Setting up on Etsy is a great way to start making money from your own crafts or designs. If you’re a designer maker and you aren’t promoting your work on Etsy, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential customers. This is true regardless of whether you are doing well, or struggling with sales. Promotion can seem like a lot of hard work and time consuming but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are ten easy ways to promote your shop:
1) Set up on social media
If you haven’t already set up a business Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram account then do it! Use them to talk to and engage with your customers about new products, test out ideas and share pictures of your studio, your work in progress or even your work on sale at craft fairs.
2) Get connected
Why not link up your Facebook and Twitter page to your Etsy shop? You can do this in your shop settings and it gives people who find you a chance to follow you through social media. They will find out more about your brand and with all of your great posts about new products they are bound to revisit your shop and commit to a purchase. Here’s a tip: always provide appropriate links to the exact product you are selling on Etsy when posting pictures – you want to make things as easy as possible for customers so you can bag that sale.
3) Tweet it out
Check out what's trending daily on Twitter, and see if you can utilize any of the hashtags to promote what you have on sale in your shop. Likewise, check out daily hashtags such as #TALKT (take a look Tuesday) and #handmadehour (Wednesdays 19:30 - 21:30). These present a great opportunity to show off your design portfolio, shop or Facebook page to other designer makers and potential customers.
4) Be an entertainer
The internet is full of amazing things: funny pictures, cute videos, and I, for one, am always finding things I think my friends will love. Recently it dawned on me, if my friends would love the cute cat picture or the amazing video of a singing parrot then so would my Facebook fans! Think about the pages that you like on Facebook. I’ll bet they are not the ones that are constantly posting boring things or trying to make you buy things, right? And you don’t want to be running page like that! And yes, while its ok to promote your products, make sure you are entertaining people with other things, too. This will mean people will love checking your page out, and they will also engage with you, which will help you build a relationship with your fan base.
5) Don’t forget email!
If you sell at a craft fair, why not make up an email sign-up list? Maybe you sell gorgeous bridal accessories and the person that has stumbled across your stall absolutely loves them, but the wedding isn’t for a year. Or perhaps you sell beautiful handmade baby mobiles and your customer is not ready to buy until their friend’s baby is born. Before these people leave empty handed, ask them if they want to sign up to a mailing list. You can create free, professional mass mailouts using something like MailChimp, meaning your potential customers will be re-reminded of your shop once they get home.
6) ‘Take my card’
Whether its a postcard featuring one of your illustrations or a business card with a great picture of your products, make sure you have something on you at all times to promote your shop. Include your contact details and website and hand it out at craft fairs, art markets and any time you get chatting to someone who seems interested in what you do. You never know, they might turn into your best customer!
7) Get snap happy on Instagram
Instagram is all about things that look fantastic, you can include your Etsy shop link in the biography section so that people who like what you share can go and check it out. To make the most of Instagram use natural lighting, think carefully about composition and use plenty of appropriate hashtags to increase the amount of people that can find your account.
8) Competition time
Why not run a promotional competition? It’s cheaper than paid advertising and it can really increase your fan base. A simple way to do this is by asking people on Twitter to follow you and retweet a tweet (keep it short and snappy and don’t forget a unique hashtag) or by asking people to re-post a picture on Instagram (make sure to request they tag you in it, and again don’t forget the hashtag!). Always include a picture of your giveaway. Each of the people that follow you will have their own set of followers who are likely to want to get involved with the competition, thus increasing your fan base.
9) Post regularly to build trust
People are often cautious about shopping online, or buying from people they don’t know. But if they follow you via social media and see you posting regularly, people will feel like they can trust you and that you are legitimate. You could even post any pictures you may get sent of happy customers with their purchases. The peak times for posting online are around 7pm - 10pm, and you can schedule posts on Facebook so that they automatically post at a certain time. If I know I am going to be particularly busy one week but have lots of fun things I want to share, I often schedule a few posts. You can sign up for things like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that provide a similar service, allowing you to schedule posts to Twitter and Facebook all from the same place.
10) Seize opportunities
At the end of last year I was offered the chance to talk at a seminar for huge trade event at the NEC about starting my online shop. I said yes straight away and had a fantastic time. My shop was doing well, and although I knew that I wasn’t selling as much as some of the Etsy sellers who had been doing it for much longer, I knew that I had great tips for people. I had confidence in myself, everyone loved my talk and as a result I had a queue of people wanting to talk to me at the end. And guess what? The views on my Etsy shop, and website spiked, I gained new followers across all my social media platforms and my sales increased. The thing I have found out since then is that a lot of people let opportunities pass them by because, for whatever reason, they don’t feel ready, or they feel like a fraud. But I’d recommend trying to take as many opportunities as possible to promote your business because you will only feel ‘ready’ with experience and that will come with time and by taking opportunities.