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Seller Seminar

2014
Boost Your Shops Presence

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Syllabus ................................................................................................... 3
Contributors ............................................................................................ 3
Lesson One: Create a Brand Promise ....................................................... 4
Worksheet One: Value Propositioning ..................................................... 5
Lesson Two: Build A Narrative ................................................................. 8
Worksheet Two: Build a Narrative (Example) ............................................ 9
Worksheet Two: Build a Narrative (Your Turn) ........................................ 10
Lesson Three: Assess Your Shop ............................................................ 12
Worksheet Three: Assess Your Shop ...................................................... 13
Lesson Four: Visualize Your Shop .......................................................... 14
Worksheet Four: Visual Shop Checklist ..................................................15
Lesson Five: Connect With Your Market ................................................. 17
Worksheet Five: Draft Your Week on Social Media ................................ 19
Lesson Six: Research on the go............................................................... 20
Worksheet Six: Research on the go ........................................................ 20
Lesson Seven: Whom and What to Pitch ................................................. 22
Worksheet Seven: Goal Setting .............................................................. 25
Lesson Eight: How and When to Pitch .................................................... 26
Worksheet Eight: The Pitch Checklist ..................................................... 27

SYLLABUS
Seminar Goal: Bring new traffic to your shop by building and communicating a strong brand story.
This seminar will help you define the key factors that differentiate your brand, build a narrative around
those elements and ensure that every aspect of your shop tells that story. Once youve developed a brand
promise that is reflected throughout your shop, well guide you through exercises to promote your shop on
social media and through press pitches.
WEEK ONE: DEFINE YOUR VALUES

WEEK THREE: EXPRESS YOURSELF

Lesson One: Create a Brand Promise

Lesson Five: Connect With Your Market

Goal: Get set up! Then determine your top three

Goal: Connect your shop to social media and

selling points and develop a strong brand promise

create a weeks worth of content for your social

for your business.

media outlet of choice.

Lesson Two: Build a Narrative

Lesson Six: Research on the Go

Goal: Build a larger brand message based on your

Goal: Track social media engagement to grow and

brand promise and fill out your About page with

learn from your audience.

your updated narrative.


WEEK TWO: EMBODY YOUR VALUES

WEEK FOUR: MAKE THE PITCH

Lesson Three: Assess Your Shop

Lesson Seven: Whom and What to Pitch

Goal: Infuse your brand message into each

Goal: Identify sources to pitch and develop

element of your Etsy shop for a consistent,

nuanced story hooks.

professional impression on the press and customers.


Lesson Four: Visualize Your Shop
Goal: Ensure you have press ready images by
evaluating the visual elements in your shop.

Lesson Eight: How and When to Pitch


Goal: Develop your press timeline and pitch
away!

CONTRIBUTORS
Claire Comfort: Etsy Seller Education Specialist
Abigail Feuer: Etsy Seller Engagement Manager
Parker Gard: Etsy Seller Education Specialist
Cheyne Little: Etsy Seller Education Specialist
Campbell Miller: Etsy Seller Education Intern
Nikki Summer: Etsy PR Manager
Katy Svehaug: Etsy Seller Development Content Coordinator
Featuring Amy Flurry, the talented editor, stylist and author of, Recipe for Press: Pitch Your Story Like the
Pros & Create a Buzz.

LESSON ONE: CREATE A BRAND PROMISE


Wherever youre sitting right now, take a moment to look around and locate a few items: your phone, cup of
coffee, shoes anything will work. What are the first three words that pop into your mind when you
consider each of these items? For example, if you choose Dansko clogs, you might think comfortable,
durable and responsible.
If this was an easy exercise, its because the companies behind these items have spent time shaping the way
they are received and understood in the world. If one of your customers did the same exercise and saw your
item sitting in her living room, what three words would she list? In other words, what does your brand
promise to customers?
Youre going to see the word brand an awful lot this week. In order to take full advantage of these lessons,
go ahead and shed any biases you have about the concept. The branding we are talking about is storytelling.
Its something that comes naturally at the dinner table, but not necessarily when youre staring at a blank
screen. Its also easy to forget about your brand when youre setting prices or photographing your items. But
your brand pledge should be evident in every part of your shop.
Are you promising the fastest and most personal customer service of any online shop out there? How about
completely original designs shoppers cant find anywhere else? How are you making and keeping these
promises to your customers? Another way to think about your brand is to consider how it makes your
customers feel and think about themselves, rather than what it says about you or your business.
Your answers to todays worksheet will be a key ingredient of the next lesson, which is all about creating or
honing your brand message. We encourage you to refer to the worksheet as you refine your shop and pitch
members of the press.
If you feel like youve answered similar questions before, or that you know the answers so well that you dont
need to write them down, think again! This seminar is tailored to you, an advanced seller looking to bring
new traffic to your shop and keep customers coming back. If youre ready to grow your audience, take a
moment to look at your shop with fresh eyes, and soon others will, too.

