Etsy has been a hot ticket for some time now, with traffic numbers growing along with it’s exponential rise in popularity amongst creatives and shoppers alike. Etsy has become a hub for craft makers, designers, woodworkers, jewelers and artists and as such, has offered a beautiful array of tools and networking that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s rich in community, which is supported by an informative and inspiring forum. They have Teams which you can join and participate in, and also have classes and tutorials for crafters to become more successful and creative with their own business.
Over the years, I have used it successfully to sell my fine art prints and small art. I will show you not only how you can begin to sell on Etsy, but how to make it a more successful output for your own creative business.
Here Is The First Step to Selling on Etsy: Create Your Plan.
You can’t begin to sell on Etsy until you have completely created your store. But FIRST THINGS FIRST: Build a PLAN.
- What do you want to sell on Etsy?
- How often will you sell on Etsy?
- What makes your store unique from the others?
- Where and how will you promote your store?
- What do you want to make from selling on Etsy?
- How will you ship your items? Deal with bad purchases or damaged items?
Develop your Etsy business plan before all else. THEN, work on the creation and development of your store.
Here are 4 Keys to Selling Art on Etsy Like a Pro Artist:
- Shop info: Your shop title, profile info and policies pages should be completed and thoroughly thought out. Make sure you are using proper keywords to draw people to your store and items. If you are a painter, what KIND of painter are you? Be as descriptive and efficient as possible with your titling. Your profile info should be your bio as well as links to your other web sites/networks, etc. Policies should include how and when you ship, where you ship, how much it costs and how you deal with shipping issues of any kind. Being thorough, descriptive and attractive will help build trust and rep with your potential buyers and collectors. Being as helpful, approachable and thorough as possible closes the gap that the web tends to create between buyer and seller/product.
- Titling Items: Make sure that the same rules will be applied to your artwork. Be sure to include all of the details about the piece. Size, materials, date created, subject matter, etc. Include a statement or story about that piece. What inspired you to create it? What was the reason behind this series? People love stories with the work. Give them a reason to want it and like it as much as you do! You know it works when you see a food commercial, and they are sure to descripe the tastes, textures and how you feel eating it. Those suckers are right!
- Pictures: Take advantage of the opportunity to show your work in all ways humanly possible to your potential collector. Take pictures of your work in a natural light setting, on the wall, in a complementary environment as well as closeups of the piece, different angles, etc. The more pictures you take, the better and the more real and tangible it is, the more likely this work will sell.
- Teams: Join like-minded groups to collaborate, network and support. There are even location-based teams that would be great to join, simply to be more involved on a local level.
- Forums: Discuss and share on similar topics with other Etsy sellers. Have a question about something on the site or need help? Ask a question or find a similar post on your issue. Want to share your shop with others? Get involved in the shop sharing posts. Forums are still being used today for networking and discussion and are a great resource for information and research on the site.
- Online Labs: The most incredibly cool thing about Etsy, is that they offer live workshops on everything from selling your wares to creation and technology tutorials. It’s helpful and free to use. And even better, they keep an archive of past labs for your use!
- The Etsy Blog: The blog is an incredible source of information and inspiration as well, with featured sellers, craft ideas and advice columns on being an entrepreneurial creative on the web!
- Social Networking: Be sure to share your shop on your blog, Twitter, Facebook page, website and other networks of choice. There are alot of tools and installable apps out now that allow you to integrate your store into these networks. Facebook page allows you to create your storefront right there! These are just examples but you get the idea. Make sure this shop is shared OUT THERE!
- Advertisement: Look for other popular or attractive craft and art blogs/sites that you know are reputable, gain a decent amount of traffic and share art like yours, and find out how to advertise with them. Some of them have pretty reasonable prices for advertising on their page either through sharing on a post, banner ads or sponsor pages.
3. AN EFFECTIVE SELLER STRATEGY
- Create the promotion plan. Decide how much time and money you will invest in the promotion and advertisement of your shop. Whether it’s through press releases, local news, networking on forums or buying banner ads, create a plan of attack and decide what your budget will be.
- Create a listing plan. Listing regularly, consistently and at certain times is essential to gaining as much exposure as possible on this popular and growing site. There are so many other artists vying for attention and time that you have to make a serious plan on how you will “get seen”! To reach your audience most effectively, research other sellers whose work is similar to yours. What do you think has worked for them? When are they listing and how many times are they listing per day, week, month? Though it’s best to point out that not EVERY seller will have the same results and not EVERY seller has the same audience, but you can use this as an example to help you determine your own results. After that, you must go through a testing phase and figure out what’s working best for YOU and YOUR SHOP.
- Create your working plan. Yes, we have to really become business men/women and effective seller, so much of our time is spent on research and development for our business. So, let’s remember that we absolutely need to make time for the work itself too! You will burn out if you don’t try to give your creative worktime some form of structure and routine. In time, your mind become aligned to it, and you will find yourself being able to “get creative” when you have to rather than waiting for that “moment” when it’s time to create. Decide the time of day, how long and when you will create. Decide how much work you want to put out, how long it normally takes and then you can decide when you create during the day and how long. Get a TIMER and time yourself so that you are most effectively using that time. Myself, I work best under pressure!
4. A GOLD WINNING CUSTOMER LOVE STRATEGY
- Email responses/answers: Getting back to your customer/collector as efficiently and quickly as possible is a huge PLUS. Everyone and anyone who sells or buys online knows the benefits of a responsive and friendly shop owner. Customize your shop and social media so that you can get phone notifications or email notifications when you receive an email, question or comment from a customer or potential customer. If the noise is distracting to your daily routine and work, make it so that you only get notifications a certain time of the day – OR set a certain time of the day to check your emails and phone messages. Set an auto-reply email that replies back automatically to any you receive and mention that you will reply within a certain amount of time, and when you DO check your messages.
- Respond kindly and patiently. There will always be some dumb question, shipping experience gone wrong or dissatisfied customer. Use your best judgement and be tactful when responding and dealing with such issues. Being prompt and helpful goes miles for customers. Remember that NOT everyone entirely feels safe or understands buying art online. Not every customer understands the internet entirely or how the website works. Not every customer is an avid art lover or collector. Some can be young college kids who want something for their dorm room or it’s someone who’s buying a gift for a friend. Be as thorough in your replies as you would be on your shop. Try to make their shopping experience as easy, enjoyable and memorable as you possibly can make it. Also remember, you can’t please everyone and sometimes you MAY get a troll buyer. Those, you will just have to nudge away, kindly. It can be tough and sometimes daunting, but it’s doable.
- Follow up, follow up! The most important part in your business as a creative and artist is the follow back on your customers and new collectors. Keeping in touch will help them A. Remember you and your art. B. Inspire them to share with others. C. Have them come back for more. After a purchase, be sure to reply thanking them for a purchase. After the shipment has been made, email them again letting them know when and how it was shipped, and if possible, with a tracking number. After they have received it, or 1 week AFTER the shipment, email them yet AGAIN. Ask them how their experience was and be friendly. If you have the budget, send them a postcard with your art on it, at least 1 month or more after their purchase. Create templates for each of these emails so that they are accessable and efficient for you! Make the system automatic, either manually or through tools that can help you send email replies for each stage of the process.
What are some ways you have found to sell on Etsy? What do you love about the site and community?——–