HOW TO GET NOTICED BY BLOGGERS WHEN SELLING ON ETSY (OR ONLINE)

So you’ve made it to Etsy (or opened an online business), kudos to you! You’ve set up your beautiful shop, you’ve worked on your detailed product descriptions to overcome SEO and now you’re wondering how will people know that you’re somewhere ‘out there’.

Well… there are a few ways how these things might happen. To me, it seems the basis of it all is still this little word called ‘communication’ and various forms and strategies that are related to it.

COMMUNICATE WITH A GOAL IN MIND

It can’t be emphasized enough that creating, holding and keeping up good relationships with your customers as well as peers in your network is a MUST. Turn your ‘nice’-button to the max and start making friends. Having friends in the business scene will get you further.

If you’re able to please a customer with your products and buying experience then there’s a more likely chance that they will rave about their awesome experience to others as well. This is especially true about fashion bloggers or today’s vloggers (short for video-bloggers) who often do product reviews in front of a screen and if you’re lucky enough to get mentioned this could bring a lot of good exposure to your business.

However, getting their attention is the key to getting noticed and mentioned in their blogs or vlogs. There are many roads that might lead you there eventually – some longer, some shorter. But getting started by following their blogs, commenting on topics that are genuinely interesting for you and engaging in online conversations is a good first step.

NETWORKING IN THE NAME OF BUSINESS

Selling something online is a tough business but having a group of like-minded people support you on the way is a good start. So my suggestion to you would be to find ways how to collaborate with your fellow peers to create ‘win-win’ situations. Organize a fashion show together with other designers, join forces and set up a pop-up shop at a local fair or city in anticipation of big holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc).

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Women helping other women succeed will have a better outcome than everyone trying to make it on their own. In the process of running mutually beneficial projects, you’ll make new friends and partners, get more insight into how other people are working and simply think bigger. Networking, when done the right way, leads to important new connections, meeting the right people and getting your foot in the door. Plus, it’s always great to meet people that are having similar kind of hurdles when it comes to running online businesses.

The good news is that when you’re organizing a joint effort such as a fashion showcase, a pop-up shop or a networking night it’s always a great idea to involve known local bloggers or newspapers in the events. Invite the blogger or reporter over, give them a free seat, meet up and ask for advice or invite them to come and give a talk at your networking event to educate others about blogging in general.

COLLABORATING WITH STRANGERS

Getting good collaboration offers from strangers on Etsy might initially seem the very unlikely thing to happen, however, you might be surprised. If your Etsy shop looks appealing, the quality of your product pictures is high and your personality oozes through the descriptions, then you might get picked up by other fellow Etsy sellers/bloggers. After all, on Etsy you’re both the seller as well as the buyer and everyone loves looking at pretty things.

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There are 2 ways how getting noticed and offered a collaboration might happen: 1) they’ll ask you if it’s OK to blog about you and your products 2) they’ll ask you to send some free stuff that they’ll take photographs with or of, that they might video blog about and offer you some exposure through that.

The first option, of course, is the less risky business, because then you won’t have to send any free stuff to a stranger at your own cost. The least you might be asked to do is to answer questions and share your product photos. So it’s always a good idea to keep a collection of work in progress shots, images about your workspace or studio, or amazing product photos at hand. The latter, by the way, makes also great material to use on your Instagram or Facebook channels.

Option 2, as shady as it sounds, however, could also be a blessing in disguise. A fair warning before you start sending free stuff to someone: make sure you do your background check: look at the person’s blog, vlog or photographs, see how many followers they’ve got and if the audience fits your brand’s, and ask if you can use the photographs (if the person is asking your products to use on a photo shoot) later on for your own shop or blog. That way it will be a bigger win for you as well than just a vague promise of ‘exposure’ on a channel that might not even be popular.

PARTICIPATE IN OFFLINE EVENTS

Having an online shop is a big deal. But don’t forget that you’re dealing with real people and people who shop for hand-made things will more than often also want to touch your things. After all, that’s why clothes stores were invented! Same goes for jewellery and another kind of products. The more expensive your product, the more likely it is that a person will think long and hard before hitting ‘buy now’ button.

Participating in online events, such as craft fairs or beauty fairs, has a lot of advantages, in addition, to actually selling things. I personally have found it a great way to communicate my brand, introduce myself as the face of the brand and to convince people to buy my products. Once they are on the hook, keep up their interest by encouraging them to touch your products, feel the texture, try it on etc.

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And don’t underestimate the power of having your business cards on the table. If you’re taking part in a big fair the people might get overwhelmed by all the choices they’re surrounded with. Having business cards available at your desk will allow possible customers to pick your card and find your Etsy shop later on online to close the sell.

Furthermore, offline craft fairs are like a buffet dinner for fashion bloggers who come to hunt down their next big article idea, favourite designer or up and coming brands. And sometimes you might just attract the eye of a tourist or travel blogger that will share their experiences and cool findings while writing about their trip to your country. If the outcome is a blog post, you’ve been successful!

