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I belong to a great community called Etsy. Etsy is a place to sell all things handmade, supplies and vintage items.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box Fridays- Promoting

I know that some people are under the logic if I build an Etsy shop they will come. Sorry to tell you this but that just isn't true. Running an online shop is much different than running a brick and morter shop where someone may find you in the phone book or by chance. In the online world you have to promote yourself. I work under the logic of you'll get out of Etsy what you put into Etsy. So let's talk promotion. There are ways to promote yourself on Etsy like forums, showcases, treasuries etc. but today I want to talk about promoting outside of Etsy to bring new buyers into our shops.

If you don't already promote yourself on Myspace or Facebook I suggest setting up an account dedicated solely to your Etsy shop. You should add as many people as you can that you think will genuinely be interested in your craft. Once you add someone look at their friends would any of them be interested? Myspace offers groups join ones that apply to you! Then network your butt off.

Stumble Yourself

There is a great way to help yourself get traffic it's called StumbleUpon. Basically it's a place where you can submit websites that you think are interesting. Every time you list an new item Stumble it.

Find Forums
Do a Google search for forums that apply to you. Ning is a great community with a lot of communities to join. You can post pictures, talk on forums, and promote yourself.

Ecard is a great place to promote your blog, there by promoting your shop. Once you sign up you go to the campaign tab and find blogs you want to "drop your card". It does drive traffic to your blog.

Contact your local media
Your local media wants to know about you! Call your local newspapers and news station and see if they are interested in doing a human interest story on you. This will help draw in local buyers.

Leave your business cards
Always carry business cards on you because you never know when you'll need them. Ask if you can leave a stack at your local craft shop. Also when you, your friends or family go on vacation leave business cards. When my parents went on a cruise they left my business cards in Seattle and Alaska.

Some times you have to spend money to make money. Advertising is one of these times. You should of course exhaust all the free advertising you can get first, find free ads on blogs and other online forums. Once you have exhausted those make sure you research your options before you spend money.

Submit to Craft Magazines
Find magazines that are targeted at your craft and submit your work to them. Some times you have to submit more than once.

Join a Street Team on Etsy
Joining a street team on Etsy will help you get exposure but more than that it will help you find support and more ideas on promoting.

Submit to online search engines

This can be time consuming but in the end it really can pay off. There are thousands of search engines besides the big ones everyone knows. Search for online directories then submit submit submit!

Promote Others

You should take time to promote others in treasuries, your own blog and to friends and family.

These are just a couple of ways to promote yourself out side the box. If you have any other suggestions please let me know! As always happy crafting!


Silver Canyons said...

Everything is 100% on the money!
Very nice blog article!

Designs By Missrie said...

So many great ideas!

Promote Me said...

Your business cards thing is cool. Get your family and friends to leave them for you - genius!

Also get yourself onto the promote me directory - bloody brilliant.

Michelle said...

Great ideas! Thanks for the help!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous posting! I've been at this for years and agree with you completely that promotion is essential. You've mentioned sites and marketing ideas that I hadn't considered - thank you! Now to find the extra time... ah.

thespinninghand said...

Great ideas. Thanks so much.

tomelimania said...

such a helpful article! I was looking for some clear how-to-do-promotion list. Thanx!

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