HautTotes
HautTotes says:
Etsy opens doors, but it is up to you to enter, push through the crowds and up the stairs!

Etsy offers us a great place to showcase our items, but listing on Etsy is akin to staring through the open door of opportunity. It’s true that some can simply list items and make sales. For almost a whole year that is all I did and I sold ok.

But, I wanted to do more than ok and i realized that to do that *I HAD TO BRING PEOPLE TO MY SHOP!* I had to make my way through the Etsy crowds and try for the stairs.

At my one year mark in Sept. I had 400 sales, now 4 months later I have over double that!

How?

****I realized that for many buyers, buying handmade is as much about the artisan as the item. ****

People who buy handmade like the idea of the human hands that created their item. They want to know about you, they want to know what makes you create!!

**Never forget, Buyers are INCREDIBLY LOYAL to brands/artists they feel a connection with!!**

Social media is perfect for this!! Social media is all about connecting with people, not just being seen by them or talking to them but actually CONNECTING with them.

So, I joined twitter...

As someone who *has* now been able to make Etsy my day job I miss the adult interaction during the day, twitter is an outlet for this and a great way to forge the connections that can lead to $ales. But, it’s important to think of people on twitter as possible friends first and possible customers second.

Use your picture as your avatar, remember you are a human and your picture makes you real and approachable. You are running a business though, so don’t forget to use your items as your background ;)

Tweet about you and your life, don’t just link to your items. People are there to connect with others, not just look at what they’re selling. They however LOVE to look at the stuff people they chat with make, it’s a fine line worth finding!!

I tweeted about a stray dog & my attempts to locate his home. I posted pictures and talked about falling in love with him. People became so invested in the story that when no one came forward to claim him and we kept him I could hear (and literally read) hundreds of cheers that went up all over. I get at least a dozen tweets a day asking how he is doing (very well thank you!) For quite some time whenever they see a pug they’re going to think of me (and my bags)

When I tweeted that my 6 year old daughter had forged my name on her reading log for school or when I overheard her asking her dad if you could fill a bathtub with spit (“Depends on how many people you have” was his answer) I got TONS of people telling me about the first time they forged their parents signature or other funny kid stories.

I’ve made some real friends on twitter, connected with other parents who's kids have the same disability as my 10 yo daughter laughed with them and even cried on a few cyber shoulders about her upcoming surgery. I’ve also tripled my sales!

Do give aways, people love contests & to win stuff and it's nice to give stuff away!

And don’t forget to do a little quid pro quo, retweeting another sellers link or promo is good Karma!

I also create a facebook fan page and highly recommend it. Again, don’t just post photos of your stuff!

Show pictures of new materials, this gives people the opportunity to see it first and even leads to sales of items that haven’t even been made yet!

Post pictures of your workspace or studio, everyone is a bit of a voyeur and likes to see “behind the curtain!”

I post photos of my prototypes & ask for opinions, it’s a great way to get feedback from my customers without lots of time or money. Plus people love to feel that they are playing a part in the evolution of a line.

Let your fans post pics!! I've had people post pictures of everything from them vacationing with my bags in Fiji to a picture of my bag filled with flowers.

Make your posts interactive! It's fun & when people respond to you on fb, their friends notice they've posted on your page & come over to see what's being chatted about.

When we decided to keep the pug I asked for name suggestions and got over 80 on fb, and countless more on twitter. It was totally fun, and led to connecting with lots of people!

We named the pug Sir Floyd the Flatulent (in case you were wondering)

One of the best (and funnest) way to get somewhere is in a group, getting your friends, fans, and followers invested in your success is a great way to gain momentum!



So if I could set one goal for you this year as a handmade artist it would be to get out there and share with your potential customers what makes you YOU!

Good luck,
Melissa

http://twitter.com/HautTotes
http://www.facebook.com/HautTotes
http://cuttheclutter.blogspot.com/

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