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Improve your online presence: Advice from an Etsy seller

Mar 19, 2015

by Alice Young

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

‘When you put a face to a brand, it makes it seem a lot more relatable. I don’t ever want Oh No Rachio to be a faceless brand. I always want people to know where their purchases came from’.

Rachel, owner of UK Etsy shop Oh No Rachio, is a designer, illustrator and self-confessed succulent addict. She creates oh-so-pretty stationery and homeware from her jungle-like studio in Southampton, where her mischievous cat, Luna, is never far away.

Screen Shot Rachel

Taking a look through her Etsy shop, which opened in 2010, it’s easy to presume that Rachel has a degree in marketing or design. Nope. How about specialist training in Photoshop or Illustrator? Nuh-uh. Rachel has built up her successful business with a passion for making things and a motivation to learn.

So, now that she’s been self-employed for just over a year, and has an impressive online audience, we asked the Archaeology graduate to pretty please share her tips on social media and photography…

More than just business stuff

rachel screen shot pasta

Putting a face to your brand doesn’t necessarily mean an endless stream of selfies (but taking a few can never hurt, of course); Twitter, Facebook and Instagram give an opportunity for your followers to buy into the whole ethos of your brand.

Sometimes I worry that sharing how I’ve just finished a workout, or that Luna has knocked something over again, might be over-sharing… but then I remember how that’s the kind of content I enjoy seeing from others’.

There’s always time for social media

rachel screenshot drawing

As an Etsy seller, when so much time is dedicated to creating products, answering emails and crunching numbers, it may seem like there’s no time to come up with social media content. Rachel plans out content for important calendar dates (Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.) in advance, and she has a nifty approach to everyday posts:

‘I like to share the design process, the whole journey up until that final product. As I paint each design, I share little snaps. I find it’s a sustainable way to maintain a steady presence online’.

The most click-worthy content

Blog

Rachel blog

Rachel finds that personal content, whether it’s recipes, fitness updates or just things she’s doing, get the most views. Business advice gets good levels of engagement, too: ‘I think people like to understand the journey of how I got to where I am’.

Instagram

rachel screenshot luna

Never underestimate the power of cuteness; photos of feline rascal Luna hanging out in the studio tend to perform well on Instagram: ‘I don’t see my business as just products, but as a whole picture’.

Twitter and Facebook
‘Consistency’ is the magic word here. Consistency in on-brand content and also in the regularity of posts. Rachel advises to: ‘be genuine. Be open. But, you have to be on-message. I would never say anything negative about any customers.’

Get snap happy

Everybody craves to take those all-important consistently beautiful images as it plays a hefty role in the success of an Etsy shop.

Top quality photos
Shoot in RAW mode because, unlike JPEG mode which compresses images and loses detail, RAW captures all image data recorded by the camera’s sensor, which means high quality, dead fancy photos. Plus it’s heaps easier to edit the images in that format. Check your camera’s manual and make RAW your best friend.

White and bright photos

r succulent

Wave goodbye to yellow-y photos and inconsistent exposure. Rachel swears by her trusty grey card: ‘place it into the scene, take a photo, whip out the grey card, and take another photo. It’s so simple.’

You then need to do a few things to the images in software such as Photoshop. It’s definitely worth having a Google of the technical bits if you’re interested.

Inspiring photos

r wedding book

Look at the product you’re going to photograph, and think of the lifestyle situation. ‘Create a scene that potential customers can aspire to. I like to use really nice stationery and plants. But keep things relatively simple, you don’t want your product to be like Where’s Wally in the middle of it all’.

Well lit photos
Even if you follow the above advice, your photos will be scuppered if you don’t utilise the right lighting: ‘take photos next to a window and only ever use natural light.’ For extra bright and breezy photos, Rachel recommends bouncing light back into the photo using reflective objects such as white card.

Click the links below to follow the adventures of Rachel and Luna:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

What social media and photography tips do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @EtsyUK

More advice from Etsy UK

Top 5 tips for getting press
British Library: Protecting your creative business
Marketing your Etsy shop (together)

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