I have been amazed at all the support out there for people starting up their own businesses, from books, advice gained from other people’s experiences, training programmes and one to one support. So, I thought how could I give something back to help others. My work is currently available to buy in exhibitions, galleries and online via Etsy so thought this is where I might start. Grab a cup of coffee and pen and paper as I share some of my tips for selling on Etsy. Lets jump in.
1. Create a strong brand identity – When people visit your store you don’t have long to make an impact. You need to have images consistent in style, your brand personality needs to fit your target audience and being consistent across all online platforms helps create a strong identity. For example, I have a close up shot of one of my glazes as my cover image on facebook, etsy, business cards and on my website.
2. Your bio should be inspirational – Tell people a story, a story is much more engaging than a factual bio. Make sure it is across all your platforms and is consistent.
3. Photography is key – You don’t need the expert skills of a photographer just a decent smartphone. Be consistent, use natural light, plain backgrounds, using relevant props brings your product to life but also try to capture closeup detail as well as distant shots to show depth and visual dimensions.
4. Use inspiring product descriptions – Try including provenance and your inspiration for making it.
5. Social platforms – You don’t need to use all available platforms to promote your business. Find out where your target market hang out and concentrate your energy on doing it well. Engage with your audience in conversation. For example, I sometimes ask for input on what to make that day or pose a poll to get feedback and I always answer all my comments or at least acknowledge them in some way. If people have taken the time to write a comment, then I should put the time in to reply.
6. Create a facebook page – This will enable a dialogue with your potential customers allowing you to build relationships with your audience. You will be able to share your news as well as understanding your customers buying needs. Run competitions to drive engagement. For example, my facebook page is linked on my website and at present generates the biggest engagements over my other social platforms.
7. Create videos – This will increase your online visibility and generate interest. For example, I use imovie and ripl apps to create content and they are both very easy to edit. I would love to hear of any other apps people use to create videos. Drop me a quick note below and share.
8. Packaging – Use packaging which is in line with your values and brand, adding a personal thank you note within the parcel. Include a money off next purchase voucher and offer a special discount for introducing a friend. Your product should look good as well as be securely packed with love care and attention. Place a reminder in the packaging to leave you their feedback on your shop.
9. Returns Policies – make your returns policy clear as some people feel more confident if one exists and are therefore prepared to take the risk of buying from you.
10. Start a blog – You can share behind the scenes videos of you working, providing an opportunity for your customers to find out about the person behind the brand. I would suggest you post regularly to improve your rankings on search engines.
Selling on Etsy can be quite time consuming from originally setting up your store to listing each item, however from a customers point of view your page will be very comprehensive and will provide all the essential information they need to make an informed choice to purchase your work. Etsy also provides a wealth of information to the seller in terms of where your customers are, what words they are using to search for items and what items are grabbing their attention which is all very powerful knowledge for the business owner. If you are unsure about selling on Etsy I would encourage anyone to give it a go and just try it out, the financial outlay is low so not much of a gamble. There are other platforms to sell your work, for example Folksy. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say!
I hope you have found this interesting and provided lots of ideas. What ideas have you tried, have they worked? In the spirit of sharing I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box. Feel free to share this blog with your friends or to anyone you think would find it useful.