12 ways to promote your Etsy shop

Apr 6, 2011

Fellow Portland artist, Anna Joyce, was featured last week on Etsy's "Quite Your Day Job" series.  She has invested a lot of time and energy into her creative passion, and it's paying off. 

My favorite blog posts on Etsy are the "Quit Your Day Job" features.  I love reading about "real" people who overcome obstacles to get to the place where they are today.  And the advice shared by the featured sellers is always so relevant, especially for Etsy shopowners just starting out.

One thing that I've learned from being a retailer is that passion is only part of the equation to a successful business.  Any product idea can sound brilliant to an audience of one.  If the goal is to reach the masses, then a whole lot of hard work and patience is in order.

Many shopowners underestimate how marketing is key to their business, especially when that business is exclusively online.  Before opening my Etsy shop, I ran an online retail store for two years.  It was a crash course on SEO, conversion rates, and email marketing.  In the beginning, it took a lot of work to build up our customer base and create a more seamless shopping experience.  But, within a year, our online shop was bringing in 25% of our monthly gross sales (the other 75% was sales from our brick and mortar shop). 

Marketing, in my opinion, is the most difficult aspect of running a small business.  It demands a lot of time and, in most cases, a bit of monetary investment.  I realize that most Etsy shopowners do not have a large marketing budget, if any at all.  The reason I opened up an Etsy shop in the first place was its hassle-free setup and low maintenance cost.  Promoting your Etsy shop, however, doesn't have to break the bank.  Here are some practical marketing tools that can help bring customers to your shop. 

1.  List new products in your shop at least twice a week.  Every time you list or relist a product, the item is moved to the top of Etsy's search queue. 

2.  Connect with Etsy sellers/buyers through treasuries, forums, and teams. 

3. Advertise on creative blogs.  Sponsorship rates differ from site to site, but many blogs just charge $30 - $45/month. 

4.  Start your own blog!  (More on this in an upcoming post.)

5.  Keep your brand consistent.  From your shop header to your business card to your packaging, customers should know what your collection is about and how it's unique from all the other great shops out there.  Read more on how to create a brand identity here

6.  Subscribe to Etsy newsletters to follow current trends and opportunities.  Go here to sign up. 

7.  Tag your products with search friendly keywords.

8.  Use social networking sites like facebook and twitter to promote new products and follow other like-minded artists.  Try to connect with fans on a regular basis. 

9.  Run promotional events from time to time.  Everyone loves a good sale.  Share special events and collaborations with bloggers that promote such activities.    

10. Know where your customers are coming from.  Follow traffic to your shop using Google Analytics or StatCounter. 

11.  Consider wholesale accounts.  I have found that jewelry and art collections sell much quicker in brick and mortar shops than online.  Before you contact a retailer, make sure you do some research and know that it's a good fit.  See my post on how to contact shops here

12.  Superb customer service is gold.  When your customers are happy, they will come back.  And they will let others know!

This list should keep a few of you busy for awhile.  Remember,  promoting your shop takes time.  But stay at it, and you will eventually see a return on your marketing efforts.


Kristen Donegan said...

Thanks for this post! It was really helpful around a subject that quite frankly makes me very nervous- promotion/marketing. I don't know why that is- but these are very practical approaches to get cracking on :)

Anna Joyce Design said...

What a great post! Thank you for using me as an example, but I just learned a thing to two from your post!
oxo Anna

deepti moga said...

thanks soo much .. lot of points which m literally gonna follow from now on .. thanks again .. :)

Jeb said...

Good stuff!

ecokaren said...

loving your posts....found you since your feature on Etsy. Two featured artists from Portland in a month....Hmmmm....I'm beginning to think I should move to Portland to get my creative mojo back.

Jessica Ann Mills said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post Cathy! I am going to start small and begin to brainstorm on ways to implement these tips and others that I've learned from the Etsy blog. Sometimes we forget how a little of bit (or a lot) effort can go a long way.

peachpatrol said...

Awesome post! Such good advice! Thank you for the kind and useful words!

I discovered you through your lovely etsy shop which I've been meaning to blog about for a while. Finally today I did!
Please find your blog featured here:


TBTC Crew said...

Very helpful! Thank you for the tips!

buttontreeco said...

Thank you for the helpful tips!

Tatiana Sakurai said...

Thanks for this well-written, concise, and informative article, Cathy!

Great reinforcement of what I already know, but might not be implementing...and some new info as well. The links are very helpful.

I really appreciate your taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with the community.

Keep up the good work!

Clare said...

Thanks for this great article, Cathy! Inspiring and helpful, just the kick I need to get working on my marketing.

ArtJournals said...

Thank you for the helpful tips!

Hips Like Cinderella said...

Hello. I know this is an old post but I just came across it on a google search, and have really enjoyed reading this and your other etsy related posts.

I have recently opened my ownetsy shop and am trying to promote via twitter, blog, treasury list etc, and your advice is so helpful. I'm really glad I came across your blog :)Thanks! x

alankarshilpa said...

Lots of great tips. Now I know what I had not been doing. Thank you so much.

Tamara said...

Great tips!

Chelsea said...

Thanks for the great tips! I am trying to promote my Etsy shop called ChelDesigns and will definitely be using your advice! Thanks for the great read.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing

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