For anyone thinking about starting an Etsy shop, having a strong image and store identity is extremely important. Imagine your online shop as you would a bricks and mortar store, the signs outside, the way the product is displayed the colors and feeling of your shop, are all things that can and must be translated into your online identity. People need to know who you are, without this, they will not trust you enough to support your product by making a purchase.
Some people manage to be successful at Etsy by branding themselves. They are popular in a certain genre and capitalize on that reputation with their Etsy shop. Some great examples of this are Donna Downey, Emily Falconbridge and Betz White.
Most of us, though won't find a huge following of ready made customers this way. Our stores must be more product based. Here are a few key points to consider, before you even upload your first listing:
At Etsy, the name of your shop is something to carefully consider. Your user name doesn't necessarily have to be the same as your Banner, but continuity is something that can simplify and make you more easily remembered.
BANNERS AND AVATARS:
Constant discussions take place in the forums of Etsy on this very topic. Is your avatar click worthy? Does your banner represent the spirit of your shop? Does it make you want to find out more? Personally I've had at least 7 other banners before finding my current one and I'm sure to continue tweaking, altering and trying to improve these elements of my shop. Green and growing or ripe and rotting...I'm always trying to learn and improve.
A huge huge part of your business. In fact, some Etsians have done so well photographing their product, that the very photographs have spurned into a side business. Sunsetgirl is an amazing example of this. Her sock monkey's are truly the best in the world and her idea to start making the images of these handcrafted monkey's into greeting cards, to me is genius.
Another key element of photographing your product is to show it from as many angles as you can. The Storque at Etsy has some really great photography support that any new seller may find incredibly useful. I especially liked this article: Create a Story for your Product.
So there's some food for thought for anyone interested in improving, opening and enjoying a shop at Etsy.