We’re dedicating the month of March’s blog posts and Online Labs to one common goal: Get Found! This month’s Quit Your Day Job posts will ask full-time sellers to share their best marketing and social networking advice, along with other creative techniques they use to get their Etsy shops found!
Tell us about your shop and the idea behind it.
My shop and line is called Lova Revolutionary which consists of cute and quirky felt gifts and accessories that are all hand cut from eco-friendly felt, vintage fabric and stitched with hand embroidery. I do my best to make cute things for cute people and blend vintage materials with a modern craft. My shop name is a little odd, I know, but it’s about what inspires me most in history and in art — people who are unafraid to follow their dreams, those who make change and do something new, and anyone who is passionate about what they love.
What tool or technique has been the most effective in getting buyers to your shop?
Social networks — in particular, Twitter and Pinterest have been really effective for me. I’m still trying to figure out what works best with Facebook and also connecting through my blog. Google Analytics has really helped me to learn what it is exactly that people are searching to find my shop — I take a look through the keywords that are used and cater my descriptions and tags based on those searches. It also helps me gauge what social networks, advertisements, and promotions are working to drive the most traffic and buyers to my shop, and helps me plan promotions better and figure out what social networks are the best to spend time on.
Do you promote your shop offline?
Currently, my main promotion offline has been through the independent businesses that carry my work on a wholesale or consignment basis. I find that I tend to get more buyers here on Etsy from cities and towns were my work is being sold or displayed. I’ve also had the opportunity to display my work at major trade shows such as CHA and Quilt Market. In the near future, I hope to teach some crafting classes or begin attending craft fairs, which is a great way to connect and promote offline that I have not had the chance to try yet!
How do you think you stand out on Etsy and online?
I’ve been told pretty often that I have a great use of color! I think mainly embracing my own style and artist’s mark has been pretty important — it’s a given that I enjoy following trends, and I’m not the only crafter who makes owls here on Etsy, but I think my style is all my own and my goods have similar characteristics throughout. I think that no matter what your medium is, it’s important to develop your own style and embrace the nuances that make your work yours.
Where does most of your traffic come from?
Most of my traffic comes from right here on Etsy through searches, social media and direct links back to my shop and then from Google searches. Here on Etsy, I think it’s important to have good titles, tags, and descriptions since it’s how people find you in the search — I try to go over my listings every so often to make sure my tags, titles, and descriptions are the most relevant and descriptive that they could be and accurately describe what I’ve listed. With item descriptions, I try to think about what people might type into Google if they were looking for what I’m selling and use brief descriptive phrases – however, everyone is different! I suggest trying different things with your tags, titles, and descriptions to find out what works best for your shop. Being connected over all the social networks can make your work more easily found through Google and also creates many links back to your shop on Etsy. Another good tip in gaining traffic or being found in searches is to rename your photos for what they are instead of using the random character name that your camera spits out or generically tagging all your photos. I learned this from a blogger a while back and feel that it really improved my traffic!
What are your tips for those just getting started building up social media followers?
Social media and having an online presence is an essential part of having and developing your online business. My very first sale came from posting my new works on Twitter! Now that Etsy has grown so large, I think it’s important to get out there and get established in the online community. Get connected on all of the major social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and even YouTube! Also find smaller networks and forums that are based around crafters or the craft movement like Ravelry, Get Crafty, Craftster, The Switchboards, and Indiepublic. Etsy has also become more social over the years, so don’t forget to add your favorite crafters to your circle, make treasuries and connect those to social media, join teams, and actively participate in the Forums!
For those just getting started and using these networks for the first time, I suggest going through your favorite shops or your teams on Etsy and connecting with shops and crafters that you like. Run searches on Twitter or Facebook for those folks talking shop about #Etsy or #crafting, etc. to find like-minded individuals. Follow or “like” your favorite bloggers and see who follows them! Once you start connecting, folks will connect right back with you. Be sure to connect your Etsy shop with your new outlets as well so that fans who visit your shop can easily use the Facebook or Twitter buttons at the top of your shop to easily connect with you!
What are your best tips and advice for other sellers who are hoping to get found?
I think having a cohesive look to your shop and line and branding is important — it simply makes you more memorable! When folks have their own style, they’re easily recognized whether they’re here on Etsy, randomly on Google, or around on the social networks! I think most people don’t realize that you do have to spend some time actively driving traffic to your shop. It’s also helpful to be active here on Etsy and participate in everything it has to offer, such as the Forums, Online Labs, and Teams — it will help you connect with others, maybe get a blog feature or two, some shop favorites, and some treasuries that will all help you get found!
Have you ever pitched your products to the media?
In small ways, yes! I’ve entered contests and submitted to craft calls online, and even had my work featured on MarthaStewart.com twice! More recently, I’ve been working on submitting to magazines and getting a press kit together. If you visit the main sites of most craft magazines, they will have calls for submissions and let you know how you can submit your work or article. There are also sites such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that send daily emails with different topics and things like gift bag requests for large events that you can respond to and get your work out there in the larger media.
Thanks for sharing your tips, Jodie. Check out her work in the Seller’s Items below.