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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Attention-Getting Product Listings #Etsy #EntrepreneurBooks

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6 min read


The following excerpt is from the Staff at Entrepreneur Media Inc. and Jason R. Rich’s book Start Your Own Etsy Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 through 6/20/21.

One of the core steps in establishing your Etsy shop is adding the product listings for the items you plan to sell. You compose and create product listings one at a time, using Etsy’s “Add a New Listing” tool, which walks you through the process of composing and publishing, and then organizing, each listing. As you’re about to discover, Etsy divides this process into five steps.

Related: 3 Things You Must Know Before You Start Your Etsy Business

Step 1: product photography

The first step in creating a product listing involves uploading between one and five digital photos for each listing. Be sure to choose photos that best showcase your products from different angles or perspectives. Mix and match traditional product shots with lifestyle shots.

A product shot should depict just your item in the photo, typically with a white or solid color (or very simple) background. The primary focus should be on the product and should show as much product detail as possible. A lifestyle shot captures your product being worn or used in the real world. For example, if you sell necklaces, a lifestyle shot could show a model wearing the necklace in conjunction with different outfits.

Step 2: listing details

One of the very first things visitors see when they view your products is the product listing’s title. This title must be short, descriptive, attention-getting, accurate and contain keywords you believe customers will use to search for your items. As always, target it specifically to your core audience.

The “About This Listing” section includes three separate pull-down menus: “Who Made It?,” “What Is It?” and “When Was It Made?” For each listing, select the most appropriate option based on what you’re selling.

You’ll also need to choose an applicable category for the product and fill in the price. The price should be pre-calculated to take into account your cost of materials, time/labor, business overhead expenses and marketing/advertising expenses, as well as the profit you want to earn. It shouldn’t include shipping and handling fees or sales tax.

The “Description“ field is where you can describe your product using your own words. Use as many relevant search words or phrases as you can because this text will be searchable by your potential customers.

Related: This Teen Paid for College by Selling on Etsy. Here Are 5 Ways She Did It.

Finally, if you’re selling multiple items that fit into clearly definable categories, such as specific types of products, products priced similarly or products best for certain holidays, consider using sections to sort your items and make them easier to find within your shop.

Step 3: variations

On Etsy, a single product listing for an individual item can have multiple (optional) variations. For example, the “Handmade Wool Sweater” you’re selling could have one listing, and using the “Add a Variation” tool, the listing could offer the sweater in multiple colors and/or sizes that you choose to offer.

The Variation option(s) that the customer selects will be displayed on your Sold Orders, Receipts and Transaction emails, so you’ll know exactly what item(s) to send based on the customer’s choices.

Once you select a variation, customize what options your customers will be given based on the type of variation you select. With each variation you select, you have the option of adding a separate price and displaying whether that particular variation option is currently in stock.

Step 4: shipping details

This section requires you to provide details about the size and weight of your item and where it will be shipping from; select the shipping options you want to offer to your customers; and disclose the processing time needed to fill each order. You’ll also need to provide the origin zip code for the location you’ll be shipping your orders from.

As a general rule, offer the fastest processing time possible. You should also select which countries you’ll ship to.

Based on the shipping option(s) you choose and the option the customer selects when placing an order, Etsy will calculate the shipping/postage fee based on current rates. In addition to shipping charges, you can add a handling fee, which will be automatically added to the customer’s shipping total and won’t be listed separately. If you choose to add one, keep it low and be able to justify it.

Next, provide the item weight for the item after it’s been packaged as well as the length, width and height of the package. Based on the various shipping options you’ve selected, in the Preview Shipping Costs field, Etsy will display what your customers will be charged for shipping and handling when placing an order.

Step 5: add search terms

The final step in the product listing process is a list of words you add to the Tags field to help customers find your shop and product listing when searching. These tags should accurately describe your item in the most detailed way possible.

Related: 12 Ways to Increase Online Sales

The Materials field is another optional tool you can use to provide a collection of search words you think potential customers might use. For example, if you’re selling a handmade sweater, your materials list might include words such as “wool,” “yarn,” “all-natural,” “organic,” “died,” “handspun,” “synthetic,” “Scottish,” “Merino,” “sheep,” “alpaca,” “cashmere” and/or “natural.”

Once you’ve completed a product listing, click the Preview button and carefully review each listing. Fix any mistakes, then click the Save and continue button to store and publish the listing in your shop.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 through 6/20/21.

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This Is Why Reading Fiction Can Help You Write Better Business Books

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4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Humans seem hardwired to consume and enjoy stories. Fictional stories shape the way we think, affect how we act and influence our choices. 

One study revealed that “good storytelling” increased cooperation within a Filipino hunter-gatherer population. And Alexander the Great slept with a copy of Homer’s Iliad next to him every night, a fictional story he used as a blueprint for his conquests. That story drove his choices and changed history.

