FYI…these posts are called The Bad Blogger Chronicles because I am a very undisciplined writer. You never know when one my blogs will appear (because I sure don’t.) You never know what I’m going to be writing about either (I am just as surprised as you to see what comes out of my mind and onto this blog.)
Today’s Focus: Marketing your brand online
This info is for all the crafters out there. You’re on etsy, or art fire, or zibbet or bonanza or maybe you just have your own website and sell your handcrafted goodies there. Regardless, there are things you can do (and should do) to get people into your shops, to get shoppers to buy, buy, buy and to turn first time customers into repeat buyers.
Why listen to me? Two reasons: (1) I make and sell jewelry online at etsy and (2) my “real” job is in advertising/marketing. I currently run my own little agency (bh creative – website: bobbihelms.com) and am a freelance copywriter. I was creative director of a Philadelphia ad agency for about 28 years.
Things to consider to get noticed.
• Never pass up an opportunity to promote yourself/your shop.
In the past few weeks/months, there have been multiple offers from Google, Facebook and American Express among others for free advertising.
Have you taken advantage of them? I have – and have seen my visitor count increase dramatically. Have I gotten direct sales from these free ads?
No. But that doesn’t mean I won’t. Any chance you have for free advertising – take it!
There are countless lists of FREE or LOW COST sites where you can list your items for sale. This list appeared recently on
• If you advertise somewhere/anywhere (free or paid), make sure you keep track of the results with google analytics, or a similar program.
You need to know if something’s working or not. Look, I’m the first to admit – I am NOT a numbers person. But even I check my google analytics, site stats and craftcult.com to see what’s doing.
• Do something with all that positive feedback you get.
I take the best blurbs (without using any names) and put them on the back of my business cards. I’ve even made mini-cards with the testimonials on one side, and my shop name/web address/phone number etc on the other side. These small cards get slipped inside jewelry bags with purchases of smaller items.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on business cards? If you are on etsy – you need to visit moo.com They are offering etsy shop owners a FREE set of beautifully printed, high-quality business cards. The only catch? The print a small line on the bottom of one side promoting their own site. Even though I have my own cards, I took advantage of this offer to print up a set of “thank you” cards offering free shipping to return buyers.
If you have a website, these positive testimonials should also have a prominent place there, as well.
• When you can, spend a little money to upgrade your packaging
I use brown boxes for my bracelet and necklaces, which I order in bulk. I take advantage of discount offers at companies such as Vistaprint to order custom made return address labels, small round logo stickers and small customized address labels. Just be aware that some such companies tend to charge you more for shipping, than for the products themselves. So buyer beware!
I use a round logo sticker on my boxes, and tie each box with ribbon I buy on sale at craft stores such as Michael’s.
The result? My little logo doggy is everywhere. People start to recognize it. And another reason I takes such care with my packaging is that I like my customers to know that they are special. I want them to feel as if they are getting a gift when they order a package from me.
(Oh – and by the way, for the most part I include a free unexpected gift with every purchase.)
Many of you may be thinking about the cost for all of this. I try to recoup some of the cost in my shipping fees. In the US, I may charge $3.00 for shipping. Actually mailing cost is probably around $2.00. And, for some smaller purchases – such as earrings – I usually skip the box, and mail them inside a colorful jewelry pouch in a smaller mailing envelope.
I always try to keep Tiffany’s in the back of my mind. Doesn’t matter what you buy or how much you spend – you still walk away with that signature blue box or bag. Every customer is someone to value.
• Try out new things – but don’t spread yourself too thin.
I’ve tried out a fair number of online marketplaces for my jewelry. After a lot of mostly “misses” – I settled on etsy and art fire. For over a year, I “paid to play” on both sites. I tried chatting in the forums, making treasuries/collections, and more. And while I know some of you have the time and patience to handle more than one site, I couldn’t. I dropped art fire and stayed with etsy.
For me, it’s working. I’m not a power seller. But I sell enough to encourage me to keep at it. But I also put in a lot of time there.
I play in the BNRs/BNS’s…I chat with, and have made many, online friends. I buy a lot of my supplies from other etsy sellers.
And I’ve also sold many things to those same sellers.
As far as new things, right now I am trying/or have tried:
I’ll let you know how it all turns out. And – please – let me know if you have any good marketing ideas.