Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to Use Etsy: An Introduction

In this series, we will discuss the ins and outs of Etsy.  The dos and don'ts, as well as helpful apps that will give you options to increase your efficiency.  We all know that time at the computer is time away from our craft.  Today I am going to give you a list of sites of Etsy apps that you can explore and experiment with.

There are many Etsy apps (applications) out there to help make running a shop easier. Here are some of the more popular ones: 
  • for making widgets displaying your shop and treasuries on your blog or website.  This is a fantastic tool for promoting your shop or a treasury.  The more places on the internet you appear, the better the odds are for a potential customer to find your shop.
  • for recording shop analytics and editing multiple listings at once.  Shop analytics are vital to tracking your Etsy shop's health.  It also shows you where you are succeeding and the areas you need to improve on.  It also gives you the ability to edit multiple listings at once.  The time saving potential there is obvious.
  • for running sales easily (not free, except for 5 credits to run 1 sale; use the referral code 3BC8YJD7U5 for 5 bonus credits).  I'm sure you have seen listings that have the regular price crossed out in red with a sale price, also in red, next to it.  This is done with this app.  It is a great way to promote a sale price, as people can the original price.  And the line crossed through the original price makes it obvious you are having a sale.
  • for improving photos.  This site links directly to Etsy so you can upload your photos to your listing and touch them up from fotofuze,  No loading jpegs into photo software programs and then saving the somewhere on your computer so you can upload to Etsy.  Just touch them up in fotofuze, click the button, and your photos on Etsy are done.  Fotofuze is meant to enhance pictures that are already fairly close to the image you want and works best for white background photos.
  • for easy treasury making and contacting featured sellers.  You can make the treasury and send a mass email to everyone included to let them know that they are featured.  Super slick.
Find more Etsy apps here. The ones you use will show up in "Apps" under "Your Account." 


Friday, August 24, 2012

A Beginner's Journey Through Etsy: Talk About Teams

I have been on Etsy for more than 2 months now, and one of the best aspects of Etsy that I have discovered so far are the teams. What exactly do I mean by teams? Actually, Etsy has a lot of different teams that you are able to join as a buyer and/or seller on Etsy. Through being on teams, I have learned that Etsy is not just made up of individual shops, but it is really a community of artists and makers. 

There have been many benefits in joining teams on Etsy. First, I have been able to connect to other shop owners, both new to Etsy and those who have been around Etsy for a while. This has been great because I can learn so much from people who have similar goals and aspirations as me regarding shops on Etsy. It has also been a way to promote my shop and others’ shops . There are places to post new items, share your favorites from other shops, share sales or promotions that your shop is having, and so much more. 

In addition, teams are there for an Etsy shop owner to share their ideas, help each other out, or give advice. Another thing I have noticed about teams is that everyone is really friendly, encouraging, and helpful. I have enjoyed interacting and sharing with different people on Etsy. I think it is definitely a good thing when shop owners you may not even know in person, are willing to help you out with your shop and questions. 

If you new to Etsy, and you are not quite sure how to get connected, why not join some teams? You will gain more knowledge about Etsy, be able to promote your shop, and meet new people in the process. Just click on the “Community” link where the teams can be found.

Happy team joining!

Kelly Michelle

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Helping Another Person: A Tale of a Beautiful Experience

On Monday, I received a message from BellasBNS Founder, Rocco.  Kelly, an artisan that many of us know, had suffered a tragedy in her family.  Her son was working on an oil rig in North Dakota.  There was an explosion, and he was badly burned.  She lives in Utah and had to get to Minneapolis, which is where the burn unit is that they had air lifted him too.  She absolutely needed to get to her son, but money was tight.  Enter Annie, Wanda, and Chaya.

Annie, Wanda, and Chaya are the three phenomenal women who came together to organize a benefit BNR for Kelly to help with the expense of getting to Minnesota.  Rocco had sent me a message earlier in the day asking if I had heard about this yet.  I had not, but was instantly worried about Kelly and her son.  Unfortunately, I am flat broke, so I had no money to donate or buy into the BNR.  I faved the board so it would appear in my activity feed.  I also posted the link to every social media site I have access to, and put it on a couple of blogs that I post on.  It was the most I could do, until I received another message from Rocco.

