by Sue of SueRunyonDesigns

Crochet Fantasy Blue-Red-White Girl Hat With Braid
by IraRott 
When you think about improving your Etsy shop does it become overwhelming? There are so many things you could do. There is so much advice from teams, forums, friends and blog posts about how it all should be done. I've been asked by Etsy shop owners over and over "What should I do to get more sales?"

My advice is "Just One Thing!"

That's it. Just One Thing. Pick something and work on it. Just that One Thing. One Thing at a time. One Thing is do-able. One Thing won't overwhelm. Sift through the info and pick something. One Thing.

If you want to pick One Thing that will probably have the most impact, pick your item photos.  Most us need work on that. It's one of the most important things for buyers since they can't pick up, try on or see your item in person. One Thing I've learned about on-line selling is:

bad photos = no sales

Now, really, I'm not the person to ask about photography.  It is, by far, the hardest thing I have to do. I'm not a techno person. I don't like dealing with cameras and settings and computer things. Photography is all about the technical. I don't have a good camera and my computer skills are, well, not what they should be. When I start thinking about it I immediately become overwhelmed. I can't re-take all my shop photos AGAIN!  Yep, I've done it a few times. I've yet to be satisfied with it.

I've given it up and started the "Just One Thing" approach. If I try to do a large batch I get sloppy. They never look right. If I pick One Thing--one item--and try my hardest to take good photos of just that one little item, the pressure is off.

One item.  I can do that!

I can devote an hour of my time taking 50+ different shots of one little item. I can try different camera settings, different backgrounds, different lighting, different ways of showing scale, different angles, a photo collage, a different way of draping or composing, different props, different cropping. At the end of an hour I usually have 5 decent photos of that One Thing.

OK, wait a minute . . . 

Before you protest that you don't have an hour to waste taking 50+ shots of One Thing, I'm not suggesting that you do this all the time. I'm suggesting you do this once in a while. Not only do you get those 5 great shots of One Thing, but you will find a new way to take your next batch of photos, you will have discovered something--One Thing--(or more), that will improve all the photos you take from this point on! That's time well spent.

How do you pick the right One Thing to try? Pick something that has the potential to be a best seller and that you might get a chance to sell and re-list over and over.

Try it. Just this One Thing.

Let me know how it goes.

Need some inspiration? Here are some CAST team members that I think have great photos and unique ways of presenting their items:

Want to know how your photos compare to others? Put them side by side using Etsy's Poster Sketch Tool.

by Sue of SueRunyonDesigns

Comments (9)

On May 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM , MYSAVIOR said...

This is such a helpful post - thank you so much! I love the photo examples also.

Wow - I love this team.

On May 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM , MimiRob said...

Lots of wisdom in this--thanks for the good advice!

On May 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM , holmescraft said...

Great blog post Sue, and you are so right! Having great photos is SO important. And having a camera that will do what you need it to do is key to that. Before I upgraded my camera, I could take 100 pictures of one item and struggle to find 5 decent pictures among them. Now, I can take just 20 shots and struggle to choose JUST 5. Investing in the right camera is one of the most important business investments you can make. It has made all the difference for my shop! Many thanks!

On May 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM , vince+shannon+mattie+ireland +afton+chamberlain said...

Thanks so much for featuring me! I'm greatly photos used to be terrible, and after lots of prayer God showed me how to fix them. I just brighten and contrast, crop where necessary, and poof! As long as my model doesn't bruise her noggin or scrape her nose, we're in good shape. :D

On May 8, 2010 at 4:00 PM , Julie Riisnaes said...

Great advice! I know I need to work on mine! And that one thing advice is definitely key - sometimes there are so many things you know you could do, its overwhelming

On May 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM , pfd said...

Ira - Great post! It is so true we can improve one by one. Your pictures are always my favorite. They are fun and clear!

On May 9, 2010 at 3:49 AM , Vanessa said...

I totally agree great photos make or break your shop. You dont need a super expensive camera. Natural light with no flash always works wonders. Even a well lighted windowsil does the trick. Wonderful shops featured in this post. A blessing to be part of this team. Happy Mother's Day to you all!!

On May 9, 2010 at 11:55 AM , pfd said...

Sue, I just realized that I thought Ira wrote this... but it is you! The comment holds, your pictures are always exceptional. Do you offer critiques?

On May 10, 2010 at 1:51 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Sure, Phyllis :-)