Friday, March 7, 2008

In this post I am only going to write about promotions I've tried (and tell you whether they seemed to work for me).


1. Business cards (5 Stars)
Get business cards made up – and hand them out to whomever you can– friends, family, co-workers, whoever. (I've actually had former customers ask me for large quantities, so that they can hand them when they get a compliment on the jewelry they bought from me.)

Add your cards and fliers to bulletin boards you have permission to use. When you ship an item sold at your Etsy shop, don't forget to slip in a couple business cards. (One for your customer, and one to hand out!)

2. Flickr account. (5 Stars)
Of anything I've done on the web, this has brought me the most sales. My tips:

  • Don't forget to add your Etsy site to your profile. (Remember, you're not allowed to include it in the description in the photo. They will suspend your flickr account if you do!)
  • Join a lot of groups and, every time you add a new picture to Flickr, make sure it's sent to all the relevent groups.
  • Don't post a lot of photos to Flickr at once. My strategy is similar to my Etsy listing stratgey: space them out to give me the most exposure in the groups.
  • Make friends. You get to see what other people post and they see what you post. Plus people surfing Flickr like to check on other people's friend lists - and you can be seen that way, too.


3. Blogging (2 Stars)
A lot of people swear that blogging is a great promotional tool and claim steady sales from their blog. My personal experience is that I have not had a single sale due to blogging. (I keep track of my stats on FeedBurner and have found that get very few clickouts to my Etsy site. In fact, while there have been over 30,000 hits on my blog, I think I've had less than 10 clickouts to my online shop! )

But you may have a different experience. If you blog or plan to blog, read all you can about increasing traffic to your site - you can't promote unless you have visitors!

Here's a great site that has strategies for using your blog for promotion: Tips for New Bloggers.
I also wrote a post about increasing traffic to your blog.

I also highly recommend Feedburner; it automatically pings your site to search engines, thus increasing your visibility.

4 Deviant Art (2 Stars)
This is very similar to Flickr but I think that the people who use it are younger and artsier. I would recommend it to photographers and artists.

I have an account and regularly submit photos. Unlike Flickr, you can add a link to your Etsy shop within the description of each photo. I've found that I get a lot of views, comments, and clickouts to my Etsy shop. (I am not aware of any sales generated from this site.)

5. Squidoo. (1/2 Star)
Squidoo is a network of user-generated "lenses" --single pages that highlight one person's point of view, recommendations, or expertise. Lenses aren't primarily intended to hold content; more emphasis is placed on recommending and then pointing to content on the web, therefore they are great at pointing people to your website.

You can create a sections with photos directly linking to Flickr, links to your Etsy site, your blog etc.

I like the fact that it provides great stats on number of visitors and clickouts. I've gotten quite a few clickouts to my online shop. Since you join groups (many of which are devoted to shopping), you can get exposure to the right customers.

My gut feeling is that you need to spend a lot of time on Squidoo to get yourself seen and generate sales. So other than setting up my own lens and joining some groups, I've pretty much given up on Squidoo.

6. Craigslist (2 Stars)
This is like an internet classified ad. I've listed a few times and have correlated the listings with increased people viewing my online shop and a couple of inquiries. I'm going to try to advertise some more on it before I give up.

7. MySpace (??? Stars)
I have heard that you can get a lot of traffic to your site through MySpace - but you must have a lot of friends and join groups. Lots of people swear that they get lots of sales through MySpace. Problem: you need to invest a lot of time to create the site, update it, and make friends.

There's a great thread on Etsy about using MySpace as a marketing tool.

I have a MySpace account, but have not used it after I set it up. (OK, I confess, my son set it up for me.) If you want add me as a friend on MySpace I would appreciate it. It would force me to get more involved in it.



Once again, there are TONS more ways to promote outside of Etsy and the above is only my firsthand experience. Unfortunately, you could end up spending all your time promoting and less and less time creating. It's definitely a balancing act. So my last piece of advice is:

Track where your sales come from so you can focus your energies where they're most effective.



