Friday, February 13, 2009

Won't You Please, Please Help Me.....

Ah, lyrics from the Beatles....and yes, I am looking for some help today.

I'm stumped. I don't know how to market my etsy business. I really don't and I'll bet I am not alone.

When people in the etsy forums are whining about not having any sales, everyone always tell them that they need to promote off etsy by using Twitter and Facebook and Flickr and business cards and e-mail etc. etc. etc.

Then someone will always come in and say you have to find your target market or something like that. You have to find the people that would want to buy your stuff and market to them. Ok, that makes total sense....but where do I find them??

I don't really understand the difference between promoting and marketing. Are they the same thing?

I looked them up in the dictionary:

Promote: 1. to contribute to the growth or prosperity of 2. to help bring (as an enterprise) into being 3. to present merchandise for buyer acceptance through advertising, publicity or discounting

Marketing: 1. the process or technique of promoting, selling or distributing a product or service 2. an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer

So promoting is part of marketing, and marketing is everything you do to move your products from you to the world???

I have decided that I am really not very good at this whole part of my business. I would guess that a lot of people are in the same boat I am.....and I feel like the boat is sinking sometimes.

I need a plan, but the plan I made that I thought was going to be so great consisted of twitter, artfire, 1000markets, business cards and a blog....but that really isn't promoting my business, except for maybe the business cards. Twitter, artfire and 1000markets aren't helping me with my etsy business, in fact they take time away from my etsy business. So, now that I have figured that out....what do I need to do to market my etsy business?

Where do I go to find the type of people that would be most apt to purchase my cards, gift tags, photos and home decor? Where are you people???

I think a trip to the library is in order. I'm serious. I need to learn about marketing and promoting if I am going to make my etsy business a success. Any books you can recommend?

Do you struggle with this part of your business? If so, what are you doing to learn this side of owning your own business? If you already understand this side of owning your own business, do you have any suggestions that might help those of us that haven't figured it out yet?

I am doing what I love. I have found unique and useful products to create. I love the look and feel of my shops...but how do I bring my own customers to my shop?


T.Allen-Mercado said...

I've done quite a bit of marketing to get our other business off the ground and I must tell you that Etsy is a marketing conundrum. For starts, Target Demographic: Etsy as a whole is heavily slanted in terms of demographic so if you fit into the smaller pieces of the demo pie, you have very little access to an audience, most of it coincidental which means your photos/shop layout have to be stellar.

Exposure:Previously, relisting helped keep you at the top of the front page game, but sincethat format has changed so have your ability to gain exposure that way.

The other dilemma is driving Traffic:generally internet shoppers are internet browsers. Seldom will I take a business card from a B&M and follow up online.

You can try these two things, although they have increased my exposure they have done little for sales (that I'm aware of): join a street team or a few, run blog features including your items and that of other artists-particularly those higher on the Etsy demo food chain. The cross promotion will do you good.

Good luck

Lanyardlady said...

Marketing mumbo jumbo makes my head explode. I found that all that "promoting" wasn't getting me anywhere except frazzled, so I now sell exclusively on Etsy. I think the key to successful sales is a product with distinctive character that satisfies either a functional or emotional need. Combine that with friendly, attentive customer service and the best promotion will be word-of-mouth. No MBA here!

LeelaBijou said...

Marketing is one of the most difficult parts of taking care of business.
When people say "find your market", it´s true but it´s necessary to digg a bit and find exactly what it means.

In your case, I think your lovely products have a wide and big market, you just need to find people related to your art in Facebook, Twitter and also when blogging.

My best wishes!

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I used to belong to one Etsy team: the FreeThinkers. I don't know how many other teams do this, but they collected "dues" and purchase targeted print advertising and maintain a team marketing website. There is something to be said for X (size) efficiencies in business and a good Etsy team should take advantage of that, not "just" yak at each other....

CountryDreaming said...

Am a rather new Etsy seller myself, so I'll give you a buyer's perspective. First off, I found you through your blog, which attracted me for the enjoyable quality and personability of its article content as opposed to blogs featuring merely products.

Secondly, I really like your gift cards and tags. This may sound cliche, but the economy is in fact a factor for me. I work as a contractor. My current assignment will end shortly with successful project completion. In between assignments, watching the budget ranks higher on the list. Hopefully soon I'll transition into a new client site, at which point I can more happily visit your shop again and make an actual purchase.

aliceinparis said...

Promoting and marketing are the same thing.
I occasionally buy project wonderful ads. I look for blogs with keywords, crafts, art, family etc. Sometimes I have splurged on high traffic ones and paid the extra $ and it has resulted in more traffic and some sales. The key is traffic isn't it. The more people that see your things the more likelihood someone might buy.
I have found that a lot of folk who buy my stuff are first time buyers and found me through a keyword search. KEYWORDS=important
A lot of the "big" sellers relist really frequently. John Golden sometimes relists 40 a day vs maybe 8-12 sales. I checked to see if the relistings were just sales.
I have done giveaways on other blogs to promote traffic and it has worked. The one world one heart giveaway resulted in over 400 new visitors to my blog and to my etsy shop. That was an exceptional giveaway, because of all the participants.
My etsy shop is slow right now too, but it often is this time of year.
Anyway, hope some of this might help.We are all looking for ways to boost sales:))

Cathy Winsby said...

I too find marketing to be very difficult...I'm artsy and good at math but business....nope!

So far I have my blog, facebook (made a couple of sales because of this), a soap making website, flickr, twitter (don't do much with that), trying some Project Wonderful Ads (no sales so far from it), giveaways...

My next venture is to sell at some local farmers markets and I've applied for a large juried summer festival. I think face to face with the customer with a really nice display of products and a open warm attitude gets the name out there.

When I sold my soaps previously, I only did markets and internet at all. People would come back the next year just to find me. I think/hope that the fairs will help with my Etsy shop giving my customers an alternative place to shop from me.

I think bag inserts as well with contests for free product or discounts for online purchases, perhaps some sort of local shoppers deal on shipping (maybe delivery once a week for really close people)....basically going the extra mile in the customer service department.

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