1. Venture into Blogland:
Advertising your etsy shop is so important but can also seem like a daunting task because advertising costs money, right? Well, not really. In today’s world of social media there are tons of free or super cheap ways to get your shop name out there to new customers. Let's take a closer look at free (or dirt cheap) ways to get your shop name out there.
- Start your own blog for your shop. Crafty people love to read about other crafty people. Your friends and family will love to read about your business progress. Plain and simple, people love blogs. Personally, I follow 50+ blogs a week (kinda ridiculous, I know). Starting a blog is free and relatively simple even for those of us with no web design experience. There are a few keys to making your blog a must-read for people which include: frequent posting, good photography, an appealing site and most importantly you have to be yourself.
- Seek out blogs that feature etsy shops. There are TONS of blogs out there that are dedicated to featuring etsy shops and handmade businesses. Search Google and look around the web and jot down site names. Then contact each site and ask how you can get involved with a feature article or giveaway promotion. When you contact these bloggers, you need to be prepared and have your shop in tip-top shape. They will review your shop and make sure it is something suitable for their readers. A word of caution, some of these sites want you to pay for a giveaway or feature article. In my opinion, that is ludicrous. Unless you are buying ad space on their site in addition to the giveaway or feature, don’t pay for this service. There are plenty of other sites that will do it for free. (The only exception for this is when the site is an extremely high traffic site- think 100,000 hits and above per month. The higher the traffic, the more likely they will ask for a small fee for their article).
- When you create your blog, make sure to include a free sitemeter. It is a handy little tracking device that can help you to learn who your readers are and where they are coming from.
- Start a Facebook fan page for your shop. This is also a really simple task that is free and can make a big impression. Facebook is a great place to advertise your shop and your shops blog. You can post coupons and sales for facebook fans only. You can post pictures of new designs, ask for opinions or advice and meet lots of other etsians.
- Like Facebook, Twitter is another way that you can stay in touch with your customers and family. You can do all the things that you can do on Facebook and you can frequently “tweet” about your businesses daily happenings. (Note: I don’t actually use Twitter but it may be in my future. The blog and FB and shop keep me busy enough right now!)
- The catch with Facebook and Twitter is similar to creating a blog. It needs to be maintained and used on a daily basis or it will be ignored.
3. Ad Spaces:
- Remember the crafty blogs that we discussed earlier? Well, many of those do offer paid ad spaces for really cheap. Create a list of sites that you would like to advertise on and contact all of them about their rates and availability. Expect the larger sites to have larger advertising fees and make sure that you are only contacting sites that your potential customers would frequent. If you are willing to spend a little money on advertising, you need to make sure you are getting your money's worth. The key to this is to watch to see if it is working for you. You can do this by using your Google Analytics (mentioned below) reports to see what sites your shop is getting the most hits from. If you shelled out $20 for ad space and after a month you only got 5 hits to your etsy shop then you might want to re-think where you are spending your advertising dollars. In general, there are plenty of blogs that you can spend less than $10 a month on advertising (including here at N&M!).
- Once you have found a blog (or blogs) that you want to advertise on, then you need to have a web ad designed. If you can do a professional looking job yourself, then you can save a few bucks. If you are helpless with these things (like I am) then you can find someone on etsy to design one for you. This is a really inexpensive thing. You should not pay more than $5-$10 for a web ad design. Make sure the design includes your shop name and a great picture of your product. It is also important that the look of the ad be seamless with the design of your shop.
- A free alternative to having a web ad created is creating an etsy mini from your shop. Many blogs will let you do this instead of submitting an ad. For the simple instructions to create an etsy mini, look here.
- Setting up a newsletter is another great way to stay in touch with your customers and potentially gain new customers. Shop newsletters often include special discount codes and sales that are just for readers. Designing one can be a little daunting, but there are sites like constant contact and mail chimp that can help with that. Most of these newsletter sites are free as long as you have under a certain amount of recipients.
- The catch with setting up a newsletter is that you need email addresses to do so. Etsy does not allow you to use all the email addresses from your past orders for a newsletter without permission from customers. So, if you have plans to create an email address list, you need to contact your previous customers and ask them if they would like to be included in your newsletter email list.
- Do you know what an etsy team is? Etsy teams are groups of people that are established because of a common thread. There are teams set up by location, craft type, religion, etc. More information on etsy teams can be found here. Check out the list and see how many teams you would fit into then contact them and ask about membership. Most of them are free to join and have a lot to offer. Most ask that you be an active participant in their chats, blogs, fb groups, etc. The great thing about etsy teams is that they promote each other and offer one big support group. Once you join a team, you can add that team name to your items tags- this is great because many team members would rather support other team members above other shops on etsy. The regional teams often set up craft shows and opportunities to promote your shop in your own community.
6. Word of Mouth:
- Word of mouth is the absolute best advertising. Use great customer service and your past customers will promote you to their friends and family. Word of mouth also includes you talking about your shop. Don’t be shy! Did someone at the grocery store compliment your earrings (that you made)? Tell them about your shop and give them a business card. Did you give a gift at a baby shower that everyone loved? Tell them about your shop and give them a business card. See the trend? Be proud of your shop and promote it!
- Now that you have gone through the effort to create a blog, facebook page and newsletter, makes sure that your customers know where to find you! There are several ways that you can do this:
- Create a unique convo signature to use for every purchase and sale. I typed up a convo signature in Word that includes all my "sites" and I copy and paste it into every convo that I have on etsy. It is surprising how many new followers I get from these convos.
- Set your email address(es) up to automatically include the same information.
- Include your “sites” in your etsy listings and in the message on your etsy homepage too!
There is a link to helpful etsy advertising tips here.
Etsy also provides a ton of applications designed to help grow your business. Check them out here.
I hope this article has inspired you with some new advertising ideas for your business. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment!