We all know that even if you make the best products in the world, you won’t sell a thing if no one can find your shop, right?
Sure! But . . . it’s not easy to figure out how to get noticed on Etsy . . . let alone how to promote your Etsy shop.
Etsy SEO can help, but you also need to know how to promote your Etsy shop outside of Etsy!
Here’s the thing though: not all ways to promote your shop are equal.
There are tons of articles out there offering you “x ways to promote your Etsy shop” —but then it’s just a bunch of random tactics that quite frankly—in most cases—would get NO results for you if you implemented them.
I hope to make this article different and a lot more useful by not only reviewing the best ways to promote your Etsy Shop, but also telling you how you can decide if this idea will be helpful or not and actually generate results based on YOUR situation.
How? Well, for each promotion strategy we’ll cover in this article – I’m ALSO going to show you if that strategy is going to be better for shops with a bit more experience and an existing audience, or better for a NEW handmade shop that is just getting started.
I’m also going to look at which promotion strategies are longer-term strategies—strategies that may take longer to see the benefit of but will have a snowball effect—and which promotion strategies will give you a quick win in the short run for those of you who are like. . .
“what can I do that will help me RIGHT NOW?”
And finally we’ll talk quickly about 3 strategies I see handmade sellers use that not only don’t get results but can actually make things much worse! So stay tuned for that.
So- you ready?
Let’s dive in!
How To Promote Your Etsy Shop
So before we get started I want you to think about your Etsy shop for a minute and answer these questions:
- First, do you already have some traffic? As in do you have much of a customer base already or do you get a good amount of views to your shop, consistently?
- Second, how soon do you want—or need—your traffic to jump? Are you looking for long term growth, looking for strategies that will set you up for the future? Or do you want a jump in traffic right now?
- And finally… do you have money to put towards promoting your shop?
Once you know these answers you are in a much better spot to evaluate which of the following 11 ways to promote your Etsy shop will be the best one for YOU!
11 Best Ways To Promote Your Etsy Shop
The first thing I want to talk about is long-term promotion strategies. These won’t boost your traffic quickly, but they help it increase slowly but very surely over time.
handmade shop traffic guide
ARE YOU TIRED OF HEARING CRICKETS? TO MAKE SALES, YOU NEED PEOPLE TO VISIT YOUR SHOP, LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN WITH THIS FREE TRAFFIC GUIDE.
These first 4 promotion strategies are the ones you will hear about the most:
Social media: Instagram and Facebook
Website or Etsy SEO
All of these are great—and I’d recommend them all whether you are JUST getting started with your shop OR already more experienced— but they are longer-term strategies that will take time to pay off.
Getting momentum on Instagram and Facebook takes time—you don’t start on Instagram tomorrow and get 1000 customers overnight. Sure you might get a spike from time to time but for the most part, it’s a slow build.
So you need to look at social media as a long term strategy . . . you need to post regularly on each of these platforms to be featured in potential customer’s feeds.
Remember, I always say that to be successful you have to be consistent . . . and consistency can only happen over time.
So with these:
success = time
. . . it’s a slow build with these but it pays off in the long run.
Pinterest is a major driver of online traffic to handmade shops so has really good potential as a no-cost way to promote your products.
Think of Pinterest as a “visual” Google – people search for what they are looking for and see all sorts of pins showing products they might be interested in buying.
I can’t recommend Pinterest highly enough -but being search-engine based (meaning keyword based), it’s also something that builds up nicely over time.
You won’t get thousands of visitors in your first month using it! I mean everything is possible, you could have a viral pin and get a ton of sales from it rather quickly- but it’s not a short-term strategy per se.
Website SEO/ Etsy SEO are also long term. You don’t get the instant “rush” of seeing new traffic come to your shop, but taking a little bit of time to research keywords will have a huge payoff over time!
Just like social media and Pinterest, this work has a snowball effect; over time all your hard work pays off and builds on itself if you are consistent and keep putting in the effort.
Email marketing is another thing you 100% need and it’s a great way to get people to come back to your shop and shop from you again…
BUT to grow your email list … you need traffic, which you might not have if you are just getting started.
So although these 4 ways to promote your Etsy shop are great – they won’t give you quick wins or short term results.
So . . . what do you do if you want a quick boost in traffic?
Common Quick-Win Recommendations . . . That Really Aren’t That Quick
Before I tell you the best ways to do that, I want to talk about a few ways that you might hear are quick but aren’t.
Often you will find articles or people out there saying to organize a giveaway or to start a blog. . .
Organize a Giveaway
Start a Blog
. . . to help you get a quick BOOST while you work on those longer-term plans.
And here again – they are GREAT strategies … but ONLY IF you already have an audience!
I see a lot of sellers organizing a giveaway . . . but with no one to share it with – it doesn’t get traction and doesn’t end up being a success story because you need a base of followers that will help you share that giveaway.
Blogging is the same; it’s great to have content to share on social or Pinterest, and blogs help for SEO for your website, but people won’t find your blog simply because you started one and wrote an article or 2—you’ll have to either promote that blog ….or wait for the SEO keywords in your blog to rank on Google.
So with that in mind ….here is when these tools work well for your Etsy shop:
Giveaway is a GREAT promotional strategy if you have a bit of a following already that can share your giveaway on social media to promote it and help it get more traction. So if you already have a bit of a following, great!
Blogging is a tool to help you promote your shop in the long run, but it really is not a great short term promo strategy. It IS though a great way to build an engaged audience longer term.
