Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hangin' in the Etsy forums...

We’ve reached the end of another month! I’ve also completed an experiment and developed some answers from that study. I’ll share some of this with you tonight.

While Etsy represents a very small portion of my sales at this time, I’d like to see it carry a larger percentage as it is one of the easier methods I use to get my stuff out there in the public eye. It gives potential customers a way to reach me if they’ve seen me at a show or have come across some of my products elsewhere and want to order or just see what else I do.

I was one of those folks who simply set up the Etsy shop, threw some merchandise on there, told just a few folks about the shop, and sat back and waited for buyers to stumble upon my shop. I had a lot of other bricks in the fire and couldn’t take a lot of time for promotion. Okay, a few folks found me and bought a few things. I kept telling myself I would promote as soon as I had time.

Along about mid-February, I finally found some time to begin doing a little promoting. While I had worked up an elaborate plan for many promotional angles, I began working on one thing at a time. In this manner, I would be able to see what worked for me and what didn’t. (I’m still working my way through that list, by the way.)

I began with the absolute easiest for me. I started doing more frequent postings to my blog and I posted some things about my merchandise. I mean, I already had a blog though it wasn’t very active. Prior to that time, posts that directly concerned my shop were rare. Most were more life related. Next, I became active on the Etsy forums. I had doubts about how many buyers would find me there. I added my shop url to my signature line on other forums that I participated in. I also joined a few new websites that also let me mention my shop.

I stuck with these few methods on a regular basis for about 7 weeks straight. My views increased tremendously. Sales improved but have not been overwhelming but, at the same time, February and March are not the best retail times in any market and this year, they have been particularly slow months. My shop did get noticed. I was mentioned on several shopping sites and on other blogs. I’ve been approached by a number of brick and mortar stores that want to carry my merchandise (both wholesale and consignment) and I’ve been asked to write some articles.

So, for the month of April, I’ve spent some time catching up on those opportunities and have not done anywhere near the amount of posting on forums and my shop-related posts on here have not been as plentiful. Views of my listings have slowed down. (Luckily, my off-line sales have been pretty good in the meantime.)

At this time, I think I can safely say posting in the Etsy forums DOES increase views. I still believe increased views will eventually lead to better sales. It also forces one to see what everyone else is up to and others share lots of ways to promote. I’ve continually added to my list of promotional ideas I want to pursue - as soon as I find time. Starting tomorrow, May 1st, I will again be devoting a fair amount of time to posting on the forums.

If you are an Etsy shop owner and you’re not spending any time in the forums, you really should make the effort. I find the Business and the Promotional sections the most helpful. There is also a Site Help section that has been very informative, too. Even if you feel you don’t have the time to hang out there very often, you should at least check in occasionally and have a read. There’s a lot of great ideas floating around.

Well, I’ve gotta run - goin’ over to the forums for a while tonight. Maybe I’ll see you there!


Flight Fancy said...

Nice pot! I have found similar results with frequenting the forums more.

Flight Fancy said...

Nice post! sorry my fingers went dyslexic