Selling Handmade ~ Promoting Your Etsy Shop

Happy Monday, everyone!  After a weekend break, we’re back with our mini-series.  I’ve been asking 4 guest bloggers the nitty gritty details of selling handmade creations online.  {If you’ve missed any, you can start at the beginning…}

My Etsy shop was a spin-off of this blog.  One of my craft projects took off in the land of Pinterest, and I started to get requests for hand painted signs.  That’s often how things go in life.  One thing leads to another. It can be exciting!

It can also be overwhelming…  One area that just blows me away is the whole “promoting your business through social media” thing.  I’m exhausted from all the stumbling, pinning, tweeting, sharing, liking, and various other “ings”.  I just can’t seem to figure it all out…

I presented my frustrations to our 4 guest bloggers, and asked how they handle that aspect of the business.

Day 6:  Promoting Your Shop {Getting the Word Out}

selling handmade bright final

Question:   I have a confession to make.  Right now I’m absolutely overwhelmed with all the “promotional/social media” options out there…Pinterest, RSS feeds, e-mail, twitter, stumble upon, facebook, etc. etc.  I just can’t keep up with it all!  How do you get the word out about your Etsy shop…without losing your mind in the process!!!… {And where do you draw the line with all the social media options?}

 

Gina's Banner  Gina, from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Confession time: I have help with social media. I don’t do a lot of tweeting/facebooking/pinning my own items, I leave that to my blog. The main thing that I do for my traffic is just to do good work on my blog – if folks read those posts then they’ll see my shop and follow through. My assistant helps with keeping Facebook & Pinterest going for the blog and it was nice to let someone else do things that just ate my time. I love interacting with my readers via comments & twitter, but one person can only do so much in a day 🙂

 

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jami's banner Jami from freckled laundry

Join the club. Quite honestly, I’m still overwhelmed with social media. You may want to skip my answer and read Gina’s! She seems to do it so well. I definitely need to make more time for social media because it is such a powerful marketing tool.

I have a more laid back approach to selling on Etsy and engaging in social media right now. I know what my own comfortable selling and socializing pace is. I {gratefully!} exceeded that pace and my expectations with blogs, facebook, and twitter alone. My blog is my main Etsy shop voice. I also share new items and sales on my facebook page which is set up to automatically post my status updates to my twitter account too. That’s a time saver. Additionally, when you list a new item on Etsy, it will give you the option to share it on social media sites. With the click of a button or two, your newly listed items are online. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to like or share your facebook posts and tweets to help spread the word. It’s like handing out your business cards in this electronic world.

Blogs are a great way to get the word out too. I hosted a few giveaways on other blogs and sent sweetly wrapped packages to blog friends who wrote posts about them.

I’m still a Pinterest and Stumble-Upon rookie. I don’t pin or stumble my own wares but some very appreciated readers and bloggers have, which certainly drives traffic to my shop!

Email newsletters are an awesome tool but I have yet to use them. Right now, my Etsy shop is temporarily closed while I work on a signature line of textiles, coordinating clay tags, and other handmade wares. I’m also building an inventory of vintage items. When I am ready to reopen my shop, email newsletters and Pinterest will be priorities. I will find an intern to help with newsletters.

Speaking of intern, Reni at Bliss & Tell Branding Co. suggested bringing an intern on board. There are usually plenty of students looking for paid or unpaid internships that will provide creative/art, marketing communications, or advertising experience. Hiring an intern to help with things like packaging, wholesale orders, stapling tags to bags, printing out shipping labels, taping up boxes, etc. will free up time for creating and socializing. Any Etsy shop owner will probably tell you that you can easily spend just as much time on packaging and shipping something as you do making it. I have yet to even look for an intern because I want to be personally involved in every step of my shop. I love packaging…and I have control issues.

In short, do what you are comfortable with. Just know that the more you engage in social media, the more successful your shop will be.

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Lisa's banner Lisa from The Pennington Point

You are assuming a lot if you think I haven’t lost my mind already!  Some of the other women you are interviewing will be much better at this question.  I mostly just use Twitter and Pinterest to market my products, plus I have a blog.  One question you didn’t ask, that I will talk about here since I don’t have much to add to the social media discussion, is how did I grow my business.  The first year I had hardly any sales.  I sold in some local shops, which kept my business floating, but it didn’t offer much creatively.  I did a few giveaways, but they didn’t amount to anything.  Then one day I asked a bigger blogger if she would mention my new product on her blog.  I sent her one and she loved it and mentioned it with a photo on her blog.  I got several orders for that and started getting other orders.  That was my Family Number Pillow and it continues to be one of my best sellers.  That little boost gave me the juice I needed to create a few new products.  From there my shop grew slowly and I am happy with that pace.  I am still homeschooling 6 kids plus a toddler and 2 grown children at home so I can’t work full time just yet.

 

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aimee's banner Aimee from My Pink Life

Pinterest has been the biggest way of getting traffic to my shop. I haven’t had the need to use a lot of social media to promote my shop (not yet, anyway), so I don’t have Twitter or Facebook for the shop. I promote my products on my blog and that is basically all that I do as far as marketing goes.

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Can I just say that those answers  made me do the happy dance??!!  I’m glad I’m not alone in the “overwhelmed with figuring out social media” boat!  I think my take away lesson is to just do only what I can do…and leave it at that.

Thank you, Lisa, for also explaining how your blog grew.  That was extremely helpful to me.  I think it can be discouraging sometimes when our shops don’t just “take off” right away…  It’s nice to know the details of someone else’s experience.

Tomorrow is our last day together, {but I certainly hope you stop by again!}.  We’re talking about a subject that sort of ties in with today’s ~ Finding Balance in our Busy Lives {hmmm….is it possible?}.

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7 Comments

  1. Ritajoy,

    Once again I can’t help but say thankful for hosting this series!! And I would like to also say thank you to all four of the dear ladies who have so graciously agreed to let you “interview” them. This is a process we have been praying about and I must confess scares the dickens out of me… but on the other hand it is something we are seriously contemplating. (I recently shared some dolls that I made and have been getting requests every since…. some online, some from ladies I know why have seen them in person.)

    Have a wonderful week! (oh guess what????? The painting is almost done… and the doors are going up!! now we just need to move the stove out of the house so that we can spray paint it!)

  2. When pinning Etsy items to Pinterest do you find leaving the price on is better? I know it gets it sorted into the gift section but is it a turn off to most people? And are there any tricks to getting your items on the Everything page of Pinterest.

    I’m an Etsy seller but some folks are getting 200-300 views per day. I’m getting 50-150. What am I doing wrong? I know my product isn’t something everyone needs but I see some folks selling the same items as me getting tons of views.

    Thanks.

  3. I was going to just add a note the there is a website called TwitterFeed and you can punch in your website and link it to all your social media sites. This way, every time you make a blog entry, it will automatically post to all the social media accounts you have instructed it to do! Gravy!

  4. There is a new tip for etsy shop promotion – TreasuryPromo.com
    TreasuryPromo is an Etsy treasury exchange network! It is like a big treasury team, but they do not have a limit for the number of treasuries to be made per month. You can create treasuries whenever you want and earn karma points that way! Also you don’t need to notify shops for including them in your treasuries, because if you make treasuries, you will be in treasuries!

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