WORKSHEET ONE: VALUE PROPOSITIONING

Two Minutes: Quick Brainstorm

Five Minutes: Quick Brainstorm

Why did you start your business?

Write down 20 words that describe your business. (Hint:


What words are you already using in your item descriptions?)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Two Minutes: Quick Brainstorm

10
11

When you think of your business, what are you most proud
of?

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13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Twenty Minutes: Define Your Brand Promise

1. What value are you providing to your audience through your product? What are you really good at?
My product is valuable because

2. What unique attributes (service, quality, experience, etc.) set your brand apart from the competition?
My brand is unique because

3. What characteristics define your target market? How do you want customers to feel after interacting with your business?
My audience is . Theyre looking for . from my product.

4. What are your customers already telling you? Take a look at your reviews and jot down some of the words buyers have used.

Once youve articulated your businesss values, unique selling points and target market, you should start to
see a fourth element emerge: YOUR BRAND PROMISE.

Write down your brand promise.

Every experience with __________________


(Name of your brand)
will convey ______________,_______________and _________________to my customers.

Stumped?

Take a moment to think of a few brands that have easily recognizable brand promises. For example, every experience with Apple
products conveys the companys emphasis on innovation and design.

What emotion does your brand promise elicit in your buyers?

LESSON TWO:
BUILD A NARRATIVE
On Wednesday, you got at the core of your

When you clearly communicate your product story

businesss story by considering your values and

to customers, you provide them not only with a new

focusing on the factors that make your brand and

product, but a product they can talk about. If your

products stand out to your target market. Your next

story is a good one, your customers will want to

step will be to build these values into a larger story

share it just as much as you do. What could be better

that youll use as you reach buyers through your

for your brand than loyal customers spreading your

About page, press pitches and other brand

core values for you?

touchpoints. Your brand promise is like a blueprint


for the overall structure of your business. Your
story, along with other components, brings these
blueprints to life.

A FEW WAYS TO THINK ABOUT WEAVING YOUR


BRAND PROMISE INTO A STORY
GRAB YOUR READERS ATTENTION: People have limited time and a lot of factors compete for it.
Have you ever picked up the paper, started an article and not been able to put it down? In journalism, the beginning of an article is called
the lede, and its purpose is to get people to keep reading. Well talk more about ways to experiment with wording in week threes social
media lesson.

GIVE CONTEXT: Your experiences are your own. If you dont

MAKE IT MEMORABLE: A person takes in quite a lot of

share them, neither can your audience.

information in a day. Can your message reflect something

Dont assume people will know that your designs are inspired by

personal about your audience to help them remember you?

your grandmothers favorite dress, for instance, or that the person

What feeling does your brand elicit? Having a clear understanding

who casts your jewelry learned the trade from her mother. Why

of who makes up your target market will help you select the right

and how you do what you do are integral parts of your business.

language to leave a lasting impression. Some of the words they use

They set you apart.

to describe your shop might even be similar to how they describe


themselves. Stand out in their memory by helping them elicit an
emotion. You can also ensure that your shop is memorable by
reinforcing your brands key attributes in every aspect of your
business.

WORKSHEET TWO: BUILD A NARRATIVE


(Example)
Here is an example of a screen printing business defining key values and then converting those into a
narrative.
Key Value/ Selling Point

Key Value/ Selling Point

ECOLOGICALLY SOUND PROCESS

LIMITED EDITION

Grab Their

We use inks and solvents designed to go down the

Start your art collection with a limited edition print.

Attention

drain.

