Every once in awhile a wave of change rolls through the community of Etsy Sellers.
Here’s what happens:
- Etsy decides to change the way they do something, like they did last week by switching to a relevancy based search results, or like they’ll be doing soon with a new option to purchase a promotional space alongside those search results.
- The Etsy forums explode with people moaning and complaining, half of whom seem to have not bothered to even read the first post of the thread which is the genesis of the discussion.
- Rumors fly. People get all excited. Anyone who might have something to gain by bad-mouthing Etsy comes out of the woodwork. A few people close their shops. The rest wait and see.
- The dust settles and the change is the new norm, and everyone forgets about it and continues on.
Rinse and repeat.
Etsy is a business. They’re going to make changes as the business grows and they learn what’s working and what isn’t.
If we, as sellers, would think of our shops as businesses too, we might not be so upset because it’s probably a good thing for us.
The recent and upcoming changes remind me of a few really important points. If you’re serious about making a business out of selling your handmade or vintage items online, then these three common sense concepts should never be far from your mind.
1. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Everybody knows this saying and it might be a little over-used, but it really applies to this situation. You can’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket.
When it comes to the relevancy search and the upcoming paid promotion within the search results, we’re talking about marketing. Nothing is changing with your actual shop. This is about getting people to your shop.
Etsy is a venue, like the mall. It attracts people for sure, but stores still advertise and have a Facebook Page.
If you were counting on relisting your items as your sole marketing tactic, then this would hit you really hard. You had all your eggs in the “relist to get sales” basket.
Good Etsy shop marketing should include a number of sources of traffic. This could be a blog, your social media sites, offline advertising and marketing, online advertising, other websites you control, etc. It’s really a pretty long list and you want to be in it.
That’s not to mention SEO, which this shouldn’t effect. Though SEO is another thing that can change at any moment at the whim of someone else. Which is why you should remember the next common sense rule:
2. Don’t Count On Someone Else To Promote You!
People change stuff on you. Especially when those people have to answer to other people and especially when you don’t really know any of them.
Unless you’re in a paid contract, you really can’t count on anyone to help you promote yourself and market your products.
You’ve heard the saying, If it is to be, it’s up to me. Well that’s pretty accurate when it comes to getting your name out there online. You have to take the initiative and just do it.
3. If It’s Good For Etsy, It’s Good for Makers
Have a little faith in the fact that Etsy is doing what they’re doing to improve the bottom line. People in the forums say things that sound like they think Etsy is stealing from them somehow. I don’t get it.
If Etsy Sellers aren’t successful…bye bye Etsy. They know that.
Don’t you agree? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Post image is a Giclee available on Etsy, click here.
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