November 2015 Archive

Momma said there’d be days like this.

Just a little something FREAKIN’ ADORABLE to brighten your day!

Momma said there'd be days like this. Commercial Photographer Shay Cochrane 2015. Ipad mini. Apple iphone.

The things you do to your kids when you are a commercial photographer.  T-shirt from Little Adi Co.

Momma said there'd be days like this. Commercial Photographer Shay Cochrane 2015. Ipad mini. Apple iphone.


5 ways to guarantee higher shop sales this holiday season


You and I both know the backup plan.  

Worst case scenario everyone in your extended family is getting a #girlboss mug and a gold foil print for Christmas. Again. Even your 8 yr old nephew Ben who loves Star Wars. Sorry buddy, maybe next year. #ShopOwnerProblems.

I know what it feels like to hold your breath until your shop account page says that you have finally made enough sales to break even on the product that you invested in this season (refresh…refresh…refresh).

But what if this year was different? What if this year you actually cleared your garage of #girlboss mugs and could buy Benny that really awesome Darth Vader action figure? The one that makes sounds and shoots real lasers and officially qualifies you as the Coolest. Aunt. EVER.


The holiday shopping season is upon us and for many shop owners and small businesses this means that it is potentially one of your most critical (and profitable!) times of the year for marketing and promoting your shop.  As a commercial product stylist and photographer I have had the chance to work with successful shop owners and small businesses of all shapes and sizes from Emily Ley, creator of the Simplified Planner, to small Etsy shop owners who are finally able to quit their day job and stay home with their kids while doing what they love.

As the creator of the SC Stockshop and a shop owner myself, I have had the chance to work with thousands of small business and what I have discovered is that there are a few things that the most successful business owners have in common when it comes to that yucky word that no one likes but every shop needs…self promotion.

Let’s be honest.  You don’t have time to spend on Google trying to figure out why in the SEO your products aren’t selling or reading through every blog post on how to increase sales in your Etsy shop. So to give more time for that much needed family movie night, I’ve pulled together my top 5 simplest marketing strategies for shop owners to increase sales and engagement this holiday season.  This is incredibly valuable information and most of the tips will cost you absolutely nothing to implement. You are going to want to Pin and save this information to revisit it every holiday sales season. Are you ready to become the Best. Aunt. Ever!?

2013 Shay Cochrane

1. Plan and schedule out regular, recurring social media posts well in advance.  

  • The holidays tend to be crazy for all of us.  Don’t wait until you are in the thick of it to remember to Instagram a picture of your new art print in the shop.  My favorite App to use to stay ahead of the game is Latergramme. It allows me to create and schedule my posts well ahead of time.  My preferred times to post Instagram content are 9am, 12pm, 6pm and 9pm which in my time zone (EST) is when the majority of my target audience is on their smart phones.
  • Free Apps like Iconosquare allow you to track engagement, #hashtag performance and other insightful analytics that will help you to get the most eyes on your post.

2.  Put your mailing list to better use.

  • Most shop owners either grossly underestimate the value of having a mailing list or have one but don’t know how to use it effectively.   Programs like Mailchimp have free plans that allow you to begin to effortlessly grow a subscriber list and track things like open rates and whether that subject title with the kissy face emoji resonated with your audience.
  • Need to build your list? Consider creating some helpful content for your target market. Offer it for free in exchange for joining your list.
  • Just like your social media posting, holiday promotional newsletters should be planned and scheduled in advance. Consider sending 1-3 a week leading up to the holiday season promoting individual products in your shop.
  • Make sure that each email campaign has one clear call to action, namely visiting your shop! Cha-ching.
How to Increase Shop Sales

3. Create Pinterest content and get to pinning!

  • In this visual age the quality of your images matters!  My favorite image editing App is Afterlight which helps to ensure that my images are bright and consistent.
  • Make sure that you have beautiful, well lit images that can be pinned and consider creating a few relevant boards that you can pin your own products too along with other related images.
  • Vertical images get more pins than horizontal so make sure that you have great vertical shots of your products. Preferably images of your products in use!
How to increase etsy shop sales
  • Make sure that you are pinning when your target market is online.  For many small business owners who sell products primarily to women, key times include Saturday mornings and weekday evenings. Here is another helpful blog post about the best time of day to pin on Pinterest.

