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Mastered Your Craft? Now Master Your Etsy Marketing!

Sara Millis from My Indie Life Blog gives us some valuable marketing tips for Etsy sellers.

You have a craft that you love working on and your friends love what you make too, enough to buy a few pieces here and there. They constantly urge you to open a website, so that the world can also delight in what you do too. You think about it for a while, you consider what that life might look like for you and you decide to open a shop on Etsy. After all Etsy is SO easy to get started on!

You spend a lot of time perfecting your maker skills, developing products that show your passion and your knowledge. You open the first day with bated breath, checking your emails almost hourly to see if you have made any sales.


You feel deflated.

Sometimes it can take literally weeks, or months for some Etsy shops to start selling and here’s why... The owners neglect to realise that their craft is just a small part of a successful craft business. Bigger than that is their marketing.

Why is marketing your Etsy shop so important?

Let’s look at some important Etsy stats:

Let’s give those stats some perspective; that’s 1.7 million people you are competing with, who have 35 million products up against yours, to seek sales from just 25 million active shoppers on Etsy each year. That’s a lot of potential competition!

Do not underestimate how big that marketplace is. It is literally a maze that virtual shoppers can get lost in. Re-imagine that marketplace as a physical craft fair now, as a shopper you would have no way of being able to see every single thing for sale, or even visit more than a fraction of the vendors in one day. In fact as a shopper I can imagine that the prospect of being at a craft show that size can be pretty daunting, furthermore pretty tiresome! So you need to find a way to be found easily and to inspire them to spend their time with you.

OK, OK. I get that not everyone will want your specific style of necklaces, made using hand-whittled driftwood and sea glass. So you might be thinking that these stats don’t relate to you, but I’m here to tell you that your customer could easily have their head swayed by a cute pair of custom-made, tartan kitten heels! So you have to work at making yourself stand out and that’s where marketing comes in.

How do I market my Etsy shop?

There are 3 key areas you should be working on in order to stand out in this crowded marketplace:

1. Make your shop work for you.

It’s thought that people will give the average website just 3 seconds to entice them in and during that time
they ask themselves:

  • What is this website selling?
  • Do I understand it?
  • Do I like it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Is it something that will benefit my life?

If the answer to most of these questions is ‘no’, then they will simply move past you and on to the next website. This is the same for your Etsy shop, which is in fact very much like an independent website. So you need to start to catch potential customer’s attention and give them the solutions to these questions and a reason to give you a little bit more of their time.

Your Sales Framework & A FREE Video Workshop

There is a particular way of creating an Etsy shop that captures an audience and this is through a ‘Sales Framework’. It sounds like a term a company executive might use and you are right, it is! But here’s the thing; you own a business now and while you love to spend your working day creating the things you love, in order to make that life self-sustaining you need to establish a business alter ego. I know that can feel icky sometimes, but the reality is that you need to SELL your work. Here’s the good news though, you can do this in a way that feels a natural part of your values, your business and your craft.

The term ‘Sales Framework’, really refers to the mix of tactics you implement to generate sales. These are; Layout, Sales Copy, Customer Service and Traffic. These tactics do not need to be aggressive, confrontational, or anything that might repress your personality and values. In fact I believe you should be at the very centre of this framework showing why you are the best person, to buy your products buy from.

I developed a free 1 hour video workshop that will help you create your own sales framework. It’s called ‘Why Your Etsy Sales SUCK!’ and you can download it here.

All you need to do it pop in your email and watch the video at a time that suits you!

EtsyRank For Your SEO

As part of the framework I talk about driving traffic to your shop, now there are a number of ways that you can do that as I discuss, but right here on EtsyRank you have a fantastic array of tools to help you take that further. I’ve heard a number of Etsy shop owners from my Facebook craft sellers’ group (myindielifeblog) recommend EtsyRank, so have a look and investigate what tools you can make use of.

Both of the video workshop and EtsyRank tools can really make a difference in making sure that your Etsy shop is ready to capture an audience. Now it’s about creating awareness elsewhere, so that people know to look for your type of product on Etsy.

2. Raise awareness

There is no use relying solely on customers to find you once they are already on Etsy; you want to cast your net much bigger than that. Remember you are striving to make your business the thing that sustains you financially, so that you can spend your working hours doing something you love, your art! So you need to raise awareness outside of Etsy too.

There are some really great ways tools you can use to do this:

  • Social Media – There are lots of different social platforms out there, my advice is to pick one or two to start with; ones that you both enjoy using and you think your customer is hanging out on. Then set up your business profile and create posts that show off your products, your journey and a bit of who you are. People love that!
  • Blogging – This is a wonderful tool and if you choose the right platform you can extend your blog into a web shop later on, which is great as you grow bigger. Blogging provides a space where you can really show off what it is that you do in a much more meaningful way. In fact my own website is actually a blog, turned business.
  • Newsletters – This is a great way to capture contact details of people who are looking to buy from you. I cannot tell you how valuable that is for your business. In my own craft business I could generate anything up to £2k a month from my newsletter by simply announcing my monthly stock update. That meant that whatever else I sold I knew I had already covered my bills each month... that’s really helps you relax, let me tell you! Newsletters are best when they are attached to a website, or a blog, so my advice is to use this in conjunction with one of these as Etsy makes it difficult to share links like this directly in your shop.

You won’t need to begin with all three tools, but pick one and make a start. It will take time to develop your skills and your message, but after a while potential customers will start to connect with you. Remember those friends that you sell things to occasionally? Get them to be the first to sign up and share!

3. Make Opportunities

This, for most of us is the really scary bit about marketing. The bit we are more likely to face rejection on. No one likes rejection, but honestly in this instance I wouldn’t take it personally, because no one is saying they don’t like what you do, instead they are simply saying either; ‘I don’t have an audience for your product’, or ‘I am not talking about that kind of product right now’. That is super important to keep in mind, because you will probably face far more rejection than not... but remember... all you need is that one killer editorial piece, in a place with a highly engaged following to rocket your sales that month!

Let’s look at your options here:

  • Print media – one of the most traditional forms of marketing, print marketing is not completely gone yet. In fact there are some really well subscribed print magazines out there. So think about who your customer is and what they are likely to read, and then send out a pitch email or two.
  • Blogs – Blogging is a much more modern way to read traditional journalism and there are blogs on every kind of topic. Again keep your customer in mind, do your research on either the content you can offer, or if they accept editorial features and pitch away.
  • Podcasts – The fast rising podcast is a video version of a blog these days, again covering every imaginable topic. They are a great way to reach people who prefer to watch their content, instead of read it.
  • TV, Radio and more – Depending on your product there may be opportunities to reach your audience through other means, so do some research and see what might benefit you in reaching your customer.

The important thing here is to not get caught in the trap of sending vast numbers of samples, or to pay for advertising (this is a different marketing tact entirely). As a small business this would be impossible financially to keep up with, if you do it every time and you may not always see a return. Instead make sure you have some really great photos that the journalist, or editor can use to wow their audience.

I hope this has given you some food for thought, remember take your time and create marketing opportunities for your business daily. Soon people will start to notice you and your beautiful work.

About the Author

Sara Millis is the blogger behind My Indie Life Blog at www.myindielifeblog.net

I come from a creative product background where I successfully turned my own £100 investment into a six figure business in a niche area of the craft industry. I turned over almost 7 figures in sales over 11 years.

I now teach others how to create an independent business for themselves.

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