The key to marketing is not just to get that next sale, although that IS important, but to acquire fans. A fan is someone who spreads the word about your products by being happy to wear/use your items. They tell their friends about you and “vouch” for your products. A fan is someone who is loyal to your products – they’ll purchase from you before they purchase from someone else. A fan is by far your best marketing tool.So how do you acquire fans?
People fail to remember that all points of contact are a potential customer. Let me say this again, ALL POINTS OF CONTACT are a potential customer….your ex employer, your aunt Bessie, your daughter’s Girl Scout leader…these are all people who could possibly buy from you or become a fan. It amazes me how many people I see, who communicate online, in person or by mail that don’t include their contact information. I.e. website, blog page, or an easy way for someone to see their work.
Here are a couple of examples: Treasuries – when one of my items gets included in a treasury, I not only respond by thanking that person, but I also mention another item that is similar (maybe another color or different size) and I ALWAYS let them know I’ve posted the treasury link on my facebook page and include my link http://www.facebook.com/bunnybeardesigns
, both via private message (if I get one from the creator) and via thread post in the treasury. Seems like a little thing, but you’d be surprised how many people click on my fb page from a treasury.
Or how about this? Many etsy teams have partnering yahoo groups for streamlined communication – EVERY time I communicate on these groups, I include a link to my etsy page, a link to my facebook page and a link to my blog. Not everyone clicks on them, but I can tell you from experience that I DO click on them. In fact, I’m more apt to purchase from someone I’m communicating with outside of etsy or on etsy then someone I’m not. Give each person you touch (via email, chat, blog, etc.) the opportunity to see your work. You’re not only doing yourself the favor, but you could be creating the opportunity to acquire another fan. If you have a yahoo or outlook email – it’s easy to create a personalized signature which can include all your info (so you don’t have to type it each time). One more place to include your facebook link is in each of your item postings AND on your profile info. The key is to stay consistent and continue to put the same message out there over and over.
Another great way is by purchasing business cards. Many folks don’t think they’re worth the money, but believe me – for every 10 cards you pass out at least one person checks out your work. If you spend $30 bucks on 500 business cards that’s 50 times you’ve actually reached a potential customer. Which equates to about 6 cents per new potential customer….a pretty inexpensive form of marketing. Also, when shipping out a sold item, NEVER forget to include at least two business cards in the package.
This leads me to the design of a business card – cutesy is cute, but don’t forget to include the important stuff - etsy page, a link to your facebook page, your name and phone number and most importantly – photos of your work. If you’re at a craft fair and a visitor picks up your card along with 50 other vendors, how will they remember who you are? They won’t. Include a photo or multiple photos to help them. Promoting your etsy team
Using facebook in tandem wit etsy team treasuries and blogs can get a lot of attention. First, try to create a treasury a week for each team. Seems like a lot, so don't try to be in too many teams at once. Choose your teams wisely and focus on the few each week. Once you create a treasury it's always courteous to send a message to each of your selected artists to let them know they've been chosen. Not everyone checks their activity threads consistently. In the message include the link to the treasury, a note about why you chose their item and also include a link back to your facebook page and your blog. Once you've done this, post the treasury on your facebook page and your blog and link back to all locations.
Another way is to search your team for artists you like and link to their facebook pages so you can see their latest works, what their up to and let them know YOU'RE one of their fans. If they like your work, they'll link back to you and you've created another connection. I've actually made some good online friends doing this.
If you keep emails of your previous sales, be sure to send them a link to your latest treasury and remind them they have a coupon code specifically for previous purchasers in your store. So how do you MAKE a fan?
Well besides providing a quality product… There are several ways. Always package your item nicely. I use recycled packaging and I let my buyer know in advance that it’s important to me to recycle – so they expect it. I also line my box with colored tissue – an inexpensive way to give an old box new life. Wrap the item with a bow or something gifty. Maybe include a hang tag if it’s something that requires it, or if it’s jewelry create jewelry cards. But most of all include something extra. I always include a piece or two of candy for one or two items purchased. If the buyer purchases several items I include an extra item free of charge. And most of all include something to create a second purchase…i.e. a coupon code or discount just for them. You want them to come back so give them a reason. And don’t forget, on etsy, to give them positive feedback. When shipping, I ALWAYS get a tracking number from the USPS (or whichever shipping service you may use) and send I them a nice email letting them know their package has been sent, giving them their tracking number and encouraging them to “like” my facebook page for even deeper discounts and info on new products. A thank you card is always a nice touch too.
If you don’t have a facebook page for your products – get one! I’ve made several sales from this alone. Many have been custom projects not even registered as a sale on etsy.
I should probably mention twitter here, but honestly I’m much more of an organized person and twitter is just so random and fast that it’s hard for me to personally track anything there. Facebook is so much easier to track. However, I realized the importance of twitter for most so here’s what I have to say about this: Twitter if it’s important to you – it definitely won’t hurt.
Another thing that is a MUST….ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS provide great customer service. If someone isn’t happy with something, allow them to return it, send them something else or whatever needs to be done. An angry customer will spread information 5 times faster than a happy one. Which means you have to work 5 times as hard to make your customers happy AND keep your fans.
Other ways to market yourself and your teams
The more items you have in your etsy store, the more items people have to search for. And the more times peoples’ eyes will see your items. Upload a new item or renew an old item – this keeps your store fresh and your items at the front of the list of new posted items. Be sure to change the photo in a renewed item to give it a fresh look.
Be sure to use all 14 tags – be creative but make sure to associate the words specifically to your items.
Online networking is very important but, don’t let this overwhelm your valuable creative time because it easily can. Google crafting chat sites and promote yourself by chatting. Search facebook for keywords related to your products and your teams and post interesting items on those pages. Even purchasing a facebook ad is a super inexpensive way to acquire facebook likes (which will lead to sales) – it’s great because you just tell them how much money you want to spend and they put your ad in front of the specific groups of people who you choose to see it. If you don’t have a blog, create one and post on it at least weekly (I’ve been slacking at this lately). Be sure to post your etsy and facebook links on your blog. It’s important to keep connecting all forms of communication back to each other -- stay consistent and keep doing it. It will eventually come back to you in fans.
Craft fairs are also another way to not only sell your products but to get the word out about your products. Choose your fairs wisely however, I recently had a bad experience with one who seemed to be doing everything correctly only to find out they didn’t advertise to get the public there. I don’t read the newspaper or watch the news so I was unaware of the lack of advertising – learn from my mistake – ASK. Find out how they plan on marketing if it’s an unknown event. A great fair will not only get you sales but also get you in front of potential fans.
Consider doing other things from your blog, or your facebook page like contests or giveaways. Or even donate products or classes to good causes - they always promote the donating company or person and you’ll be doing something good to help at the same time.
Just remember – the keys to marketing yourself and your teams are to stay consistent, never miss an opportunity to promote yourself, create great product and always give great customer service.
Good luck and happy marketing!http://www.facebook.com/bunnybeardesigns