The Value of Community Building for Your Business

By Tim Layton, Author at Everything Etsy, a valued source on how to sell on Etsy.

In late 2008, my wife, Kim, started her first Etsy shop, and that fateful step changed our future in a huge way. Now, almost six years later, we’ve been fully immersed in ecommerce business and make our living entirely on the Internet as online retailers and bloggers.

For us, one of the most helpful factors in our success thus far has been the continual growth of our community. I’m referring to the people we can reach with our ideas, our offers and our contributions. Our community is made up of fans on social media, our blogs and our email lists. That overall number has grown from pretty much zero to over 300K at this point, and we hope it keeps growing!

As we’ve expanded over the years, our focus has changed more than once. We’ve changed what we sell on Etsy twice, we’ve moved our primary focus to and from blogging a couple of times, and we continue to experiment with different ideas in search of the perfect online business model for us. Through all of these changes, our community has stuck with us and continued to grow.

That’s part of the value of building a community. If you build it around an idea or concept that you know won’t change, you can keep building your following even as your business does change.

In our case, our EverythingEtsy.com blog is built on Kim’s love of everything handmade, indie and entrepreneurial. We love the creative spirit of the people who follow @EverythingEtsy, and that never changes, even as our personal focus does.

Building a community gives you the reach to share your ideas, your offers and your contributions quickly without help from anyone else. It can take time to build, but it’s totally worth the effort in the long run.

And it’s not hard to do. Just be involved, pay attention and join the conversation when you feel like you have something to contribute. Create a blog and put helpful and useful content on it, then share that content on social media so that others can help you spread the word.

A community is one of the most valuable assets an Internet retailer can have. Get that going in the right direction, then take advantage of the awesome services available out there, designed to help you run your business more smoothly every day. One such example is Endicia’s shipping services. We use them every day to ship our Etsy orders domestically and internationally, and Endicia makes it amazingly simple.

Check out our blogs at EverythingEtsy.com and Etsypreneur.com and if you’re on Facebook, watch our EverythingEtsy page for great giveaways and content for creative business owners like you!

For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.

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