Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Ripple Effect

sylvie's perspective
...from the

We all know what 'the ripple effect' means.  It's the stone thrown into a body of water that causes a circle of ripples that continue growing outwards into infinity, or until they reach a solid body that stops them.

How does that pertain to us as individual shop keepers and us as a team?  Because June is Treasury Blitz month where proper tagging is so important, and for the purpose of this article, I'm going to focus on our exposure within Etsy and tagging to be found.

Let's start with individual sellers.   We have shops that have been filled with our creations.  Some of them get lots of attention, some don't get any and there's a whole bunch somewhere in the middle that get some attention.  Why does one item get more attention than others?  We use the same technique.  Similar materials.  They are all photographed in the same style.  What makes the difference?

I think one big difference is in what people are looking for.  And keeping Etsy exposure in mind, those people in particular, are members who curate treasuries and Admin looking for items to feature in their variety of promotions like The Finds, for one example.

It starts with trends in general.  Etsy admin are looking for hot trends in the world of just about everything.  They bring news of what's trending to Etsy and publish them for us as guidelines.

Curators hope to curate a treasury that will make the coveted front page.  So they very smartly, study Etsy's trend suggestions and venture out into the vast sea of sellers and look for items that fit their chosen theme.  I think color is one of the most often used search terms.  So if a curator is looking for items that are mint green, even if you have a beautiful mint green hand dyed silk scarf in your shop, unless mint green is one of your tags, your item will not be found.  If your item isn't found, it can't be included in that gorgeous mint green treasury that was just on the front page.

But.  If your mint green scarf is tagged properly, it can be found.  If it can be found, it can be featured in that gorgeous treasury.  If that gorgeous treasury is featured on the front page, your item will get huge views.  If your item gets huge views, your shop is getting views.  If your shop has the team tagline, the team gets some views.  The ripple effect.

How do I know this?  Because I have a cuff that is tagged with blush pink and blush peach, one of the hottest color trends for the past month or so.  I didn't know it at the time I tagged it such, but I found out pretty quickly as this little cuff has been listed for just 2 months and in the last six weeks has been featured in 90 treasuries.  One of those treasuries made the front page a couple of weeks ago.  I got 1739 views in under 2 hours.  Now it didn't sell, but the exposure has been invaluable and continues today.  And since I joined this team and have a little tag line in my announcement, the team is gaining some exposure from this too.  The ripple effect. If we all strive to get the most exposure possible, we benefit individually.  As we each benefit individually, the team benefits.

For those who are looking at their items and thinking, "I don't make the types of things that are trendy."  You don't have to fill your shop with trendy items.  No one does.  And some artists/artisans make very classic items that are timeless.  But for those others, find a way to make a few items that would fit one or two of the trends.  Then tag your listing appropriately.  That's all.  You don't have to change everything you make.  You just have to include a new twist to a few items.  The thing I like about that is it forces us to be a little more creative in a way we hadn't thought of before.  This is a good thing because often that's how new ideas are born.

So say what you will about the front page.  I see people naysaying its importance all the time.  They always fall back on the "it doesn't guarantee sales" mantra.  Of course it doesn't guarantee sales!  Nothing does.  But they are missing the point.  Sales are great, yes.  But the exposure is what matters first.

It's a process.  It would be wonderful if everyone featured on the front page got immediate sales from their experience.  But it doesn't happen that way.  I hoped, but knew, my cuff likely wouldn't sell from front page exposure.  And even being in 90 treasuries, it still hasn't sold.  But that's OK.  Right now it's my best free advertisement within Etsy.  That has value that seems to be overlooked by those using 'guaranteed sales' as the only gauge of the front page's worth. 

The difference in my attitude from the naysayers is I understand the value of that exposure I've gotten and continue to get from this one cuff.  From that one hour on the front page, I have seen my shop stats go up since then and the number of treasuries other items are being featured in is going up.  This is how you build a business.  One brick at a time.  I don't know if my sales will increase or not.  None of us knows that as there are too many other variables.  But working towards that goal is the process that will give us the best shot at it.  And I have yet to hear a successful seller say that "it doesn't guarantee sales" as a reason to discount front page exposure.  They're successful because they can see beyond that.

So don't discount something because 'it doesn't guarantee sales'.  Look at what else it has to offer you and go after that!  Make the most of every feature and tool that is available.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  And when you gain, your team gains.  The ripple effect.

So go forth and make waves!


  1. awesome post will read again to digest! x

  2. Great article, Sylvie! Some things I've never thought of, and I agree about front page exposure.


  3. Great article! Until this week I haven't seen the sense of pursuing the front page, or Pinterest, but I see it now. Thanks for that.