Posted on May 30, 2012 in Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin
Welcome back to our “Build Your Brand” series. So far we have talked about FaceBook, Twitter, and Hootsuite. I’m moving away from social media this week and back into the most important thing, your Etsy store. I’m constantly asked “how do I get more views?” One of the hardest goals to accomplish is to drive traffic to your Etsy store.
Here’s my suggestions to help you drive traffic to your store, increasing views, hearts, and hopefully generate sales.
|Click to go to team page
Join a Promotional Team. While each and every promotional team is set up to cross-promote other stores, some teams do it well and some do not. There are lots of teams on Etsy that are “post and run” teams. This means that you post the item you are promoting (new, relisted, expiring, etc) and don’t reciprocate. Let’s be honest, if you want people to look at your item, then you better be willing to look at theirs. Avoid post and run teams, and seek out a team that requires you to work for yourself and for others as well. I am part of the Promotional Frenzy Team on Etsy…it requires a lot of work, but it is worth it if you want your Brand to succeed.
Make Relists Work. I know that this sounds boring, but it is really easy to do! Pick any time of the day that is good for you and relist something that didn’t sell. Please note: do NOT just hit “relist.” If it didn’t sell the first time, there’s a reason. Rewrite the whole ad, or parts of it. Take new (better) pictures. Change your price point. Change the Etsy listing category. Does it fit into multiple categories in your store? If it was in the ‘animals’ category, but also fits into the ‘jewelry’ category, then change it!
Do the Shuffle. Do not get so ‘stuck’ on the items, wording, listings, your “look” of your store that you don’t want to change any of it. Don’t you get tired of your living room looking the same every once and awhile. And what do you do when that happens? You rearrange the furniture, right? You need to do this in your store too. There’s nothing more disappointing to your buyer than when they come to your online marketplace and see that nothing has changed. Often people will visit your frontage of your store just to take a “peek” and see if anything has changed…if they don’t see anything different from last time in the first 15 seconds they are there, they will move on. If you don’t have time to rearrange the front page, at least change your “featured items” once a week. Don’t be afraid to update your store, change the order of your items, arrange by color, style, or seasonal trends. After our first post in our Building Your Brand series, no one should be using auto sort anymore…right…if you are, stop reading right now and go fix your store!
Be New. If everyone in the world could make what you make, then they would. Your brand and your items are unique to you. Dare to be different. But always be yourself. Your store will not succeed without the addition of new items … not relists, or the same item in a different color … truly new and unique pieces. I try to list at least 5 new items a week. At times this is a challenge, at other times I list 10 new items a week. How would you feel if every time you went to your favorite department store they always had the same clothes. It would get boring and you’d stop shopping there. Don’t let this happen to you. Add new things to your brand constantly and it will increase and drive traffic to your store.
List Often. Etsy does a little bit of promoting for you. At the bottom of the homepage, newly listed items pop up. They also circulate through the “taste test” and show up first in relevancy searches. Not to mention that anyone who has marked you as a “favorite” gets a sample of their “favorites” newest items on their circle pages. Maybe you have a “listing day.” Break that habit right now! You need to relist and list often. If you have the time here are a few simple strategies that will help you. List/relist only 1 item an hour. This will give you a “spike” in your store stats that you will see instantly. Check your stats to see when the peak “visit” hours are for your store and use those peak hours to post items. My peak hours are 6-9am, 2-4pm, and 10-11pm. Use the times of your peak hours to your advantage. Pick a number of items to list/relist a day. Once you hit your max, stop. My shop has over 400 items. I choose to list or relist a max of 5 items a day (there will be exceptions: returns from vacation, holiday seasons, high sales months). For your store, it may be 2 or it may be 10. Just remember, if everything that you list on one day doesn’t sell. You’ll be stuck with that many listings expiring on the same day. I’d much rather face 5 expired items every day than 20 items once a week.
|Click on link to go to Pinterest
|Get Inspired. Often we fall into a “creative rut” where we’re simply unmotivated. We’re out of ideas, everything starts to look the same, and the world seems very uninspiring. Challenge yourself. At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to make 52 new Parker scenes this year. That’s one Parker scene a week. WOW! What a project. So far this year I have almost 30 new Parker scenes. Now please note, that does not include all the other things that I add to my store on a regular basis (buttons, Chubbies, Carmex toppers, pens, etc)…this was just ONE area of my store that I challenged myself on. If you are in a rut, start small, but think big. If you could create just ONE new item a week, your store would have 52 new items every year. For some people this is not possible, while others far exceed that. Only you can decide what is best for your, your timeframe, your energy level, and your lifestyle. When all else fails, head to Pinterest, create an inspiration board, and flip through it when you’re simply out of ideas. Or do what I do…keep a running list with you at all times (mine is on my iPhone) and whenever you have an idea, write it down.
|Light Box from CowBoyStudio
|Spend Money. Let’s face it…spending money is a fact of life. But you need to spend money in all the appropriate places. I have read in many posts where people use only the cameras on their phone to take pictures of their work. While for some people this might work, I would never suggest this. I feel to sell online there are a few must have items you need to invest in. A good digital camera. You need to have at least a 6 mega-pixel digital camera. There are hundreds for sale and often you can get a great camera for just $100. A light box. Until several months ago, I really didn’t see the point in a light box. I though, my pictures look okay. Well that’s just it, they were okay…but I knew that they could be better. I bought this light box, it was inexpensive, but well worth it. If money is an issue though, you can even make your own. And last but not least, the most expensive, a reliable computer. I used PCs for years and when my 9 year old HP laptop died in Sept. 2010, I literally cried…and then went shopping. It was a tough decision, but one I will never regret. I had no choice, I had to have a computer that would outlast my last one. Apple gave me that answer…awesome customer service, a genius bar, an outstanding warrantee, and peace of mind. No other company could touch that. Not to mention that they are state of the art computers. (More on why I’m now a 100% converted Mac girl to come in a later post). Like with the previous 2 items, only you know your financial status, income, and business profit margins. Please known these 3 things came over time for me and my store. My camera is almost 10 years old at this point … but I saved for it and spent enough money on a good Sony that it still isn’t outdated!
Find a Strategy & Build Your Brand. Only you know what will work for you and your brand. I can only make suggestions to my readers. What has worked for me, may not work for you. You are your brand. You determine the success and failure of your brand … not anyone else. Let your imagination run wild, dream big, plan big, and work hard. Your brand cannot establish itself without your help. It needs you to work hard so that it will succeed.