What does this cute shoe have to do with your profile? Read to the end* to find out!

Does your sales profile scare potential buyers? It’s time to take a hard look at the bio and profile that you’re presenting to your customers, whether it’s on Etsy, your blog or any one of the other markets where you’re offering your creativity for sale.

It’s Not About You

I know writing about yourself is hard. I’m a writer, writing is what I do and it’s hard for me to write about myself. But, think of it this way: You’re not writing this for yourself; you’re writing it for your buyers. You’re answering questions that your buyer has about you. They have to know and trust you to buy from you.

1. Picture Perfect – You

Use a photo of yourself. This is one of the most important, and overlooked, things that people don’t do. Don’t use a photo of your child; don’t use a photo of your product; use a photo of yourself. It shows your buyer that you’re a real, approachable person. People want to buy creative things from artists, so do everything you can to reassure them that you are indeed an artist and a real person.

Don’t use a photo where your eyes aren’t visible, no matter how cool you look in those shades. Folks want to trust you and showing your eyes demonstrates that you have nothing to hide.

Some sellers effectively use pictures of their cat or dog. But, it doesn’t work for everyone – a lot of folks don’t buy from an unknown seller if they don’t see a picture of a person. Avatars can be acceptable if the avatar is a good likeness. But, that usually works better for folks who already know what you look like.

Some people are adamant about using their logo as their profile image for branding. My thought is that when you’re selling your creativity and creative services/products, you’re selling a little bit of yourself and I think people like to connect with that.

2. Where the Heck Are You?

Tell us where you are! I know, people are worried about privacy, but, if you want to be that private, you shouldn’t be selling online. Now, if you live in a town of fifty people and listing The Sticks, FL as your location will have crazy people knocking on the door, use a regional description.

You could say you’re nestled into the side of a snowy peak in the Rockies or perched at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. It’s descriptive, but not too precise and buyers get a sense of you as a real person. The idea is to keep people from thinking “what are you trying to hide?”

3. Just the Answers Please

Now, write that bio! Because you’re not really writing this for yourself (remember it’s all about the buyer), answer the questions your potential buyer might have about you.

What do they do? It may seem obvious that you make glimmering glass beads or whimsical felt ears or stunning pointillist paintings, but buyers may not have completely grasped that yet. You have to tell them: “I’m Doris Doughty and I make gorgeous one-of-a-kind lampwork glass beads in my airy riverside studio.”

Reassure buyers that you are the one making your products. When people are interested enough to seek out creative, handmade and artisan products, they want to be sure that they’re getting what’s advertised. So, say it; say it everywhere; you can’t say too many times!

How do they do it? This isn’t where you launch into a technical explanation of the chemical reactions of soap making or a detailed description of your daily routine to overcome creative block. Don’t go all techno-geeky on folks; they just want an overview. This is where you describe your general process of producing your work. It doesn’t need to be more than a paragraph and don’t use complicated words or jargon. Write it so you could explain to a smart nine year old; that’s what people want to know.

Would I like this person? Maybe you’re thinking that doesn’t matter, but it does. It’s human nature to want to deal with and buy from folks we like.  Share a little bit of personal information. Tell folks that you like green tea ice cream and bowling in midnight leagues for charity or whatever it is that you like to do when you’re not making your fantastic art. Don’t get carried away- this is just a line or two.

Do they want my business and will they treat me well? Buyers want to know that a creator is interested in them, their satisfaction and the collaboration involved in buying and selling creative things. Finish your profile by letting your prospective buyer feel welcome and that you’re happy they’ve found you.

Buyers want to feel like they’re not just another Pay Pal receipt; they want to know that you see them as a person. So, tell them and say “thank you” for looking. Last, ask them to contact you because you’d love to hear from them – and mean it!

What’s Missing?

Did I miss something? Is there anything that you think is important; that you want to know before you buy from someone? Or, do you have a really great example of a good profile? Let me know in the comments or a note, I’d love to hear from you.

Details, Details

Oh, remember when I said I had a hard time writing about myself? That’s true, but I can write about you and make you sound brilliant! Have a look at what’s up here and let me know if I can help you.

There’s more! For the month of July, in honor of the Customer Love Challenge, I’ll write a personalized Tweet Legend for you. What’s a Tweet Legend, you ask? It’s the most awesome tweet you’ve ever seen celebrating your legendary prowess. I’ll tweet it out for you (all the better for your liberal re-tweeting) and add it to the Hall of Legends Page. Get in on it from @ShinyDesigns on Twitter.

The Pink Shoe

* What does this painting have to do with the post? Not much, but as cute as this shoe might be, it would make a lousy profile image. This watercolor sketch of a pink kitten heel pump was inspired by yesterday’s #emmitt tweetchat on Twitter which ended up being about shoes as a business model.