4. Up your game when it comes to shop visuals.

  • One thing that all of the previous strategies have in common is that they make use of visual platforms.  Since your client does not have the luxury of walking into your shop and holding your product in their hands, they are going to need some extra convincing that your product is quality and that they cannot live without it! Not only do you need to have sharp, well lit product photos for interior shop listings but you need to have a reserve of strong images that show your products in use.
  • Put a face with your shop and products.  Most shop owners prefer to stay away from the camera but regularly introducing yourself through pictures allows your prospective client to form a valuable emotional connection to your brand. See a great example of this here.  This (attractive, talented and genius – hint hint) collaborative team did not just let their line of stylish art sell itself, they put a face to the print collection and also show you, the potential customer,how great their line of art could look in your home.


2013 Shay Cochrane


  • Not a photographer?  Styled stock photography is a simple and affordable way to give your shop the appearance of custom product photography.  Types of images include empty frames for showing off print designs, empty mugs to overlay custom mug designs, envelopes to display custom stamps, and styled desktops to overlay print products and other flat items like cell phone cases, notepads and notecards.


  • Not sure how to use styled stock photography to show off your products? Here are a few tutorials that will help!

5. Make sure that your shop is polished and ready.

  • Use high quality well lit product images consistently across your product line.
  • Make sure that your shop is easy to navigate.  Consider asking a friend to navigate through your shop and give you feedback.
  • Make sure that you have great product descriptions.  The best product descriptions are brief, actually descriptive (go figure!) and make use of key search terms.
2013 Shay Cochrane

Consider using styled stock photography consistently throughout your site from your home page banner welcoming people to the shop to the side bar buttons on your blog for a complete visual makeover. Two of our favorite examples of this are Megan Martin Creative and Simply Jessica Marie. A great place to start when looking for a set of styled stock images to step up your branding game are these curated Brand Builder image sets.

If this Holiday Shop Sales Guide was helpful please do us a favor an Pin it!  Here’s to a successful holiday sales season!

Do Business Beautifully,


In the shop: Blogger Styled Stock Images On Marble

Have you caught onto our obsession with marble backgrounds lately (if you missed it, check here and here)? Well, we just added something oh-so-amazing to the existing marble desktop collection and you are going to LOVE it!

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We have just released several new styled marble desktop stock options featuring hands! We love the editorial feel of these new styled stock options and think you will too! This styled stock is especially perfect for bloggers due to the “behind the scenes” and “in action” feel that they give off. We also think you shop owners, designers, and all around #bossbabes will get so much use out of this fun styled stock!

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Pick up all of the individual options here and don’t forget to grab the original, coordinating Marble Brand Builder so that you have the full set! Now go do business beautifully friends!



Any excuse to wear a Tulle Skirt!

Anybody hosting a cocktail party? Cause I’m ready! Who doesn’t need an excuse to wear a tulle skirt! Right!?  When the ladies at Shabby Apple asked if I had use for a black tulle skirt (do you even need to ask?!)  I immediately thought of this look. With the help of my favorite stylist Megan Adams we pulled together this simple and classy black and white look that would translate well for my brand related portrait needs and transfer well to the dance floor!

Shay Cochrane Tulle Skirt

A place for everything and everything in its place! Megan was on hand to make sure that nothing was out of place!  I could get used to this type of pampering. I’m trying to figure out how I can get Megan to come to my house every morning when I am getting dressed!

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I have gotten so many questions about this off the shoulder black and white top.  It’s a favorite of mind (especially with white skinnies in the summertime) that I grabbed from Chicwish and it worked perfectly with the Shabby Apple Bloom tulle skirt in black and my favorite black strappy heels!

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How perfect was this Davis Island location that photographer Laura Foote found!?  This girl worked her magic on me for sure!

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What is it about a tulle skirt that brings out the diva in me? tehehe

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A big thank you again to my stylist Megan, amazing photographer Laura and to Shappy Apple for making this fun shoot happen! You can see Laura post about this fun Davis Island black and white shoot here.

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New in the shop: Styled Stock Coffee Mug Images

One of my favorite quotes comes from author and photographer, David Duchemin. It says, “Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.” Over at the SC Stockshop we aim to provide all of you busy, hard working bloggers and business owners with stunning quality stock images that can not only improve your sales, but also make your life a bit easier. We think you should be able to be intentional with your time and efforts when it comes to your business, without sacrificing quality or letting your brand suffer!

Which is why releasing collections like this one today makes us just down right giddy! We are so excited to launch an entire collection of coffee mug styled stock images for all of you incredible shop owners and designers! We see the need you have for quality images that show off your mug designs in a way that connects with your customers and reflects your brand. We want you to be free to spend your time making gorgeous products instead of trying to take the perfect photo for your website or social media feed!


These gorgeous, high quality styled stock images each come in a pack of 2 and are perfect for showing off your unique coffee mug designs! We have lots of great variations to choose from in hopes that there is something available for everyone. Grab your favorites, add your designs and make those sales! It really is that easy!

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