We often talk about what to write in your descriptions, bios and how to successfully incorporate keywords into your listings, to improve your search engine rankings. But when do you get the time to read this advice, let alone act on it!
Making stock, Photographing stock, Listing, Promoting / Advertising, Shipping, Accounts…
As the ‘office manager’ of your own business it’s important to prioritise your workload. It can also be very easy to get carried away with the networking and promotional side and neglect the actual making and listing!
Making a list of the daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly tasks associated with your shop or business can really help you to begin to form a schedule and routine. Time wasting usually centres around us not knowing which task to tackle next, because there are so many! Often this results in an hour spent browsing on facebook or a forum, rather than writing up a great new blog post or drafting some listings. (Or online research as you may call it!)
Why not try sending yourself an email at the end of your day/computer session, it may help you become more efficient, especially if your default setting is always to read your emails first. It can be a big weight off your mind to write down all the niggles from the day and gives you a clear focus for the following days work. Set yourself small and achievable goals. So don’t write “Do tax return”, write “Find out what forms I need to do my tax return”. The next day, could be “read the forms” and by the end of the week you will be wondering what all the fuss was about.
The same is true of listing items in your shop, you needn’t carry out the entire process in one hit. Consistent and regular listing is widely considered one of the most important ways of improving views and sales amongst the handmade marketplace sellers. Regular new items will attract attention from new and old visitors, and the goal is to bring customers in. So we thought we’d look at specific tips and techniques for saving time in this area to make your listing process as efficient as possible.
We asked a few of the Folksy sellers for their top listing tips…
- Photograph and edit your items in batches – having a routine ‘system’ of photographing your items, ie. composition, background, lighting can save time and also help you achieve a consistent branded look to your shop.
“I like to take my photos in batches and save them to my usb memory stick, it saves me time and enables me to use another computer to list from as I have my pictures with me all the time” – Esme Dodsworth Design
- Create folders and name/number images carefully, to save you hunting for them when it comes to listing. This will also be invaluable for quickly accessing relevant images once you have large amounts of stock built up.
- Create a template for your descriptions, showing where you add in all the relevant parts. Eg. Power paragraph, detailed description, materials used – this helps avoid missing out important info.
I have a template for my descriptions (that I have saved in my google documents so I can access it anywhere) and then I just paste it in and fill in the gaps with details specific to the item I’m listing which is so much quicker than doing it all from scratch. Konnie Kapow
- Create an easily accesible document with your standard/most used keywords for you to quickly paste in. Alternatively if your items are entirely one offs having a check list of hint words also helps, such as Colour, size, style, season, appeals to etc
- Create Draft Listings – This is useful in a number of ways. Add the details you can to the listing and then simply click away from the listing, sending it automatically into your drafts list until you have everything ready. Great if you are waiting for photos or if you have products ready to list but want to list them at a specific time or stagger them.
“My main tip would be to use the ‘draft items’ facility… it’s invaluable because I can get listings ready when I’ve got a few moments, and then quickly list them on the go.” Blue Forest Jewellery
- Make a promotional check list – eg. forums, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, craft juice, nings etc You can set up some automatic RSS feeds in order to publicise your items if time is at a premium. (beware of spam overload turning people off).
For me to get listings done quickly is to be organised with my check list to hand to make sure I don’t miss anything out in terms of promotion. Tip to go faster, try not to get addicted to writing on the forums like I have :) Chasing Beads
- Periodically check Google Analytics to work out whether a specific promotional activity is working for you. If you are receiving little or no views then it may be worth concentrating your promotional efforts elsewhere or rethinking the way you are promoting. We’ll be looking at various promotional activities and how to anylyse their effectiveness soon!
Do you have any tips for saving time when listing?