The average adult spends about 6 percent of his or her time every day engrossed in fictional stories. Evolutionary theorists have attempted to understand why humans are so eager to consume fiction. But a nonfiction writer doesn’t need to know why, only that

By leveraging this human proclivity for powerful stories, nonfiction writers can vastly improve the quality of the books they’re writing.

Narrative nonfiction and emotionally powerful prose

Narrative nonfiction, also known as creative nonfiction, is a style of nonfiction writing that uses an approach similar to fiction writing. For example, the nonfiction book might follow the story arc very precisely and have a clearly defined beginning, middle, climax and end. 

The primary purpose of fiction is to entertain. There are many advanced skills writers can use to up the entertainment value of their business books. These skills include emotionally powerful prose, changes in rhythm, smooth shifts in pacing and vivid descriptions. 

The way to learn all these advanced methods is to read a lot of fiction. 

I’m a big fan of narrative nonfiction. Whenever someone wants a book written, I try and persuade him or her to use this method of writing if possible. My purpose when working with writers is to ensure the book they are writing will be read from beginning to end. Making the book entertaining is key.

Related: Why Storytelling Is a Skill that Every Entrepreneur Should Practice

Leverage the five senses 

Description using the five senses is an excellent way to suck your reader into your story. The more engrossed your reader is, the deeper the emotional impact of your narrative.

This applies to business books, memoirs, general nonfiction, self-help and many other nonfiction subgenres. 

Too much description, however, can make a book boring. The way to learn what is “too much” or “too little” is to read a lot of popular fiction. The best fiction books use the senses of taste, smell and touch to bring the readers into the story and so involve them emotionally. 

Brand perception has a lot to do with emotional responses, so this is a vital skill to learn when writing nonfiction. 

Related: How to Build a Brand Story That Buyers Emotionally Connect With

Pick up the pace and capture the interest

Whether you’re telling an anecdote or writing about your life’s story, modifying the pacing of the story goes a long way towards evoking powerful emotions in people. 

Thrillers are particularly good at this, especially near the end of the story. Two writers who do this expertly are Harlan Coben and Lee Child. 

By shortening sentences and paragraphs, you immediately accelerate the narrative pace. The same is achieved by shifting quickly from scene to scene. 

If you were writing a sales book, you could make readers inch forward in their seats and grip their books (or e-readers) a little tighter by writing a fast-paced anecdote of a million-dollar deal. You could jump back and forth between the manager, the salesperson and maybe even the spouse waiting outside their child’s school, eagerly awaiting a call to know if the deal went through — or if they just lost the house! 

Not only will the chapter be exciting, but it will also be memorable. 

Related: How to Sell Anything to Anyone by Telling Great Stories

Anything can be turned into a story if you know how

Once, I worked with an author who had very little to write about other than a short system.

So, we hacked away and worked out how to fill the book with narratives and emotional beats from beginning to end. What began as a lukewarm book quickly became a riveting read.

It does take a bit of smart thinking to figure out how to add emotionally powerful narratives to a book. Reading a lot of good fiction teaches you how to do it and pays off when your business book flies off the shelves. 

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4 Secrets to Becoming a “Presentainer” Who Grabs an Audience’s Attention #NoBSPresentations @DaveVanhoose1 @dustinmathews

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews’ book No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

Note: This excerpt was guest-written by Dave Vanhoose, co-founder of Speaking Empire.

There’s not much real certainty in business or in life.

I’ve been involved in selling by presentations for a very long time, and I believe I know a number of things about it, but I’m also always still learning and, hopefully, improving. I was asked at a seminar if I could talk about any one thing about creating and delivering presentations that was a rock-solid certainty. There is. The more experience I got with developing presentations and with delivering them as a speaker, the more certain I became that … the more you teach, the less you sell.

In the beginning, I fell into the trap that catches most speakers and presenters: being a professor. I learned that it’s much more useful to be a Presentainer® — our word at Speaking Empire for somebody who can move an audience emotionally, connect with them personally, and entertain them on some level. This is the only way to hold attention and grow interest. It makes you more memorable and your presentation more influential. It involves the audience as they like to be involved. The TV they watch, the movies they see twice, the games they play and the novels they read all do this, and so should you.

If you have a powerful presentation, and you have the right mindset about it, yourself and your audience, and you have the right delivery, you win every time. So let’s talk about delivery.

1. Leading and ending

The classic, textbook speaking formula applies: Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. This lets you first create a sense of anticipation, getting the audience sitting on the edge of their seats and hanging on every word. Most of the great stage magicians of the golden era, Houdini included, always told the audience about the illusion they would next see, in very dramatic terms — they didn’t just go out on stage and perform the trick. At the other end, you summarize what you’ve told and shown them, because people tend to very quickly forget key points of any complex presentation.

2. The yes state

Small commitments lead to more substantial commitments. Resistance is better erased a little bit at a time. As a presenter, your goal is to have people say yes to you, mentally and physically, a number of times during your presentation. You can involve people by getting them to raise their hands, yell a word or phrase of agreement — “Yes” will do, even getting “All those who…” to stand up. With most audiences, there’s limited response to the first attempt at this, and you have to joke with them and cajole them to get more of them to play.