Wanda, Annie, and Chaya could only stay open until the early afternoon because they didn't have anyone to curate the board after that.  They had several sales and had done a fantastic job, but Rocco felt the board should continue and I agreed.  He asked if I had a couple of hours to help man the board and I readily agreed to help, as did the other leaders of Bellas.  He offered to move the board onto Bellas and we would run the board and keep the donations to Kelly going.  Together we kept the board going for another 6 hours or so.

We raised enough money to cover Kelly's expenses that day.  I was happy to help Kelly, but I can't say that I didn't get anything out of it.  That day I got to be a part of a beautiful experience.  I got to see many artisans coming together to help another artisan in need.  I was blown away by how many people came to the board and were buying and donating and promoting.  It was incredible.  I am truly grateful to Wanda, Annie, and Chaya for allowing me to be a part of it, and for the opportunity to meet these wonderful women.  Their selflessness and kindness will stay with me forever.

This is not the first time I have been involved in a benefit to help an artisan, and seen the flood of generosity that comes with it.  I was moved deeply then, and I was again on Monday.  I am not ashamed to say that I cried several times on Monday.  I cried for Kelly and her son.  I cried for the amazing thing Annie, Chaya, and Wanda had started.  I cried at the sincere concern everyone on the board showed for Kelly and her family.  And I cried for the generosity and compassion that everyone showed that day.

In the world we live in, acts of atrocity have become routine.  To be a part of something like this, reaffirms your faith in humanity.  It makes me feel better about the world around me, and ties me even tighter to the artisan community.  I have been immersed in it since I was a child, and I am so grateful that I was.  I learned at an early age how the artisan community takes care of everyone around them.  Every artisan I know, and I know thousands, have gigantic hearts.  They will take you in and take care of you.  They will show you love and compassion.  They don't judge.  They are open and welcoming.  I am so appreciative of this community.  This community played a major role in the kind of adult I developed into.  I do my very best each day to remember the lessons they taught me, and Monday was a great reminder.  That to be open, loving, and compassionate is the only way to truly be happy, and at peace with the world around you.

Thank you Chaya, Annie, and Wanda!  For starting the benefit, and organizing it, and for letting me be a part of it.  I can't tell you how much I took from it, and how grateful I am to you.  I have so much love and respect for you girls, and for what you did, and how hard you worked.  I am truly humbled by it.

In a modest effort to do something kind in return, I have listed some links below.  There is a link to Kelly's shop, to every shop that worked to organize this, and to every shop that worked on a board.  Please take a moment to visit their lovely shops, like their Facebook pages, and follow them on Twitter.  They are a fabulous group of people.

Love and Peace,


List of Shops:

Kelly - Treasure 2 Remember
Annie - Aunt Annie's Antics
Wanda - GA Girl Jewelry and Gift
Chaya - Pearls Plus LLC
Rocco - Rocco's Country Spice
Luci - Idle Hands Yarn Supply
Amber - Cosmic Cauldron
Raven - Divine Deliciousness

Monday, August 20, 2012

Social Media Series: What Can Facebook Do For You and Your Online Business?

