Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Does your avatar make you a favor?

This article is directed to etsy sellers and sellers in general.

This is my take on avatars based on my experience.☺ I have changed my avatar many times and so, probably, you.

What I have learned is that your avatar can make a difference for your business. Of course, a small avatar is not the only factor in your success, but it can, definitely, help.

What is an avatar?
According to Wikipedia, “An avatar is a computer user's representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games,[1] a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities,[2][3] or a text construct found on early systems such as MUDs. It is an “object” representing the embodiment of the user. The term "avatar" can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.[4]”

What does avatar do?
In a way, avatar is your logo, your identity and your visual representation of your business on etsy or other selling venues. The better your avatar, the more recognition it will receive, the more views your shop will get and, ultimately, the more sales will come in.

What are the criteria for great avatars?
It is a subjective matter, but here are some basic criteria to follow:
  • Simplicity: you want your avatar to be remembered
  • Directness: you want everyone to know what you are selling (your product)
  • Quality: you want your avatar to be of a high quality, not a blurred up image
  • Consistency: be consistent. Use the same avatar everywhere you go…on etsy, on twitter, on facebook etc… Remember, repetition works!
  • Permanency: It is best not to change your avatar at all. Again it adds to your recognition. But if you must, change the product, but keep the basic colors and theme.
  • Use of your personal photo as your avatar is not recommended if you are a seller (for general users it’s ok) since you are not selling your image, but your products. In addition, it doesn't look very professional to have the word “SALE” on your personal photo avatar. ☺
Here are a few examples of some great avatars:







  1. WOW thank you Helen, your article is excellent and I am glad my avatar 'fit the bill' - cheers and hugz Val xo

  2. Wow indeed! Thank you so much for including mine. I use it everywhere. Blogs, flickr, twitter, etc. Recently, I joined facebook I used it as my avatar so that people who knew my username ColtPixy but not my real name could find me. It worked!
    It is even the favicon for my blog.
    It was created by Thompsondesigns.etsy.com for me over a year ago.

  3. This is an excellent article. Your avatar should be consistent everywhere. People remember you by your avatar. I've had customers not recognize me (in person) but as soon as they saw the business card, they knew that I was the shop they were looking for!

  4. Great article! Off to make sure I have my avatar plastered on everything!!

  5. Great article. It took me a long time to get the best avatar to represent my shop, now it's everywhere.

    People really do come know you by your av.

  6. Great tips. I am having a hard time coming up with an avatar that I want to stick with so I keep changing. Every time I find one that I think is "it" I change my mind after a while.

  7. Much enjoyed, thanks. I have struggled with and, for now, given up on a defining avatar. Embarrassing, but true. However, your post has definitely made me think about reconsidering this position. LOL. That's not wishy-washy or anything!


  8. What a great article on this important issue. I confess that my avatar is probably my 4th or 5th version within the past year. Now I do use my avatar on all my SM channels. What crochetgal and coltpixy said are so true.

    Thanks for including my avatar here. *blush*

  9. This is a great article, thanks for writing it. I had my previous etsy avatar for 3 years and only recently changed it because my product changed!

  10. I never gave avatars as much weight as I obviously should. I actually have a couple I use for personal and business. Should I keep two different ones?

    I'll have to give it some thought to creating and updating a better avatar next week.

  11. Great article. I have been very torn about the avatar choice. On Etsy it seems personal photos are not desired, but they are on Twitter, and on FB I have my personal and fan pages and wanted to be recognized on both, so I've combined my work with an old headshot. Now it's everywhere, but I'm not sure if it fits the bill.

  12. Great post, and definitely food for thought. My avatar on my blog and twitter has nothing to do with jewelry, but it's on my business cards, it's colorful and pretty, and I like it, despite its' shortcomings. I'm still working on getting the 'just right' avatar, but once I do, I'll definitely use it everywhere.