So you’ve made a few sales from Etsy and you’re starting to feel a little more comfortable with your shop. But renewing and relisting items all the time is just not getting you the business you want. What’s the next step? Advertising Outside of Etsy. The first part of this is setting up your Social Media.
First thing you should do is set up a blog exclusively for your business. A blog is such a wonderful business tool that I think many businesses don’t appreciate. A blog is a way to instantly connect with your customer. Your blog will be your home base for your business. You can share free and useful information that is pertinent to your Etsy shop business. It can include other things from time to time, crafts or family pictures or whatnot. That gives it personality and shows your customers you are a real person. However, keep the majority of your writing to the same topic.
What to Write About:
Your business blog should definitely show off your products, but that should be only like 10-15% of your content. You should think about things that your ideal target market would like to read about and write about that. People love lists. Do you sell baby products? Write an article called “10 Easy Tricks to Help Your Baby Sleep.” Share some useful things you have learned in your industry. Don’t be afraid to be real, you can connect with your customer on an emotional level. And don’t worry about writing with fancy language…who wants to read that anyway? Write the way you talk, and infuse your personality into your posts.
Blog Must-Haves for Businesses
You absolutely must have an About page and a Contact page. Take advantage of these two pages and really make them interesting. (Okay, yes the contact page doesn’t have to be super interesting, just as long as your contact info is clearly visible and you invite your reader to write you.) The About page should show a picture of you, maybe some of your products, maybe some of your favorite things. You could consider doing a video About page if you’re really daring. Your blog should also have Social Media buttons and a clear way for people to follow you.
If you don’t have a Facebook account and want to do business online, you are seriously undermining yourself. Facebook is a great social hub for you to interact with customers, fan, and friends. Sign up for Facebook if you haven’t already and set up your account.
Once you have an account, you need to set up a Fan Page for your shop. To set one up, read Facebook’s Instructions for Setting Up a Fan Page. A fan page is great because you can post normal status updates and stir up a conversation to interact on an immediate basis with your fans. You can also post links of great finds, your latest blog posts, your latest Etsy listings, and more. Etsy even connects with Facebook so you can have a separate tab that shows your Etsy listings.
To get your customers to “like” your page, you can send your friends invitations. You can also post incentives or have a giveaway. You can’t actually host a giveaway on Facebook (it’s illegal) but you can giveaway something for free to everyone (like an ebook) and have them list their email on your page. My friend Rebecca @ Better Life Bags made most of her sales in her shop beginnings through Facebook by posting pictures of her work to her friends!
Post frequently to ensure that people continue to like your page and to keep up that customer/reader connection. For some great tips, read How to Set Up a Fan Page That Works.
Twitter is kind of tricky to figure out, and to be honest I have only recently gotten the hang of it. I first set it up under my personal profile and never used it. So then I set up a new one under Honeybear Lane and I use it frequently. There are three things you do first:
Follow People, Gain Follower, and Send out Tweets.
Once you start doing this, you will slowly begin to get the hang of it. The best way to use Twitter is to interact with your followers. Read their tweets on the main feed and reply to them to strike up conversations. You have to use the @ symbol with their Twitter name to make sure they get the message. For example, here is one of my recent Tweet convos from Craft Test Dummy:
Retweet: Click this link and the entire tweet will be tweeted to all of your followers.
Hashtag: the # symbol that is used to mark keywords that can group tweet together. We use hashtags for Twitter chats, like the Crafterminds Twitter chat that happens every Monday afternoon at 1:00 PST.
Read more about Hashtags
Click on Reply and the tweet will only go to the person who tweeted originally.
Other Things To Know:
#FF: Follow Friday. You can recommend who to follow to your followers or be recommended. Good Twitter etiquette dictates that you reply and thank the Tweeter!
Tweeting a link: Links are really long and with Twitter you are only allowed 140 characters. Use a URL shortener to shrink your links to share in Twitter. My favorite shortener is bit.ly
Get more basic Twitter help.
There are many other different social media platforms (Blog Frog, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc), but I think these are the big 3, and they are the ones that I use most. You can play around with other things to see what you like. The most important thing is to be consistent and not try to do too many.