There are approximately 1.8 million sellers on Etsy and 45 million products listed for sale at any given time. Etsy is known for its handcrafted, unique, artistic items, so it is one of the premier places online for artists to sell their work and make a little money.
Yes, you can just list on eBay or even sell on your own site, but you won’t have the built-in 54 million members who are specifically interested in unique items offered by artists.
While there are millions of sellers, and not all are successful, there are a couple who stand out as Etsy success stories. For example, Bohemian Findings, based in St. Peters Bay, Canada, has racked up more than 1,108,026 sales since 2010. The key to the success of this Etsy shop is that it has a narrow niche focus.
Another successful Etsy store to study is Once More with Love. This store is based in Vancouver, Canada, and has an estimated 239,637 sales since 2015 and a five-star rating with more than 86,000 reviews. The key to their success is providing customized stickers.
Creating a Brand Page on Etsy
Starting a brand page on Etsy is fairly simple on the surface. If you want to attract fans and repeat buyers, you will need to think through your overall brand image. But more importantly, how you can make yourself memorable. The first step toward creating a successful brand page is to figure out a catchy name. Pick one that not only describes your product, but is also unique and easy to remember.
Some examples of stores on Etsy, in addition to those mentioned above, include brand names such as the Australian store My Bearded Pigeon — which has a logo of a simple gray pigeon with a white beard. It is unique and entertaining enough that visitors will remember the store page. Even though this particular brand name doesn’t describe the product, the owners have done an excellent job of making the page memorable with that fun logo and unique name.
Abacus Bead Creations makes it pretty clear with its name what type of jewelry designs it offers. The images of the bracelets are all similar in focus and sizing, which further develops the overall branding behind the page.
Getting to Know Your Competition
Once you have your branding in place with an amazing name and logo, you’ll want to spend some time studying your competition on Etsy. If you plan to sell jewelry, try to narrow down your offerings to a specific type of jewelry, such as necklaces.
Next, go to Etsy and browse through the jewelry/necklaces category. You can even refine further with a specific type of necklace, such as a choker. Choose sellers who have items closest to yours and click on the brand name to visit its page. Take notes on what the photos look like and what items they are offering, and think about how you can offer something better or different.
You also will want to do a search for the items you intend to sell. Let’s say you plan to sell vintage-looking lockets. You would search for “vintage-look lockets” and see what pops up. Who is your competition for that specific item? Take the time to study how they describe their products, the headlines/names they use and what the pricing structure is. This will tell you what the market will bear.
Advertising Your Etsy Page
Your first plan of attack in selling art on Etsy is to time when you post new items for sale. When a new item is listed, it goes up to the top of the page. It won’t stay there long, though, because other people are posting items as well. So, think about when the target audience you have for your item is most likely to be online. Then try to post around that time. It is also smart to space your postings out so you always have some item near the top.
Next, you’ll want to let family, friends and past customers know about new postings. You can do this most easily by posting on social media. If you keep sending out emails about every new posting, people might get annoyed. Limit emails to special offers only so you don’t risk people unsubscribing from your mailing list because you are bombarding them with emails. If you are listing a lot of items, you can use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule social media posts.
Don’t overlook the value of word-of-mouth advertising. Touch base with customers once a product is delivered to make sure they are satisfied. If they indicate they are not, do everything you can to make it right. If they indicate they are satisfied, tell them you’d appreciate it if they’d tell their friends about your products.
What to Avoid
Unless you have your own website listing products where you plan to drive traffic, avoid paying for costly click advertising on sites such as Google. You will only drive traffic to Etsy, and once there, the visitors may bounce away to a competitor. It simply isn’t the best use of your time or resources in trying to grow your business.
Don’t spam people about your store. It is fine to let them know you have a new brand page on Etsy and even to post things you’ve completed, but don’t send them private messages asking them to buy or talk nonstop 24/7 about your art. This will only annoy people.
Don’t post in forums asking people to buy your product. This is just another form of spam.
Understand that it can take months to build a following on Etsy or any other site where you sell your art. The key is to create the absolute best product you can, take high-quality photos, write amazing descriptions, and offer good and consistent customer service. Once you’ve accomplished these things, you will likely begin to see an increase in revenue for your Etsy brand page.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.