We all know facebook as the tool to reconnect with family, friends, and other acquaintances. But, this just in, there are ways to use facebook to market your online business! We all know that starting an online business is difficult and requires a lot of time and patience. Your family and friends were probably some of your very first customers, as were mine. Because of this, we need to market to our friends and family on facebook, as well as other people that we haven't met yet. How do we do this?
Start by creating a fan page for your business! Your fan page operates as a business marketing tool where you can show new products, giveaways, etc. You can also keep your fans up to date on what is going to be coming up in your shop. To start a fan page, simply go to and follow the steps listed on the screen. It only takes a few minutes.
After creating a fan page, now we must promote it! First, invite all of your friends and family to like your page. Go to and follow the steps. You will have a lot of followers in minutes, if your friends are constantly on facebook like some of mine are. Now that you have your friends and family covered, lets use those Etsy teams to our advantage! Go to each individual team, click on the thread in the team that says social media links or facebook links and go through each of the fan pages. "Like them" with your personal facebook page and leave a comment telling them that you are a new fan from (your business name here) and give them a link to your facebook fan page. Most fellow Etsians will like your page back. A lot of them will like and share your posts, which helps you reach more people! You can also do this with Facebook Groups such as Fan Page Promote. Fan Page Promote lists several fan pages for you to "like" and in return those businesses will follow your fan page. Make sure you tell them where to go to "like" you! I also leave my other social media contacts (twitter, pinterest, tumblr, blog, etc).
Now that we have discovered the free way to build your facebook empire, let's explore the paid way. Facebook has its own marketing system called Facebook Ads. You can run ads for your business that will show up on the right hand side of pages who match the criteria that you establish during the create an ad phase. If they like your ad, they can like your fan page. Facebook Ads sometimes runs promotions, so make sure that you keep looking back at them, and sign up for their promotions so that you can get free ad space. You can also place ads on your posts. If you want a post to get to a lot of people, you can pay for facebook to promote your post to your fans and other random people. I personally have never used this feature, as it is new.
When posting on your fan page, make sure that your post is relevant to your business. Don't use it like your personal facebook page! You want to let your fans know a little bit a bout you and get to know your personality, but they don't need every detail. Try to stay positive, but you can always make jokes out of things that you messed up on or a bad day that you are having. I joked about messing up three batches of fudge before getting the perfect batch and received a lot of feedback. Know your audience!
Happy Sales and Happy Facebooking!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Meet Our Team Challenge Winner: Letha from Time For Crochet

I am please to write about our second August winner of our team treasury challenge, Letha from Time For Crochet.  Letha has a lovely shop full of goodies that range from household and kitchen items to hats and scarves.  All are beautifully done.

Letha started to crochet at the age of 10, and can also knit and sew.  She says her favorite medium is cotton yarn and she loves working on her American Girl line.  Cotton is also one of my favorites, as it is so durable.  Let's look through Letha's shop!

These beautiful pot holders are available for purchase here.

The pretty dishcloths are available for purchase here.

Letha also makes fabulous accessories!  Just look at these!

This lovely scarf is available for purchase here.

This fantastic bag is available for purchase here.

You should also know that Letha belongs to a knit and crochet club that makes and donates items to a battered women's shelter in AZ.  Visit her shop and enjoy browsing through Letha's handmade treasures.

Love and Peace,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Etsy Shop Promotion Series: Francesca's BNS/BNR Experiences

Are you a newbie to the BNS world, not quite sure if it's the thing for you? I hope sharing my experience will help you decide.

When I first heard about BNS/BNR treasuries I was greatly confused. Reading forum discussions about them only made it more confusing and difficult. I then contacted one of the people who had replied because she invited questions and seemed really friendly. She straightened out my questions, and I decided to give it a chance and see for myself how good or bad these treasuries really were.

It took me some time to understand everything going on. But the one thing I noticed immediately was how incredibly welcoming and supportive everyone is!  These people really care. Of course, I got some sales too and many more since then, but the best reward is the friendship I have received.

Bella's BNS Team is by far my favorite. Our leadership is awesome and dedicated, doing so many things to promote the treasuries, items, and shops, and to encourage us to be involved, all resulting in boards that fill up fast (translation: sales!). The members are friendly, fun, and creative, and genuinely desire success for everyone. The support system of this team and others like it are incredibly valuable to me. To me, these are great reasons to participate in BNS/BNR treasuries!


Friday, August 10, 2012

A Beginner's Journey Through Etsy: Introduction

Hi! I wanted to start this off with an explanation of exactly what I will be writing about here on Bella’s BNS blog. So here I am a newbie on Etsy. My shop has only been around for a couple of months. Yet, in that short time I have learned so much about the aspects and features Etsy have to offer. I feel like I know a lot about Etsy at this point, but am new enough to still have a lot more to learn.  The goal of my blog will be to help other new shop owners with suggestions and tips for their shop. I will also be here to talk about my experiences as a new shop owner, the challenges and joys of owning an Etsy shop. I am here to help all those newbies out, but also to take this beginners journey through Etsy with them. Do you think maybe there is not a lot to learn from a beginnner like me? Well, you would be surprised what someone can learn through a couple months on Etsy. Also, you never know what you can learn from me, even if you are not so new to Etsy. 

