{Business Tips} Etsy Love – Hearts, Circles, Teams and Treasuries

Necklace by Sevenply

I’ve spent some time lately going back through the great advice provided to some of our team members in the Thoughts on Shops column here on EcoEtsy.  While some of the ideas relate to the shop being reviewed, I’ve enjoyed how the insights can really be leveraged by our entire team.  As I did the review, there was one area that really got my mind whirling on the possibilities – the social dimension of Etsy.  Personally, I don’t think I leverage these great social tools as deeply as I should and I wanted to explore the benefits to both giving and receiving a little  love on the site.

Hearts – To Give and To Receive

Locket by Polarity

Giving hearts on Etsy is a lot like a “Like” on Facebook.  The gesture acknowledges to the shop owner that you appreciate their techniques, design, sense of style, overall branding, or more.  I remember when I received the first hearts in my shop it felt a bit like a personal hug or pat on the back….I was so excited.  From that moment on, I wanted to provide that feeling to others when I see work I like.

While it feels good to have someone like your work, the big benefit it provides to your business is positive exposure.  People naturally tend to like want things that the see lots of people like – or in this case “heart”.

In a review of Natural Grace’s shop, Polarity summed up the business role of hearts for your shop perfectly

She needs a village (we all do). She needs alot more hearts (signals her shop is being noticed) and to be connecting with alot more people. I really didn’t start to have consistent daily sales until I had about 1000 hearts.

While we tend to give hearts to shops we love, Polarity did offer a bit of advice on not favoriting items that might directly compete with items you sell.  The challenge with the Etsy layout is that when customers visit your profile page, items you like appear right below the items from your shop.  Here is the advice Polarity provided to BetsyandBess in her shop review:

I might add a few pages of things that are not in direct competition with her makings (I realize Elizabeth has a passion for handbags and in particular vintage handbags and I want her to be able to mark things she loves, but with such a focus on our shop profile these days, I would just favorite some more non-handbag items so the handbags don’t stand out as much). This is not selfish thinking in any way – we work too hard to get that customer into our shop.

Circles – Your Personal Etsy Group

Journal by RedorGrayArt

Going back again to a Facebook analogy, Circles are like your group of friends on Facebook.  You can add artists to your circle and they can add you.  As you add people to your circle, you begin to see their “hearts” – both items and shops as well as treasuries they create.  You do not see items they sell or other private information about their shop – just what they “Like” through hearts and treasuries.

When others add you to their circle, the same thing happens – they see your hearts and treasuries.  This can be great for exposure.  Every time someone expresses a little love for your shop, their entire circle sees that they have hearted an item, your shop, or included you in a treasury.  In turn, I have been “introduced” to a number of new artists that I love because they popped into my activity feed via a heart from someone in my circle.

The biggest concern I’ve heard about Circles is one of privacy.  Unlike Facebook, here on Etsy, you can add artists to your Circle and they can add you without the need to ask for permission.  When someone adds you to their circle you are notified and if for any reason you don’t want them to see your activity, you do have the capability to block them.  All you need to do is go to their profile page and click the “Block Shop Name” link on the bottom left of the navigation.  If you choose to do this, the block is private – there is no notification that goes back to the shop owner.

Teams – Your Support and Statement

Necklace by MolecularMuse

I went back and forth on teams for this post.  Are they or aren’t they part of “Etsy Love”?  In the end, I think they are part of growing exposure for our shop while at the same time aligning ourselves with others who share a similar value (EcoEtsy), location (MetroDetroitEtsy), common goal (Treasuries by Color), or something else.

Teams can be great support system to provide advice in areas you find challenging and a source for dialogue in your shared area of interest.  Also, like all the other sections of this post, teams can be are a source of exposure for your work.  Team members are introduced to you and what you make.  They may add you to their circles, heart your items, and continue to help you “grow your village”.

I also believe that the teams you select reflect an image to customers who visit your shop.  So, as you select the teams you join, make sure you ask yourself if that team aligns with the image you have created for your shop.

Treasuries – Challenging Your Creativity

Earrings by 2TrickPony

Nearly a year ago, GreenEarthGoodies did a fabulous post here on EcoEtsy about the value of Treasuries.  At that time, advice from the team suggested many reasons team member should give treasuries a try.  While the original post has some great quotes behind these points that I would encourage you to read, I thought I would re-list the benefits of the treasuries here:

  • It’s fun to do
  • It allows you to flex your creativity outside of your usual craft
  • It’s a way to connect with other sellers
  • It’s a way to get inspired
  • It’s a way to make someone’s day and spread good karma
  • It’s a way to promote your shop
  • It’s a way to promote others

For me, the Tuesday Treasury on Eco Etsy was just the push I needed to give treasuries a try.  At first, they felt a little forced and I wasn’t sure if creating them was “for me”.  Now, I love them for many of the reasons mentioned above.  Last week, I printed all of my past treasuries and put them up on a wall.  What was amazing is that I really see my sense of style shining through.  I took a couple of them that I really liked and have now challenged myself to create a new piece for my shop that reflects the essence/theme conveyed in my treasury.  So, if you have not yet tried a treasury I would encourage you to give it a try.  And, for those who create treasuries all the time, maybe take a look at what you’ve created and see if you can draw some inspiration from your own work!

Summary

The marketing and exposure your shop can gain from hearts, circles, teams and treasuries can do great things for your business.  A lot of the advice in Thoughts on Shops suggested that great photography in your shop is key in being selected for hearts and treasures.  So, make sure your that your photos are top notch.  Here’s some advice that RikRak provided to 5Seed:

By doing a quick search on craftcult.com, I can see that 5seed hasn’t been on the front page of Etsy yet. Of course there are many non-scientific factors behind this, but I can say by tweaking her images as noted above, adjusting the exposure and rearranging the order of images in each listing, I think her lovely products may be featured even more in treasuries, and more beautiful treasuries is a great step towards that coveted front page exposure!

Being included in a treasury that reaches the front page can do great things for your business.

However, with all the great exposure opportunities aside, I think the personal benefits that you can gain from a little Etsy Love are priceless.  The old advice rings very true here – “it’s better to give than to receive”.

Comments

  1. thanks for this recap ..I agree with all the points you made~

  2. Thanks for this summary.

    Having an online shop can leave you in the dark sometimes as to who your potential customers are. While belonging to social networks is important for being ‘social’, it can also be a great way to get a pulse on what works and what doesn’t for your business. But it also creates a community and all things you described here promotes that feeling on Etsy – not just for your business but also for sense of belonging as a business owner.

    There have been some rumbling about Etsy’s community changing with it growing so fast. But if you follow these steps you outlined, I can’t see how we can lose that sense of community.

    Great post Lori. Thanks for the reminders. You are so right. It IS better to give than to receive.

  3. Thanks for sharing this valuable information about selling on Etsy. I love featuring talented handmade artists from Etsy on my blog. Also, I find the treasures to be an awesome way to connect to new people on Etsy. So true; “it’s better to give than to receive”.
    Smiles, Paula