At Speaking Empire, we usually build some “Yes” questions, requests for agreement and moments into every presentation.

A lot of things can affect the audience’s state: who they are, how they came into the audience — willingly or “sent” by an employer — time of day and fatigue, what they know in advance about you and your presentation and location. This hands you two responsibilities: first, to do what you can to help get them into a positive mental attitude about you and your presentation’s benefits and benefits of benefits before they are actually with you. Second, to be able to “take the temperature” of a group and make some adjustments on the fly if it’s cold, to warm it up.

The one thing never to do is to leave an audience’s mental and emotional state to random chance and try to deal with it in a single leap over a tall wall toward the end of your presentation.

3. The seven-minute rule

Have you ever seen a speaker start strong but lose his audience sometime during his presentation? The audience starts slumping, fidgeting, and even looking at their phones — at worst, getting up and leaving — one after another. In making Speaking Empire the go-to company for developing powerful presentations, we’ve done a lot of research, as well as drawn from our own experience. One of the areas where there’s a lot of research to be had is in the neurosciences. One fact for which there is consensus is that the human brain can only maintain focus for seven minutes. It basically fades, stops and restarts in seven-minute cycles. That’s why you need to get your audience to re-engage with you every seven minutes.

You can do this with a quick request or direction, like:

  • Raise your hand if _________.
  • You’ll want to write this down.
  • Stand up if — or — stand up and do ____________.
  • Turn to your neighbor and _______.
  • Repeat after me . . .

4. Dynamism

Few effective speakers stand still behind a podium or lectern, or read a word-for-word speech from notes or a teleprompter — it doesn’t have enough life to it. Audiences are affected as much or more by how you say what you say as they are by what you’re saying. That “how” includes voice, confidence, enthusiasm, whether or not you seem to be happy to be in front of them delivering your message and physical movement. In many ways, you’re a performer delivering a performance.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

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Improving Your Networking Skills and Pitch #DynamicCommunication

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If you want to succeed in business, you need to surround yourself with the right people.

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4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The following excerpt is from Jill Schiefelbein’s book Dynamic Communication. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

When we think about surrounding ourselves with the right people, we often think in terms of what those people can do for us. The real question you should be asking is, “What value can I bring to people?”

Related: 6 Strategies for Being a Better Listener

People do business with people, not businesses. Most people at networking events go right out, shake hands, ask what the other person’s name and business are and hand off a card. Sound familiar? If so, smack your business-card-passing hand on the wrist!

That, my friends, is not how connections are made. Aim for the “second handshake” with your networking conversations.

Picture this scenario: You walk into a networking event, and as usual, people are looking at you like you’re their next meal. Someone immediately approaches you, reaches out to shake your hand and says (in one breath), “Hi, my name is Brady, I’m the owner of Awesome Business, I do X, Y and Z. What’s your name and what do you do?” You spurt your scripted answer back, exchange cards and walk away. There’s no connection; there’s no second handshake.

Related: Use Video Education Campaigns to Grow Your Business

Now, try this scenario: You walk into a networking event, go up to someone who looks interesting, shake hands and introduce yourselves by name. You say, “Phil, I’m curious — how did you get into doing what you do?” And a conversation ensues. After about five minutes, you’ve learned that you both left corporate jobs to go it on your own. You have something in common. The foundation of a relationship is laid. And you both genuinely enjoyed the conversation to the point that when you start to walk away, he extends his hand and gives you a second handshake. Success!

If you approach networking and relationship building in this manner, you’re bound to get a second handshake.

It’s these conversations — these second handshakes — that are the foundation of mutually beneficial relationships. The relationships that allow you to surround yourself with the right people. The relationships that lead to business success.

Questions to get a conversation started

Need some help getting that conversation going? Here are some questions you can ask that will likely throw someone a little off their pre-scripted networking pitch game. By doing that, you’re likely to have a better conversation, find a connection and get that second handshake.

Related: How To Sell More by Identifying What Type of Listener Each Customer Is

Business-oriented questions:

  • How did you get started in this industry?
  • Why do you love to do what you do?
  • How do you spend your time? 
  • What’s your favorite type of client to work with?
  • What’s your favorite problem to solve?
  • What’s the first thing you do when you sign a new contract?
  • What’s your favorite way to celebrate success?
  • What is something a client has said to you that really made you happy?

Digging deeper and some atypical questions:

  • When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What was your favorite toy as a child?
  • (As a follow-up) Does it connect in any way to what you do today?
  • What is your favorite holiday tradition that you celebrate with friends, family or your employees?
  • What’s something you’re most looking forward to doing with your business (or with your family) in the next year?
  • What do you feel has been the secret to your success?

Use these questions to help generate conversations and see what type of relationships can develop!

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

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