have we met before? . marketing minute

August 6, 2009 separator marketing minute

Are there any shops that you feel like you’re seeing everywhere, all the time? You hear about them in blogs; you see them in the forums on Etsy; they’re always on the infamous Front Page; and of course everybody’s tweeting about them nowadays. I have a few that I feel are haunting me, not because they’re so much better at what they do, but rather because they’re smarter about it and more motivated, but that’s a story for another Thursday.

For today, let’s stick to the topic at hand – how to promote your Etsy shop. You can’t sit around and rely on just happening into one of those coveted Front Page treasuries; however there are many small steps you can take in the meantime to promote.

For my content-wary readers, here’s a checklist to put your shop’s name on the tip of everybody’s tongue:
  1. List or renew at least one item daily. This’ll keep you higher in searches and therefore easier to find. It’s quick and easy, and it only costs you $0.20. No excuses!
  2. Participate in at least three forum threads daily. The critiques and promotions are quick and easy if you’re in a hurry, and they get your name out there to sellers, who are some of the biggest buyers.
  3. Find and heart a few shops. People often browse the shops that heart them.
  4. Make a treasury. Tell everybody they’re in it; they’ll likely look at your shop in the process.
  5. Get a Twitter account. This is a quick and dirty promotional tool that you can utilize as much or as little as you have time for. I personally have had three sales just that I know of from people who’ve seen me on Twitter.
  6. Blog, or at least comment on others’ blogs. People love getting comments *hint, hint*, so leave some friendly comments with a link to your shop when appropriate.
  7. Submit to sites such as Indie Spotting. It’s free, quick, and it’ll get you noticed.
  8. Get featured by prominent blogs. You may have to submit to several initially, but it’s great, free advertising.
  9. Buy a bit of advertising. If you’re choosy about where you promote your wares, you can get a decent bang for your buck, and you can buy ad space directly from many prominent bloggers.
These are really just a few of the ways to promote your shop both on and off Etsy. Promotion is crucial to the success of your shop. Once you’ve reached 1,000 sales and been on the Front Page so many times it’s just blase, your shop will promote itself. Until then: work, work work!

Here are a few links to sites with extensive and highly specific information about promoting both on and off Etsy:

  • The Storque – Etsy’s blog; packed with tips and features.
  • Timothy Adam Designs – Very thorough post with great details on maximizing Twitter and best utilizing the forums.
  • Natural Amber – An Etsy seller’s blog; chock full of business tips with a conversational tone.
  • Handmade Marketing – This one’s pretty self-explanatory and a great resource full of useful links.
  • Modish Biz Tips – This page from Modish gives you an extensive list of blogs to submit your work to.
  • kMT Graphic Design – The right sidebar has an ad directory of blogs who you can advertise directly with, bypassing Project Wonderful and other such sites.

As always, I love to know what you think. What promotional tips do you guys have that I’ve forgotten to mention? Let’s help each other out here!


  1. I am some what of what my hubs calls a “guerilla marketer” because I try to promote our artwork, wherever, whenever.

    This post absolutely covers many of the ways I work it. Its awesome!!! (as usual)

    To add to it, I think family and friends can be invaluable.

    For example, if you sell jewelry/clothes/handbags,
    hook up some of your girlfriends with a couple of pieces, and make sure they have some business cards/stickers of yours also.

    When they are out on the town and someone asks them where they got it, they can hand over your promotional card/sticker and you may have another sale!

    And plus, your friends will love the free stuff!! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the list! I think you’ve hit on most things that I’ve tried.

    With Twitter, though, I feel there are several different ways to promote: obnoxious, and useful. One person I followed (not any more!) would only post to say she’d made a sale and had relisted… about 20 times a day! Great, you’re successful, but give us a break! I think it;s much better to give your Tweety promotions a bit of context.

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