Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Pinterest Can Help You Sell More On Etsy

"If you build it, they will come"

If you've seen the movie Field of Dreams, this phrase may have echoed in your head when you launched your store on Etsy. (Or was that just me?)  I'm a glass half full kind of girl and when I started my Etsy shop, CalliopeStudio, I imagined that my handmade products would be snapped up as soon as I listed them. After a couple months with product listed but nothing sold, I realized that there was more to this game than merely having a unique item created for a niche market. With a degree in Business Management and a background in Online Marketing you'd think I would have applied my knowledge to promoting my products online. One issue for me is that because I'm a hermit an introvert, it's easier for me to promote someone else or their product than it is for me to blare the trumpets and shout out to the world, "Look at me!" The second issue is that when you have a "creative mind", switching over to the "business mind" can be like throwing yourself over the high jump bar in the Olympics. I was talking to my friend, the very talented photographer and artist, Alexandria LaNier, about this issue of Creative Mind vs. Business Mind and realized it's probably an issue that a lot of artists face.  When the creative juices are flowing, it's natural to want to stay in that mindset and allow the creativity to feed itself. But if you're busy creating, who's minding the shop? To help my store get more exposure I've been researching tips on how to market handmade goods online and I'd like to share them with you. 

Photo: www.copyblogger.com

It seems obvious that developing and growing a small business requires discipline, but unfortunately it's not a personal trait I've acquired. Merriam-Webster defines discipline as: Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. In order for a creative business to thrive, one needs to develop patterns of behavior that will enable them to devote time to being creative while also spending time promoting their business. 

To feed my longing for creative inspiration, I turn to Pinterest, one of the hottest and most addicting websites around. As they describe it:  "Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."

I literally spend days hours long minutes on Pinterest, browsing and admiring other peoples pins and repinning them to my boards. My inspiration bucket overflows when I fill my boards with images of things that I find beautiful and interesting. I'm inspired by so many things, from majestic swans, and Ryan Gosling to 130 DIY ideas for using mason jars, old cereal boxes and wooden pallets. I've found out that I have a multitude of Sisters from Another Mister who share the same taste as I do and we faithfully repin (and sometimes repin again, forgetting that we already pinned it) each others beautiful and enthralling visual gems and treasures.

Photo: www.sweettmakesthree.com

Aside from being the best muse you've ever had, Pinterest can also be the best Etsy business promotion tool you ever had. According to RJMetrics Pinterest Data Analysis, of all of the pins on Pinterest,  "The most popular domain was Etsy.com, which powered just over 3% of pins.  Close behind was google.com, although almost all Google links point to Google Image Search, which is technically misattributed content from other 3rd party domains.  Flickr (2.5%), Tumblr (1.1%), and weheartit.com (1.0%) round out the top 5, after which no domain represents more 1% of pins."  This means that the website that people are pinning from most is Etsy, followed by Google and the other websites mentioned. There's an art to designing websites in order to be found in the top results in search engines such as Google and the Pinterest web team clearly knows how to use  search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that help Pinterest stay at the top.  Pinterest is so popular and full of relevant images that when I go to Google to look up an image, very often the top results are images found on Pinterest, rather than the original website or blog that the image was pinned off of. 

So, what does this mean for you and your Etsy shop?  Start Pinning!  Add a board to your Pinterest account, name it after your Etsy Shop and include a brief and concise description of what can be found in your shop. The name of my Etsy shop is Calliope Studio, so the description of my board includes the following: "Vintage and handmade items made by me available in my Etsy shop, Calliope Studio."

Prairie Couture apron by Christine Barker / Scarlet Calliope
Photo: Prairie Couture Apron, Calliope Studio

Pin all of your handmade lovelies so that you can share them with the people who are following you. Chances are that one of your followers would love to have your handmade item in their home but they didn't know where to find it!

I'll be adding new tips so come back and check them out and let me know if you find them helpful.

Art & Love,


1 comment:

  1. Great post Christine! I am learning about Pinterest more and more each day! This article that you wrote was extremely helpful as I am just getting started with my own boards! I am looking forward to reading your next round of tips in the days ahead!

    #1 Fan and Follower! - Phil