Before going to Critiques...

Lately, I’ve been hanging around the Critiques forum on Etsy and I’ve noticed a lot of sellers are going straight to Critiques without really making sure that they could have done everything they should have before asking for a critique.

Why is it important to make your done your part?

When someone is taking just a glance at your shop, all they’re going to see is the big stuff, if you’re missing a banner and your location; they’re going to come back and say you’re missing a banner and your location and move on.

If you’ve got your basics covered, it forces them to look deeper. Do you have a good description, what are your photos really like, are you using all the right tags, could your announcement be shorter/longer/better, etc.

So I put together a list of some of the major things you should make sure you have in place first;

1.) Do you have a banner? Is it well done?
- Your banner is the first thing a potential buyer sees, it should draw them in.

2.) Do you have your location noted?
- You should include your city and state or country – they are a number of cities with the same name in different states and different countries.

3.) Is your avatar relevant?
- You should consider using a photo of your work or a picture of you – to capture people’s attention especially in the forums.

4.) Are your descriptions complete?
- This thread is an invaluable resource concerning all of the things that could/should be included in your description:

5.) Do you photos capture your wares as good as they possibly could?
- Check out the hundreds of tutorials on taking photographs, building light boxes, which light bulbs to use, understand the settings on your camera, understand basic photo editing, etc.
- Ask yourself, if you would buy the item just based on the photo?

6.) Are you using all 5 slots for your photographs?
- Capturing the item from every angle, showing it in use, displaying on someone, etc.

7.) Are you using the feature slots for your 3 favorite pieces?

8.) Are you using all of your tags? Are they all relevant? Are you spamming with any of your tags?

9.) Are you adding new items on a regular basis?

10.) Are you promoting yourself on/off of Etsy?
- The forums, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, My Space, A blog, etc.
- Check out any of the threads on self promotion.

11.) Go in with an open mind!
- Every person has their own point of view, with a critique you'll be able to see through someone's eyes.

12.) Don't use Critiques as just another promotion venue!
- i.e. Look at this ware, what do you think?

This is just a short list of some of the things that need to be analyzed but it’s still a starting point. I wish everyone the best of luck in their Etsy endeavours!


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