“Step Outside Your Etsy Comfort Zone”
“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.“
co-author of The One Minute Millionaire
Esty is a great platform in which to start a business.Â When you decided to open your shop on Etsy, you instantly gained access to millions of potential buyers and tremendous marketing opportunities.Â Over the past year, we’ve published lots of business tips to help you price your creations, improve your photos, get a handle on SEO andÂ understand changes implemented by an ever-growing and changing Etsy, just to name a few. But, there is a whole world outside of Etsy just waiting to buy and try your creations.
Once you start thinking of your Etsy shop as a “Business” and not just a shop on Etsy, you begin thinking of ways to grow your business.Â The trick in growing your business is reaching beyond Etsy.Â Once you step outside your Etsy comfort zone you are suddenly in totally different territory where you must build your own following and really build your brand.
6 ways you can grow beyond Etsy:
1. Get Social
If you aren’t using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and blogs, you are missing out on an opportunity to grow your client base. Marketing and in this case social marketing are an important part of growing your business. It’s a way of telling people, “Hello, I’m open for business and my products are awesome.”
Building a “fan” base helps build credibility and can help you build a loyal following.Â Brand loyalty is what you should be striving for, this is something that even the biggest of companies struggle to achieve.Â You want to be come the Hellmans or the Heinz of trade, social media is an inexpensive way to help you get there.Â You give your products life and yourself a platform to share your complete awesomeness.
2. More than One Way to Shop
Believe it or not, even though there are millions are familiar with Etsy, there are even more who have never even heard of Etsy.Â You can expand your target market just by building a shopping site outside of Etsy where non-Etsy members can shop and buy your fabulous products.
Today more than ever, building a shop outside of Etsy is easy as pie.Â You have several options:
- Have a blog? Build a shop page, upload pictures, add description and use PayPal buttons. You get an instant shop.
- One of my favorites is Mals-e.com, Mals integrates with your Paypal and provides a very nice shopping cart FREE, you can just add the Mals-e buttons to a webpage or blog for an instant shopping site.
- Don’t have a blog or a hosted site?Â Try: GetShopped.com (FREE),Â BigCartel.com (FREE for up to 5 products), Cashie.biz (Pay 1% of your total transcations)Â or e-Junkie.com ($5/mo for up to 10 products or $8/mo for up to 20 products).
- If you have a self-hosted blog, you probably have access to a cPanel which offers some free carts like ZenCart and OSCommerce. These are easy to setup and you can find free templates on just by doing a quick Google search.
3. Share the Knowledge
Teaching is a great way to build credibility and get your business out there in the public eye. This can be for little to no money, in fact you could make money by offering a community class through your local adult education center which is offered by most public schools.Â What you teach is up to you, you could teach people one of your craft skills or a personal skill.Â For example, if you have a unique skill for marketing, you could teach an unconventional marketing class. Or you could even teach people how you do what you do when creating your items.
I remember taking a hand blown glass bead class about two years ago from a women who made beautiful beads.Â The class was fun, I got to make my own glass bead and I learned about everything that when into creating the beads, including the costs involved. Today I have a new gained respect for this art and have no interest in pursing it.
4. Join the Club or Association
I absolutely enjoy networking with other businesses. Organizations such as theÂ Chamber of Commerce, women’s associations, and other associations and groups that meet on a regular basis are a great vehicle to get your name out there.Â Businesses need other businesses, it’s a cycle.Â One hand washes the other.Â You want to make connections with local retailers who may be interested in adding your product to their current line and corporate officers who may be looking for gifts for their employees.Â The possibilities are endless with live networking
5.Â License Your Creation
There’s tons of money to be made in product licensing. What does product licensing involve? It involves find an existing product-line manufacturer already selling other products into your target market and convincing them that they should add your product to their product line and share their profits on that product with you.Â Ok, so I’m oversimplifying this point, but with a little research you could join the big time retailers and give them a run for their money – literally.
6. Create eBooks on Your Trade
People are always interested in learning how to do something and you my friends have a plethora of knowledge. In fact, much of your knowledge may even be specialized knowledge.Â You could create a series of eBooks that help readers learn about the tools of your trade or about the history of your products.Â It cost nothing to publish an eBook via Kindle or Nook Books which are the two most popular e-readers and you could charge $5 – 10 for your book.Â This alone would create another source of income for you AND it gets you and your business in the eyes of a population that may not have known about you otherwise.