You’ve taken the plunge and started your dream side hustle: an Etsy shop filled with hand-crafted goods. Congratulations! Now what? The crucial next step to get business booming is, of course, marketing your shop. This article will take you through actionable, concrete steps to see results.  Before you begin, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What type of brand personality are you trying to curate?
  3. Do your products present a solution to a problem or bring something unique to the table? If so, what? 

Once you have these questions answered, you are ready to start building your Etsy marketing strategy. 

Step 1: Think Like A Potential Buyer

Putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customers will help you significantly. Your audience typically wants simple, to-the-point language.  This means you should avoid complex, technical jargon. For example, use “Seattle Christmas Cards” instead of “Embossed, Stamped Greeting Card On Cardstock.”  

Step 2: Improve Your Etsy Quality Score  

On Etsy, a “quality score” contributes to a listing’s probability of showing up. Your quality score improves if a buyer clicks, favorites or purchases an item after they’ve seen it in their search results.

A photo from above of someone knitting with purple string in their lap. Just their hands, legs and string are in the photo.

When you send out items from your Etsy shop don’t forget to include a thank you note and remind buyers to leave a review.

You can also improve your score by garnering glowing reviews. Remind your customers every chance you get to leave feedback for you or incentivize buyers with a coupon code if they leave feedback. The more positive reviews you get, the better.

Another way you can increase your odds of a good review is by including a personal thank you note in each of your orders. Another factor Etsy takes into account is recency. In an attempt to keep search results perpetually fresh for frequent shoppers, Etsy’s search algorithm reviews how recently an item was listed or re-listed. The more recent, the better; therefore, refreshing old listings and adding new listings is highly advantageous. 

Finally, local items perform better in search results. If the shopper and the shop are located in the same country, for example, they are more likely to see the shop’s listings. Consider catering to a local audience!  

Step 3: Include Attributes  

Attributes are best described as details related to your listing. Including attributes will be a great asset to helping you get discovered when marketing your Etsy shop. Here are a few examples: 

  • If you list an oil painting, you will see attribute options for things like orientation (horizontal or vertical) and subject matter.
  • If you list an engagement ring, you’ll see options for attributes like ring size, gemstone and setting. 

Step 4: Choose Words Intentionally

Strong keywords are essential when marketing for Etsy. These words should be highly specific to your products. If you are stuck on your brainstorm, however, or wondering about the search volume of words, WordStream is a fantastic resource. It is crucial to have designated keywords so that you can use them often and reach the audience you are seeking. These words can be used in hashtags, social media posts, the titles of posts and more. 

A web browser with Etsy pulled up.

Always put yourself in the shoes of potential Etsy customers when brainstorming keywords and creating titles.

Etsy also offers the option to use “tags”. It is wise to use all thirteen slots available. In addition, Etsy recommends using multi-word phrases, alternatively known as long-tail keywords. In general, more specific is better.

When marketing for Etsy, think about what makes your product special and include that in your title and keywords. Remember, people come to Etsy with quirky and one-of-a-kind items in mind!  Some important reminders:  As a rule of thumb, fill in all the options Etsy offers you with as much detail as possible. Here is an example to illustrate the level of detail you should use:  “Style: Examples: Art deco lamp, minimalist ring, rustic wall decor, typographic print.”

Another fantastic way to get discovered is to include a purpose for your products. Some examples include gifts for moms, gifts for teenage boys or gifts for teachers. 

Step 5: Be Intentional About The Order Of Words

According to Etsy, words at the beginning of titles are considered more important than words at the end. Be deliberate about which keywords you use first. These will be the words that determine whether your product shows up to buyers searching for that topic. 

Step 6: Utilize Your Etsy’s About Section 

An informative and captivating about section, complete with images, video and personality, can endear customers to your shop and build relationships. Tell your origin story authentically and in detail. According to Etsy’s Seller Handbook, “[Your about section] can also spark unexpected opportunities, including press coverage, collaborations and new opportunities.” 