Contextualize

When I first started screen printing, I was running my

Drawing is what gets me up in the morning. I love

business from my apartment. The bathtub was my


washout sink (it still has a pinkish hue to prove it!) and

sketching and seeing the image transformed by the


printing process. In order to keep the process fresh for

my prints dried on the kitchen table. Everything that

me and collectable for my customers, I produce a limited

went down the drain needed to be as safe as possible.

run of each print so my buyers know that they have a

To this day, I use only biodegradable inks and solvents

unique print.

and paper made from 100 percent recycled material.

Make it
Memorable

I now run my business from a shared studio with three

A customer recently sent a note to me saying that her

other eco-conscious printers. Working in a values-

husband bought a print for her on their first anniversary.

based studio with likeminded makers has been an

This year, she wanted to buy one for him to add to their

unexpected perk of running my business.

collection. She also said she was reserving space on the


wall for years to come.

WORKSHEET TWO: BUILD A NARRATIVE


(Your Turn)
Refer to the guidelines on the previous page and glance back at the last worksheet. What words kept
repeating? What values stand out?
Select the top three values you believe represent your business and add them below. Then, fill in the
supporting message. How can you describe each value in a way that garners attention? Why is each value
especially interesting? How is each relatable to your audience?
Key Value/ Selling

Key Value/ Selling

Key Value/ Selling

Point:

Point:

Point:

Grab Their
Attention

Contextualize

Make it
Memorable

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NEXT STEPS
Youll be able to repurpose this content in a variety of ways. You may need to edit it down for different
purposes. Or, you might wind up focusing on one key point and adding more information about a specific
product. Your first opportunity to put this copy to use is by updating or creating your About page.

Be sure to fill out both your bio (250 characters) and your story (5,000 characters) and add the names and
titles of any members of your shop.

About page setup layout:

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LESSON THREE: ASSESS YOUR SHOP


The way you represent yourself in words affects your sales and featurability greatly. Youll want to make
sure each editorial piece of your shop reflects your brand message and values as well as supports your own
personal voice. Is your brand polished and elegant? Funny and playful? Dominant and demanding? One
thing your brand isnt is lazy. Make sure your writing doesnt suggest that. To do so, walk through each
written element of your shop to see how those words represent your brand. Edit and rewrite areas that arent
up to par.
GETTING STARTED
If youre like many Etsy sellers, the thought of writing about yourself or your work may make you feel uncomfortable. It's always hard to
get started writing, whether it's a Facebook post, a listing description or a pitch to an editor. Here are some tips to consider.
REFLECT AND WRITE: Avoid blank page syndrome. Consider

EXPAND: This is the time to expand your story. Paint a picture

jotting down the key messages you wrote last week or pasting

that supports your key message and brand promise. This may

them into your writing field, then playing around with that

include your material sources, your creative process or shop

wording, recombining and moving things around. The hard part is

history. Dont forget to include the charming little details. Still

already done.

stuck? Try describing something about the history of your shop by


using one of your senses. What did you see, smell, feel or taste
(maybe youre a foodie) when you came up with the idea for your

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY: Now that you have a draft

shop. This can get you into story-telling mode.

going, its a good time to double-check if the critical words youre


using reflect back on the brand messages you formed last week.
Also, be sure to steer clear of clichs. Are you telling people your
brand and items are unique or are you showing it?

EDIT FOR IMPACT: Once youve fleshed out these pieces of


information, check your grammar and spelling. Remove any
superfluous language or repetitive statements. Pick the sentences
and paragraphs that make the most impact and consider removing
the ones that dont. The more directly you can get your point
across, the more impact you will have on the reader. Everyone is
better with an editor, so find a friend to check your final copy.

NEXT STEPS
Use the worksheet on the next page to reflect on what you have written throughout your shop. Ask yourself
how your current written content as well as business practices represent your brand promise. How can you
improve your audiences understanding of your business and products?
Take your drafts into the real world. Update each written element of your shop, starting with your shop title
and ending with at least five of your item listings. Make a plan to gradually revisit the rest of your listings
over the next few weeks. Youll notice this gets easier and easier as you practice your freshly formulated
brand voice.

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WORKSHEET THREE: ASSESS YOUR SHOP


For each of the elements below, visit your shop or choose a listing and take a stab at rewriting or honing
your copy. If its easier, start from scratch.

Assess

SHOP ABOUT PAGE

Rewrite

High-five for completing this last week!

AND BIOS

SHOP TITLE

Find your shop title under Info &


Appearance. This short and sweet snippet
about your Shop tells Google and other
search engines exactly what shoppers will
find in your shop. Use this to stand out.

