If you’ve ever pulled your hair out wondering, “How do I promote my Etsy shop?” I’m about to rock your world. (I’m sorry. Decent people don’t say that any more.) You see, in addition to the joy that is curating the web for Momcaster, I am paid real American dollars by real humans to help them promote, market and advertise their small businesses.
I’ve seen lots of ideas online lately about advertising an Etsy shop, and just like the media coverage of Nadya Sulemon, it’s about to cause me to have a stroke.
They include such things as leaving your business card everywhere, printing and posting flyers, and other tips that are… hold onto your hat… just about as useless and old-fashioned as my teenage son thinks I am.
If those kinds of promotional marketing ideas have worked for your Etsy shop, I’ll be surprised. In fact, I’ll go you one better. If anyone has ever become your customer and told you they found you via a business card left in a bathroom, I will buy you lunch.
Of course, you’re going to have to come to where I am and I get to pick the place.
Here’s the thing: Because I LOVE YOU ETSY SELLERS SO DANG MUCH, I’m going to share my Top 8 Marketing & Advertising Tips to Grow Your Etsy Business Like a Fast Growing Weed of Some Sort.
Because. That’s why.
1. Please feed the Google spiders. Humans who know way more than I do have determined people who find products for sale via search are more likely to buy. That’s because they are sitting down at their computer and thoughtfully choosing words to search for something they want. That implies INTENTION, right?
Well, Sugar Cube, if they are looking for a hemp bracelet, for example, they are going to look at the hemp bracelets that return on the FIRST PAGE of Google. In fact, they’re probably going to only look at the top 1-4 results. If you’re not there, you’re square.
Google spiders are hungry little things that crawl the internet looking for keywords, and they especially like good ones for those coveted Page One positions.
When you’re tagging your Etsy item with keywords, it’s not enough to only think of terms people may use to search for you. Learn to use the Google Keyword Tool and make it a habit to use it before you list any item. If you need a great tutorial to help teach you how, you can find tons by doing a quick search. (On Google – not in your closet or under your bed.)
Will it take more time to do keyword research before listing your items for sale? It will. Just think of it as Etsy foreplay… you can skip it, but the end result won’t be nearly as satisfying.
2. Not all that twitters is gold. I know you want to believe that the pretty Twitter lady with 25,000 followers is going to mention your product and you will sell so many, you can’t even fill all the orders without hiring tiny pygmies from New Guinea to help you.
That might happen. But honey, the truth is it’s more likely not going to happen.
Not all Twitter superstars are what they seem, and it can be difficult to know the difference. Did you know that many, many, many Twitter accounts with thousands of followers have actually purchased their users? It’s true.
Did you know that those numbers may be overflowing with spam accounts that aren’t even real people?
Before you pay someone (or offer a gift of your products) to promote your Etsy store on Twitter, be sure they have a website or blog where they’ll promote it as well. A tweet is not enough. I myself have more than 3,000 Twitter followers and I can make you this promise – not one of them is going to buy a mother-trucking thing because I say I like it. I blame Rush Limbaugh.
3. A Facebook page is like an ex-husband – everyone should have one. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your Etsy business, stick out your wrist so I can slap it. Now – go make one.
If you DO have a Facebook page to promote your Etsy shop, I’m very proud of you. I will make a notation on your permanent record.
4. Don’t be the obnoxious girl at the party. Social media is called SOCIAL for a reason. If you only post, “look at what I have for sale” updates, no one is going to stick around to hold your hair when you throw up.
Talk about something other than Etsy. (Tip: Facebook users really dig those image quotes that are so popular – and they especially seem to enjoy them first thing in the morning. For reals.)
5. You’ll catch more flies with honey. Your Etsy honey is the product you have for sale. If you make the most beautiful Swarovski potholders in all of America and parts of Canada, then you should really – really – REALLY give some away once in awhile.
Before you jump off a bridge because another marketing brainiac just told you to give stuff away, come down off the ledge, listen to Sadie the Wonder Marketer and for godsake, go wash your hands. Flies are filthy creatures.
First, don’t give your store away to every Tom, Dick & Blogger who asks. I’ve read about Etsy sellers coming up with all sorts of arbitrary rules as to who gets what and when, and that’s cool. They’re your potholders, after all.
But in my opinion, at the top of your short list you’re looking for great writing, lots and lots of page views, and someone with a well-followed set of Pinterest boards where they will surely pin your product photo.
Second, trust your gut. You know better than to give free stuff to bloggers who do nothing but write about giveaways. I know you do. You know better than to send your Etsy goodies to bloggers who spell “crazy” with a K and a silent E. I trust you on this.
6. And speaking of drinking the Pinterest Kool-aid. The internet she is a changing, my precious Etsy seller. When you come across a Pinterest user who has boards that align with the kinds of products you sell, you’d be wise to tell her she’s pretty and skinny and anything else you can think of to get her to pin your stuff.
If she has a blog, and she features your work, you should pin your item directly from her blog and call everyone you know to do the same – including your 17th cousin twice-removed with the weird eye and the arm that was somehow sewn on completely backwards.
Pinterest isn’t a fan of self-promotion and we all get it. But clicking “PIN” on an image of your work on someone else’s blog is the same as seeing your potholder store featured in the newspaper back in 1957, going out and buy 23 copies and giving one to everybody you know.
No – I can’t let go of this whole potholder theme. You’ve come this far, so now we’re in it together. Potholder, potholder, potholder.
Say things that are insightful and clever and complimentary and relative. And for the love of Mike the traveling potholder fabric salesman, make sure you leave a link to your shop if it’s allowed.
The blogger may check out your shop, fall in love with your products and write about you. Her readers may do the same thing.
It’s madness, I tell you! Marketing madness!
8. A closed mouth is never fed. (Which, coincidentally is a concept I can’t get my mind around – thus the slow weight loss.) ASK for help in promoting your Etsy shop. Ask friends, family, and bloggers you like.
The worst they can say is, “No! You are a stupid head, I hate your guts for asking, and I’m going to pay a fat man a large sum of money to smack you in the face.”
If you can risk hearing that, you can do anything. Should you offer them a gift for their help?
Well… that’s up to you. Just know there is an old Southern saying that may prove true in this case. “If you don’t want to be smacked in the face by a fat man, be kinder than necessary.”
In closing, don’t waste your time shoving business cards in magazines at the doctor’s office and if you put up a flyer in a convenience store or library, I’m dispatching Big Ralph to your location at once.
You Etsy sellers are amazing talents that absolutely fascinate and delight me. I want you to do well. Trust your gut and listen to Sadie and maybe someday I’ll see your face on the cover of Potholder Millionaire.
PS: If you appreciated this post, please share it like you’ve never shared before. See what I did there? 🙂