I hope you can take this journey with me through Etsy and the many things it has to offer. We will be talking about teams, treasuries, rearranging your shop, favorites, and a lot more. I will also add my personal experiences, including what I love about Etsy, how my journey on Etsy began, why I joined, and so forth. Finally, I will discuss things from my perspective as a beginner shop owner, such as expectations I have had and things that have surprised me. Let’s take thing journey together, and see what we can learn. 

Kelly Michelle

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Etsy Shop Promotion Series: Natalee BNS/BNR Experiences

Anyone who is new to Etsy will tell you that one of the most confusing things about it is the BNR/BNS. I'm not going to lie. I was lost when I first saw those acronyms, but I knew that I had to be a part of them! For some reason, I just knew that it would bring sales. I asked a teammate in one of my teams what the mysterious letters meant and she was nice enough to thoroughly explain it to me.
At first, I was not thrilled with the idea that I had to purchase an item that I probably didn't need to get a feature spot. However, the items that I have received from BNR & BNS events have been awesome and everything but needless! It seems that there is always something that can be found in these awesome events! The even greater thing is that you get to be featured on top of getting that new gift!

I have had a lot of success with BNR & BNS events. In fact, the best month that I have had so far can be attributed to being featured in a lot of them simultaneously. They bring in amazing new viewers, customers, and favorites. We all know that new viewers, customers, and favorites leads to increased revenue, search engine optimization, and a lot of other bonuses that every shop owner wants!

If you own an etsy shop and are looking to boost your views, sales, etc., I definitely recommend getting into some of these events. Even if you choose to participate in a BNT, you will still benefit from it! The more exposure you get, the better off you will be!
Happy Sales!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please Welcome Kelly from Art by Kelly Michelle to the Bellas BNS Blog Staff

Please let me introduce you to our newest member of the Bellas BNS blog staff, Kelly from Art by Kelly Michelle.  You will find Kelly's bio on our Blog Staff Members page.  

Kelly will be writing a series called A Beginners Journey Through Etsy.  She will talk about her experiences as a new shop owner and what she has learned in the few months her shop has been open.  

I know when I was a new shop owner I found a lot of support from other newbies and I am confident that Michelle will provide that here.  Her series will premiere on Friday, August 10.  Be on the lookout for it.

Love and Peace,


Monday, August 6, 2012

Social Media Series: Why Do We Need Social Media Sites?

Wouldn't it be fabulous if images of your products were automatically posted all over the internet as you listed them? If customers were automatically emailed after the start up of your shop? Unfortunately, that is not a reality for those of us who have online businesses! Selling becomes a bit tricky when someone can't stop in and physically handle one of the products that are so lovingly planted on display. Marketing becomes a never-ending job that doesn't typically consist of mailing lists, newsletters, etc. Especially when you have just opened up and have no customer base!

To get your business and your name out there to the masses, you must find a way to speak to them in places online where they already frequent. That's right, social media sites! Not only is it a way for you to keep in touch with your family and closest friends, it is also a great avenue for your business. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and several others, get your products to an audience that isn't going to just show up to take a look at your goods at home, unannounced.

As an Etsy and Zibbet shop owner, I find that it is almost impossible to get my products into the ether without using these sites. Some of them are extremely tedious and demand a lot of attention. Others have very simple steps and only take minutes. However, I can tell you that when I view my shop stats several times throughout the day, I can tell if I have not sent any information to my potential customers and fans via social media. The difference between one tweet on twitter, or one post on Facebook, can make the difference of several item or shop views. It is amazing what a few minutes out of your day can do! I even find myself tweeting and pinning products from my phone during my lunch hour!

Now that you are listening, I want to invite you back to this blog for more details on social media sites and how to make them work for you and your business. In future posts, I will be delving one by one into the many sites that I use to get views. So, don't miss out on the information that could cost or make your next sale! Until next time, happy sales!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Meet Our July Team Challenge Winner: Dana from AbraBOWdana!

