How do I make this happen? How do I build a successful business on Etsy? These are some of the questions I have asked myself lately. I opened my shop just over a month ago and it has received a total of 65 views, 1 item was “hearted”, and 0 sales. Clearly, it is time to reassess my products, my shop, and my methods. So this week I am dedicating my blog to all that goes into creating a successful crafting business.
Step one, a little more research! I scoured Etsy’s site this past weekend for answers to my questions and discovered a whole side of them I didn’t know was there. I started with the “Quit Your Day Job” series and realized these articles reveal a lot about successful marketing, other online tools, and resources. This lead me over to the forum section where I discovered “Teams”. Teams are groups of members with common goals or interests, and most of the discussion threads are open for all to read, but you must join the team to take part in the discussions. Not all teams are created equal, some are open to all and don’t have many requirements to join; while others have a slight application process and requires their members to actively promote each other by creating X number of treasuries a week featuring said members.
What the heck is a treasury? Turns out these are like pin boards curated by members that buyers can use to shop from or get inspiration from. Have you heard of Pinterest? It is a whole social media website dedicated to pin boards. It is also the next level of marketing for the Etsy seller beyond the treasuries. These pin boards are a great asset to a buyer, since someone has done a lot of digging through Etsy for you. They are also another way to get your own work found. The trouble is, I have enough on my plate building inventory, figuring out production, finding supplies, blogging, researching, and maintaining a home to dig through Etsy to curate treasury or Pinterest boards. I am not going to lie, building a business even on Etsy is a lot of work!
Enough about treasuries, back to these teams. I did join a few: Etsy Success, The White Rabbit, and Etsy of Somerville. I also applied to the Creative Paper Artists team. What a great resource to find! Here is a community of small business owners all there to help each other out and learn in the process. This is the place to ask your questions and to find your answers. It is also a place to gain exposure and find your peers. I am very excited to find the Etsy of Somerville group. Already I have learned my city is rich with crafters and artists per capita and holds a yearly art fair called, Somerville Open Studios. I missed the deadline to participate this year but have a goal to join in next year.
In my mind Etsy is a stepping stone to my own eCommerce site. For very little upfront cost and effort you can set up a shop and not only test your products but find your audience or your niche. However, it is still a small business and should be treated as such if you are to be successful. Not finding and taking advantage of the Etsy community sooner was a mistake. There is a lot to learn!
Join me this week as I delve deeper into the crafting business!