Online selling is no longer reserved for eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Today, there is Etsy – a place where you can sell what you have created.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online selling platform for creatives. Instead of the usual approach to selling that focuses on having a product and selling it, Etsy provides a custom designer feel to their product. Some may even feel as if they are shopping for specialty products in a boutique when they visit the website. That’s how different their approach is compared to websites like eBay and Amazon.
Why is Etsy a platform for creatives?
Well, its platform is more about showcasing a product than closing a sale. They focus on the design of the store and the uniqueness of the products. This approach is perfect for one-of-a-kind items that are crafted by creative people.
Why is Etsy so popular?
As marketing leaned towards the visual elements with the introduction of Instagram and Pinterest comes a trend in creative products. Today, customers are interested in more than just fulfilling their needs. They are now interested in obtaining products that are one-of-a-kind and made with love. Because of this, the handmade industry has prospered and Etsy is one of the main places where these products are sold.
Aside from its popularity, Etsy is also a great stepping stone for creatives to start selling their products. First, it is incredibly easy to set up a store. They don’t need to spend a lot of money just to set up their own business. They can start selling right off the bat. Prices are fixed leaving no room for clients to haggle. This is good for the artists for they can set their prices right from the beginning.
Now that you know that setting up an Etsy shop is easy, you may think that everything will be rosy once a store is created. However, you’ll find that although setup is easy, Etsy also gives you hundreds of thousands of artists to compete with. If you don’t bring your A-game, it is easy to get left behind.
With this in mind, I came up with the perfect strategy on how to sell your products. Here are some strategies that can help get your Etsy shop noticed in the midst of competition.
Strategy #1: Etsy In-House Promotion
Once you have set up your Etsy shop, you’ll find that the tool also has features that can also give instant exposure for your store.
First, it gives you a free Google listing. This means that if you did your SEO right, search engine surfers will easily find your products.
Aside from this, they also promote items in their community. Etsy shop owners can now pay to have their items prominently listed in the website. Budget can go as low as $1 a day and shop owners are billed only when people click on their ads. In my experience, it seems that Etsy is a great place to promote your products because the market is already interested in searching for interesting products to buy. It is the best strategy to acquire new customers to your Etsy store.
But don’t forget to track your analytics. Unlike ordinary eCommerce websites where you have to set up analytics, Etsy has everything built-in. Their dashboard provides a wealth of customer information including how many people are visiting your store, what they are buying, where they are coming from (location and products they clicked) and what keywords are they using to search products. You can then use this data to determine what products to sell and what products to pull out.
Strategy #2: Social Media Promotion
When it comes to artistic or creative products, social media is your friend. This is the reason why most of the next sections will be focused on different social media channels. I like using social media to promote Etsy products for two reasons. First, it allows you to showcase product images or videos enticing prospects to try your products. Second, it allows you to filter through the noise through its advertisement mechanism so that only those that are interested in your products will follow you and buy from you – That is targeted marketing at its finest.
You may have known Twitter for its short updates. It is one of those social media channels where shorter updates are better. But you can use it for more than just updates. In fact, you use it to promote your Etsy store.
Did you know that Etsy has a Twitter integration? This allows you to post your newly updated products straight to Twitter as you add them. It may not mean much as Twitter is text-oriented. Still, you should not forget to activate this feature. You can also add some hashtags to your posts if you want. It may help you get discovered.
Setting up a Twitter account is easy. You just need to have an e-mail and a username. Then, you can now add some updates and follow people who are interesting to you. However, don’t forget that Twitter is all about conversation. Be sure to go to other people’s profiles and reply to their tweets.
The main market for Etsy is on Instagram. Why? Well, all the creatives are on Instagram. These are the people who love to express themselves in pictures and takes pleasure in seeing blocks of images together. If you have seen some of the most creative feeds on Instagram, you’ll find that some of them are planned. They have a particular color scheme that they follow and they even plan the images that they are going to share.
Why do they do this? It is all to express their creative side. With this, it is easy to see that these people may also be interested in creative stuff. Those are the one-of-a-kind items that only they can have. This is the reason why rare items crafted by artists are a perfect match to this market. Most of the market in Etsy comes from Instagram.
