Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Business Matters - Part 2 - Avatars and Banners

When we go shopping in a town, we can wander by a store, look in the window and decide if it interests us and then go in and browse. When you have a store on an artists marketplace, such as Etsy or Dawanda, there is no window to check out, and often the first thing the potential buyer will see is your avatar or banner. I know when I am on other sites or blogs, the styling of people's avatars decides whether I click on it or not. Some I am instantly attracted to and others do nothing for me.

Sometimes the avatar and banner don't specify what is for sale - like my own - Birdland Creations. It doesn't say I make jewelry - and when I came up with the name, that was intentional as I was also making and selling felted purses. Now I only do jewelry, but I don't want to change the name as people know it - but if I was starting again, I'd do it differently I think.

My first banner showed a piece of my jewelry - the "anyone can fly" necklace. I still get the odd enquiry for that necklace with people referring back to it as the "necklace that used to be in the banner " and in fact, I got one just 2 months ago and ended up making the necklace again.

Then I worked with a lovely lady on Etsy - pixel by pixel - to get a logo created and so my banner and avatar came from that.
Here is my square avatar:
and here is my current banner for one of my online marketplace stores:
It is important that even if your banner and avatar don't say what you create or show a picture of one of your items, they should give some indication as to your style. I think my little bird does indicate my sense of whimsy - although I often wonder about adding a necklace to the bird....???

So those of you reading this who have avatars and banners - are yours clickworthy? Does they draw people in and make them want to know more? Do they fit in with your items and style?

I recently saw a lovely avatar that the seller changed depending on the time of the year. It is Lorna's from Le Cerf Volant and she has a store on Dawanda. When I first saw her banner, it had a lovely New Year's greeting... and when I was in touch with her about another matter, I asked her about it. She explained that she changes throughout the year: at Easter time she adds little bunnies, eggs and chickens; at Christmas she adds holly..... And if you click on the above link - she has added "sale" information. I think it's a lovely idea to get people's notice. Here is her traditional banner:
And here is her Christmas version:
It is just a simple change - but it caught my eye and made me notice and want to look further. She even added a little "thank you" notice to her banner to me one day after I had helped her learn about resources for metal clay in France.

So she made me think - yes, you need consistency in your avatar and banner so people remember you but sometimes we can change it around too....


Anonymous said...

I always notice the "Google" page when they change it to reflect current events or seasons and it makes me smile and entertains me! Could you do something like changing your flower and adding something in or wouldn't that be noticeable enough?


Ruth said...

I know - I think it would be interesting....maybe the colour of the flower or a seasonal flower - but I guess that takes more photoshop skills than I have :-D Mmmm. I'll mull it over and see what I can do. thanks for the ideas.

Magriet said...

Definitely something to think about. I usually use a picture of one of my latest creations as my avatar, but it doesn't stick. Maybe this should be higher on my list of priorities to sort out!

HINT Jewelry Design said...

I can see why people still contact you about that "Anyone can Fly" necklace. It's a charmer :)

florcita said...

I agree with you. I have been working in a full update of all graphics in my shop and it has to do with that... refreshing. Keeping something that identifies you, the little bird for me, but adding something new around. It's a bit of extra work, and sometimes people don't notice, but it helps.

Ruth said...

Yes - I think I need to do something to bring in the changes now and again.... I like how your birdie is the first thing to show up on your website and blog Marian. That's really neat.