Meet our July team challenge winner, Dana from AbraBOWdana.  I am very excited to tell you all about her and her shop.  She makes the most adorable bows and puts them on everything from headbands to flip flops and she upcycles!  Dana's shop is full of color and very fun to browse.  I enjoy looking through all of the pretty bows and admire all of the many styles.  I had no idea there were so many things that could be done with bows, but I should know to never underestimate creativity.

This summery bow is available for purchase here.

The first thing I always want to know about an artisan is how they got started.  Dana told me that she "had been buying bows from many shops on Etsy.  I had admired the work and wished I could do it myself.  And then one day I bought some ribbon and tried!"  I love it when people love a handmade product so much they decide to try to make it themselves!  That is what keeps these arts alive.

This elegant jersey headband is available for purchase here.

So how does learning to make bows yourself become an Etsy shop?  I asked Dana and she said, "I decided to open an Etsy store because I had purchased from Etsy myself and loved everything I had ever bought.  I wanted to be a part of the community that is Etsy!"  Etsy is a fabulous community.  I can relate to wanting to be a part of the Etsy community.  That is why I opened my shop up on Etsy too!

This Chicago Blackhawks bow is available for purchase here.

As a fellow upcycler, I couldn't help but notice all of the upcycled items Dana used.  Bows made from upcycled denim, as well as bottle cap magnets and bottle caps used in the centers of some of her bows.  I even noticed some vintage button in the centers of some of those bows.  I asked Dana about her upcycling.  She said, "I absolutely LOVE upcycling materials!!!  My aunt was a HUGE crafter and she used to work in a thrift store.  She would take buttons and fabric from the clothes that had stains and could not be sold.  So when she stopped crafting and I started she gave me an entire box of buttons and gemstones and lace and denim!  I was so excited!  To me, it's a challenge to take something old and make it look new again.  Right now I'm on the hunt for old vintage earrings and broaches to use as bridal or baptismal flower centers!!!"  My heart skipped a beat when I read that.  An entire box of goodies to upcycle???  Talk about upcycler heaven!

This pretty jersey headband is available for purchase here.

As I mentioned above, Dana has a fabulous variety of designs in her shop.  Adorable bows for everyday occasions, bows with a sports team theme, bridal bows, and on and on.  I wondered where her inspiration came from.  Dana told me, "I would say my daughter Carli is my inspiration!  I kind of go off what she is into and what she likes.  Barbie, Hello Kitty, Bubble Guppies, Minnie Mouse, anything Disney!  I also am trying to pay attention to the outfits she wears or what is in the stores right now.  I never really looked that close at fashion, but now I definitely do!"  It's great how owning an Etsy shop can open your eyes to things you had never noticed before.  I love broadening horizons.

This adorable Hello Kitty bow is available for purchase here.

I want to give a special shout out to the jersey headbands!  These are labor intensive and require a lot of sewing, but the result is beautiful.  They look very comfortable and so stylish!  I love it when comfort and style combine with such fabulous results.  Here are a couple more of those headbands.  I can't help it.  They are so fun!!

This lovely jersey headband is available for purchase here.

This darling jersey knit headband is available for purchase here.

Although Dana is a "new" crafter, she is obviously a hard working one.  I think these jersey knit headbands might be my favorite.  Dana says, "I definitely aim to please.  I am my harshest critique.  I am going to keep learning and trying new things and having a ton of fun while doing it!"  What a fantastic attitude for an artisan to have.  I think it is in our blood.  

Thank you Dana for sharing all of your wonderful thoughts and your beautiful bows!  I have tried to show a good sampling of the variety in AbraBOWdana, but you will really have to visit the shop and browse her items to see all of the beautiful work she does.  You can also find Dana on Facebook.  Please stop on her page and show this hard working artisan some love.

Love and Peace,


Friday, August 3, 2012

We Have a New Board and It's Not Like the Others!