JOIN FORCES WITH FELLOW SHOP OWNERS

If you’re running an online shop then the chances are that you’re active in social media as well – if you’re not, I would suggest getting busy online to draw in more traffic into your shop. The key to getting more traffic, however, is to keep a blog, make constant photo-updates on Instagram or Facebook and keep your possible fashionista buyers in the loop about what’s going on.

One quick way of getting more exposure on other people’s blogs is to take advantage of your fellow show owners and designer’s that need the exposure as much as you do. Fair warning though, as much as it seems like an easy way out, it might not leave the best of an impression if both of you are not so genuinely raving about each other’s products. I would suggest you find a more creative way of approaching things.

Galway Designers Studio House

If you’re selling clothes, ask your blogger friend to write or video vlog about ‘outfit of the day’ or ‘3 ways to wear this piece of clothing’. It’s easy to include links in a not so obvious way to products being mentioned in such a blog post. If you’re selling jewellery then a review of ‘what’s in my jewellery box’ kind of a post might be the answers to your prayers.

Whatever you decide in the end to do… just remember to make sure the outcome won’t look like an obvious advertising piece. That kind of a reading material would not be interesting to your current customers as well as new business and it might have the complete opposite effect on the fans of your work.

LET’S WRAP IT UP

To summarize, the key to any kind of good advertising is the kind where the customer doesn’t even realize that by reading your content they’re slowly but surely being drawn into your world: so instead of selling a product, ‘sell’ an experience, a feeling, a brand.

Have you got any cool tips or tricks to share about getting your products noticed or picked up by bloggers online? If you do, don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts in the comment section below. After all… communication is the key to learning.

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Kaisa is a freelance graphic designer, Jack(ie) of all Trades Creative and the creator of the brand Sylph Designs that is known for its quirky and colourful retro-vibe pixelated jewellery. Feel free to check out her Etsy shop or follow her on social media (F

Images courtasy: The daily beast, Aay Kay and Sylph designs.

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Designer Profile: She Vibes | AW’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the first installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

She Vibes – Karolina Sexton 

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with jewellery?

I suppose every woman likes jewellery, but I don’t really like pearls, gold, stones and sparkly crystals. I like being unique and I always enjoyed  making my look a bit different from what you can see on the streets.  I wanted to wear something easy to put on, big but light and most of all something eye catching and very colourful. Inspired by African style jewellery I decided to start making yarn wrapped necklaces – and that’s how it all started.

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Aay Kay Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I never studied any fashion design. I am a preschool and primary teacher with an artistic soul and a passion for handmade art.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I am not sure If I am at this stage when I think about it as a chance for a career. I still think about what I am doing as my passion, my hobby. It’s a bit like therapy, a nice break from every day life, the kids, the work, the house duties etc. Every time I see people liking my jewellery and they are willing to buy it, I take it as a compliment. This is what makes me feel unique: people’s interest, nice words and real contact with them.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is your aesthetic?

I like colours. I think wearing something colourful makes life more happy, especially in Ireland where we have to deal with so many rainy and dull days – I like to brighten them up with a bit more colour. I am inspired by African style jewellery. I like to play with colours but also with different fabrics, trimmings, beads, feathers and anything what can be wrapped around strips of fabric.

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection or what are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

When I was creating this collection I was definitely using more feathers than before. I carefully selected them while I was visiting my country during the summer holidays. I love attaching them to my necklaces . Some of them are long, some are short. Fluffy, delicate, exclusive almost. In this collection I wanted to show that my necklaces can be used as a costume jewellery as well as part of the casual look. They can be use as a part of theatre costume as they are big and very eye catching.

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Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I am definitely more brave by using more and more different types of ”decorations”. I started using only yarns and playing mostly with the colours. Now I am focused on making more interesting necklaces when every rope has a different texture , feeling etc.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

I don’t know how to answer this question… We are learning every day and all our lives. I am not that far with my company to be able to do that kind of evaluation yet!

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Mick Russell Photography

Describe your creative process.

It’s simpler than you think. It all comes from the need of taking break from reality! Then I look at the yarns…I think what colours I would like to mix. I decide what kind of trimmings, or beads , fabrics or maybe feathers I can attach to make it look interesting and off I go with the creative process!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

If I feel tired from making necklaces and have no idea for the next project I usually switch to my other craft – needle felting. I make figurines, ornaments etc. After 1 or 2 felt items I can go back to my jewellery designs. It always works!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

How do I want it to look on my neck? Do I want it very bright or maybe quiet this time?  Do I want it to be casual or more costume jewellery?

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Purple Blues Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Ha! Nobody said I am organized! Artistic people are usually not! I work when I can…when my kids are busy playing, between washing and feeding them. I work when they are finally asleep. I suppose it is still some kind of organization but far away from the dream!

