Most Etsy sellers I know have big dreams. You too, right?
You want to make something happen. You want to build something amazing starting with absolutely nothing so you can say “I rock, you know it.”
Building that dream is a whole lot like a fantasy/adventure video game that requires players to reach certain levels and collect various achievements to continue on the quest.
If you want to beat the game and go all the way as an Etsy seller, then the first key you need is perseverance. You simply have to become the most hard-headed “I will not give-up” fool you’ve ever seen. For the vast majority of us, there is no way to win without this essential key.
There are other keys too, such as being great at customer service, learning how to price your products for profit, and learning to master social media. But to ultimately “beat the game,” you are going to need a recognized brand name.
You can and should get started by piggy-backing off of the already established brand name of Etsy, but eventually YOU need a brand of your own.
Truthfully, can you think of a single widely successful online business that doesn’t have a well-known brand? The brand and the success go hand-in-hand.
So, at the risk of taking something that is really an art form in its own right and over-simplifying it, here are five easy tips to start building your brand as an Etsy seller.
1. Get a decent logo!
Use your logo everywhere! Put it on your shop banner, put it on labels or tags on your products, put it on your packaging, put it on your shipping labels, tattoo it on your arm!
If you’re not skilled at graphic design, you can get a logo from another Etsy seller, or you can just go the route of simply writing your name in a cool font. I like to use dafont.com because it lets you type in the words you want to look at.
2. A good brand name is worth more than gold!
You need a good brand name in two ways. First, you need a memorable name that makes people feel happy, if possible. Second, you need a “good name” as in a “good reputation.” You earn this by taking care of customers, doing the right thing, and being consistent. It’s not a cakewalk.
Your name should be in as many places as possible. I strongly suggest finding a name you can get in the “.com” web domain. Or, if the owner of the .com is in a totally different industry, then you could go for “.net,” “.co,” or other, but you really need a web domain of your own that matches your brand name. It’s very important that you establish this now rather than later, so that once your brand is established, you won’t have to change your name and throw away years of effort. Trust me, we’ve learned the hard way!
If you want to learn more on the topic, here is a recent article about why Etsy sellers should have a website.
3. Use a branded email address.
Kim has email addresses at lots of different websites we operate. When she first started her Handmade & Craft Etsy Shop, she used an email from RemodelingTherapy.com because the HandmadeandCraft.com site wasn’t set-up yet. We forgot about it and recently realized that all of her Etsy orders were showing buyers the email @RemodelingTherapy.com!
Rookie mistake! Your email should always build your brand. The best way, in my honest opinion, is to have the email @yourdomain.com but you could also go with your brand (at) gmail or yahoo or whatever. But your email address should always reinforce your brand.
4. Build an Email List.
We use MadMimi for email marketing, and even though we still haven’t gotten into the habit of regular sending (argh), we at least know we need to and are planning on it! The absolute single most important factor to brand-building is repetition. Just think of the injury lawyer in your town who advertises the most and you’ll see the power of repetition at work.
MadMimi also integrates directly with your Etsy shop and allows you to pull your products straight into an email promotion. Thank you very much.
Repetition works in many forms. Email lists, blogging, and social media are all ways to “get your name out there.” But they shouldn’t replace advertising completely. Advertising is the most sure-fire way to get your name in front of people repeatedly. If done well, it can really work for you. And unlike the aforementioned personal injury attorney, it doesn’t have to be annoying to work.
It costs money to advertise and the results are hard to measure in a short amount of time. Pay-per-click advertising such as Google AdWords or CPM advertising on Etsy in the search results are the best for measuring short-term returns. Brand-building advertising, on the other hand, is more of a long-term investment and is usually visual and includes your name, your logo, and your products.
Oh, and ahem, we think EverythingEtsy.com is a great place to advertise! We actually have an email list for advertising sale announcements.
To wrap up this blog post, here is a great Etsy video on brand building.