I have recently fallen in love with a new craft (of sorts). I think of it when I am not doing it, I do it when I am not thinking about it. It is loads of fun and super rad and makes me think in new ways every day. What is it?
Marketing my Etsy shop.
Yep, it has become my new passion. Talking to my fellow shop owners and reading the forums, I know that not everyone has embraced this part of the indie craft experience like I have. So, I am going to share what I have learned.
What follows here is the second piece of a series. Read the first if you haven’t already. Let’s go!
Earlier this year, I did an experiment. I set a crazy goal. I wanted to double my monthly sales. I decided to treat my Etsy shop like a garden, something I work on everyday. I started with 30 minutes a day. (Don’t tell me you don’t have thirty minutes a day. I have two-year-old twins and a job and I can find thirty minutes a day.) Skip the phone call with mom, don’t watch “Scrubs,” wake up early. You can find thirty minutes.
I decided to start by marketing within Etsy. Here are some things that you can do in those thirty minutes each day to grow your shop:
1. List a new item each day. If you don’t have a new item to list, relist an old item. When you list an item, it has a chance of cycling through on the homepage and in the “Time Machine.” New items also show up closer to the top of chronologically ordered search results. For example, I make a shirt about zombies. If I list a zombie shirt every day, when someone searches for the word, “zombie,” I have a chance of being on the first page of results. Sweet! Listing a new item only costs 20 cents. You can’t go wrong with spending 20 or 40 cents a day. [Note: Admin edited this post to reflect the growth of the marketplace. Relisting or renewing does not guarantee your item will show up on at the very top of the heap, since there are so many items being listed at once! See this post for more info.]
2. Check out the Etsy community. There are forums and the Blog. If you feel comfortable, participate. Remember that other sellers often make up a large percentage of buyers as well. A few forum posts a day will get your avatar and shop out there into the community.
3. Buy a Showcase spot on Etsy. They can be hard to get, but if you are at your computer when they go on sale, you will snag one. For $7, your item will be featured in the Showcase for a whole day, which is linked to from the homepage. This can be invaluable. When you have a Showcase spot, rotate which item is displayed.
4. Have a contest. I have an ongoing contest in my shop where people have to guess the landmark that is behind me in my avatar. If you guess correctly, I send you a free refrigerator magnet. These magnets don’t cost me much to make, so they are a good marketing tool, as well as a nice present for someone. I have found that two out of five people who participate in the contest actually place an order at that time or later on. So, try hiding something in your avatar to get people looking at your shop!
This said, don’t be a car salesman. Practice organic marketing tactics. Seriously, no one is interested in someone who only wants to talk about his or her products. By all means, if someone is talking about gnomes and you make a rad gnome pin, tell them. But I find that in general, no one is interested in the hard sell. When selling your own work like this, it just makes sense to be kind and calm and don’t push your stuff on people. Most people that I know like to find new things on their own, not have them marketed to them. If you are chill and make great stuff, it will be seen and purchased and all will be right with the world.
My experiment worked, by the way. I doubled my Etsy sales in one month. Stay tuned for the next installment, in which I discuss marketing your shop off of Etsy.