Yes, our Customer Appreciation board is up and running!  There are many great deals being offered by the shops and you can find those on the coupon codes list.  I have been trying to make sure that it is on each page so no one will have to hunt for a coupon code.  Each purchase also enters you in a raffle!  4 prizes will be given away at the end of the month.  Let me show you what our fabulous shops donated this month...

From Art By Kelly, a lovely set of 15 gift tags and a bookmark!

From The Shop At Pooh Corner, a fun set of 4 mini Hello Kitty stamps!

From CLeasBeadwork, a beautiful set of beaded butterfly barrettes!

From Cosmic Cauldron, a fabulous set of 8 tea light candles (scent to be determined)!

You will find all of their shops featured on the board.  You will also find:
Nonoluna - Beautiful Beaded Jewelry
Agnes of Bohemia - Lovely Vintage Postcards
Creations By AAJ - Stylish Bags
Mind Body and Soul Soaps - Fabulous Bath and Beauty Products
Live Upcycled - Eco Friendly Jewelry
Birdlegs Photography - Stunning Prints and Cards
Puppy Pillows Plus - Fabulous and Functional Dog Pillows/Beds
Rock N Beads - Great Selection of Beads/Rock Supplies 
Idle Hands Yarn - Large Selection of Eco Friendly Supplies
Rocco's Country Spice - Awesome BBQ Sauce and spices
Whimsy Woodcrafts - Wonderful Wooden Signs and Magnets (and custom/personalized orders!)
Divine Deliciousness - Yummy Baked Goodies

As you can see, we have a grand selection of shops to chose from.  So stop in and take a peak.  There is nothing wrong with a little "window" shopping.

Love and Peace,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Winner of the July Treasury Competition (Drum Roll Please...)

Dana from AbraBOWdana will be our featured shop on the August Weekend BNS Bash!  Our semi-finalists for the month will also have spots on the board.  Please give some love to Jan from JanDavis2, Cindy from CE Crafts, and Susan from Oh Edith.

What is our treasury competition? Well, each week team members submit treasuries in a defined format to be chosen as that week's semi-finalist winner. They get the board posted on the team blog and are entered to win the monthly drawing. If they win the monthly drawing I will feature their board on the Bellas Weekend BNS Bash.  If they don't win, they will still receive one spot on each of the Weekend Bash boards for being a semi-finalist. Our next Bash is August 4-5. Once a board fills we will start another and the fun continues!

Want to enter the treasury contest? It is very easy. First, you must be a member of BellasBNS. You can join from that link. The thread for this week's competition is here. Build your treasury according to the rules on there and post the link. You are then entered!

Be on the lookout for a shop feature on AbraBOWdana in the next day or two!  Dana has a beautiful shop and you will love it!

Love and Peace,


Etsy Shop Promotion Series: Using BNS and BNR Boards on Etsy to Promote Your Business

If you have ever looked through the list of treasuries on Etsy you have seen BNR and BNS treasuries.  You will also see threads on every active Etsy team's discussion boards with links to these boards.  There are several teams on Etsy built entirely around participation on these boards.  What are BNR and BNS boards?  Well, I already covered that in a previous article.  So let's talk about why these are so popular.  Why do shops participate in these?  What makes it worth their time and money to invest in these boards?

Shops participate in different boards for different reasons.  So let's look at this board by board.  Let's take a moment to talk just about BNR boards and another to discuss BNS boards because both have different pros and cons, as each present different opportunities and challenges.

BNR Boards and How to Use Them

BNR boards are very popular.  I think it has something to do with our love of instant gratification.  You make a purchase and the item of your choice is immediately featured.  It is thrilling to see your shop immediately up on a board that is getting a lot of traffic.  Your adrenaline increases with the number of views your shop is getting.  And it happens instantaneously.  I have sold items in minutes after buying in on some boards.  I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it!  

These boards tend to move fast and have a lot of action.  There are usually several people chatting away and sales can be fast and furious if it is a busy board.  These are very social and fun boards.  There are often games, like trivia games, for a free feature in an upcoming board.  You can buy in several times.  Most boards have a max of 2 spots, but if someone buys from you then you can buy in again.  It is great exposure for your shop, as many people will see it and you have a great opportunity to get your product out there.  Once people see how wonderful it is they will be back for more!

