Demand for genuine handmade goods is on the rise
Have you checked Etsy and admired all of the beautiful crafts of seemingly successful entrepreneurs? This may seem like a promised land beckoning to all and sundry to come and make the same level of success depicted on these pages. As a result, hundreds of thousands have listed their products for sale, intending to see their beautiful, handmade products sold worldwide.
Unfortunately, they do not record the same success; therefore, they frantically create social media accounts and discuss their situation with other sellers, but no sales roll in. There are over 1.4 million sellers on Etsy, each having an average of ten products for sale at one time, which is 14 million items, and of course, Etsy does not display all of them equally.
These products are scattered over many different categories. Each shop has a lot of competition, and as the “new kid on the block,” you have to do more than just post items for sale and wait for the orders to roll in.
Having recorded zero sales in the first few weeks, many store owners close their virtual doors and retreat with a crushed heart, and it does not have to be this way.
You need a working formula that you can replicate, so your dreams can come true.
No matter your age, the online marketing world is brutal to break into. More people are using the internet to market their products now, which means that the competition rises daily. Not only do you have other handmade products to compete against, but the United States is also inundated with cheap goods from overseas with low prices that no person can beat.
Despite that, the demand for genuine handmade goods is on the rise. Etsy became a success because buyers want handmade items. There is something special about owning a product made by someone else. This means that a market for your goods still exists and always will. You have to find it!
You are in good hands. By the time you are finished going through this guide, you will have a much better understanding of marketing your products and get more sales.
Selling online is nothing like selling in a physical shop or at a craft fair
It is important to understand that online buyers have millions of products in front of them and only a short amount of time to find what they want.
Since you only have a few seconds to capture the buyer’s attention, you must choose one or both of these selling techniques:
- Put a unique spin on your product
- Make your product look better than all the others on the market. The presentation is everything. In fact, you can sell anything if you make it look good regardless of the competition
Have a good product. It is true that the best marketing can sell the worst item, but is that what you really want to do? Do not forget that most sites give buyers the ability to leave a review, and it only takes one bad review to tank your business. Take the necessary time to create a product that people would want and enjoy.
Focus on a niche. Listing too many kinds of things in your shop can harm you. First off, it completely kills the ability to find a targeted market. To whom will you market your shop if you sell baby blankets, shoes, and picture frames? Let’s say you found a group of women who tend to buy home décor items like picture frames, but when they visit your shop, they are inundated with pictures of baby blankets and shoes instead.
People are always in a rush, and very few of them will ever take the time to sort through your stuff to find the original items they were looking for. The ones who visited will see a disorganized page and leave, just for the heck of it.
Use pictures that convert. Pictures are the first thing shoppers see and are the only thing that gets people to click on your product page. Few people click because the title caught their attention. They clicked because the item itself looked appealing.
Your choice of images should force the buyers to do several things:
- Picture themselves wearing or using the product
- Picture themselves showing it off to their friends
- Picture how it would look with all of their other belongings
Did you know? It does not matter if you spend thousands of dollars on ads or get a ton of Twitter followers; people will not buy a product that looks mediocre.
Behind every product is a brand, owner profile, and shop profile – this is how to set it up
It would help if you had your store and products to appear very professional. Make sure all of the photos of your craft area or yourself are as nice as your product images.
Shop name. This is the foundation of everything. It creates the buyer’s expectation for what they will experience when visiting a shop’s page. What sort of words describes your products? Are they whimsical, spunky, quirky, or something else? Try to find a name that embodies your shop’s vibe.
Where to set up shop. Etsy is the most popular choice for crafters, though lately, the site has become saturated with both handmade and wholesale products. Other platforms to set up shop include; Inselly and handmadeartists.com. If you prefer to use a smaller website as your platform, check out Zibbet, Artfire, Aftcra, and Bonanza.
At the time of writing this, Amazon announced its intention to compete with Etsy by introducing a platform specifically for handmade products.
You can list your products on both Etsy and Amazon when that option becomes available.
Create an attractive profile. When shoppers have the opportunity to buy from someone they feel connected to, the experience is even more enjoyable. Oftentimes, a seller’s story winds up being the most significant selling point.
A good profile includes the following:
- A concise story about who you are. Did you go to school? What state do you live in? Do you have kids?
- A brief description of how and where you make your goods. Do you knit while you watch your kids play in the yard? Do you buy all of your materials from local markets?
- There is a longer blurb about your dedication to your clients and how passionate you are about your products. Use an easy–to–read format. Use bullet points or anything else to help them skim the page and get a good preview of the content.
