Why am I not getting views on Etsy? How to market my Etsy shop? In my first post about how to earn with Etsy, I made the point – “to earn on Etsy you need to get noticed”. So, those two questions at the start of this post are the same questions we asked ourselves when Sue and I first started our Etsy shop.
Etsy is a massive market place and nobody will know you are there unless you tell them! When you go shopping on the high street do you visit shops at random? Depending on what you’re shopping for, more likely you already have a brand name in mind. But why is that? It’s down to marketing. All the big companies spend thousands if not millions of pounds on advertising. Not just to promote new products, after all we can’t all afford to buy every new version of the Apple iPhone when it comes out and how many copies are there of Kellogg’s Cornflakes to choose from. Their main aim is to create brand awareness! Telling us “we’re here!”. Why did I sight the Apple iPhone and Kellogg’s Cornflakes earlier? Because, these two companies have spent a fortune putting out a continuous stream of advertising, constantly keeping their names at the forefront of association with the product they produce, continuously reminding us “we’re here” – this is marketing.
Marketing should not be confused with selling. In a way, selling is only a secondary function of marketing. The main function of marketing is to make us aware of the brand. For instance, when I thought to myself I need a new smart phone, the first name that popped into my head was Apple iPhone. So I toddled off to a shop stocking Apple iPhones, not some random phone shop, I explicitly sought out a shop stocking Apple iPhone, I was potentially an Apple iPhone owner. The purpose of marketing is “to get people in the door”. The more people who come in, the more chances you have to sell (unfortunately for Apple, there was a better deal from Samsung on offer that day).
Whilst we don’t have the same marketing budget as Apple or Kellogg’s, we do need to market in order to make sure we’re getting Etsy views. Likewise, to ensure continuous views we need to market continually. If you stop marketing, just like swimming, you’ll sink out of sight. When Sue and I set out to market MessieJessie, we decided we needed a series of simple actions we could repeat over and over again, yet have the potential to spread awareness of MessieJessie as far as possible.
So how much of a budget do we have to spend on spreading the word? Sue and I never set out to be dependent on Etsy for our main source of income; we wanted only to earn that little extra to make things easier. Our budget is relative to the income we earn from Etsy and can be counted in the 10’s of pounds not 100’s or 1000’s. Because of this we’ve opted to use social networks as our main means of marketing. This has given us time to understand and try them before paying for any additional software or service.
Social networks come in many forms and the first we decided to tackle was blogging. It can be set up for free but we opted to host our own blog, it has initial start-up costs – buying a domain name and having it hosted. However, these costs a relatively low, checkout our hosting provider for some great deals, excellent after sales customer service and reliability (www.vidahost.com) . Along with your hosting package you’ll be supplied with all the free software you need to start blogging – the most popular platform being WordPress (if you want you can even forego Etsy and use free software to set-up your own online shop).
We chose to run a blog because we:
- felt that other than updating shop content, Etsy was somewhat static
- wanted a platform to tell people about ourselves
- wanted a place to establish our own online presence without restrictions
- would use the blog as a hub for other forms of communication e.g. Twitter
Sure, Etsy gives you some space to tell a little about yourself but, it tends to be limited and Etsy’s user base is somewhat smaller than that of Google or Bing etc, the internet search engines from where most internet users start their quest to find things. Internet search engines love new material and updates, blogs naturally lend themselves to this. Sites which update and add new content are more likely to feature higher in search results than sites that are static or rarely updated. Getting placed high on search engine listings is sure way to get noticed and can be achieved through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but, that’s a post for another day.
Next the social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest. There are other social networks but these three seemed to best meet our needs. Facebook has a massive user base. We already had some friends on Facebook, they would help us by being amongst the first to “like” our “Page”, pass it on and help our audience grow. Twitter is very immediate, and not only can we tweet in seconds what Sue has just listed on Etsy but, we can also see what is trending at what others are making right now. Twitter is a great place to find out what is going on right now! Finally Pintrest, probably the fastest growing social network over the past twelve months; being based on sharing images it is ideally suited to those who want to share their visual art.
Of course there are many other social networks out there. We’ve dabbled with using some and are considering using others but, for now our core marketing efforts comprise:
- A blog
In the next post we’ll take a closer look at how we used each of these to increase awareness of Sue and her art.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask, ideas and experiences you’d like share, on marketing, please feel free to leave a comment.
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