SHOP
ANNOUNCEMENT

POLICIES

Share time-sensitive news or highlight


seasonal products.

Revisit your shop policies. They might


need to be cut and dry for clarity, but they
should still reflect your brand promises
related to how you handle returns or
other customer service issues. Start with a
few notes about changes you might
implement this week.

PRINTED MATERIALS

Business cards, care instructions and


promotional materials you may include in
packages. Your customers might read
them most carefully of all after a
purchase. Do they reflect your core brand
in a way that will allow customers to help
spread your story?

ITEM TITLES AND


DESCRIPTIONS

You already know you should be


answering your buyers questions in your
item descriptions. But are you also
describing your items in a way that
reflects your brand message?
Tip: Start with the five items you listed
most recently, since theyre a fresh
reflection of your shops style and
product offerings.

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LESSON FOUR: VISUALIZE YOUR SHOP


What does it feel like to walk into a well-curated brick-and-mortar store? You may admire the space from a
zoomed-out perspective and think, What nice lighting. I wonder if the wallpaper is vintage? The colors
make me feel calm. You might then be drawn in by the specific items that fill the shelves. In your favorite
shops you might simultaneously appreciate the items and the overall feel of the space. Can this experience
translate to an online shop? We think so. Below are some elements to consider.
FILL YOUR SHOP:
A full shop, with at least 24 items, will instill trust in your buyers. If you dont have that many items, you can still fill up your shop by
creating separate listings for variations, including color, quantity and size. At a glance, the images on your main shop page should work
cohesively. Upon closer inspection, this page should give a clear picture of your brand.

USE STELLAR PHOTOS:


Great photos allow for a sensory experience even though your buyers arent holding your items in person. Lighting will make or break
your look, so be sure to shoot with natural light or a lightbox if you arent a pro at studio lighting.

CREATE A SENSORY EXPERIENCE:


Think about including at least one shot that references the natural habitat of each item. These photos will help tell your brand story. For
example, lets say you make laptop sleeves. You might consider shooting the case on a desk. What sort of desk would your target audience
be attracted to? Will they connect with a minimalist, vintage or handmade look? Each element in your photo should add to your story, or
at least not detract from it.

You have a lot more visual control over your shop than you might think. Your visuals involve much more
than the first photo of each listing. Make sure youre looking at each graphic element of your shop as parts of
a whole.

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WORKSHEET FOUR: VISUAL SHOP CHECKLIST


Do you have five main photos and supporting bio photos on your About page?
Your About page is the perfect place to flesh out your visual brand representation. Show off your workspace, your process,
your packaging or some beautifully styled product photos, similar to those you might find in a look book.

Are you using all five photo slots


available for each listing? Do some of

Real Talk About Watermarks

those photos show product details?

You might be tempted to add a logo or text overlay to your images to avoid

Does the quality of your photography

theft. In general, we dont recommend using watermarks, because using them

support the quality of your products?

may make it harder for Etsy and other venues to promote your items.

If youre using only two to three photos for

Watermarks can also distract from the visual impact of your photography.

each listing, youre missing an opportunity to

Think creatively about how you can protect your photos. For example,

show off your packaging, feature your items

consider integrating packaging or your logo in the styled versions of your

in a different setting or include shots of your

product photos.

creation process to illustrate your full brand


story.

Are you accurately depicting the size and scale of your items?

Jot down names of some common objects that will help show the scale of your item and complement your shops style.

Are your photos cropped in a complementary way? Do they look good on different devices (tablets,

Do your product photos tell a story and communicate your shops style?

smartphones and desktop computers)?

Next Steps
Create your own photography action plan. Commit to making changes this weekend. Optional to-dos: Hire a
photographer, reshoot some of your items, practice styling a scene, re-edit some of your best shots or create
a press file folder with images you plan to send along with your pitch.