- Sob stories: You can tell them about overcoming adversity, but be sure to put a positive spin on it.
- Lengthy stories: Keep bios brief and exciting. Do not turn your profile into a sales pitch.
After filling your profile with quality content, use images that make your shop look like a legitimate business. This is a business and not a Facebook page. Include a nice profile picture of yourself or at least your logo.
Did you know? A Knowem tool is a name-checking tool. It checks over 500 sources to see if anyone else uses a name. It shows you which social media networks have the name available and available domain names.
Title and descriptions do not only tell people about your product – they affect your ranking
When someone searches for a “plush toy” or any keyword related to your product, you want your page to show up at the top of the product list when possible. Without specific terms incorporated into the content, the site has no way of knowing that your product relates to what the buyer is looking for.
As you look through the list, choose two to three keywords to target for your page. Visit Etsy and see what sort of terms pop up for your product. Start typing something into the Etsy search bar and see which keywords the website generates as suggested searches. These are great to use on your product pages because they are terms that shoppers search for.
You are writing product titles. Images get people to click on your products, not titles, so don’t worry about writing something beautiful because you will not be able to. The title must be optimized for ranking. With Etsy, your first few words are the most important, so put your primary term/keyword at the front. The main keyword is easy to come up with because it should be what your product is.
Writing a product summary. Remember that you only have two seconds to convince buyers to stay on your page. This means that those beautiful, long descriptions need to be adjusted. Most buyers will only read a long description if they have already decided they want the item. In fact, research shows that buyers will actually leave the page if they see too much text.
Optimizing your product page. Now that you have your title finished and several keywords, you must make sure that your content is optimized for ranking. As mentioned earlier, you need the main keyword in the product title, if possible. Next, make sure you have at least 250 words on your page and put the keyword in the product description. If you have more than 250 words, put the keyword in again. Don’t stuff your page with the term, or Google will assume you are spamming.
Form a brand identity. You have to sell yourself along with the products, and that includes forming a memorable brand identity. Since your identity is very important to sales, use a professional to do some graphics for you. You can check on fiverr.com; it’s packed with artists selling their services for $5! You can grab a logo and custom banner for $5 each.
Open social media accounts for your business. These days, everyone knows how to use social media. For now, just focus on starting the accounts and filling in your profiles with pictures, biographies, and links. Don’t worry about marketing or building up those accounts just yet. As you set up each social media account, make sure they all point to one way of ordering your product.
Did you know? These two tools analyze keyword density for you: Keyword Density Analysis Tool: For content that is already published. Keyword Density Analyzer: For content you have not published yet.
Getting followers on social media for traffic generation
The whole point of setting up all of those social media accounts was to make you look professional and use them as a source for traffic generation. Now that those accounts are active, you can build up your list of likes, followers, and subscribers. All those people you connect with will see your products, possibly buy them, and may even tell others about them.
Targeting the right people. Having a large fan base makes your social media account look nice, but it does you no good in terms of sales because these people are not likely to buy from you. Additionally, filling up your account with fans who are not actually interested in engaging with your posts can harm you. Facebook pages will stop displaying your posts if none of your fans ever comment, share, or like the posts.
“Getting followers on your Instagram account. Instagram is one of the easier platforms to build a following on. This is because people tend to follow you back when you follow them or “heart” their photos, and you can easily find people interested in just about anything thanks to hashtags.
Unfortunately, building up a list of followers is not quite as simple as “hearting” images and following users. Instagram makes it easy to determine who to follow and who not to follow because IG (Instagram) displays how many followers people have, how many posts they have made, as well as how many other people they have followed.
For example, skip it if you come across a profile with 8,000 followers and 47 followings. They are highly likely not to follow you back.
Get followers on your Twitter account. You have to engage other people to get followed. It is the same principle that applies to most social media platforms. You can share Tweets, like them, or follow the users. Search for Twitter accounts that sell similar items as yours or are centered around particular hobbies related to your products to find good followers.
Facebook. Facebook is one of the best marketing tools to use and one of the worst ones. There are multiple ways to promote your products, network with sellers, and find new clients. Facebook groups and advertisements give you a way to reach particular people. On the other hand, Facebook pages are more of a formality and ranking tool than they are a helpful tool.
Following the right principles of social media marketing will help to drive traffic and make sales
As you begin to market yourself across the various social media platforms, you can do a few things to make your efforts more effective.
