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