If you’re an artist interested in selling online, I’m sure that at one point you’ve tried (or are currently trying) to use Etsy to sell your products.
We’ve all heard the success stories about those artists who are making tens of thousands of dollars selling on Etsy.
Is it red herring? 🐟
Maybe. Maybe not.
So...how do they do it?
That’s a good question, I have some ideas...
But first, let me talk about why I think selling on Etsy doesn’t work for *most* of us.
First, Etsy is one of the largest online sales websites for artists (e-commerce website). They have become so popular that there are now so many artists selling which makes it hard for you to get your work noticed. As of 2018, there were over 2.1 million sellers on Etsy. (source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/409374/etsy-active-sellers/)
Also, Etsy “rewards” sellers who have a lot of page hits, who sell a lot of products or pay to be featured on the front page. For the rest of us, it’s really hard to get noticed when you first start out.
Years ago, I signed up on Etsy. I didn’t go into it blind, I was aware that I needed to use “tags” and “SEO” to get my products noticed. I wasn’t in a position to “pay” for premium product placement.
I put my greeting cards up there.
And I never went back. 🤦🏼♀️
Unfortunately, I didn’t know enough about Etsy and the customers that shop there.
I wasn’t able to find the most effective tags to use for my products. And at the time, I didn’t want to put in the effort to make a profit of $ .35 a card.
So WHO IS successful selling on Etsy?
Recently, I met a local artist here in Boulder who gave a talk about how he makes $$$ selling on Etsy. Turns out, he uses Instagram.
He uses Instagram to sell on Etsy.
He has over 132,000 Instagram followers.
But how? Why? Wha??
He has a killer Instagram marketing strategy that involves daily high quality video feed posts and he uses Instagram stories to share more about his creative process. He also uses the strategy of “scarcity” by only opening his Etsy shop once a quarter. And let me tell you, when he does open his shop, he sells out in a matter of hours.
I hear stories like this all the time...
and I wonder how I can use this information myself. What it boils down to is; you can’t just throw your products up on Etsy and expect large numbers of customers to find you and buy.
You have to use a planned marketing strategy and find creative ways to send your customers to Etsy in order to transact the purchase of your art.
Because, unless you hire an uber-seo-tech-nerd to optimize your Etsy account; you’re not likely to have much success with large numbers of customers finding you.
Of course, you can learn how to do this for your Etsy account by yourself. You can buy books, take some courses and such. Which is great if you have the time and motivation to learn all of that.
But based on what I hear from most of you, you don’t have the time or you don’t want to spend the time learning how to do this.
So where does that leave you?
Consider Etsy as just one way to transact art sales online.
Other ways you can sell your art online might be an Ebay store, or sell on Fine Art America, But, like Etsy, you can’t just put your stuff up there and expect to be found..you still need to figure out a way to drive your customers to the “webpage” where they can buy your art.
So, not only does Etsy suck, but they all suck until you start thinking about this from a business perspective. All of these online stores are all just a way to transact the sale of your art.
Social Media is a marketing tool to build your fan following and to direct your customers to the online store so they can buy your beautiful products!
One way to do this is to get noticed on Instagram and because I don’t want to leave you hanging here, I’ve created a cheat sheet that can get you to start to get noticed on Instagram! CLICK HERE to download my free Instagram hashtag worksheet.
If you want to go see how Curt Hammerly sells his art in Instagram, www.instagram.com/hammerlyceramics @hammerlyceramics