|I'll be changing my banner soon!|
June 19th was my six Etsy-versary! My my, how time flies! Just six years ago I attended the first I.C.E event in Atlanta, heard about a little site called Etsy and decided to sign up. Turns out, I was the first person to register a shop, how cool is that?
Now that six years have passed, I can tell you a few things I have learned:
- Just because you built it, doesn't mean they'll come. Etsy is now bigger and better and it's hard to stand out in a sea of artsy, crafty goodness. Just because you have a shop, doesn't mean you're going to sell everything you post.
- Show me what you're working with. Make sure to have good, if not GREAT, photos of your items. I recently borrowed a DSLR from a friend and re-shot photos of ALL my items. Now everything looks so much cleaner and better than before. If you cannot get your hands on a fancy camera, use what you've got and make the most of it. Research different lighting techniques, or better yet, go out in your front yard and use natural light.
- Make art because you love it, not because you want to get rich. I don't know about you, but I can tell when someone's doing something JUST to make money. There's no passion in the art and only dollar signs in their eyes. It's a huge turn-off. If you want to make money, get a regular 9 to 5 job. You'll get it quicker.
- Do Work Son! Now that you've set up your shop, tell everyone about it! Network! Network! Network! Use Facebook and Twitter to your advantage. Send your shop link to all your friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. Then keep making stuff!
- There is no secret. Really, there isn't. All the things I've listed above can be applied to almost any sort of freelance gig. The more work you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Etsy is the same way!
I don't make a living off my Etsy sales, and I am okay with that. But I have noticed that when I have the time to put into my online shop, the more sales I make. In fact, there was one ENTIRE year where I didn't make a single sale. That year, I decided to go to college full time, so I definitely didn't have the time to make & sell art. This year, in between working at the arts council, learning to tattoo, painting sets for plays, and taking care of the family, I still have very little time to dedicate myself to my own artwork. But I'm slowly working on scheduling more time to make art, and one day I hope to make enough from my Etsy shop to pay for a studio somewhere in town. It's good to have goals, right?
Here's to another six years!
P.S. Here's an interview I did when Etsy turned 3: Old School Etsians: momentofstars
P.P.S Want to learn more about selling on Etsy? Read the Storque: http://www.etsy.com/storque/seller-handbook/