Step 7: Post To Social Media Regularly and Often 

People will often need to come into contact with your products multiple times before they decide to buy. Repeated exposure is your recipe for success. 

Step 8: Consider Reaching Out To A Brand Ambassador Or Influencer

One option is to send your Etsy products out to individuals for free or at a large discount in exchange for showcasing your product on their social media.

Another great option is to offer a discount to customers if they are inspired by the influencer to purchase your products. Just make sure you find an influencer who is a good fit for your shop. 

Step 9: Encourage Your Audience To Participate

The more you generate buzz on your social media pages, the better. Offer a giveaway if users tag their friends in the comments, or host a giveaway where users can enter by sharing your post on their story. There are many instances when marketing can be driven by the users. This is extremely cost-effective, especially since users are doing most of the heavy lifting! 

Step 10: Strike Up Relationships With Similar Etsy Shops 

A photo of the app purchasing screen for the Etsy app.

Etsy has a feature that shows you where your shop traffic is coming from. Referencing this will help you evaluate the success of your social media efforts.

One of the best things you can do for marketing your Etsy is to start establishing positive relationships with fellow Etsy shops. This can come in the form of cross-promotion; in other words, you feature their work on your social media pages, and they feature your products in return. The best way to go about this is simply to ask or strike up a conversation.

Complimenting the social media posts of other Etsy pages or commenting on a post can go a long way. You never know where a collaboration will lead. Needless to say, it’s a win-win for both shops! 

Step 11: Review Your Analytics As it turns out, the most informative statistics of all will be your own. When are your followers active on Instagram? Which listings are the most favorited in your Etsy shop? What types of images generate the most buzz? These are all questions you are capable of answering based on the analytics provided by your social media platforms.

Pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t when marketing for Etsy. This type of information is exceedingly valuable to your next steps. Your customer base is who you are ultimately trying to please, so when something works, take note! 

Step 12: Curate A Personality 

Are your posts light and airy or dark and moody? Is your target audience new moms or middle-aged men? Your answers to these types of questions are going to heavily impact your manner of speaking, the way you take photos and the type of personality you want your brand to have. Once you have made up your mind, consistency is key. 

Step 13: Interact With Customers

Because Etsy is a platform for small and independent artisans, customer service should be a top priority. This rule applies not only to the Etsy shop itself but also to your social media platforms. Make sure you check your online presence every day, whatever form it takes, so that customers are being listened to, responded to and encouraged to stay.

In addition, it’s never a bad idea to ask customers their opinion. They may have ideas that you didn’t even think of! Since they are the ones using your products, their suggestions may turn out to be truly valuable to your shop. 

Step 14: Use Hashtags There are countless Hashtag research tools available. Here are a few options that we recommend. 

  • MetaHashtags, which uses data to find successful hashtags based on a given topic. 
  • Use the specific social media platforms’ search bar for a given hashtag to see how frequently it is used. 
  • Use a combination of specific and general hashtags to capture a wide audience. 
  • Look at the hashtags being used by similar Etsy shops to gain ideas. 

When it comes to posting on Instagram, use the maximum number of hashtags possible: 30. Another tip is to include these hashtags in the comments, rather than in the caption. This allows you to harness the power of hashtags without looking like you are spamming your audience.  When you are ready to launch your Etsy shop, make sure to showcase your personality and let your shop’s individuality shine! Etsy shoppers are people who value creativity and ingenuity. By taking the time to be intentional in how you market your Etsy shop, you are already well on your way to making sales and building a strong customer base! 

Would You Like Help Building Your Marketing Plan?

If you would like marketing experts to handle your business’s online presence, Three Girls Media is here to help. Contact us today to get started with a complimentary 30-minute consultation to learn how we can improve your Etsy shop’s marketing efforts. 

Special Offer:

Sign up for a complimentary consultation during January and receive an Email Marketing Guide valued at $475!  We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs – no strings attached. Call 360-955-1410 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!

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