Setting up an Instagram account is easy. You must have an iOS or Android phone that can install the app and you just need to sign up. From here, you can submit 9 images and then start following people. Your follower count will slowly grow from there.
I am not sure how much Instagram has changed. Back in the day, you can get 30% follow-backs for every follow you make. This is a nice and steady way to grow your follower count.
In the same way, you can also use SFS or shoutout for shoutout. This is where one account in the same niche promotes another account. This is a faster way to get followers and can allow greater reach for your brand.
Once you have a considerable amount of followers, it is time to post your Etsy shop on Instagram. Though you will not be able to connect it directly, you can just add it into the website area.
From here, all you need to do is add more images. As a creative, you should focus more on pictures of your products as is and as it is used. Show in an image the experience that the prospect will have if they buy it. With each post, attach relevant hashtags. This will help others find you. If you ever wondered why some online shops have a long list of hashtags following their products, it is all because of this reason. They want people to find them when they search for that particular hashtag.
Also, it is important to stay active. Instagram is a very active community where users try to post at least one image a day. Be sure to be consistent in your engagement. Don’t just stick with yourself. Go out and visit other profiles and like their images. Click on new profiles and follow them. It is all about being a good and active Instagram citizen.
If Instagram is for self expression, Pinterest is for inspiration. While the goal of the market is not really that targeted for online selling (After all, it is only for inspiration), it is still a great place to get discovered. With this, I advise that you also post images of your products in Pinterest – it can help inspire people as well as allow them to visit your site if they like what they saw.
Creating a Pinterest account is easy. When you have setup the initial stuff (username, password, Facebook login, etc), you can just pin one of your product images in your board. You can create boards like ‘new items’ and ‘sold items’ so that customers will know which ones are for sale.
However, don’t just stick to yourself. Remember, Pinterest is a community. You also need to participate. Feel free to create other boards that are interesting to you. Then, pin some images from other accounts. This will make your account look legit and less self-promotional.
Also, don’t forget to integrate Pinterest with Etsy. Etsy has an integration on Pinterest that allows you to share the direct links on your products. You just need to set it up and it will start posting your product images on the fly. Again, don’t forget to include some hashtags. This will allow people to find you. Try to include as many hashtags as you can. Just be sure that they are relevant.
We should not ignore Facebook. Although not as visually oriented as Instagram and Pinterest, it is still the largest and most active social media website on the Internet. As an online business owners, you should want to get a slice of that market – After all, a small slice can still make you a lot of money.
I trust that I don’t need to tell you how to create a Facebook account. Signup is pretty straightforward. Just fill in the necessary details and you are ready.
More than an account, what you need is a Facebook page. You can create one if you click on ‘Create Page’ on your sidebar.
From here, you can just keep on adding products from Etsy. Etsy has a Facebook integration that allows you to list products directly from Etsy. From here, you can form your community and make some updates about your products and services.
But if there’s one thing I love about Facebook, it has to be the ads. By far, Facebook is the only advertising platform that doesn’t cost as much but the effects can be tremendous. The key is to not just promote products blindly. Products must have enticing titles and images that are worth clicking. If you have this along with some limited-time discounts, your ad could convert a lot.
One of the reasons for the high conversion may be the targeting. Facebook allows you to filter the market by location and also allow you to set the interests. Since the ad will only be exposed to a specific portion of the market, the cost for exposure is not that much but the conversion is high because of the targeted market.
Although not creative-focused, the targeting system allows you to filter through user interests and find the market that are relevant to your products. This makes Facebook an amazing tool to market your Etsy store.
As you can see, promoting an Etsy store is easy. It is about finding the relevant target market and going out of your way to promote your products to them. The strategies are not that complicated and it only takes a few steps to be implemented.
We are in the generation where customers are no longer buying just for utilitarian purposes. Now, they are also focused on buying products that can express their personality and uniqueness. This is a great time to share your creative work with the world. Thanks to Etsy. It is now easy to do that. And with the two strategies above, this may be your chance to make money while doing what you love.