Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Connecting your Way Towards Etsy Success

Kelsie recently contacted the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild through our Facebook page and asked if anyone was interested in forming an Etsy team. Sandy sent out an inquiry and got quite a few positive responses from people who wanted to hear more. So, today, Kelsie is our guest blogger. Welcome, Kelsie!

Hello guild members!
    My name is Kelsie and I own the Etsy shop and blog In Favor of Fuzz, dedicated to anything and everything textiles and fibers. I recently came across your group and was curious to know how involved you all were on Etsy, and if the guild had thought about forming an Etsy team. A few e-mails later, I was invited to write a guest post about being more active on this small business phenomenon called Etsy.

    I am always hesitant to give Etsy advice. While I'm no novice, I have yet to achieve a level of success that would spur jealousy from the masses. Plus, there already exists such a wealth of information out there that I know I can't possibly be saying anything new. Yet, in my unending research, I have identified a few key practices that are built into the foundation of every successful Etsy business.

 Use Your Resources:  Etsy offers many tools for your success because, simply, your success is Etsy's success. The Etsy blog constantly churns out advice in the form of tips, video tutorials, interviews, and workshops, and the Etsy community forums is a great place to ask questions and get feedback from other sellers. At the very least, you should be signed up for the Etsy Success Newsletter, which delivers golden tidbits straight to your inbox twice a week, (Account > Settings > Emails > Your Subscriptions)

Participate in the Community: Selling on the internet is not the same as selling in a physical shop -- you can't just drop off your items and leave. You have to attract people to your tiny existence on the World-Wide-Web through your interactions with it. On Etsy, this means offering information about yourself under your profile, adding similar sellers to your circle, adding other people's items and shops to your favorites, and joining Etsy teams that reflect your goals and interests. Think of it as forming your online presence.

Conquer Social Marketing: In order to connect with buyers, you need to get your story out there by utilizing social media like Twitter, Facebook, or a personal blog. If your target demographic is older, you may consider doing a newsletter since even the aging population uses e-mail. The important thing to realize is social marketing differs from traditional advertising in that it is social: you are telling others about yourself in order to start a conversation and get them invested in your personality. Begin your education with this workshop by Diane Gilleland.

Feel free to share your questions and comments!

All featured work by Cindy Steiler of Mary's Granddaughter