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Manon Gustave Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

To be honest with you….I don’t know. I do what I love, I sell it and it makes my happy. But I am outside of the fashion industry. I don’t follow the trends, I don’t read or watch any programs about it. I wear what I like, I do what I love…I feel free.

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Manon Gustave Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

As far as I see 98% of my designs are selling to the United States (mostly New York) so I’d say that is my main market. Funky people over there!

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Manon Gustave Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

As a designer I feel young myself so I am open for advice from designers who actually matter in the fashion industry. My time for giving advice might come but I am definitely not at this stage just yet!

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Images 2-9|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Image 10-11|Sinead Lee Hair Design|Grainne Coughlan Pro MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell|Purple Blues|Manon Gustave

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Karolina will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

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The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Smile for the Cameras! | GDN A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network we are in full swing preparing for our upcoming Autumn/Winter Showcase and the countdown is on as we creep towards September 9th.

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As any avid reader of this blog will know, the Galway Designers Network is a group that has been established to promote independent creativity and design. The Network was started because we felt that local designers in Galway and the surrounding areas were being overlooked in fashion shows and events due to the vast number of boutiques. We wanted to create a space for local designers to showcase their work and have a chance to gain exposure. The Autumn/Winter Showcase intends to do just that.

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GDN Founders, Ann Petrov & Gayle Ita

A selection of this season’s designers gathered together early on Sunday morning in the Showcase venue, Tribeton, for a promotional shoot.  Many of the images taken at the event will be used in the winder media as well as here on the blog and across our other social media channels as we approach the Big Day. The Galway Designers Network’s very own Aay Kay was on hand to capture some behind the scenes magic and as you will be able to see from the images that follow, Tribeton‘s stunningly ornate architecture will provide the most beautiful backdrop to this season’s event.

Want to know who the faces behind these collections are? Then come along to our Showcase on September 9th and stay up to date with our social media channels for more information about the talented people behind the designs.

As we have previously stated, this season’s venue is Tribeton, located on Merchants Road right here in Galway. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

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The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Target Audience | Identifying Your Customer

Who is your customer?

This is the number one question for any designer who hopes to take their work and turn it into a successful business. By understanding who your target audience is you can execute your product design and marketing messaging with precision and a definitive strategy enabling you to make strong business decisions and generate sales for growth. Essentially, the more specific you are about who your ideal customer is, the easier it will be to attract them.

Customer Profile

The key to customer acquisition is finding your niche.

In order to identify your ideal customer you need to be exactingly specific, focusing on explicit attributes and using this information to create your best client. Once you have become established, you may choose to expand your brand and attract a wider consumer base, the in the initial stages, it is critical to remain focused.

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Initially, as a designer you should identify the following factors:

Demographics: age; gender; income; profession etc.

Psychographics: values; attitudes; belief systems etc.

Lifestyle: geographic location; leisure activities; travel etc.

Buying Habits: brand loyalty; price awareness; paying attention to the other brands they buy from

However, the most critical element is to define the specific needs of your ideal customer.

Does your client want to wear a dress to a wedding that they know no one else will have? Are they a mum of three who needs comfortable, easy to wash clothing? Are they a wealthy business woman who needs office wear that she can carry through to social events in the evening time?

What do they need and why are you the best option for them?

A successful business relies on one factor – a customer base who are willing to part with they money for your product because it meets their need, it really is as simple as that. By understanding why your customer is buying from you, it will make it much easier for you to give them the clothing or accessories they want.

How to Identify Your Customer

Some designers see themselves as their ideal customer, inspired by a desire to satisfy their own needs. If this is true for your brand, it will be to identify the specifics about your customer.

However, if this is not the case for your business, you will need to carry out some customer research. It is critically important that you do not try create a customer profile based on assumptions or guesswork because you will inevitably end up wrong about some aspect, no matter how easy you think it will be to build your customer profile.

Talk to your current customers or people you would consider to be your ideal customer. Find out the information regarding the attributes listed above as well as information regarding their needs. Spend time in your competitors stores, watching how the customer shops, the other bags they carry, how much they spend etc. Approach people as they shop and explain who you are and what you are trying to do. Research brands like yourself online to get a grasp of their customer base and then use this knowledge to inform your own. Start up designers sometimes prefer to do this themselves or you have the choice of hiring a company to do the research for you, the choice is really up to you based on what your budget can allow.

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The fashion retail industry is an over saturated market place as it stands right now, with only more and more brands emerging every week. It is a highly competitive arena and without a loyal customer base, your business will flounder. An attempt to appeal to everyone will leave you constantly chasing your tail as you try to attract sales.

By defining your ideal customer, you can provide focus for your business, enabling your merchandise, branding, marketing and message to be consistent and which will target a customer who is somewhere out there, waiting and willing to hear what you have to say.

If you are a young designer looking to make your mark in the retail sector and start your own fashion business, check out the following blog post for a strategy in negotiating the various challenges of going from a hobby-designer to a successful fashion business.

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The Galway Designers Network are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.