Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

one great way to increase your sales online- is to start working offline! this great article goes into more depth, but i’m going to summarize the key points for you here.  networking online is  a great resource, but so many of us stop there- when we should really be networking in more traditional ways to maintain a constant flow of new visitors to our shops.

breathe..

network, network, network.  find an organization that you like, and become a member.  there are numerous venues for crafty networking events, and getting involved will only benefit your business.  if your city or a surrounding city is known for it’s artists, you can get in touch with their chamber of commerce and attend their events.  do a google search for ‘art clubs’ or ‘craft clubs’ for you city- and see what’s there! get in touch with your local galleries and attend any events they put on.  and, even if you don’t have time to be involved with the local craft shows- they are a wonderful place to network with like-minded people.

crystal pearl cascade earrings

once you decide on one or two organizations- become a member and get involved.  you’ll meet new people and other artists, and they will certainly come to  you first for products- and even send people your way that want to buy handmade.

the big pink necklace

go into networking meetings with the intent of meeting new people!  if you tend to get a little nervous- find someone to talk to who looks more nervous than you- that will help you both calm down!  make sure to have your oh so cute business cards with you- they can be your best seller- and maybe even a conversation piece.  most importantly, be genuine, ask lots of questions and have fun!

vase in vanilla bean

no doubt, you’ll leave with a bundle of business cards yourself.  make sure to send an email out to everyone you met with and thank them for their time (do this the next day!).  maybe you’ll have time to check out their website or products and make a quick comment.  if you promised them some more information about you- include that as well.  otherwise, make sure you signature includes your shop address and any other pertinent info (maybe your blog, but prob not your twitter).

little house clay pendant

don’t add all of the emails to your newsletter list (just yet) but do stay in touch.  email them every month or so and stay up to date on their going-ons.  when you do form a relationship (and have their permission) you can add them to your newsletter list or post card mailings- but most importantly, keep your business fresh in their minds.

it’s so much easier to network from behind your computer, isn’t it?  face to face communication has just gotten harder and harder- but it will be beneficial.  be yourself, ask questions and follow up- you’ll be both increasing sales and making a professional image for yourself.  have fun! love, bonnie

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4 comments

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  • Great tips in this post – I agree that its important to make offline contacts as well. A great resource to find more informal gatherings is also Meetup.com. Its a free service that allows you to find people in your area that meet – one I have joined has a monthly bead swap.

  • awesome advice lisa- thank you!!

  • Thanks for the tips – do you have any experience with networking with local shops? As I just begin into Etsying, my real dream is to sell to local shops and buyers.

    Also, I have had TWO amazing experiencing getting to work with local clients; I make fancy dresses and got to meet the babe I made one for; and meet the other at the fabric store and work to pick out materials personally – it rocked!!

    Thanks for all your helpful tips Bonnie! You’re an inspiration :)

  • hi moni, thank you! and, yes i have! through networking i have added three shops for consignment (2 local), and have gained quite a few wholesale orders- it’s been invaluable! thanks for the great tips!

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