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PRO-TIP: GET READY TO PITCH


Now that your shops photography and graphic work look fantastic, set up a file folder on your
computer for all of your press-ready photography and information. Include high resolution images
(those that are at least 300 dpi and 2,500 pixels wide), pre-written bios and polished copy that you
can use to respond to a press request quickly. Its not a good idea to send high-resolution images
when you make an initial pitch to a reporter or editor, since the huge files could clog up their email
inboxes. But you should have them on hand. Learn more about photo resolution here.
A headshot or group photo with your staff
Styled or editorialized product

AGIRLNAMEDHENLEY
A workspace or shop photo

VITAL

Photos of top-selling items on a white


background

LUNATICART
Product Packaging

KIVAFORD

SEVENTHTREESOAPS

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LESSON FIVE: CONNECT WITH YOUR MARKET


When you run a social media campaign, you create an opportunity to gain new fans and drive more
customers to your shop. You can use social media as a testing ground for your pitch messaging and see how
your audience reacts to different topics. We won't go into detail about newsletters in this seminar, but they
are also a great way to test and engage your customers. Check out How to Grow Your Etsy Business with
Newsletters for more information.

Quick Tips for Using Social Media


We all know to steer clear of spamming our followers by posting to Facebook or Twitter each time we add a new listing to our Etsy shops.
So what should you post and how often? Social media writing takes practice, but getting started (and keeping it up) is simple when you
think within a framework. In addition to intermittent product updates, here are three types of content that will keep your fans engaged.

When people subscribe to your brand, theyre interested in more than just what you sell.
Alison Feldmann, Editor-in-Chief Etsy Blog

GIVE YOUR FANS A BACKSTAGE PASS


What does it take to run your shop? How do you make your items? What does your day-to-day existence look like? As an Etsy seller, you
have the opportunity to market the character and hard work that go into running your small business. If you are a handmade seller, share
photos of your items during the production process to visually connect to your buyers and increase your market value. Theyll see how
much time and care goes into creating each product and will put a face and name to the maker or curator of those items you!

SHOW YOURE AN EXPERT


Share your insights and highlight your expertise. If you are a jeweler, spotlight other jewelers whom you admire or different techniques
youve read about. Or, review a show that youve attended. If youre a vintage seller, share your expertise with a certain era or style. Link
to articles or tidbits about that look. If youre having a hard time finding the right content to feature, you can always fall back on your
expertise in making or sourcing items and your knowledge of Etsy. What are the keys to being an expert maker in your field? How do you
spot vintage items customers will adore? What have you learned about selling on Etsy since you opened your shop?

SHARE YOUR INSPIRATION AND PERSONALITY


Be generous by sharing articles, quotes and items that inspire you. Consider reposting content created by people you admire and respect.
You can also share something that is engaging and fun, but not necessarily related to your shop. Be careful if you do; you dont want to get
too personal or polarizing. Politics and religion are off limits. Instead, try posting quotes, questions or simple reviews of movies, music or
books that relate to your brands image and aesthetic. Each month, Etsys social media coordinator, David Morgan, posts questions on
Etsys Facebook page to start conversations related to seasonal topics. For instance, he has asked fans to describe their best Halloween
costume or favorite holiday tradition. These questions might not entice someone to click on the link to your shop, but they can increase
engagement with your social media, making followers more likely to pay attention to future posts directly related to your business.

Although not all of your posts should link back to your shop or include a call to action, some definitely should. You can intermingle posts
about a series of new listings or a special offer; just be selective. When spurring a next step, David Morgan recommends, using wide
words instead of narrow words for example, use discover instead of click.

NEXT STEPS
Check out our social media worksheet to tighten your social media presence and begin testing content. On
Friday, well start to evaluate how your audience reacted to these posts and what you can learn from them.

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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: GUIDED PRACTICE


Lets do an experiment. For one week, follow the schedule below to see how easy and valuable it is to
maintain a consistent social media presence that aligns with your brand promise.
Your schedule for the week:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Backstage pass

Be an expert or

Product feature

Backstage pass

Be an expert or

Product feature

Backstage pass

inspire

inspire

Each day, use the framework below to come up with a post. Or, if you prefer, write all seven in one sitting at
the beginning of the week. If you choose the latter option, youll spend only a few minutes posting on each of
the remaining days of the week!
POST ONE, FOUR, AND SEVEN: BACKSTAGE PASS
Pick One Thing To Share

The Objective

Note: photos are especially powerful!


A product in progress

Letting potential buyers into the behind-the-scenes world of your business.

Your workspace

Convey consistency with your shop style.

Yourself working with products

Show the value and investment of your work.

Your to-do list

POST TWO AND FIVE: BE AN EXPERT OR INSPIRE


Pick One Thing To Share

The Objective

A photo of something you adore

Provide a strong sense of yourself outside of work.

