If you are a crafter, Etsy can really help you get your craft business off the ground. Even if you already have a successful local craft market presence in your town, adding an online element by selling on an online marketplace like Etsy can take your craft business to the next level. By selling online through Etsy, you can access a national and international customer base. You can also interact with other sellers from all over the world, and learn new crafting techniques and ideas. By putting yourself on Etsy you move into a different level of craft business, one that is growth oriented and more in tune with online shopping and social opportunities and resources. Your business can only grow through exposure to the opportunities of an online marketplace like Etsy.
There are three main ways that Etsy can help get your craft business off the ground.
The first is that it makes your work visible and available to customers from all over the country and all over the world. As an example, my last three Etsy sales were to Russia, Greece, and Australia. It would be impossible to reach customers in these kinds of places without an online shop. Because Etsy is the most well known and most international of all the online shops, it can do wonders for giving you access to these customers.
Second, Etsy provides a community of other crafters and artists, who are constantly sharing tips and solutions through the Etsy Forums, and inspiring one another through Treasuries, little galleries of twelve items that members select and promote. Crafting can often be a solitary activity, so having this community of fellow crafters can push an artist to a new level of skill and professionalism.
Third, Etsy provides a jumping off point for the whole world of online marketing and social media marketing. By having a shop on Etsy, you can branch out into Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, Flickr (a photo sharing site), StumbleUpon, and the entire blogosphere. As an Etsy artist and shop-owner, you have instant credibility to advertise, comment, and post contributions to online resources such as blogs and Facebook fan pages. As you go deeper into these online resources, more and more opportunities for marketing and exploring new avenues for crafting and promoting present themselves. These opportunities are much harder to find when you limit yourself to a brick and mortar market.
Building an online craft business through Etsy can be hard at first, and can seem intimidating. New skills have to mastered such as photography and writing ad copy. But online selling is worth the investment of time and energy. If you are just beginning, it will play a huge role in getting your craft business off the ground. If you are established, it will bring you a whole new market of potential customers and community of fellow artists.
Karen Kelsky is the artist and owner of Paper Demon Jewelry (http://paperdemonjewelry.etsy.com) – Modern Jewelry from Japanese Things. She tripled her Etsy sales in 3 months. She writes about Etsy selling, jewelry making, Japanese crafts, and other inspirations on her blog, Paper Demon Jewelry (http://paperdemonjewelry.wordpress.com)