So you know the basics about creating an Etsy store. You’ve got a name for your shop, you’ve got your product, and you’ve got enough patience to know your first order will come, even if not right away. While you’re waiting, it’s good to get a jump start on promoting your product. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
1. Start with emails. Now that you’ve chosen a name and your store has items listed (and you’re working hard to continue to create new products, right?), you have to get the word out about your store. Shooting your friends and family an email is a great place to start. They’ll be excited for you, certainly, and they might pass your link along or even give you your first sale.
2. Utilize social networking tools. There are so many ways to promote your product and enough social media platforms to make your head spin, so I’m going to break it down even further. For each of the following websites, be sure to keep a few things in mind: make sure your store matches each page (that means using similar or the same color schemes, profile photos, and information); interaction with other people is key, as the more you show that you’re a human and not a robot, the more people will trust you; be sure to include a link to your store on each website so that people can actually find your products. All of the following sites are free to become part of:
- Facebook: You probably already have a personal Facebook account. From there, it’s very easy to make a “page” that will allow people to like your store. Log into your account and check out the left-hand sidebar. Where it says “Pages” there should be a few options, including “Pages Feed” and “Like Pages.” Click “Like Pages,” which will bring you to a whole area of suggested things you may like. On top, there will be a button that says “Create Page.” Start there. Facebook will guide you through the rest of that process. You will be able to manage this page from your own personal Facebook, which makes is extra easy. However, try not to flood those who are kind enough to like your page with too many updates. At max, do 2-4 posts per day, as that should be plenty, and mix it up! If you share someone else’s status/photo, they might do the same for you. (See the Dos and Don’ts of Facebook for more tips.)
- Twitter: Building a Twitter audience is slow and it can be challenging. However, unlike Facebook, you can pretty much tweet as frequently as you want until you start to gain a following. Be sure to use the appropriate set of hashtags. (A hashtag is just the number symbol # in front of a word. #Crafts will make it so that your tweet shows up whenever someone searches for “Crafts” on Twitter.) Check out what’s trending and add your own two cents, when appropriate.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is unlike Facebook and Twitter in that you don’t post original content. You simply ‘pin’ things you find on other websites to ‘boards’ on your account. Think of it like making a collage. You might have a ‘board’ just for craft inspiration hanging in your room or a ‘board’ of styles you envy. Instead of cutting up magazines and pinning actual photos to the board, you do this all electronically. So make a few boards that are relevant to your store – maybe paper crafts, sculptures, and tie-dye, for example – and classify them as “DIY & Crafts.” This will make it so that all of your pins show up in that category. Then, if your Etsy store is already set up, you can easily ‘pin’ the photos from your store and share them with others. Fun!
3. Find craft blogs and offer to do a guest post. There are so many amazing craft blogs out there that are great to be reading regularly if you’re interested in that type of thing. (I am!) But they can also come in handy because many bloggers accept guest posts. It’s a chance for you to offer your expertise — maybe you don’t give away the secrets to the crafts your selling, but you can certainly share tips or ideas for other projects! — and the blog will receive content, often posting a link back to your store. It never hurts to ask.
4. Participate in Etsy forums. Etsy has massive and elaborate forums. The forums answer questions from A to Z AND they get your name out there just by interacting with others. Where ever you post, your store gets some inadvertent promotion.
This is part two in a series about launching an Etsy store. Part one dealt with getting the store up, and part three, which will be posted soon, will cover how to tackle your first orders.