If you have been following along thus far, you have either just opened your Etsy shop or maybe your shop just needing some 2014 revamping.
Now that you have your shop open and items in it, how do you get people to see it?
I’m not gonna lie, it’s not easy and it will take time. For me, I think this is one of the most time-consuming parts of being an online seller, especially in the beginning, because it really needs continuous effort.
The way Etsy is set up, the most relevant or recent results appear at the top of results pages. Eventually, your listings will seem to get lost in the shuffle. Some sellers remedy this by relisting their items before they expire so they stay in the “newer” listings searches. However, when you do this, you are paying for that listing fee every time you do it. One way you can help a little bit is if you have several things to put into your shop, space them out. List one, then list another a couple hours later.
Potential customers can find YOUR shop by searching for it by name or seeing one of your items in an Etsy search result, but if you rely ONLY on those chances, then you will probably be waiting quite awhile for that first sale.
I’m going to share some information that I wish I had known and utilized from the beginning. Some of it may seem common sense or may just seem like extra hassle, too much time, etc., but, believe me, it will be worth it.
So how do you make people aware of your little shop in the great big, online universe… or even just on Etsy?
1. Etsy Forums & Teams: I’ve been a slacker in this one lately, and I need to get back into it. When I was actively involved in the Etsy Teams & Forums, I saw my views increase, and views will eventually lead to sales. To join a team or find a forum, click on “Community” at the top of your Etsy screen. From there you will see “Teams” and “Forums” on the left column. With forums, you can join into any discussion that interests you. With teams, you can search for a team in your area, by craft, or whatever else you feel like. The general rule is, if it’s something that requires participation by featuring other members’ work in a treasury or whatever, do it. Visit their shop pages, like their items, favorite their shops, etc. Show love and you’ll receive love.
2. Etsy Treasuries: From the front page, scroll all the way down. On the left column you’ll see “Treasury”. Once you click it, on the right you’ll see “Create a List”. You can also view those made by others to get an idea of how it works. The more cohesive, the better. This is a place you can promote items from the shops of others. I open another tab and search for like-items. Some will do an all blue treasury or items for specific holidays. It’s really up to you. Just enter your title, description, some tags so it can be found, then add the item’s URL. It’s often helpful to message the shop owners that you feature and let them know you have featured them and give them the link. Now, this may seem a bit counterproductive. I hear you thinking, “I thought this was about drawing people to MY shop???” In a roundabout way, treasuries will do that. You showcase someone else’s work and they will likely visit your shop and favorite you. They will probably share your treasury on Facebook or Twitter, because they are featured in it. They may even reciprocate by featuring YOU in THEIR treasury. Try it. Plus, it’s fun. 🙂 And if someone features you, leave a comment on their treasury, favorite it, and share it. Spread the love, friends.
3. Twitter: Ohhhhh, Twitter… I really think I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter, but I won’t go into that here. haha! Even with my wavering affection for this outlet, it has brought in more views and more sales. My following just crossed the 1200-mark, so that’s kind of exciting. With Twitter, I try to balance it out. I share when I list new items and blog posts, but I also share tips and articles that are relevant to the brand I am trying to build, as well as a few personal things so my followers can connect to me. Since many Twitterers follow a bunch of people, I’m not sure there is such a thing as posting too much. When I look at my feed, a person’s tweet is soon replaced by about 50 others. If you only post once or twice a day, your followers may never see your tweet. I post a tweet at least every couple of hours. How can I do that without being online all day long? Easy. There are sites that help, like HootSuite and Buffer. You can schedule your tweets throughout the day so they are posting for you. I also post other things directly to Twitter when I can. I also post some things to Twitter from my Instagram.
4. Facebook: If you don’t have a page for your business, you need to get one. There are a lot of people who don’t have Twitter but do have Facebook and would like to keep up with shop news, sales, and any other information you have to share. A page is pretty easy to set up and doesn’t take too long. You can also link your Facebook and Twitter on your Etsy page so people can easily follow you. When creating both your Facebook page and Twitter page, make it the same name as your Etsy shop so they can find you! Don’t make it more confusing than it needs to be. You can schedule Facebook posts through Buffer also, however, I don’t post nearly as often on my Facebook page, because the feed tends to be slower and people could get irritated if you post too often. 2 or 3 times a day would probably be sufficient. A few hours after posting, go back and “like” it. That will make it show up again in the little feed in the upper right corner of your newsfeed. Your friends will see you liked it, so in case they missed it the first time you posted it, they get a second chance. I tend to give my Facebook following more of a personal glimpse into my work. I post works in progress, photos of my studio, etc.
5. Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr… These are pretty good also, but I don’t really share much on them, meaning I don’t often share new listings and things. I’ll post finished works or works in progress onto Instagram and Tumblr. Sometimes I’ll pin a listed item on Pinterest or pin my blog posts there, depending on what it is. I consider these “extras”, because most of my social media traffic comes from Twitter and Facebook. You can see where your traffic is coming from by hovering over “Your Shop” on your Etsy page then clicking on “Shop Stats”. That will give you an idea. I may do more on this next week…
6. A Blog: If you don’t currently have a blog, you may want to think about getting one. This is another way you can share more about your shop and your skill, while connecting with other bloggers. That’s a big one. Connecting. Connecting with other bloggers by commenting on their blog posts and sharing & pinning their material will bring traffic to your blog, which can ultimately bring them to your shop. You don’t have to blog every day. You can just do it once or twice a week, but whatever you do, be consistent. If you’re going on vacation and won’t be blogging, tell your readers. If you just disappear, they may lose interest.
These are the main ones I use. I know I just touched on them. There’s really a lot of information and tips on how to use these for your business, but hopefully I gave you something to think about and get started with.
Just be patient. The views and sales likely won’t happen overnight. If they do, kudos to you and you need to share your secrets with me!! 🙂 But just be patient and give it time. Don’t close down shop because you’ve not had any sales for a couple weeks or even a couple months. It may take some time to get there. While you’re waiting, make sure your shop looks good and get active in social media. Make friends with other crafters and bloggers. Friends help out friends.
Just two more posts about online selling and we’ll discuss something else. Is there anything related to Etsy or online selling, or anything else you would like for me to write about in our Crafters University?
Crafters University: Getting Traffic to your Etsy Shop