The down side of these boards is that one buy in will only get you one sale because once someone buys from you they take your spot and you are no longer on the board.  Unless you buy in again.  Now that sale can be a significant sale, but my experience has been that money wise you usually break even.  People will often, but not always, buy a lesser priced item because their main goal is to get on the board while spending as little as possible.  BNR boards have never been a real source of revenue for me.

So why do I do them?  I consider it advertising.  Several people see my shop and get an opportunity to interact with me and experience my customer service first hand.  If they buy from my shop, they also get to hold my product in their hands and that is so very important.  BNR boards are a great way to get your product into someone's hands.  And that is the obstacle of selling anything.  Your first priority should always be getting your product into a customer's hands.  Once they are holding it, they develop a personal connection to it and can see it as being theirs.  Getting product into a customer's hands is a challenge to selling online and the best way to overcome that challenge is to use whatever tools you can to get your products out to customers.  And it doesn't stop with the customer because they will have friends, family, and co-workers that will potentially see that item and hold it and then they develop that personal connection to it and can see it being theirs.  The circle of life, retail sales version.

I recommend trying these boards out if you are looking to get exposure for your shop.  It will get you out there and known to potential customers.  You will put product into customer's hands.  You may even make a little money.  You might just break even.  But your shop name will be out there for hundreds of people to see.  And all it costs you is a buy in fee that is usually $5 or less.  That is really cheap advertising.

BNS Boards and How to Use Them

I love BNS boards.  These boards run on rounds so you stay on the board until the round ends.  A round is usually around 6-12 sales.  The buy in to a round runs around $5 or less on most boards.  Even after someone buys from your store, you still stay up there until the round ends.  This gives you the potential to make multiple sales for one buy in.  I love getting more for less.

There are often opportunities to get an extra round by buying form a certain row or column.  Sometimes you get extra rounds for buying from the curator or a featured shop.  Often a board will run a referral contest, the person to refer the most people to the board to fave it or once a person gets to 10 referrals or whatever random number they decide will win an extra round.  Sometimes the curator will give opportunities to buy in at no minimum buy in cost.  There is always a coupon list and most shops will have a coupon code for you to use.  These boards are full of great deals.

They are also very social boards at times.  A BNS doesn't have a constant curator.  They are set up to be able to kind of work as self service shopping.  So sometimes a board will be completely dead and you will just see pages of people leaving comments that they faved or refaved.  Or they will say that someone sent them for that person to get a referral.  Or you will see transaction links and the curator updating the list for the next round.  These are slow times during the board when there aren't many people coming in.  I mean this is retail and all stores have their slow times.  I have a friend who works in a shoe store.  When it is slow they all go into a back room and knit.  If a customer comes in one of them stops and goes out and takes care of the customer, but they take turns so no one is having to put their knitting down often.  I think this is awesome!  

That is what our curators are doing too when it is slow.  They may not be knitting, but they are crafting something.  They stop working and check in on the board and update it as needed.  They thank everyone that stopped in.  They may ask if there are any shoppers.  If it is still quiet they will go back to crafting or whatever they need to do and then they will check in on the board again and go through the same thing.  If there are people around that want to chat the curator will often join in.  You will often find chat going on while the curator is out.  If a group of people are on the board at the same time you will often see conversation going on.  There are friendly people everywhere you go on these boards.

These boards are also great exposure because your shop stays up for an entire round.  Usually a full day and sometimes two or three if sales are slow.  This give an opportunity for many hundreds and, occasionally if the board moves a time or two, even over a thousand people a chance to see your shop.  The visibility to your shop is fabulous!

Both boards have their unique pros and cons, but both boards do give your shop exposure.  People see your shop on them.  They will browse through it.  They will favorite items or your shop.  And they will buy from you.  Each person has their personal preferences as to which board they like best, but I recommend trying both out and see how you feel about them.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing our new blog writers Natalee and Francesca's experience with BNR and BNS boards.  I will also go into strategies to employ on both boards to get the maximum benefit of each.  Until then, I hope you will visit these boards and learn more about them.

Love and Peace,