Selling on ETSY takes alot of dedication and hard work, selling in a saturated jewelry market alone on ETSY takes determination. I learned the hard way that jewelry is a hard market to sell in, and with that came disappointment, frustration, and the feeling of defeat. Back in February I said Goodbye to my shop, still fulfilling the small amount of orders that came in because I became discouraged that I felt like I was doing absolutely everything with little or no sales to show all my hardwork and dedication. Then here comes the lightbulb moment, after taking a little break I started to realize these little questions:
* Was I doing enough?
* What are other sellers doing that I am not?
* Am I really, I mean really reaching my target market?
After sitting awhile, asking myself those questions I came to realize, No, it’s obvious I am not. I know I make a great product, if I didn’t people wouldn’t buy from me at all. If I made a bad product, I wouldn’t have 33 happy feedback reviews. So where do I come from here? Where does any struggling handmade artist go form here? Back to the drawing board. Back to the little room to brainstorm a new business plan.
Question 1: Was I doing enough?
I realized that I was not doing absolutely everything I could to bring buyers to my site. ETSY gives me the tools to upload my work and setup a cart. It is my job as a seller to help buyers find me. I can not rely on ETSY alone to bring me buyers. What was I neglecting?
* Marketing locally. The coming weeks I am going to start looking into local farmer markets, places to pin up my business cards, talking to people and marketing myself as a jewelry artist. I never focused to much outside of the Internet. Mistake number one.
* Keeping my Blog up-to date. This is my first article on jewelry and selling on ETSY in a long time. I used to get 50 hits a day, and many of those hits would then result in people looking at my jewelry store. What I need to do is make sure I am writing a few articles a week on relevant topics.
* Find Affordable Advertising. Marketing can’t always be free, and what I need to remember is that you have to put money in sometimes to get results back. There are alot of great places a small handmade artist can advertise on, I would look at local magazines, magazines about the craft you make, or even ask your local newspaper about how much an ad would be.
Question 2: What are other sellers doing that I am not?
There are good reasons why one ETSY seller is more successful then another ETSY seller and I think it is a smart idea to pay attention to advice many of them give on the ETSY forums. Many of these sellers bring outside customers here, pay for advertising, have a strong local market, have a great product with great descriptions, clear and appealing product pictures, and know their target market. What can I learn from them?
* Be Objective to your Listings. You have to be honest with yourself, and you have to be able to give yourself constructive criticism. No one wants to criticize their own shop, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to look at your shop objectively and as if you were a new buyer finding this new shop on ETSY. Would you buy your items based-on your pictures? Your descriptions? Your prices?
* Look at other similar successful shops. You can get a good idea on why a shop on ETSY is more successful. I like to look at the “Quit Your Day Job” articles on ETSY, many of these sellers have great ideas and they have beautiful shops!
Question 3 Am I really, I mean really reaching my target market?
If the sales are not there, and you know you have a great product then there is a good chance you have not found your target market. I am very surprised when I talk to other artists about target market, how some do not even know who they are marketing too. My market for example are woman who love to wear jewelry made from natural materials: gemstone, wood, and shell. Have I found my market? I don’t believe so. A great place to start is marketing locally. Perhaps there is a trendy cafe you think would be a great fit for your business card based on the customers who go there. You have to be creative. You have to know where to find your target market.
I am excited to start getting back into my shop, marketing more efficiently, and really, I mean really focusing on becoming more successful, and more happy knowing that I did everything to put my best foot forward. Are you ready to do the same?