I’m still new to cracking the Etsy Code: consistent, frequent sales and a solid customer following. Though I know to list my products often and have been making sales right along it sometimes feels that some “savvy” sellers are in on a big secret that I’m not. Is it good photographs? Networking within the Etsy community? Fancy packaging? A particular price point? Text block and cover kits for Coptic book structures are my best sellers thus far. However, just yesterday, I sold a $250 hand-embroidered book custom fit to an altered box. You never know!
My marketing mentor, fellow bookbinder and blogger Book Girl shared this lovely new e-book by Dot Creations with me a few days ago. It’s full of great advice collected fron 30 Etsy sellers. Aaaannnd IT’S FREE! All she asks is that you share it with others, so here you go: Download Secrets of Savvy Etsy Sellers Good Luck!
A big part of running your own small business is experimenting with different venues and modes for marketing your product. For artists and crafters there are many options: craft shows, galleries, teaching, online etsy shops etc. I started this year with one of my bigger experiments; to solidify my line of wedding books and to participate in Asheville’s Wedding Festivals Expo.
I walked through the expo last January and was well aware that, not only were there no other book makers, but that the only other “hand-craft” based business in the entire expo (besides photographers, caterers and cake makers of course) specialized in hand-built, rustic arches under which you could say your vows.
“Hmm…,”I thought, “this could be a good thing or a bad thing.” On one hand, if you are one of many artsy vendors at an event like the Big Crafty customers expect handmade work and are able to compare you with others who do similar work. On the other hand, if you are offering one of the only hand-crafted items in a sea of Mary Cay, Interior Design and wedding DJ booths your work will stand out that much more. Being always open to learning along the way and despite the large expense to a small producer like myself, I decided to go for it.
The theme was LOOOOVE (of course) so my mother, who was assisting me for the day, and I dressed in red hand-sewn dresses with red tights, pink cheeks, lots of smiles and an abundance of hearts cut from snazzy decorative paper.
The day came and went. We talked with hundreds of brides and interested mothers, sisters and friends of brides. Many people had questions and took my printed pamphlets of wedding book information and business cards. Surprisingly enough, my most immediate customer response came from photographers and wedding planners who were also showing at the expo. All of the sudden I had to think about wholesale prices for my wedding line which is somewhat new to me. I’ve spent the last five years doing custom work directly with customers and my retail sales are consignment agreements.
So, in conclusion, only time will tell whether the Expo was a successful business move on my part. In the end, it’s up to me to respond to interested customers quickly, be clear about the ordering process, send out mailings to the registered bride list, make high quality work and to follow through with a pricing structure that is supportive of the bride’s budget as well as my own. Though it takes alot of time, followup marketing is where it’s at.
A.Fain Books Custom Wedding Book Options:
*12×12 Large Photo Album
*8×8 Medium Photo Album
*6×8 Accordion Fold Album
*Guest Book/Memory Album
*Dos-a-Dos Love Journal
*Vow Brainstorming Journal Set
*Mini Origami Star Book
“Annie Fain’s approach to book making is unusual in that she involves her customers in the design process. She wants to ensure that your album and guest book set is truly “yours.” Together you’ll discuss the style or theme of your wedding and your color palette, to develop a wedding package that reflects both you and your special day.”