Friday, August 3, 2012
Circles of New Friends
Tired of hearing folks tell me all the time, "You should sell your photography, it is so good," I developed a website. If you build it they will come - not so much. So I found a book - How to Sell Your Photography. And, I could have written the first three chapters, offer local professional businesses pieces to hang in their offices if you can put a small card with your information and the price of the work, attend craft fairs, yada yada, yada. Then it got to websites, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Shopping carts, links to socials sites - been there and I'm still waiting for the tee-shirt.
Next it mentioned Etsy, the world's market place for handmade and vintage items. No, last time I checked photography did not fall under the category of knitted stocking hats, homemade soap, or antique plates. This was going nowhere. I trudged on. But the more I read, the more I realized that Etsy may be worth looking into after all. Art and photography were big in that market place and setting up an online store was close to being free. (I was paying a lot more than "free" for my current web site host.)
So I went to Etsy and spent the better part of a night figuring out how it worked (extremely easy - after all how hard is it to sell handmade shell earrings), setting up a store, and uploading photos (this took a while to describe, label, and price each image). In a matter of hours, I was done, the store was set-up, and it went live.
But, unlike my former website just sitting out in the cyber universe hoping friendly folks with money would stumble upon it, the "beauty" of Etsy is the connections one can make driving other folks to your site. The idea is to make someone searching for "Baskets" on Etsy find my picture of the "Sweet Grass Basket Weaver" in their search. Human curiosity may very well make them open that picture, then look at the other images in the store, and hopefully fall in love with something. In the mean time a store owner searches for other stores that have items that they think may have potential customers and include their owners in the their "Circles".
When the owner receives a message that someone has selected their store to be in their Circle, curiosity leads them back and on it goes. Basically, it becomes a game of who can collect the most folks in their Circle, something akin to Facebook, accept you don't have to read comments every hour and, hopefully money is involved. Unfortunately, while I was collecting Circles, I managed to find a store selling antique sterling flatware, that I collect, with a piece I just could not resist and another that had a Victorian ring that was to die for.
So, if you want to go to Etsy, a great place to start is www.photosbyanncurrie.com. And, please feel free to visit my Circle of friends. I have no shame in self promotion.