the changes that have happened online and in the craft marketplace during recent years to make this new kit absolutely invaluable to you! I have also bundled this new kit with The Etsy Business Planner and Rejuvenate + Create: self care for creatives so you can save a bit of money buying them together. Coordinating To Do lists will be arriving in the shop next week!

A new thing I would like to do is get to know those of you that use these kits and share your story on the blog! I will be launching Handmade Success Stories this year for all of those interested in sharing how these kits have helped their businesses grow. So be sure to keep in touch with me and remember that I am more than happy to answer any questions. Thank you all for your continued support and know that I think you are the best!

Click Here To Get Yours Now!