Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tips From a Pro-Etsy Bag Team

Just thought I would share an article that was posted on about our Carried Away Bag Makers team. Enjoy!

"Tips From A Pro - Etsy Bag Team
Posted by in Site Features, Social Networking Tips on 03 19th, 2009 | no responses

Tips From A Pro - Etsy Bag Team (Post #2) was excited to speak with Krystal from the Etsy Team “Carried Away” regarding Etsy Street Teams, group successes, and the potential pitfalls of being involved with an Etsy Team.

In our first Carried Away post, Team Leader Krystal told us about the Team. Now, Krystal and other Team members tell us what works for their Team.

What does good Etsy Team need to do?

First, Krystal outlined her personal views for what goes into making a great Team:

#1: The Team Leader will make or break the team. “The person that leads your team sets the tone for the entire group, just as in any social structure,” Krystal said. “It has been my experience that most large groups need a strong personality to keep the group on course, especially as they grow. I’ve been involved with online gaming guilds and real-world volunteer organizations and have seen both strong and weak leaders, so I am trying to be what I consider a “strong” leader. This does not mean “dictator”, but more a guiding entity who is always looking out for the “big picture” of the group’s mission. It needs to be someone who listens a lot and is diplomatic, yet still has the force of personality to stop a circular discussion and make a fair ruling that as much as possible benefits everyone and keeps to the group’s goals.”

#2: Active Members at every level. “Along those lines, any large group is only as strong as it’s members,” Krystal explains. “People need ways to be actively involved in the group and they have to feel as if what they have to contribute (large or small) is valuable to the group or team. It is important for the Team Leader to make sure promotions, discussions and duties are as inclusive for those who have a lot of time to give to the Etsy Team as well as for those who may have only a limited amount of time.”

#3: Acknowledge Contributions. “It is also vital that a Team Leader welcome and acknowledge all levels of contributions and try to reward those who do contribute in whatever way they can in accordance with how much they give. Like all volunteer organizations, you get out of a team membership what you put into the success of the Team,” Krystal tells us. “A good leader knows that not everyone will pull at 100% a 100% of the time and you have to work with what you have at that second and adapt to changes in participation levels.”

#4: Tell Members up front what standard of conduct the Etsy Team expects from them. “Every successful Etsy Team is an environment where people feel respected, valued and welcome,” Krystal said. “It’s easier to be a lot meaner behind a keyboard than it is in person or to misinterpret someone’s comments, so our rules try to address setting a tone for how the team treats it’s members. These rules are clearly posted in our forums, where any Team member can read them. I feel that this prevents a great deal of trouble before it even starts.”

Here is the take-away from Krystal’s thoughts:

When working within an Etsy Team, do what you say you will do and do it when you said you would do it.
If a seller decides to bow out, Krystal suggests to do so politely and promptly notify the affected parties.
In the Carried Away Etsy Team, any comments made while a part of this team in any public place, including the Team’s private group, must always be polite and professional as if Team members were speaking on behalf of their employer. Sniping or personal attacks will get you banned, permanently.
Next, we heard from the Carried Away Team members about what works within their Team:

Carried Away Team member April, of Etsy’s April’s Originals, says, “Teams are a great place for business and social growth. For me personally, I have a number of things Teams are great for.”

April shared with us a list of benefits to being on a Team:

Etsy Teams should promote one another in various ways, encourage one another.
Etsy Teams are a great place to bounce ideas around and get input.
Etsy Teams are a wonderful place to socialize about your business, sometimes our loved ones at home are a little tired of hearing us gab about Etsy and business all the time. This is a great place to get that out and give your family a break!
Etsy Teams are a great place to make friends all over the world and/or right around the corner.
Carried Away’s GlintGear also weighed in. “This is wonderful! I love all of April’s suggestions! I know I haven’t been as active on the ning [our private team chatter] site as others, but for me being new to Etsy, I LOVE the non-pressure style that Krystal has set up. It gives those of us room to get supported and take it at our own pace. I’m in another local Etsy team, and they are all about street fairs and are hitting it pretty heavy. I haven’t been able to get it together to do much and am wondering when I’ll get an email from them to step up or step out! And they don’t really give much energy for tips to promote on-line sales. So I think this team’s structure is great for Etsy sellers at all levels to take it at their own pace.”

Etsy’s Uniquely Nancy added, “All chances to promote are good. I am not real active here [our Team group] either.. My computer skills are just not up to the rest of you younger girls. I’m glad you are able to do so much for this team. I think this idea should be picked up and run with it.”

Wendy, from Etsy shop BagsAndBuds, told us, “First and foremost, a Team should be supportive of every member, no matter how involved they are. You never know when something will happen that will entice a less involved member to be more involved. Be it a forum posting, a “how to”, a new photo, or just more time in their own busy schedules. Many of us have other full-time/part-time jobs that don’t allow us the time to participate in everything.”

“Second,” Wendy said, “forums and blogs should be updated regularly. I’m not likely to revisit a blog that doesn’t have new postings on a regular basis. Every day I get on our blog and Ning page, I see something new. Everyone should be encouraged to submit ideas, photos, articles, etc. The contests/giveaways and other online activities should be easy enough for any level of computer skill. And for those who are less experienced, Etsy Teams should encourage their members to assist. Maybe even to have designated “help” members.”

“Also, new members should be actively recruited by all on the Team,” Wendy told us. “I like to send Etsy convos to shops when I see something I like. The more, the merrier in my opinion. Activities like giveaways, contests, monthly themes, promote a sister, etc. should be coordinated. There is always something going on with CABTeam.”

“I would also encourage Teams to divide up the work load,” Wendy suggested. “I think it’s great that Krystal and April spend so much time on the blog and Ning. But I don’t want to take advantage of them either. Obviously, there need to be people in charge who keep things going, but there should be others assisting as needed.”

After hearing from both the Team Leader and individual members from Carried Away, our team at is even more convinced that the power of Teams can increase your shop’s exposure. A big thank you to the Carried Away Team for outlining what works and what doesn’t for their Team!"

:: The “Get Social on” Team ::

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