Link accounts. With each social media account, you will attract different kinds of people. Use each account to grow the others by occasionally cross-promoting your other pages or sharing information from one page.
Offer value. No one wants to buy from an obnoxious salesperson. Be as friendly as possible, and try to help out others with each of your endeavors.
Post strategically. It’s hard not to get excited when you have something to post about, but try to slow yourself down because there are specific times to post if you want the most traction possible.
Save your post links. This applies to Facebook. Why does it? Because posts with a lot of comments or likes always get more traction. If you plan to post about the same thing more than once, you are better off commenting on one of your previous posts that already have likes and comments than creating a brand–new post. This also notifies everyone who already left a comment previously, so you get a second view from them.
Do not spam. Do not post your shop link everywhere, and be obnoxious. Post about something else or ask for people’s opinions about your shop. That gets your link out there without driving people nuts.
Send quality traffic. Facebook recently changed their post algorithms and made things more challenging for sellers. It used to be that a Facebook page owner could make a post, and everyone who “liked” the page would see it. This is no longer the case. Only a small portion of your fans will see the post, and if you do not get a good reaction from the post (likes, shares, or comments), Facebook will reduce your number of viewers even further.
Therefore, getting people to like your page who do not engage with your posts actually hurts you. This is yet another reason to be cautious with paid likes. Make sure the likes are coming from people who would actually be interested in your products.
Did you know? The best way to get followers is to give away something for free. When you have physical products, this can be a challenge. You don’t necessarily have to give way to your own product. Look for something digital to give away, like some valuable information that would benefit the group you are marketing to or a gift card.
Search Engine Optimisation is an effective method of getting traffic to your website
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the process of getting your shop’s page or website to rank on search engines for a particular word. Of all the things you can do to get more traffic, this is the most labor-intensive and potentially expensive method, but it’s also very rewarding. However, once your site is close to the top, you get constant, free traffic with a high conversion rate.
Building your own website. It is not necessary to have your own website if you sell on places like Etsy, but it does make you look professional, and having a link from your website to your shop page helps with SEO. The website can even be one page if you do not have time to invest in building a larger site.
How to optimize your website. You already have several keywords, which you picked out earlier, and now you must optimize the web page just like you did with your shop page. If possible, put the main keyword into your product’s title. Next, make sure you have at least 500 words on your page with 1 to 2% keyword density. If you can, put in some H1 or H2 titles with your keywords in them.
Rename your images. Another trick to increasing your rank is to name your images after the keyword. If you were trying to rank for the keyword greenstone necklace, the image file would be greenstonenecklace.jpeg. This tells Google that you have pictures of the keyword on your page. You may even get traffic from the Google Images page if you do this.
Use high-quality content. Google scans your site to see if it’s relevant to a particular keyword, but it also checks the quality of your website. Yes, this means your content should be all original and free of grammatical errors. Never copy and paste content from anywhere. You need original text, or Google will not see your site as valuable.
Get other websites to link to yours. Google has millions and millions of websites to sort through and rank accordingly. To help narrow their results, they use popularity as one of the key factors for determining whether to rank your website or not. How do they decide whether you are popular or not? They can count the number of other websites that have links to your website or page but do not get excited and start spamming your link everywhere. Be aware that Google is very picky about who connects to your website or page.
Did you know? Search engines use a highly complex algorithm to determine the order in which websites are displayed. To make things worse, they constantly change those algorithms to prevent spammers and cheaters from reaching the top. This is a good thing, but it makes it hard to stay up-to-date on all the rules.
We live in a world where everyone tries to sell to us all day long, especially online. Whether you visit Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Instagram, or Pinterest, there are ads everywhere. This is why it never works to join Facebook groups or forums and post your shop link all over the place. People do not want to be sold to; they want the thrill of discovering cool items on their own.
For that reason, you must offer value to people rather than just spamming them. Coupon codes and stuff like that may work sometimes, but if you really want to build up a list of loyal clients, start a blog. By regularly posting interesting articles on your blog, you have the ability to take those blog links and post them on the group pages. People appreciate it when you offer something for free, and since you have your shop link on the blog, you are indirectly showing them your products. If you keep doing this, people will get more comfortable with you over time, and your list of followers and buyers will increase.
Optimize your website. You already have several keywords, which you picked out earlier. You should optimize the web page just like you did with your shop page. If possible, put the main keyword into your product’s title. Next, make sure you have at least 500 words on your page with 1 to 2% keyword density. If you can, put in some H1 or H2 titles with your keywords in them.