A repost of something by someone you admire

Attract potential buyers who share the same interests.

Another persons product or artwork you love

Promote information sharing.

A blog you follow

Demonstrate community investment.

A motivational quote

POST THREE AND SIX: PRODUCT FEATURE


Pick One Thing To Share

The Objective

Featured product photo

Put your pitch practice to work.

Link to your shop

Brainstorm some ways you can talk about a new item or tell more about it,
enticing followers to click through to your item listing without bombarding
them with the same message over and over.

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WORKSHEET FIVE: DRAFT YOUR WEEK ON SOCIAL


MEDIA
Use the ideas you selected above to map out your post schedule for the next week.

Post #

Day

Time

Type of Post

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LESSON SIX: RESEARCH ON THE GO


Social media provides a complete feedback loop in a matter of minutes. Thats why it can be such a great way
to test out messaging and new product ideas, and seek feedback on your business. If your posts and content
are consistent with your brand, youll be able to see what resonates with your target audience.
So how do you evaluate whats working and what isnt? You can do this very easily by jotting down some
notes about your posts. Choose five of your most recent social media posts to practice evaluating the results
of each one. This will help you understand what types of content are valuable even when they dont
immediately drive traffic to your shop.

WORKSHEET SIX: RESEARCH ON THE GO


CONTENT THEME

Link to new listing

RE-SHARES

REPLIES OR

FAVORITES

CLICKS

COMMENTS

OR LIKES

TO SHOP

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on Etsy

NOTES

No re-shares, but some interaction.


How can I make this more shareable
next time?

Motivational quote

Lots of shares, which attracted some


new followers!

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Evaluating Brand Messages with Your Audience


When youre ready to test out some new messaging or themes with your audience, you can do this in a
variety of ways.

Research:

Test the waters:

Try asking your audience whats important to them in a fun way.

You might start by sharing related content from a third party. For

For example, ask them to post about why they buy vintage goods.

example, perhaps youre interested in launching a new product

Once you do, see if you learn anything new from their responses

line much like your current offerings, but using new fair-trade

that you can integrate into the way you talk about your products.

materials. Consider sharing an article about the organization you

Above all, make sure youre responsive to followers when they

hope to work with or about fair-trade employment. How do your

choose to engage with one of your posts! Reply to questions and

followers interact with this content? Do they seem interested?

comments in a timely manner.

Based on their responses and shares, do they seem to think the


conversation important?

Practice your pitch:


Next week, youre going to work on grabbing the attention of blogs and media outlets. How effectively are you enticing clicks and interest
in your product? Try it out with social media first.

Complete the feedback loop:


Your customers might give you feedback through social media. They might tag you when bragging about their happy mail once they
receive your item. Or, they might contact you directly when theyre less than thrilled about something. Make sure you respond. You can
also integrate their feedback into your product design as well as your marketing plan. Do shoppers keep saying how fast your shipping
was or how cute your packaging was? Use it!

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LESSON SEVEN: WHOM


AND WHAT TO PITCH

2. THINK LIKE YOUR SHOPPERS

Press kits are becoming less common. These days,

shoppers in your target market reading? Not sure?

emails written in a human voice, are more likely to

Learn about your target market by putting out a call

get a response from an editor. This lesson will teach

to followers or past customers for blog

you how to find the right media outlet and editor or

recommendations.

What blogs, magazines and other publications are

reporter to pitch. Youll also learn how to craft a


pitch that is timely and relevant. The content you

You can also follow businesses you admire through

create in this lesson can be adapted beyond press

social media and get inspired by their coverage in the

pitches and may be useful for craft show

press. Even a walk down the magazine aisle of a store

applications, residencies and grants.

can help spark ideas.

WHOM SHOULD YOU PITCH?

3. START SMALL

Below are five tips for researching media outlets that

Pitch to a variety of publications, including smaller

could be a good fit for your brand and finding the

local outlets, mid-range national publications and

right person to pitch at those outlets.

larger international options. Web versions of larger


magazines often run unique content and have shorter

1. USE SHOP STATS

lead times than their print counterparts.

Shop Stats offer a great market research opportunity.