Quick Win Promo Strategies That Are
Best For New Etsy Shops With Zero Followers
So, let’s talk about quick win promo strategies that are great even for new shops with zero followers.
Because . . . if you can’t get followers without promoting your shop . . .
. . . but most of the promotion strategies we’ve talked about so far don’t work well if you don’t have followers . . .
What’s a maker to do??!
Sounds a bit like a chicken or the egg problem.
If you want a quicker win for your Etsy shop, or you don’t have many followers because you’re just getting started, here are a few ways to get the ball rolling.
First make sure to set yourself up with some of those longer term strategies we just mentioned – you’ll thank yourself later for it. While they are gaining momentum . . . you can:
Partnership with other brands/shops
Find another shop that makes complementary products to yours and partner with that shop for a joint giveaway.
To work with a shop that has maybe a little more of an audience than you do yet make sure to make it a win for the other shop. You can for example
- Offer to organize the behind the scenes of the giveaway, making it easier for them
- Offer an extra product vs. what they are offering
- Make it clear that you are bringing something extra to the table to make up for a smaller audience size.
Influencer marketing is HUGE but let’s be honest it’s hard to get a big name or big account to promote your products if you don’t already have some level of brand recognition. This is when micro-influencers are a god-send!
Micro influencers are an account on, for example, Instagram with a small but engaged audience.
They might not have tens of thousands of followers, but if they have 2000 very engaged ones – bingo!
Giving your product to a micro influencer for them to use and feature on their social media or paying them for a sponsored post can be a great way to promote your product to a new audience
So …look for smaller accounts – these very niche influencers often have more engaged audiences so can accomplish better promotional exposure for your products.
Brand ambassadors are similar to micro influencers, but they are people who actually use your product and love it.
Take a look at the social media following for customers who have purchased your products. If they have a large following that seems like a good market for your product, contact them to see if they would be interested in being a brand ambassador.
Then simply send your product(s) to them for free and in return, they can showcase them on their social media accounts.
You can give them a discount code to give their followers as well for purchases from your Etsy shop.
Getting press for your shop involves a little bit of homework.
First, you’ll want to make a list of media options that your ideal customers read or watch—you don’t want to put all this effort in if your ideal customers won’t see it!
Next you need to think of a story you can create around your products to make them media worthy. For example, are they eco-friendly? Grungy? Where can they fit into the magazine’s calendar? Is it something that could work well with Valentine’s Day? Summer? Christmas?
If you have a solid plan you are much more likely to be successful in pitching your product to the media outlets that you choose.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Be sure you do your homework and to take your time to really understand how ads work so you can build a solid strategy.
Think about your budget – your ads won’t work brilliantly straight away, so account for a bit of budget for that experimenting as you work out which copy or keywords or images work best.
Your ads need to be professional from top-to-bottom; targeting strategy, photography and copy. If you don’t do it well, it’s just money down the drain, right?
Top WORST Ways to Promote Your Etsy Shop
And finally, I mentioned that I would also tell you the top WORST ways to promote your Etsy Shop!
Here are some of the mistakes I see people make when promoting their shop:
You’re probably saying “Wait Deb you just mentioned these in the GOOD list!” You’re right.
They CAN be good . . . but only if they are done well. If you don’t strategically map them out, and by this I mean spending some serious time thinking about the strategy for your ads before you even start spending money on them, then you’ll just be throwing money down the drain.
For example many sellers come to me saying they have “boosted a post on Facebook or Instagram” but didn’t get any results. A few likes maybe, but no sales – that’s not a sustainable strategy and is easy to avoid – if you do your research!
I have an article about Facebook ads for your Etsy shop that will help you learn about Facebook advertising.
Online SELLER communities
Any like-for-like, favorite-for-favorite, or share-for-share on big Facebook groups or online communities made of OTHER SELLERS is totally not a good idea!
You need to engage with CUSTOMERS, not other sellers.
When other sellers visit your shop it won’t get you sales (they’re not your customers) AND it can tank your conversion rate and affect your shop SEO if you sell on Etsy.
If you are on your own website, it’s also just a waste of time. You need to spend your time wisely and promote your products to potential customers, not to other sellers!
Fiverr promos may be cheap, but they can do some major damage to your shop’s Etsy SEO rating and rarely result in sales.
The problem is that the traffic they send to your shop has NO interest in buying your product!
And when no one buys. . . it tanks your conversion rate, which is a strong signal to a platform like Etsy that something is wrong with your listing. . .
So now they aren’t going to push it in search results because they’ve seen thousands of visits to this listing and no one has purchased it.
And you’re worse off than when you started.
So I would definitely approach Fiverr promos very carefully—I’ve actually got an article to help you that explains why you should be careful hiring marketing experts off of Fiverr.
Do You Know How To Promote YOUR Etsy Shop?
Remember, it’s not so much HOW to promote your Etsy shop, it’s which way is best to promote YOUR Etsy shop!
One thing I want you to remember from this article is that when you are trying to figure out how to get noticed on Etsy, there is no one “best” way to promote your Etsy shop.
It will depend on how long you have had a shop, how many followers you have, and much much more!
So in a way this is like so many other handmade shop issues . . . don’t look at what other sellers are doing because there is no guarantee that will work for you!
YOU have created your fabulous handmade business and you need to make decisions based on what is best for YOUR business and YOUR products!
You are already on the right track by reading this article!
Thanks for reading and until next time – au revoir!
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