Category Archives: Grow

Tips and tricks for growing plants, children and your crafty business

Creative Business: What To Do When Etsy Lets You Down

Creative Business Series Badge

What To Do When Etsy Lets You Down

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about how Etsy’s policies changes and size have let crafters and artists down. While I don’t want to get into a huge debate over whether Etsy’s policies are right or wrong, I would like to play the devil’s advocate for a moment in the hopes that it might help you deal with these changes.

Many creatives feel that Etsy is overloaded with storefronts, resulting in fewer and fewer shop views. Another complaint is about Etsy’s new policy to let manufactured products into the arena. Both of these issues can definitely be alarming, upsetting, and affect your shop’s bottom line. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

The bottom line is that Etsy is a business and they need to make money. Etsy has always (and still does) give artists and crafters an inexpensive, non-technical way to have an online shop. Setting up your own online shop can be costly and overwhelming and Etsy allows us to easily upload our goods with very little upfront investment of cash or time. I opened my Etsy Shop in 2007. There weren’t many sellers on the site yet and every time I would upload an item it would get a “favorite”, be put in a Treasury, show up on the front page, or be purchased. It was exciting and easy. My items practically sold themselves!

Fast forward to today. I don’t get many sales. Partly it’s my fault, I don’t give my shop much attention. But I also know very few people on Etsy see my product because items are being uploaded to the Etsy site at an incredibly fast rate.

So the thing is, what do I do about it? I hear many sellers threatening to leave Etsy and open their own online store on their website, which is a perfectly fine option as long as they realize that they will have the same exposure problems they have with Etsy. The bottom line, whether you own your shop or have one on Etsy is this: You have to market your product! And I recommend using some “traditional” methods for marketing (because the other complaint I’m hearing daily is the changes to Facebook’s policies).

To start you off on your new marketing strategy, here are three ways you can start to get more potential customers to  your Etsy or other online storefront:

  • Figure out your target market. In the “good old days” Etsy sellers bought from Etsy sellers. In today’s market a couple of things are happening. One, we aren’t seeing each other’s products. Two, I’m starting to think that we have oversaturated each other. Yes, artists and crafters like to buy from small businesses, but that concept alone doesn’t make every Etsy seller your target market. You need to go wider and deeper than that. Unless you sell craft supplies, I'm betting that your target market is not just a crafter. They may like whimsical art, or have a young child. It just depends on what you are selling and your style/branding  Is your “perfect customer” male or female? Young or old? Do they have children? What sort of person would find your products lovely and/or useful to them? Get out of your comfort zone of only selling to other crafters and start to explore a larger group of potential customers.
  • Once you have your target market figured out, it’s time to brainstorm where you can find them. What blogs and magazines do they read? Submit press releases to those publishers on a regular basis and look into investing in some ads in those publications. Where do they eat and shop? Go there and find ways you can become part of their community (and by “community” I mean both offline and online).
  • Finally get a mailing list! When people read your blog or visit your store make sure you have a way to capture their contact information. Send out postcards when you have a sale, send emails and newsletters. Stay in regular contact with your target market so that they remember to come and visit your shop. People are busy and, as much as they might love you and your product, they are going to lose track of you unless you remind them that you are there. Having newsletters and staying in touch with your clients also enables you to develop a relationship with your customer. Relationship building is one of the best tools for competing against manufactured products. It enables you to explain why you do or don’t manufacture and helps your customers make educated buying decision based on value and lifestyle choices versus just on price.

These are just a few tips to help you start getting your shop noticed again. Do you have some other tips? Please share them in the comments.

For more help in developing a new marketing strategy, I recommend my ebooks.

The Target Market Worksheet

Easy Ezines

*This article, along with special discounts, is part of my monthly newsletter. Why not join today and get tips for living a successful, creative life?

Subscribe to my newsletter

* indicates required

 

My Favorite Books on Writing

Bird Bird on Book Template

I am a bit of non-fiction junkie. I love self-help books, craft and art books, business books, and books on writing. I don't really consider myself a writer, so it's kind of interesting that I devour "how to" books about writing. Yes, I write a blog and some ebooks, but it's not my main gig.Continue Reading

(un)Busy Weekend

(un)Busy Weekend::LauraBrayDesigns.com

  I've been on a big kick this summer about how we are rotting away at home and need to get out and experience life on the weekends. Last week,as the long weekend began to loom ahead of us, I realized I was feeling stress. Then I realized how ridiculous it was to feel stressedContinue Reading

Back to School Countdown Series: The Extras

Back to School Countdown Series:LauraBrayDesigns.com

If you have been following along with my Back to School Countdown, you should have school clothes and supplies purchased and organized, school lunches ready to go, and a homework station waiting for the first worksheets that will come in your door. So what now? This post is for the over-achievers out there. If youContinue Reading

Back to School Countdown: School Lunch

Back to School Countdown: Lunches & Dinners: Laura Bray Designs

We're in the final stretch of the Back to School Countdown. My daughter starts school in a week and a half. I know many of you have already started. Don't get discouraged! You can still work through the Countdown with me. Better late than never, right? Today, we're going to talk a little about food.Continue Reading

Back to School Countdown: Paperwork Organization

Back to School Countdown Paperwork Organization: Laura Bray Designs

Paperwork is probably one of the leading causes of clutter. My child brings tons of paperwork each week. It can easily take over your home and make you stressed out. After a few years of trying different organization methods, this is what works for me. The best tip I can give you is to dealContinue Reading

Summer isn’t over yet

Summer isn

Today, I'm a little break from the Back to School Countdown. My daughter doesn't go back to school until September 4. While I want to be as prepared as I can for it, I also don't want to lose these precious last days of her break to planning. We are spending extra time at theContinue Reading

Back to School Countdown: Homework Organization

Back to School Countdown: Homework Organization: Laura Bray Designs

Yes. I said the “H” word. Many of us are veterans of the homework wars. There will be lost homework, fights over doing homework, and general tears. I can’t guarantee that these issues will go away, but a little organization might make it all go easier this year. Designate a homework station. Organize a deskContinue Reading

Back to School Countdown: School Supplies

Back to School Countdown to Organization with Laura Bray

How are you doing on your Back to School Countdown? Are you ready for the first day of school? Did you get the school clothes in order? Today, we're talking school supplies. I think school supply shopping has always been my favorite part of back to school time. I love the smell of new pencils!Continue Reading

Back to School Countdown Series: School Clothes Craft

Organize your school day mornings with this simple tip! www.laurabraydesigns.com

Yesterday, many of you of told me you really liked the idea of how I my daughter and I pick-out her school clothes weekly. It really is a great tip that will make your mornings go much faster. Last year, I posted a tutorial for creating hangers for the process, but my daughter and IContinue Reading