In today’s installment of my Etsy Seller Tips series, I will give you a few tips to help you learn how to market an Etsy shop. Marketing is a huge subject, and there are experts who specialize only in that. I will provide you with just a few small things you can do for yourself.
Business cards are a MUST for every Etsy seller. Your business card should be branded with your logo and the recurring themes you have throughout your shop. You can read more about branding and creating an identity here. Here are some of my favorite companies for ordering cards:
- I’ve used Vistaprint for many years as they tend to have the best promotions – often offering free samples and such. Now they have a $10 coupon promotion.
- MGRtees is great for those who like to support small businesses. Plus they can do much more customization than Vistaprint, and they are printed in the USA.
- Printshaq is also a great place to customize.
Your business card should contain some basic information:
- Your shop logo
- Your Etsy shop address. This is yourshopname.etsy.com. For example – mine would be menuchajewelry.etsy.com.
- Your phone number IF you do direct sales as well. If you only sell through Etsy, leave this out.
- Your email address makes it personal, however it’s not absolutely necessary.
- Your name. I don’t always put this, but it makes things more personal – it identifies you as an artist, not just a shop.
- You can put an image on your card of something you sell. This is not mandatory if your branding tells your style, which it should. Usually real estate on the tiny card is valuable, so only do this if you need to.
Business cards are a powerful tool. They are a tiny piece of paper that holds the power of a first impression. Therefore, you should use the real estate wisely. Make sure it really represents you. Use both sides, even if it costs more. Do something different and a little crazy so you’ll be remembered. Get it professionally designed. And make sure to hand it out like crazy.
Local trade shows are a great way to get the word out. I do not recommend flea markets as they tend to be filled with bargain hunters – not art enthusiasts. Craft shows are amazing as you are directly targeting your audience.
The best way to market at a trade show is to have your best wares available for show in a beautiful manner, with a stack of business cards prominently displayed. Whether you break even on the event or not, you will gain valuable exposure. Having the business cards is a MUST as that’s how people will remember you.
Have things available for impulse purchases. I’ve made the mistake of bringing only “samples” to a show. People often decide to splurge and want the instant gratification. If they can’t take it home then, they will likely not buy.
Social Media Marketing
Of course, I have to bring this up. I spoke about social media promotion for Etsy shops in depth last week. Read the article to find out more.
There are many different ways to pay for advertising. The way that you choose should depend on whom you are targeting.
- Print: I don’t recommend print advertising, unless it’s to announce your presence at a local trade show. In that case, advertise in a local paper (local to the show.)
- Online: The advantage of this is the immediacy – people can click on it and be brought straight to your site. There are many kinds of online ads, but for now, I’m talking about side ads on various websites.
You can do this via AdSense or other services where you pay for impressions or clicks. You can also advertise on specific blogs and websites I highly recommend this for a few reasons. One, you are skipping out the middle man and are likely to get more for your money. Two, you can choose your own sites. The above mentioned services will try to match up your content and niche, however if you choose the exact site, you can get better results for the same amount spent.
That being said, when you choose a site, don’t choose necessarily by popularity. Netted is an extremely popular website, however, if you advertise your artsy things to a bunch of techies, no matter how many of them see it, you’ll likely get few sales. On the contrary, if you knit trendy scarves and advertise on a fashion blog, or if you embroider cloth diapers and you advertise on a natural parenting site, you are much more likely to get better results.
- Blogs: In the previous option, I spoke about small advertising images you link to your shop. You can also do blog reviews. This is one of the most effective ways of advertising for the cost. It’s also very personal and many readers take a blogger’s suggestions seriously. Again, you must follow the guidelines set above: make sure to advertise in your niche.
You can work with a big blog, which means you will probably have to pay a nice fee. Or, you can work with a smaller blog, such as mine, in which all you’ll have to pay is product and sometimes a small fee to help cover taxes and a little of the time. (Bloggers need to report review items as income. They also need to pay the rent or mortgage, which, unless you are providing an essential, your review item does not help with.) If you’d like to know more about having your item featured on my blog, click here for more information, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first time I did a blog review I made a big mistake. While it’s great to give the blogger a choice of product, it should be within your needs. I made the mistake of sending what the blogger requested, which was a one-off item I made that I can’t repeat. Her readers may have liked that item, but when they went to my shop I offered a completely different style. Make sure what you send fits both your style and the audience you are trying to target. Also, be aware, that a review means that the blogger can write pros AND cons. Common practice among bloggers is to let the client know if they absolutely dislike an item and won’t be able to recommend it – BEFORE posting the review. You can then tell them not to bother posting, and work to improve your product.
Having a giveaway hosted by the blog at the same time is another great way to expand your social media promotion. This brings me to the next marketing tool:
- Social Media: I know, I keep bringing this up – it is simply reality that many lives revolve around social media today. In this case, I’m talking about paying to boost social media posts or pages. There is a lot to say about this but the concept stays the same: make sure, whenever you spend money on advertising, that you are doing it in a way that is targeted toward your audience.
Everyone loves a good deal, and offering one is a great way to attract new people. This does work together with the previous point – advertising. When you advertise, it’s very beneficial to have a way to pull people in more immediately, and a great way to do this is by offering a discount or sale that has a specified end date. You can also add a special coupon code to your business card, or give one out to people who stop by at a trade show. This gives a feeling of exclusivity – they have that discount only because they have the code in their hands
One last crucial point I’d like to make is that marketing is more about the long term effect than the immediate. When someone keeps seeing a brand, it embeds in their mind and they’ll remember it next time they see it. The more they see it, the more they’ll feel they know it and the more likely they are to buy. This reiterates the importance of having proper branding. So even if you don’t see immediate results, as long as you see some positive feedback, know that as long as you’ve followed my guidelines above, you’re most probably getting somewhere! Good luck! And make sure to spread the love by sharing this article around!
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