Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shop Advice

I've had some requests for advice on what to do with marketing your Etsy Shop.  I am in no way an expert and I learn something new every single day from all the lovely blogs I follow (oh, and Pinterest). I thought I would share some things that work for me in my shop since I'm almost at my 2 year anniversary. 

Starting out with some stats:

From Feb. 2010-December 2010 (my first year of branding myself) I had 39 orders and 151 shop favorites.  I also was a vendor at 2 craft shows.  I felt good about those numbers at the time.  I was getting a few orders a week.  That's good, right?

Okay, My 2nd year- Jan. 2011-December 2011 I had 127 orders, 24,054 shop views, 19,716 listing views and 822 shop favorites.  I also took the entire month of December off and was a vendor at 3 craft shows.

This year- Jan. 2012 to Current I have 53 orders, 11,941 shop views and 402 favorites.  Im ecstatic! In 6 weeks?  What did I do different? 

First thing First- Everything takes time and work.  Your shop isn't going to be successful over night.  The shops that think they will make millions their first month don't stay around long. 

Believe in your product and be determined to make it happen!

Some Pointers: {remember I'm not an expert}

Get a Facebook Business Page-
 Its Free advertising.  You can share information about your shop, about other shops (that's what they call networking), your fans can post questions, comments, customer appreciation photos and you can post just random updates of what you are doing.  Let your fans know who YOU are. 

Use Pinterest- Make sure you read Pinterest's etiquette rules.  Don't pin things from your shop ALL the time.  It's not about self-promotion on that site.  What's nice is that their is a "pin it" button on all listings on Etsy.  How easy is that?  Your customers just have to click the button and "pin it" to their board for all of their followers to see.  FREE advertising. 

Lots of Products- Customers like to see that you have alot of product in your shop.  A) they have more choices; B) they can buy more items in one stop shopping and bundle shipping; C) it makes your shop look like a business that you are passionate about.  Bundle products, toddler packs, items in 3's etc.  {I need to do this} It's on my "to do list". It also increases your sale.  Instead of a $3 bow you can sell 3 bows for $10 on a pretty card all gift wrapped and ready to go.  Hmm, not a new concept. 

Etsy Search Ads- I use the search ads and put a max of $5 a week on them.  I choose the max keywords and put everything in my shop in the ad.  The tutorial is really simple on etsy and you can just commit to it on a weekly basis.  I really think this has boosted my views and my sales.  I've only reached the max $5 one time since doing this.  This year I have spent to date $35.93 and my return is 36,921 impressions.  Not bad, right? 

Renewing- I renew about 10 listings a week for $2.00.  Wow, $2.00.  When I renew my listings I always get a favorite, a convo, or an order.  I also renew my favorite and most popular listings too.  Its keeps them on the front page of my website.  { I like pretty things} Remember to renew your sold listings and to check your expired listings.  I just found about 5 expired listings I had no idea expired.  {they should email you or something}

Blog- I just did a blog re-design and my goal this year is to blog away.  It's a real time challenge but I have a journal with me and jot down ideas all the time.  On those sleepless nights you can just blog away- {kind of like I'm doing right now}  I would suggest to get your Etsy Shop up and running if you aren't ready to have a blog, but I also think you should get a Blogger account so you can start following blogs, commenting on blogs, entering giveaways on blogs, and networking on blogs to get your name out there.  I blog under Tutuland {some blog under their real name}. Make sure when posting a comment it's genuine and not for self - promotion only, BUT also include your shop name at the end.  Follow some great blogs {check out my where I party tab} and learn from them.  They know whats trending right now and what's hot in the market. 

Craft Shows- I love doing Craft Shows and I hate doing Craft Shows.  It's a ton of work to make 20 million tutus and bows, and felt roses, and headbands, and onesies and tophats and and and...... I'm not very nice a few weeks prior to craft show date {I'm also a one woman show like most of you}, plus a wife and mother {did I mention I have a full time job too?}  I love the actual Craft Show day- meeting the other vendors, setting up my booth {remember, I like pretty things and I love a party}, and meeting my loyal and new customers.  Love Love Love that part.  It's a great networking opportunity and I recommend you do it at least one a year.  Ya know, to stress out and get your name out there too. 

Pictures- This is the most important thing to master. {I'm not there yet} Last year I had a professional photo shoot and I use those pictures in everything.  I love how the photographer captured my little models in MY tutus and bows.  It was definitely worth the time and money and my models had fun too.  I am planning on doing another one this year to update my pictures {not in July in Las Vegas in the Redrocks, like last year}.  In the mean time, I have a light box where I take pictures of my onesies and tophats and I invested in a child mannequin for my other pictures.  I take them outside in the morning {best light} in my front yard in my jammies.  Glamourous, I know.  I love when my neighbors are walking their dogs and just laugh at me.  To edit my pictures I currently use and Irfanvew.  They are really easy.  I have Photoshop Elements but have not clue how to use it.  So until Picnik closes in April I will continue to use them. {let me know if you know of any good editing programs out there that are very very very easy to use}

Find out what works for you- If you don't enjoy making something and have lost your passion {don't sell it}.  I don't list that many bows because they aren't my favorite to make. I love bows. But I don't enjoy making them. I do enjoy buying the ribbon and fabric and the thought of making them.  I go in spurts.  My point is: if you're not having fun making it {stop making it}.

This year I added embroidered onesies to my line and a boys line.  I found I have a boy following and wanted to touch on it.  I found adding a "whole outfit" "one stop shopping" to my shop really works.  I don't make diaper covers anymore {because I'm not good at it and they stress me out},but I get a ton of requests. 

What's popular right now?  Colors, Designs, Themes? Put those ideas in your shop.  Check Etsy's Trending page.  Trust me- they know what their talking about.

Join a group-  I joined the Handmade in Vegas Team when I started and have met a group of ladies {and men} that have given me more advice than any book or blog.  We do craft shows together, have a facebook page all about our business, attend monthly meetings and really just have fun.  Find a group in your handmade community to join. 

Lastly- BE ORIGINAL- DONT COPY.  There are only so many ways to make a tutu and a bow but I tweek them just enough that they are my original designs. My color palette, my enhancements, my ideas. 

I hope this helps you grow your business and please leave me comments on what works for your shop.


Sierra Nicole said...

Wonderful post! I love all your advice and your personality. This will be so helpful!
Also, I can help you with your Photoshop Elements, too. Just let me know and I will show you some tricks.
Looking forward to being creative with you :)

Bettina said...

Love your blog and your insight your advice is great and useful.

Bagatelle Designs said...

Great article and inspiring for the newbies :-) Thanks I enjoyed reading it.
Bagatelle Designs on etsy

Becky @ Petals Lace and Pearls said...

Great advice! Thanks so much! Love your shop!

Kathy said...

All great advice...thanks for sharing. I hope to see you soon at another HMIV meeting.


Ellie Coburn said...

Great blog! So happy to following from over here:

Happy Day!

Crafty Girls said...

So glad you left a comment for me on my blog so I could find you! Thank you for this wonderful post, very helpful! I would love to be part of the Handmade in Vegas group!

Bettina said...

Thank you again. I love all your advice.

Megan Chamberlin said...

This was an excellent post for me to read, thank you for the advice! As for Picnik, I mourned its loss, but is essentially the new Picnik! I love it. Photoshop scares me, haha!

Thanks again!