Select the past year and take a look at the traffic

4. PITCH THE RIGHT PERSON

sources. If you see direct traffic, that means people

Read the masthead, that gem of a page in print

are typing your URL directly into their browsers.

magazines that lists the names and titles of full-time

Your social media sources and website might appear

magazine staff and contributors, to find the editor or

here alongside search engines and etsy.com.

reporters of the section thats most relevant to your


shop. Consider whether the print or web version is

This is all great data for gauging your shops ongoing

more appropriate for your pitch and check the

health, but for now, focus on any blogs or websites

website for a contact us section. Research the editor

that appear on that list. These sites have already

or reporter you plan to pitch to be sure your story is

shown interest in your business and think youre a

something they might conceivably cover.

great fit for their audience, making them the perfect


places to contact once you have a new hook. You dont
want to pitch the same story they already wrote, so
send something fresh, and be sure to thank them for
the last feature!
You can also look at your shops traffic sources on
Etsy to see which Browse pages are surfacing your
items. For example, if Gift Ideas Browse Sections is
driving people to your shop, take a look at the top
level categories on that page and brainstorm media
outlets that specialize in the most relevant categories.

5. STAY ORGANIZED
Create a document to keep track of connections you
make. Remember to update this list periodically to
make sure your contacts role hasnt changed!
Set up a Google alert for your businesss name and
keep a record of every pitch you make in case a blog
decides to run your story or link to your shop without
following up with you. I see a very organized
spreadsheet in your future.

22

Top Tips for Adapting Your


Brand Message for Press
Pitches By Nikki Summer,
Etsys PR Manager

2. MAKE IT NEWSWORTHY OR TRENDY


Ask yourself if there is something happening in the
world that makes your product more relevant.
Maybe the Olympics are coming up and your
product is a must-have for ice hockey fans. Maybe
the First Lady just popularized a certain accessory
that is flying off shelves and that you happen to
make. Center your pitch around these news hooks

Now that youve started thinking about WHOM to

and trends, and youre more likely to capture an

pitch, read these tips from Etsys PR Manager, Nikki

editors attention. Events and collaborations are also

Summer, on WHAT to pitch.

a great way to grab the attention of editors.

WHAT SHOULD YOU PITCH?

3. CONSIDER THE CALENDAR

Like so many of us these days, editors and reporters

Editors are always looking for seasonal and holiday

are overworked and strapped for time and

stories, which is awesome for you because those

resources. A winning pitch will cut through the

dates are predictable! Think about how your product

clutter and make it easy for them to see how your

might be relevant to the dawning of spring or the

story is a good fit for their publication.

crisp days of autumn. Maybe its a perfect gift for

To do that, you need to tweak your story and brand

Mothers Day, or a patriotic accessory for a Fourth of

message to fit different hooks or angles. A tailored,

July picnic. (Take a look at page 24 for a handy list

targeted pitch will go a long way towards landing

of seasonal events, holidays and trends to consider.)

you some prime media space.

4. DONT FORGET ABOUT YOU

1. ADAPT TO THE AUDIENCE

Pitches often center around the product, but dont

Think about who reads the publication youre

forget that you might be the story! Consider what

pitching. If youre pitching a mens magazine, for

makes your story unique maybe youre supporting

example, you want your pitch to reflect why a male

your family while living off the grid, say, or you

audience needs to know about your products. A

invest your profits back into your community. Then,

pitch to a mens magazine should be significantly

center your pitch around that instead of your

distinct from a pitch to, say, a home dcor blog. The

product, applying the same tips as above.

product may be the same, but a male audience will

Even when you are pitching an item or line, be sure

have a different interest in it than an audience of

your pitch reinforces the brand promises you

dcor aficionados.

defined in week one.

23

DATES TO CONSIDER
This is a list of some seasonal events, holidays and trends to consider as you plan your own press
calendar. Remember to think about the longer lead times for print and web and prepare your pitches
accordingly.

