Friday, July 2, 2010

From the Collaboratory

All photos by Taryn Pyle of BornBarefoot

I Saved You a Seat

During the course of my submitting a photo for the July poe team slideshow, Taryn Pyle of BornBarefoot raised some intriguing issues for discussion. Here, with her permission, is the essence of our exchange:

Taryn: I have been wondering about watermarks. I have noticed that photographers that add watermarks and price their photos much higher than I do tend to have a higher number of sales and views by customers. I was wondering what your thoughts are on that? Do you think people are downloading photos without paying the artist?

Summer Time and the Living is Easy

Su: It seems like a 72 dpi photo isn't going to look like much unless it's printed really small. You raise a good point, though. I suppose if someone printed the zoomed image, then scanned it at a really high resolution, they could re-print it at a decent size. Are people going to all that trouble to steal our photos? I don't know.

Still, I think the slideshow's pretty safe. As for the higher sales, it may be that either the sellers have been on etsy longer, or that their photos are tapping into a trend or style that others aren't. Or, they may just be reeeeally good. Important to consider - and maybe act upon, eh?

Shell Seekers

Taryn: Well, I have been looking at the other photographers who get their sites up on the treasury. I go in, look at the photos, the sizes, what they do differently, etc. And this is what I have learned.

1) Most of them begin their pricing at about $30 for an 8 X 10. Much higher than what I charge.
2) About 80% use a watermark
3) Many of them show the picture with a frame
4) Many of them offer something else which puts them in other categories. For example: photo cards, digital painting, frames, etc.
5) The body of copy is short, clear and concise.
6) If listed in a treasury, they promote that somewhere on their site with a link to the treasury.
7) They offer sets of pictures

There are a few other anomalies, like if the person is in Canada or taking pictures of France, they are selling more. {There is} something about the French, which might be a certain theme going on right now.

But, their pictures aren't {necessarily} better. There are some where I look at them and go wow! And they have high sales, sure, but many are just as good as mine.

I am in marketing so I am thinking about redesigning my shop and so I have been looking and watching and asking questions. Some have unique themes or their own genre, but not many.

The one question I can't seem to find the answer to is if they are using other means of promotion. How are they getting so many hits? I have looked at the tags. Most of them aren't much different then my own. Are they involved with ETSY in another way? Do they utilize GOOGLE analytics? I am using that, but haven't even begun to utilize its capabilities.

One other thing I am considering is how to get those that mark my shop as a favorite to come back. I am thinking about some sort of promotion just to that group, but haven't thought it out yet.

I am just trying how to incorporate it all. It's time consuming putting on a frame, listing a separate photo with the frame, adding the watermark, etc. I am seriously thinking about raising my prices; there is a great article about pricing on the ETSY resource center that got me to thinking about that.

Su and Taryn would love to expand the conversation about any or all of these topics, from watermarks to pricing and promotion. Please join us with your comments and questions.

Nest To Be

But wait! There’s a twist! Stop back next Saturday to read what happened next.

Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here.


Anika said...

I wonder too if it's that those sellers are promoting their items by using outside markets to hand out cards and things like that to bring more people into their etsy shop. There is something to be said for being able to hold the photo and see it up close. Interesting post.

KClark Photography said...

I've noticed that the majority of my sales have come from first time etsy shoppers or fairly new shoppers. I really feel that tagging plays a large part in getting views and then sales.

Nakedeye17 said...

I think you're right, Anika. Sometimes a thumbnail isn't enough, and sometimes the immediacy of a market or show makes a difference. Then one sale may lead to another.

Kim, can you explain more about tagging that seems to work?


Just Me said...

Tagging in my opinion is crucail, but the thing that is challenging to it, is to think like the buyer. What words might they use to select the photo or picture that I am listing? I have started a word list to help me when I just can't come up with 14. Also, the thing to remember is any word you use in your description is searchable, so if you put bird in the description, do you need to put it in the tags?

I have noticed that people use words that evoke emotion, or relationship of some kind and they search in colors. Alot of times its not your basic brown, but colors like brown velvet, whisper pink, etc.

Also, styles such as traditional, vintage, surreal, shabby chic.

I always put in the POE Team as a tag, as I think ETSY administrators search by group to get photos for the front page.

Google Analytics can help you see how people found your shop as it will show keywords that they used when they came to your shop. I have to say that I haven't understood how they words they used, found me, but it gives me an idea of what kinds of words people are using.

Also, words that tell people how or where they might use the item: Wall Hanging, Home Decor, Father's Day Gift, Child's Room, Beach Cottage etc.

Here is a tip that you may already know, but I just realized I was doing. I sell cards and photos. I was putting the cards under the art main tag. But it really is a paper item as it is a greeting card. By putting the cards in another category I increase my search function.