Yes, creating a presence on Etsy is a good starting point for many creative businesses. And if all you really want is a basic outlet for your artistic works, you can stop there.
Etsy provides valuable services for creative people. For example,
- Etsy’s platform is relatively easy to use.
- Etsy sets up the “Buy” process, so all your customers have to do is click a button.
- Etsy handles all the money transactions, a real hassle for many creative people, especially those who ship internationally.
- And Etsy can provide limited promotion.
That’s no small matter.
Or if you chance to be one of those blessed creative people who have all the artistic outlets that you can handle, wonderful! Reading this blog post likely isn’t a top priority for you.
But for others — those who would like to grow their businesses in new directions — continue on ….
Create Your Own Blog or Website
This really is Priority Number One.
- There is something about having your own blog or website that just instills a “Professional” feeling.
- One of the biggest advantages is that you aren’t competing with everyone else in your genre, as you do on an Etsy page. Your site is your site. Period.
- The other huge advantage is that it just opens up so many more marketing options than you had before.
- Having your own site gives you so many more options for presenting your creations— different views, different colors, different sizes.
- It is also a whole lot easier to promote to your own email list of your clients, those customers who have already purchased from you and have liked what your have to offer.
I could go on for several more pages, but you get the idea.
And even for solopreneurs, creating your own website is not difficult. Heck, you are already creative, and that’s the hardest part of all!
Completely ignore this suggestion if you are happy where you are. But if you want a stronger future, with more income, then it is time to really look at it.
Solopreneurs Can Promote on Amazon
Yes, Amazon does work with individual artists. The big caveat here is that you really need to handle your customers professionally. Should Amazon detect unhappy customers, you will be cut off without recourse.
As an individual artist with Amazon, you will likely need to ship your product and handle any follow up with your customer. Amazon will handle the money transaction, taking their fee (a small percentage), then sending you the rest.
Those who are most successful on Amazon are those who can create several items that are virtually identical. If your work is unique with each piece, you will have a hard time keeping your postings current. The cheapest is not always the best, not even on Amazon. Never ever compromise your quality for cheap.
Cross Promote With Partnerships
Creating a partnership is one of the very strongest ways of selling more product, and one of the most over looked promotional tools.
Look for artists who are non-competing, but comparable in quality to your work. An artist who specializes in silver jewelry might look for marketing partners who create stone jewelry, or exquisite scarves, or even fabric art or stained glass works. The idea is to find those who create artistic pieces that have the same feeling as your work.
Once you have found such a partner, then cross-promote on each other’s website, and to each other’s email list. This instantly doubles the number of potential buyers for your products.
The more marketing partners you can identify, the stronger your own marketing becomes! You can triple it, or quadruple it or magnify it by 20 in no time at all.
If you sell from your own site, then Yes, you will need to learn how to set up PayPal or a similar payment processor. Inside our Master Class “From Passion to Profitability” you will discover a step by step guide to E-Junkie, one of the easier, and stronger, services to use. On the plus side, more profit will fall into your own pocket.
A Word About “Marketing” for Create Solopreneurs
Sometimes creative folk cringe at the word “marketing”. I know I did for a long time. I had a whole slew of “YIKES!” moments when I began my marketing efforts.
But marketing is not shoving stuff into people’s faces. Even if you could do that, odds are that they wouldn’t buy anything.
Marketing is simply presenting your efforts to those who might like to have your creation. Sometimes they say Yes, and sometimes they say No. But if you don’t present it — don’t MARKET it — there will never be any Yesses.
That’s why marketing programs like Amazon and partnerships are so important. These are ways for you to put your product in front of people who are looking for it.
In From Passion to Prosperity we devote a whole section to marketing for solopreneurs, for this is truly what will make or break your business.
There’s no need to go cold turkey in setting up your blog or website. Hold onto to your Etsy site, maybe even keep it forever. Use your new blog as a new approach to marketing, not your only approach.
Going solo isn’t always easy, and I wish you every success!