A big Thank You to VJSE Team Leader Gayla from The Jewel Seeker for this great post about promoting your Etsy shop!
The Basics of Promoting
There are 3 ways to promote your online shop: Display, Advertising, and Social. When promoting your shop online you want to get as many people to see it as possible. Sometimes these can blend into each other (for example Squidoo Tumblr & Stumble) are often a combination of all three. The amount of time you have to spend promoting, and what you want to spend on your advertising budget depends on you, but you should work to incorporate all three into your promotion plan.
Showing your work off and informing people about it is the obvious way to display on line. Our displays on Etsy represent our online shops, and to show that shop off is to display it and your goods in other mediums. Blogs, other websites, or galleries like Flickr, Picasa, Wordpress & Blogspot are great ways to display. You show off your items, tell a little about them and yourself, maybe post information about deals, designers or how-to’s, but it's mostly another way of displaying your vintage jewelry to get people interested in visiting your shop.
This is simply placing ads. It could be Google adwords, Etsystalker or placing ads on websites for you, buying an ad space directly on a website, or posting on a free ad site.
This is building a network of people who are interested in you and your products. Site like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are geared specifically for building networks. Google+ is now actively promoting their new social network as an option.
Places to Promote - Short Sample List
Tips for Promoting
· Talk about your products. Not just what it is or what size or shape it is but a little history about it; what you like about it, or what you would wear with it. Who is the designer, how old is it, and where did you find it (local estate sale, antique market, street show or the 90 year old European woman who brought it over from Italy. What occasions would it be good for? What type of person would like it as a gift?
· The web is visual. Show off your products with good photos. More on photos further down in this article.
· Don't be shy. Talk about your products, your business, what happened in your hunt to fine a specific piece of jewelry you found.
· Research SEO and why it's important. Apply what you learn.
· When you join a social network, forum, etc. don't just join post a few times and leave, really participate and become part of the community. Nobody has time to belong to every site out there so pick the ones that best fit your customer base and concentrate on them.
· Do you wear your vintage jewelry? Then wear some everywhere you go and if someone compliments it, hand them a business card.
· If you don’t wear it, then find a way to advertise your online shop. Use Zazzle or Cafepress to make a t-shirt with your work on it.
· Handout business cards everywhere
· Post business cards or fliers on public bulletin boards
First impressions determine whether your customer is going to pursue clicking further to investigate your shop. When shopping online all a customer has to go by is what they see on their screen. You have to show off your products to their best advantage. Here on some things you can do to improve your presentation.
Take beautiful photos. This is easier said than done sometimes but it's not as hard as it sometimes seems.
· Use enough light. Either use bright natural light or daylight bulbs in lamps with a light tent. The Ott Light is often recommended
· Find the macro setting on your camera, it's usually indicated by a flower icon or button. The macro setting is for taking photos at distances 3 feet or less. You absolutely want to use this when photographing any small object.
· Use a tripod. You can buy a simple tripod for about $10 or even use a box or other solid object to stabilize the camera.
· Don’t use the flash option! If you don't have enough light for a photo get more lamps or find more natural light. Flash washes out and flattens images; your products won't look good if you use flash.
· Use an attractive background. This could be a piece of fabric or paper. It needs to be clean and not a distraction from your product so it's good to avoid overly bright colors or patterns.
Use attractive packaging. Not only will the package show your customer you care about your products it also looks more professional.
· Keep things simple. Pick consistent colors and patterns for your packaging.
· Make your packaging match your product. For example use lace not tye-dye for Victorian inspired designs.
· Brand it. Put your business name on the packaging either directly (like a label on a box) or as a tag.