The bold is the questions sent by Etsy and below in italics I answered away! For the article featured in the Seller Handbook, check it out here.
What advice would you give a friend or family member if they were starting an Etsy shop and looking to drive new traffic to their shop?
The advice I give to friends and family is to create an ideal customer for your Etsy shop and make all decisions around this customer. This will make marketing, branding, and collaboration decisions easier when they can flow through the filter of “does this fit my ideal customer?” After you have your customer established,make sure your listings are set up to be found on Etsy search. Take full advantage of every character space in your title and tags. Focus on photos, because this is how you’ll get customers to click over to your shop. Make sure your photos and listings are filtered through your ideal customer checklist. Next, start an Instagram for your business and focus on growing an engaged audience, not just a large following.
In what ways does running a blog help you drive traffic to your shops?
Running my blog, Always Rooney, helps people see the behind the scenes of running my shop. This gives potential buyers a peek inside of my world and why I even run an Etsy shop. I think this organically drives traffic to my shop because people are interested to learn more and connect with my overall brand.
Can you share an example of how you’ve combatted a slowdown in traffic to your shop(s) in the past? Perhaps during the summer months or other seasonal periods?
There will always be seasons that are slower than others. I have learned to use this time to reevaluate my shop listings, take new product photos and create stock for the busier months. These are all things that fall to the side when the shop is busy but is so vital for keeping a healthy shop. I will also host giveaways and have a promotion during these times to keep sales moving as much as I can.
Do you ever partner with other sellers/brands for cross promotion? If so, any tips about the process?
In the past, I have worked with instagrammers to create a passport cover with a quote that they live by. This has been a great way to promote them as well as reach a new audience. I recommend partnering with someone that fits your brand, takes great photos, and someone who is willing to bounce ideas back and forth until you reach a product that fits both of you. I look for brands and other sellers that embody my “ideal customer”. If the brand or person I am cross promoting with fits the ideal customer, even if they have a smaller following, it is still beneficial because most likely, their following is in line with my ideal customer.
Any marketing mistakes/lessons learned you can share that might be relevant for a newbie?
I can always trace back marketing mistakes to not being true to myself and the Always Rooney brand. It’s so important to take my shop and my customers seriously on all fronts. I’ve had to learn that the hard way. I’m also still learning to take a deep breath when things seem overwhelming as well as keep a good perspective when my shop isn't growing on my timeline.
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