In part one of this post, we asked Etsy artisans three essential questions about their strategies that contributed to the success of their shops:
1. What marketing or sales strategy do you attribute to your volume of sales?
2. Is there anything that you changed since you began your shop that resulted in increased sales?
3. What advice do you have for beginning Etsy sellers?
In this post we continue the conversation with three other Etsians. Here is what they had to say.
Of her marketing strategy, Sarah Kelley of The Beaded Lilly says, “I don’t really market at all and I don’t strategize sales. I make stuff– stuff I like, stuff people ask me for. I strive for authenticity, transparency, clarity, punctuality and kindness and that resonates with my customers and clients. What I make is not about what I can sell. It’s about what I can say.” Sarah has, however, changed the focus of her Etsy shop since she started. “When I opened I was focused on beads only. I love beads. But simple metal designs are my bread-and-butter sales now..” in response to customer inquiries and demand. Her advice to new sellers is to recognize that “things take time to gain momentum. Be patient, follow the advice that resonates with you, and don’t give up. Focus on the work and the presentation and the sales will come, eventually.”
Stephanie Lindsay of yoyosbuttonsandbeads has a passion for… well, Yoyos, Buttons, and Beads. You’ll find all sorts of beads and buttons in her shop — many from recycled or reclaimed materials. She attributes her sales to “precise, yet creative photography” as well as “accurate and honest descriptions.” Changes that have helped increase sales include joining “as many teams as I possibly could manage. I didn’t do this until I had been selling for awhile. I started some teams, too. Both of these seemed to improve sales.” Her advice for Etsy newbies is “to just keep plugging along. It takes awhile to become an established seller on Etsy because it is so competitive with so many sellers selling some of the same things.”
Sandy Baker of Abigails Vintage Shop says that putting “one new item or renew[ing] one item every day” was advice she got from another Etsian in terms of sales strategy. She adds that “this actually seems to work well.” One of the things Sandy has changed that positively impacted her sales are the quality of her photos. “I try to use more natural settings and especially take pictures outdoors. I tend to shy away from ‘staged pictures’ and I am always trying to improve my photo techniques.” The advice she has for newbie sellers is to have “patience and perseverance. I still work full-time and it can get frustrating when I do not sell anything for a period of time and I think I am doing everything right. Then out of the blue I sell something everyday for no apparent reason. Because the economy is so fickle, my advice is patience, be honest and hang in there.”
Dawn Kimble’s New Tribe New Traditions shop features inspirational and AFrocentric tee shirts that she designs. She says, “I use Etsy marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and I sporadically blog about my shop. I haven’t invested much money in advertising and marketing because I want to utilize as many free online opportunities as I can. I also want to capitalize on word of mouth and the quality of my products.” One thing that’s helped her sales is “to increase the number of customer pictures that I use on my site. I love to see customers wearing our products and others enjoy it too.” The advice she has for Etsy sellers is to “do your research. Find out how other merchants are driving customers and look at the quality of their product pictures. It doesn’t cost much to get started if you are smart.”
Work on photos, persevere and keep at it. Those are my major takeways from this two-part post. And there are others. What resounds for you? We’d love to hear from you if you have other techniques and strategies that have contributed to your success. Please share and happy selling!