JANUARY

JULY

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Fourth of July

Birthstone: Garnet

Birthstone: Ruby

FEBRUARY

AUGUST

Valentines Day

Vacation time

Black History Month

Birthstone: Peridot

Birthstone: Amethyst

MARCH

SEPTEMBER

St. Patricks Day

Back to school

International Girls Day

Fall fashion

Womens History Month

Birthstone: Sapphire

Easter/Passover
Birthstone: Aquamarine

APRIL

OCTOBER

Easter/Passover

Halloween

Earth Day
Spring Fashion

Birthstone: Opal

Birthstone: Diamond

MAY

NOVEMBER

Mothers Day

Thanksgiving

Birthstone: Emerald

Black Friday
Cyber Monday
Hanukkah
Birthstone: Citrine

JUNE

DECEMBER

Fathers Day

Hanukkah

Birthstone: Pearl

Christmas
New Years
Birthstone: Turquoise

24

WORKSHEET SEVEN: GOAL SETTING


Fill up column one with the names of blogs, magazines and newspapers that might be a good fit for your story. Figure out which section
makes the most sense and list it in the second column. Finally, figure out your hook what makes your item, brand, new line or event a
timely and natural fit for each media outlet.

Media Outlet

Section

Hook

Etsy Blog

Quit Your Day Job series

Mothers Day feature about mom and


daughter who run a full-time business on
Etsy.

25

LESSON EIGHT: HOW AND WHEN TO PITCH


You now have a list of solid possible pitches. Decide which ones to follow through on and start building out
your emails. Remember, these should sound like they are coming from you the most organized and
articulate version of you, that is!
REACH OUT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Once youve done the work to make a relevant pitch, dont waste it by pitching at the wrong time. Be aware
of lead times. Print outlets begin working on stories between three and six months before publication, but
Web outlets operate on a much shorter lead time, often weeks or even days. Gift guides are great
opportunities to pitch a new product, but be sure youre considering these timelines.
MAKE SURE THEY READ IT
A clear and specific subject line will help your email get past the first barrier: getting opened by the editor.
Youll also want to email your pitch on a weekday during work hours so its less likely to get lost in the
shuffle. An even better way to grab an editors attention is with a personal introduction. Do you have a
friend who has been featured in a blog youre pitching? Ask them if they can make an email introduction.
The talented author Amy Flurry knows how to stand out and has helped numerous do-it-yourself businesses
attract the attention of press. Review her five tips for perfecting a pitch and her handy checklist before you
press send.

5 TOP TIPS FOR PITCHING


THE PRESS

3. Perfect the pitch

FROM RECIPE FOR PRESS: PITCH YOUR

online and print publications. Editors are extremely

Brevity and strong photography is key to cracking

STORY LIKE THE PROS & CREATE A

visual people. They can usually determine if they

BUZZ, BY AMY FLURRY

want to learn more based on a glance at the lead and


the photo you submit.

1. Put your best foot forward


Once you have the attention of an editor, you can bet

Great photographs help a pitch rise to the top of the

that the first place they visit is your website if theyre

submissions pile, so choose images that look like

interested in learning more. Editors will know

they could be plugged directly into the page or blog

whether or not your brand fits their publication

youre pitching. The pictures should be low

almost upon first glance, so be sure that your

resolution (72 dpi) and embedded directly into the

website reflects your best before reaching out.

email for easy viewing (but you want to let them


know that high-resolution images are available or

(Note from Etsy: This also applies to merchandising

provide them a link). Editors wont open

your Etsy shop!)

attachments unless they have requested the images.

2. Prepare before you pitch

4. Make it personal

Impulse marketing is one of the most common

A scattershot mailing or blanket pitch is the easiest

mistakes people make when reaching out to the

email for an editor to delete.

press. Darting off ideas that are not fully thought out
read exactly that, like a half-baked pitch.

26

5. Follow up

in the follow-up that you sent in the pitch to quickly

Give the editor seven to ten days before sending a

jog the editors memory.

short follow-up via email. Include the same images

WORKSHEET EIGHT: THE PITCH CHECKLIST


FROM RECIPE FOR PRESS BY AMY FLURRY
Before hitting the send button, make sure your pitch can answer the questions below. You want to make it
easy for the writer to fully understand your story and why it is relevant to their readers.
Do you have an exciting hook that connects it
to the publications readers?

Did you demonstrate some simple familiarity


with the blog or magazine by specifying the
specific section you are pitching?
Have you mentioned what makes the idea
timely?
Have you offered the editor an extra
incentive, like an exclusive image, to write
about you our your companys product?
Did you double-check the spelling of the
editors or bloggers name?
Did you include your website and contact
number?
Did you mention you have high-resolution
images available upon request?

CONGRATULATIONS!
Youve completed your Boost Your Shops Presence workbook. Flip back to the syllabus on page 3 and check
off the goals youve accomplished. Youve done a lot.

27