On December 21st, 2012, Nothing Happened
Well something happened. I had a wardrobe sale. My very first since moving into my new studio space in Wabi Sabi warehouse. Actually my very first ever. I called it (cue dramatic voice) THE END OF THE WORLD WARDROBE, VINTAGE AND ODDITIES SALE.
Not too long after the sale, I opened a vintage Etsy shop and called it WORLD’S END VINTAGE. Now I’ve been doing my best to market this shop online to all of my lovely internet friends. This is what I’ve learned:
1) Internet Marketing Takes Work
I never expected it to be a cake-walk, but it really does take a ridiculous amount of marketing to sell one item. Or just to get views and likes. There are about 7 social networks that I share every one of my items on when I list them. Not to mention the 5 Etsy groups I am a part of. Once I have a larger number of items in my store I plan to start marketing to blogs as well.
2) How to Politely Solicit your Friends
One of your most important online avenues is Facebook. Most anyone who runs a business or is selling a product knows this by now. And the best way to get “likes” on Facebook is to solicit your friends. So I do my best not to be that friend who invites people to “like” pages on a regular basis or who sends out oodles of event invites to people who don’t live anywhere close to the event’s venue. Be kind to your Facebook friends and they will generally be kind to you.
I put out a politely worded request on my FB wall for friends to “like” my page and ended up with over 100 “likes” in less than 24 hours. On the flip side, don’t be embarrassed to promote yourself or your business. If you never mention your page, how are your friends supposed to “like” it?
Reciprocate – if you have friends with businesses or other pages, show your support by “liking” them. That way those friends will feel more inclined to help you out by “liking” your own pages.
3) Why you should Spread Out Your Updates
While it’s good to list a lot of items, I listed about 8 the first day and have been adding 1-3 items every other day. I don’t want to add all of them at once because I know if I keep updating my social media, people will come back to see updates. Plus you’ll appear more frequently in people’s news feeds and Etsy’s circles.
4) Reasons to Find a Mentor or ten
Find somebody who can impart their wisdom to you so you won’t have as much of a learning curve as they may have. Get people to critique your shop, the photographs of your items and your prices. Participate in threads on related Etsy teams and try to get people invested in your success. It’s a lot easier to be successful when you’ve got lots of people on your team instead of battling by yourself.
Help promote other shops and try to become a part of a few different groups. Find a friend or two who can keep you motivated – maybe you can trade off modeling each others’ clothes or jewelry for listings or craft together if you’re selling handmade items.
5) Setting Goals helps your shop flourish
It helps immensely to set goals – both long and short term – for your shop. I find this is the best way to manage your work when you’re working for yourself. For instance, one of my goals for my Etsy shop is to be able to pay off in sales what I pay for my studio in rent. Since my studio is the size of a large closet, rent isn’t that much, but you gotta start somewhere.
Secondly, set up a POA for how to reach your goal. My current POA is to list 1-3 items every other day and to spend 3-4 hours doing online marketing (all of the above) every MWF. Once I have more items in my shop (30 sounds like a good number) I’ll start trying to get some interest from bloggers and other local groups. Maybe I’ll create some flyers or postcards to put in stores around town.
I’m still working on my marketing strategy, obviously. But it’s getting there! With any luck, I’ll be selling more soon.