Monday, July 19, 2010

Etsy Marketing Tips

What to include on your materials:
Really great promotional materials have a catchy slogan and an eye catching image. You don't have to use many colors: just make sure the images and words are large, clear and contrasty. This makes it easier to read at a distance. Your message should "pop," as they say in advertising.
Prominently feature the title of whatever you're promoting, whether it's your event, Etsy shop, Street Team or Charter Club.
Include any relevant urls, of course.
If you're promoting a specific event, make sure to include dates and location on your materials. State whether there's an entry fee or RSVP.
Many times, Etsy shops have a logo or imagery used consistently on tags, business cards, postcards, on the Etsy shop banner and/or avatar. You don't need to go bonkers with this, but including such logos builds your "brand recognition" -- people will start to recognize your stuff when you keep your branding consistent.
If you can't afford Photoshop or Illustrator, there's a free open-source program called Gimp, downloadable here: For the not-so-tech savvy, you can do awesome zine-like graphics using collage and a photocopier. Check out the Zine Wiki to get inspired (
Help yourself to the Downloads section, where you'll find Etsy art to incorporate into your fliers and posters. We're even posting a snappy stencil.
Last step: show your flier/poster "proof" to friends who can be a harsh critics. Make sure it passes muster before you spend your cash on reproducing it.
Choose your targets:
Make a list of specific targets in your area and split it up with your teammates. You don’t want to waste your time and resources on promoting your shops and Etsy in areas where you aren’t likely to find buyers and sellers. You also want to avoid over-saturating one area. The more organized your efforts the better.
The same can be said for posters. As they are more costly to produce make sure that you choose placement wisely for maximum visibility and longevity. When necessary make sure to get permission from the shop owner etc. Head out on a sunny day with plenty of clear packing tape, thumb tacks, and a smile!
If you're having trouble organizing, checkout This is an online way to plan events and get people involved in real life. Make your fliering day into a treasure hunt event, yeauh!
Timing: You may want to do a poster or flier push around the holidays or summer festival months. If you're promoting a specific event, make sure to give yourself enough lead-time to prepare.
Some Good Targets:
-Art/craft Supply places (reach out to the staff and tell them about Etsy. Ask if you can leave a bunch of cards or fliers with them)
-Children’s clothing and toy shops (reach out to the staff and tell them about Etsy)
-Festivals and fairs
-Supermarkets (Whole Foods and places like that, especially)
-Farmer’s and Flea Markets
-Boutiques and funky antique stores
-Local galleries and artists cooperatives
-Locally owned bookstores
There is no better way of promoting Etsy than talking it up whenever you get a chance. Think about movies. Printed reviews mean little to me, but if people I trust tell me something is good I’ll see it. Be sure you always carry business cards with you. You never know when Etsy and your shop will come up, and it’s an easy word to misspell.

Talkin’ Tips:
Don’t just tell people that the site exists, tell them what it has to offer them.
Let potential buyers and sellers know what Etsy has to offer them. People want to know why they should check out Etsy. Here are a couple selling points that I think are key to Etsy. Take a look at these, and also think about other features that you like.
Potential Buyers:
- A place to find the unique and thoughtful items you can’t find anywhere else.
- Awesome for those hard to find gifts.
-Stop supporting all the evil big corporations.
-Etsy is affordable.
-Personal attention from sellers. You are not dealing with a faceless mega-corporation. You are dealing directly with the artist who made the goods.
-Not made in sweatshops or environmentally polluting factories
Potential Sellers:
-Your own automatically generated stores. Ecommerce without all the hassle of setting up your own back end.
-Centralized marketplace: Positions your items in the context of other handmade goods. Not lost in the flood of irrelevant products.
-Community: A great place to meet and share ideas with other artists.
-Resources like this

Give It to 'Em:
If you're talking to someone about Etsy for the first time, give them something to take away. Always have a few Etsy buttons on your outfit so you can take one off and pass it on. Always Carry your business cards or be wearing one of your creations . Preparedness and graciousness impress! See our Downloads section for Etsy button art and postcard art.
We're also posting a How-to on screen printing so you can make your own guerilla marketing posters, clothing, etc.
Then there's this story. LeahPellegrini told us how she first came to Etsy: "a friend of mine (littleputbooks.etsy) stuck a post-it to my forehead that simply said Etsy. "
In general, street team marketing really operates in a cumulative way. If people keep on seeing Etsy all over the place eventually they’ll decide that it most be worth checking out.

