My family is rarely in the same quarters for extended lengths of time. So, this weekend, when several of us were, I got an interesting perspective on the dynamic of the household. There always seemed to be one (or two) voices that were heard the most while the others seemed to struggle to be heard. And those roles rarely changed. Once in awhile a loud voice would take a break for a second and a quieter voice could be heard. But, the opinion of the quieter was usually squashed when the louder one was done taking a breath.
You can also compare it to presence. Why is it that a group of people can be in the same room and one gets noticed and others get “forgotten” or overlooked”? Do they have a certain quality that outshines (or is louder) than the others? Or do they just command a room when they walk into it? Do they need to be heard and seen while others take a backseat to them? And how do you make a switch from one group to the other?
This doesn’t just apply to people in life. This can apply to the craft world. How does one Etsy shop get noticed above all the rest? Where does their voice come from? Is it flash and attitude that get them noticed? How does the artist create that persona for their shop?
Lately with all of the fierce competition on Etsy, it is tough to get noticed. But there always seems to be those few competitive shops that drive most of your category’s business. Sure you can look at how they took their pictures, what they used as tags, the quality of materials used, etc but how can you copy that special something that they have? Does it come from artist confidence?
All too often, we are too close to our pieces to write about them objectively. We downplay how difficult it was to make the piece. We price them at barely breaking even amounts because we think no one will pay THAT much for the item. We see them through the eyes of a jewelry or card maker and not a consumer. We can’t seem to get descriptions that capture the true essence of our products. Or we have a great idea of how to draw in a customer with a description and then when it comes time to write them, the words don’t come or somehow they seem silly.
Maybe this isn’t everyone. Maybe this is just me. However, I don’t think that is the case. At dinner the other night with several other women who sell on Etsy, we discussed this issue. We all found it rather difficult to make our products sound as awesome as they are. And that is the truth – they all are amazing items! But somehow, when it comes to conveying that awesomeness to the consumer, we all get stuck. We become the quiet voice, allowing the louder one(s) to outshine us.
I think that with time comes confidence. The more shows you do, the better you know your audience. The more sales you get from Etsy, the more you will understand what keyboards to use and how to take pictures. However, to do well at shows and to increase sales, you have to find your crafty voice. And that is tough to do! In life, as well as crafts, some just seem to be born with that voice. The rest of us, well, we just have to work on it!