Sunday, November 17, 2013

Handmade Artists on Etsy Part 2

It gets more and more difficult for me to find a clear path in todays technological world to be able to navigate through social media and websites.
Do you ever feel like that?
Just overwhelmed. Ready to shut it down and focus elsewhere?

Going back to what I started to mention about being a handmade artist and selling on Etsy Part 1, it is getting more and more difficult and frustrating to get your items found through the default searches and categories that Etsy has set up.
Even this last week, getting ready for this post - I've been disappointed at what comes up in the default clickable searches from the front page.

But somewhere inside there is this little glimmer of light down deep inside that burns.
I think it is that little light that glimmers when a person has a sense of being part of a community.
Part of something that is special and unique and helps you rise above the ordinary and mundane...

And even though it seems impossible to be found through Etsy Search, or ever make the front page, or get Etsy to make a handmade seller section (that is actually handmade), and I would rather go to Pinterest and find items, then click through to find them on a website or Etsy shop...
I still find that glimmer of light inside for the Etsy community.

Previously I mentioned using Etsy as a marketing tool.
Through changes in their website platform in the last couple of years, it is easier now to get your items from your shop to show up higher through Google searches (all that SEO stuff) if you use the right tags and key words in your listing title.
Talk about a marketing tool that I appreciate someone else taking care of because my brain just comes to a halt when it sees technology terms such as SEO.
Being part of the Etsy community by having a shop open there or through Etsy Teams: via discussion threads, through Treasuries that team mates include your item in, by favoring, by pinning items via their Pin It button, new items from your favorite shop in the updated activity feed, etc, makes that glimmer just that much brighter.
It always feels great to feature beautiful items in treasury collections.
And that some of my items in return get featured.
I just love that.
And we all have those days where just being included in something like that can really be uplifting - and make you feel that sense of community.
Especially for those of us that work alone or are a bit reclusive.

So I created this then used to pin that treasury collection of wonderful handmade items that I quick found on Etsy (by clicking on links on blogs to the artist Etsy page) and pinned it, then shared via social media (FaceBook and Twitter).
Just like that - a few clicks and reaching out to a broad audience visually...

Sure you can communicate with others through other social media sites and blogs, but it's not quite the same.
Not to me it isn't.
The tools just aren't quite there and as easy to use.
People and small businesses are coming up with cool tools to use the Etsy platform.

I personally like being part of a group (a team) that likes to help promote each others work.
Having a common focus: a theme, an event, a deadline, and a goal is always key.
If there is no focus or deadline then efforts seem to fizzle and people move on.
And this marketing style is not for everyone.

But when it comes down to it - with marketing your work in any way - you get out of it what you put into it - regardless of where you sell your work.

I love being part of a handmade community of artists that like to support each other.
I want to market my work in a way that is easy and FUN and reaches new people all the time.
This is why I am writing this post. To let you know about what I find enjoying with marketing.

And I have to agree with Brigid Ashwood, host of the Google+ Podcast: when it comes to social media, Etsy, website, etc and if what you should do for your artistic business:
Try as much as you can! If it works for you, great!
At least you've tried it and see if it is a good fit.
See the Art Share Episode 14, around 27 minutes when they start to talk about selling online - her small business online marketing hat goes on around 30 minutes.
They have many great posts to listen to on - especially when working in the studio or in transit (car, bus, airplane, train...)

I look forward to working with many of you to help promote your work if you are interested in testing out some of these team events.

Here are some links:
Join an Etsy Team
Search for a topic you are interested in and see if it is a fit for you.
What is an Etsy Team?

AWETeam (Art Walk Etsy Team).
Every First Friday of the month, we hold a virtual Etsy shop tour of items from our team member shops through a "Event" discussion thread and a blog post.
This team gives you a deadline and a focus for getting new work into your shop, and getting your work out to a broad audience on a regular basis.

This AWETeam is extra special to me. I stepped into the Captain position in early 2013 and have enjoyed trying to figure out how to update the team event and all the new technology to promote our team shops.

Love My Art Jewelry on Pinterest
You can find items from our LMAJ Blog contributors as well as tutorials.
By clicking through on the item pins that you will like, Pinterest automatically will give you other options of items that are similar (selected by how they are pinned to other boards).
Lots of fantastic handmade jewelry and supplier resources can be found that way.

Love My Art Jewelry Black Friday Sale

And remember, if you want to help promote your work through our post that will go live on Black Friday (for sales, promotions, etc through Cyber Monday), link up your website or other online shop HERE.

You can choose to run a promotion, a sale, whatever you want during that time.
It does not mean you have to put your work out there on sale, and feel like you are cheapening yourself or running in the rat race.
Get creative.
Think up a fun giveaway (a tutorial, maybe some extra supplies you have lying around - who couldn't use more beads or supplies?!)
And get yourself set up now - so you can sit back and actually enjoy the long holiday weekend, and see about getting some shopping done yourself if you so choose to do so.

To me - an event like this touches back into being part of a community and marketing your work on that level (which is definitely not for everyone).
When you have a specific date in mind, goals, and a focus - that is an open door to get your work out there in front of a larger audience.

The link up for the event itself will be archived in these blog posts and through links in social media sites.
That is why we ask that you link to your shop or website home page - and not to a specific "Sale Page" that will be expired once Tuesday hits.
And every person that signs up, and helps promote handmade through those crazy shopping days helps to bring a bit more light to the handmade community as it exists.

And with those little bits of handmade goodness and insight streaming through social media when the majority of people are out there in the shopping madness, and we (for the most part) will be avoiding it like the plague, we can try to tap into that marketing and be a part of a handmade community trying to educate those consumers and get them to appreciate items made by individuals.

So get creative when it comes to your marketing of your work.
Look at the tools that are available to you.
Figure out what makes you happy with marketing your work, and expressing your voice.
There are many options out there (and we would love to hear about them as you have had good or bad experiences - and what you have learned from them). 

1 comment:

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

This is an incredible post - chock full of awesome information - thank you so much for sharing this!

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