Participate in Blogs & Forums:

Posts on forums and blogs are a really effective way to reach people. Promotions & Critiques ( section of the forums is a great place shout out your new items. The Street Teams section ( is great for organizing and talking up your Team's events. Many, many Etsy folks have blog and this helps spread the word to people who have never visited the Etsy site before. If you participate in non-Etsy blogs, it's great to mention your Etsy shop, but only when it's appropriate and in context. Otherwise it's bad form and might turn people off to Etsy.

Create your own email list:
Start with friends, family, and past customers. Keep them informed about new products, upcoming events, etc. If you want to, you can put an email address in your Etsy profile or shop announcement to let people who browse your shop sign up for your mailing list. Be careful not to spam people though. You should only include people who voluntarily join your mailing list. The Conversations function on Etsy should not be used to spam users.

Social Networking:
Many Etsy sellers use social networking websites and use these site to share info and photos about their Etsy shops. is a popular one and you should be friends with us: . People like MySpace because you can trick out your personal page, blog, and play your favorite songs. is a socially networked photo sharing website. Etsy sellers have used flickr in ingenious ways to share photos that document events they attend, the process of making items, or as just a way to connect with other people interested in making things. On flickr, people use flickr Groups to post pools of photos and play games and chat about common interests. We have one, so give us a holler! If you're in school, you might want to check out The Facebook was originally organized around college campuses, but they've expanded a bit. Still, it's a generally younger, academic crowd. There are a couple groups dedicated to Etsy on there. Other socially networked sites we've Etsy members on include Stylehive, Friendster, Shoutfit, Instructables, LiveJournal.

Etsy Mini:
The Etsy mini is a customizable widget that allows you to post a neat little block of Etsy item images onto your own Web pages (not MySpace or LiveJournal yet — this requires a Flash version, which we’re still working on). The Etsy Mini can show either items from your shop (for sellers) or your favorites (for everyone). The Etsy Mini automatically updates, mirroring the updates you make to your own Etsy shop or Hearts. Think of it as an outpost of your Etsy shop or a visual wish list of your favorite items, trailblazing out there in the big wide world of the Internet. It's a great way to promote your shop online. Check out the link to the lower left on the Your Shop page.

Web Buttons:
You can also post Etsy buttons in your blog or website. We've got a bunch of em to choose from in our Downloads section. Most people make these clickable and link them to their shops.
The Web 2.0 is a Wonderland of media tools for promoting your shops and your Street teams. Here are some options.

Audio recording is a great way to generate interest in your blog or website. If you submit great stuff to the Storque and we post it, it'll draw attention to your Etsy shop or Street Team. You can do interviews with people involved in making things or just play around with snippets of audio. For tips on DIY recording and good equipment, check out Radio Diaries ( You can use a free open-source audio recorder and editor called Audacity. Download it here Upload your podcasts to iTunes. This is how most people find podcasts in the year 2007!

Shooting video ads is a great form of viral marketing. Even if your don't have a videocamera, many cellphones and digital still cameras even have video functions now! If you don't have video editing software like iMovie or FinalCut, check out JumpCut ( for free online editing. Remember, short and punchy is the name of the game when editing video for the web. Visit our Downloads page for promo files that you can stick at the end of your video.
Blip and Youtube are popular user-generated video sites that are great for virally marketing your handmade wares. Don't forget to submit your videos to the Storque! Check out the Media Bunker section of the Storque to get some ideas of what people are doing with video. We highly recommend greenscreen effects, heheh!  Continued..........


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