When I first began contemplating selling my jewelry, I immediately became attracted to the idea of selling online. I knew I didn't want to fall into the large pool of eBay, so when I found out about Etsy, I decided to sign up. I was thrilled at the thought of having my work out in the world for the very first time, and so I jumped into it with all the enthusiasm I could muster. It wasn't long though, before I started to feel insecure about the low number of views I had and started interpreting those views as an indication of lack of talent. What I came to realize many weeks later, however, is that I had simply not learned how to promote myself on Etsy. After many more weeks, I discovered many ways to get myself and, more importantly, my jewelry, seen on Etsy. Here are a few of the ways I discovered to get more traffic to my store.
Etsy Success Tips for Jewelry Artists:
1. Have a memorable banner and avatar
Your avatar and banner are the "first impression" you make with your online clients. They see it immediately as your page loads and when you post in the forums (I'll go into this momentarily). It's the first opportunity you have to show people what you and your jewelry are about. Try to make it attractive and representative of your style, theme, colors, etc. I've seen great banners and avatars (especially avatars!) that feature a popular piece or something that represents the style of jewelry you like to do. That one little image draws people in immediately and tells them what to expect from you. Don't forget to make sure that it's formatted to the correct size. You can have a beautiful avatar and banner, but if the pixels are off, it just looks like a blurry mess!
2. Join the Etsy community
One of the best things I've found in Etsy is the community. The forums, chat rooms and virtual labs provide you with a support group of fellow artists and access to the numerous sellers and buyers on Etsy. It's a great place to gain insight on techniques in your field, feedback on your products, photos, descriptions but also a great place to get yourself seen! When you post in forums or participate in chat and virtual labs, people begin to notice your avatar and your work. This sort of networking can help you promote your shop.
3. Give your Heart away
On Etsy, you can "heart" someone, which means that you can mark them as a favorite. Hearts are a network of sorts. When you mark someone with a heart, they can see that you marked them as a favorite and return the favor. Hearts can also be seen by the public, and so if someone is shopping in another artist's Etsy store, they can see you marked it as a favorite and check out your shop as well. It's a great way to create a network to give your shop some visibility.
4. Join an Etsy Street Team
Etsy Street Teams are groups of shop owners who join together under common themes (i.e. artists of the same category, from the same state, or sharing similar beliefs) who work together to promote one another, provide support and to share information. These are absolutely wonderful for getting your shop noticed. Some buyers shop directly from particular groups, such as JET (Jewelry on Etsy Team) when looking for jewelry items. These teams often have promotional contests or events that gain lots of publicity, and being a part of that team means you can share in that publicity. Teams often promote other team members by featuring them in blogs, etc.
5. Make or be part of a Treasury
Treasuries are collections of items found on Etsy that are created by other Etsy sellers and buyers. There are 16 items in a Treasury, 12 seen with 4 alternates, and they are usually centered on a theme (i.e. colors, places, emotions, etc). Buyers and sellers look through the treasuries to admire other people's work. It's a fabulous place to get yourself seen, whether you put together a treasury or are featured in one. Etsy administrators also use well chosen treasuries for their front page. Imagine all the traffic you could get if you made it to the front page of Etsy!
Doing all of these things will certainly bring traffic to your Etsy store, though it may take some time to get things rolling. Be sure though, that once you do get that traffic to your Etsy shop, that your shop is ready for people. Make sure that your photographs are outstanding, your descriptions are good, your shop policies are clear and that the overall presentation is professional, appropriate and consistent!
Don't miss Part II of this article series
How to bring more traffic to your Etsy jewelry store - Part II