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22 Comments:

  1. RuralAbandon said...
    Great list. Thanks for sharing!
    Marysusan Noll said...
    This is a really nice semi-exhaustive list. Good job! You might want to add indiepublic to this one as well....
    Urban Design said...
    What a great list! What all do you include on your business cards? Do you use a graphic or actual pics of your items on the cards? BTW, your jewelry and photos are fantastic!
    Helen said...
    Great tips. You have become a pro blogger too :)
    LittleSun said...
    thank-you for the insight every little bit helps!
    See you in the forums!
    Contrariwise said...
    urban design,

    Thanks!

    My business cards have "Contrariwise" in large lettering, and include only my etsy site and my email address -as well as my real name. :-)

    EVERYTHING I send to my customers is in the same color scheme - business cards, packaging, thank you cards.

    In fact, a future post is going to be on "branding".

    (I just realized something. My blog isn't branded! I may have to work on that. LOL)
    Brooke said...
    I highly recommend flickr as well.

    I find blogging really effective. The more I blog, the more readers I have, and the more the search engines pick up my work. The more content (i.e., words, basically) you have on your blog, the more likely it is that your blog will be found. In the last week I've had people searching for metalsmithing tools (hammers), and, since I've posted tips on these subjects, I was on the first page of the google search.

    This brings me to another point about blogging: don't just use it to promote your work. Your blog, contrariwise, is a good example of how to use your blog in a way that will garner interest - you talk about different things, as opposed to slapping up photos of your work and calling it done.

    I talk about life in my studio, great food I've eaten or cooked, travel, classes I've taken or taught, etc.

    Didn't mean to ramble, but I thought this might be a good place to post some blogging tips! :)
    cozysister said...
    Very useful! I know I have to get more serious about Flickr, and I should check out squidoo as well. I'm far too lazy about marketing.
    Contrariwise said...
    brooke,

    Exactly.

    If all a blog is is posting about your shop, why would I ever want to visit it again?

    The blogs I really enjoy are those that have some variety: human interest, things I'm interested in, humor. For example, I really want to know why you have seven lip balms in your coat pocket!

    ;-)
    Red Raider 14 from ETSY said...
    Great information here. Thanks for taking the time to write this down and link us to it.
    Blue & White Wear said...
    Thanks so much for sharing! Great tips and ideas to try.
    Anonymous said...
    I'm sure blogging is doing a lot more for you than you think it is.

    You're in my favourites under my "blogs" folder and also under my "etsy shops" folder. I tend to check all my favourite blogs every couple of days and my favourite shops every week or so. I wouldn't use your link because I need some order (otherwise I'd be on here all day clicking away and nowhere near through my list!)

    But amazing information as always. I'm currently in Etsy lurker mode, thinking of opening a shop and trying to get as educated as possible.
    Sarah Regan Snavely said...
    Thank you for sharing this list! Love Flickr. Business Card tip is A+ -- totally the #1 thing to do.

    I do feel that my blog has helped my art sales -- I get buyers saying things like "reading your blog makes me feel a part of your art." I don't think it gets better than that.

    My blog isn't exactly where I'd like it to be, definitely a work in progress. But I am getting closer to my goal.
    CopperSpringsLeather said...
    Thanks for sharing this.
    High Desert Diva said...
    This was all very interesting. I haven't joined Flickr....don't really "get" the whole friend/neighborhood thing with all those site.

    Thanks for all your input
    woolies said...
    could also add projectwonderful ads (pennies per day) to your list.
    Little Lovables said...
    Great list to share! I would promote more on myspace, but it tooks sooo long!

    I have no clue where I get my sales from, probably just from renewing :)
    Nnairda's said...
    Thanks so much for this! It's really informative. I'm going to have to work my Flickr account more. I've set up my blog and slowly but surely I'm getting traffic.

    Followed you from Etsy forum.

    Blessings!
    MaryAnnArtist said...
    Very helpful advice. Thanks for writing this in your blog. And by the way, your jewelry is beautiful!!
    OvertheTop said...
    Thanks for doing all of that work and sharing your experiences. I'm new to blogging and have to work harder at making it interesting and varied.

    Flickr has been very good to me - I have made many sales from it I belong to a lot of groups and am always joining more. Leave comments on others' photos and they'll be more likely to visit your stream.
    Sun2Create said...
    Great tips and they make a lot of sense. I know I don't have time to do it ALL and I am trying to narrow down what works best for my time and my shop. Thanks!
    Boutique Lucky Stars said...
    Thank you! Whew...the task of SEO is exhausting!

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