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First Time Etsy-ing and I'm Scurrrrd

JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
edited January 2019 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok so a while back I made some prints and tshirts of my illustrations for a thing and sold virtually none of them. I'd like to get rid of this stuff. So I'm thinking about setting up an Etsy store for my various art related things I make. I don't really plan on selling much I guess but I like the idea of having a store linked to my various profiles just in case some rube UH UM I MEAN a fan wants to spend money on my junk. Makes me seem more professional.

Anyway. I ain't never done did this kinda thing so I'm totally open to advice on selling, hashtags, photographing product, shipping, whatever. I have, at the moment: pen and ink illustration prints, a box of tshirts, some sketchbooks and a few stickers. Eventually I will have more prints, stickers and maaaaaaaaaybe a new shirt design or something. I'll attach a few pictures of my work to kind of give an idea of the flavor of what I'm gonna be selling.

Lotta kind of fantasy ass skull stuff. Swards n sarcery like.

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  • DeadfallDeadfall I don't think you realize just how rich he is. In fact, I should put on a monocle.Registered User regular
    edited January 2019
    First that's some awesome artwork!

    Second I don't have an Etsy but I do run a small Shopify shop. I'm assuming Etsy links multiple sales channels to your shop? Like my Shopify look links to my Instagram and Facebook so I can sell though those channels. Definitely look into that because social media for small shops are huuuuuge.

    You'll want to start following similar accounts on Instagram. See what hashtags they use. Start commenting on similar pages. This will start to build your social proof profiles. Nobody trusts an online store with no social media presence unfortunately.

    Start posting at least once a day, or at least every day during the week. Use the same hashtags to start building your brand. Posts should range from products for sale to music tracks from YouTube. So for example your art reminds me of like Amon Amarth, so if that's something you're into I'd start putting stuff like that on your pages. Viking metal and stuff. Cool photos of your art process, black and white pictures of you packing and shipping. If you go to a bar and order a beer and start drawing you better believe you'll want an artsy photo of that. People like buying from small stores that look authentic and real.

    Start up and learn how to effectively use Pinterest. I didn't even know what Pinterest was before I started my store but I get a decent amount of traffic from there. Start pinning similar art and Viking stuff and Gothic dnd liches and things that look cool to you and also reflect your brand. You know what kind of vibe you're trying to express, show it!

    Facebook advertising is cheap and can lead traffic to your Facebook (I would do this first to build an audience) and then also to your Etsy. Facebook is invaluable because it tracks what key words are hitting for every ad. Google ads are even more in depth to way.

    I'm not successful by any means (mine is just a side hustle for now) but I've learned a ton. If you want to bounce any ideas off me feel free to pm me!

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  • CelloCello Registered User regular
    This is some really cool art, Juggs

    It also might be a good idea to check into some local physical art spaces that might let you put stuff up for sale if you haven't done so already, because I think there's absolutely a market for your kind of work; coffee shops, certain types of bars, etc. Similarly, you might have some nearby art/artisan festivals that'll let you have a table and put some stuff up for sale that way! All of that is something having a proper Etsy store to link to via business cards will help with, too, because some folks (like me, usually) will shop at those kinds of events but mostly mark down some stores for later when I have more spending money.

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  • DeadfallDeadfall I don't think you realize just how rich he is. In fact, I should put on a monocle.Registered User regular
    Oh also do something cool and unique for shipping. So like we sell pin up retro style clothing, so we put a cherry lollipop and an handwritten thank you note on one of those vintage pin up illustration post cards that usually has a code for like 10 percent off their next purchase.

    Shipping with little personal touches goes a long way in making you memorable.

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Etsy is a massive amount of work, and you have to pay for listings even if you don't sell anything. Etsy works best when you have a larger number of listings (over 100), because that increases the chances of getting one of your listings (and therefore, your shop) noticed by customers.

    I definitely second the idea of seeing if you can sell some of your work locally, basically everything @Cello said.

    You can work out an established web-based shop if you want, but you may have to pay a bit for it, and you'll definitely have to research a ton to make sure you actually sell something. One of the best things to figure out initially is "who is my customer"? Your branding, photography-of-products, tags/descriptions/titles are going to have to all be figured out. What keywords will land you the most hits? On Etsy especially, if you don't have volume, and you don't have a unique niche product, you're going to have to set yourself out from the crowd. How will you do that? Definitely spend some time on Etsy and see if you can do some research beforehand on your competition and how they do things.

  • JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    Most of the stuff I have/will have was actually made for an art fest! This area is just kinda... dry wrt my kind of art. It's something I and several other of my peers are actively working on.

    The volume of product thing makes sense and also suuuucks jeez man. I get its definitely a saturated market and requires hella dang work to stand out. Not sure I really have that kind of time unfortunately. I was originally looking into store envy but after some conversations etsy seemed the most feature rich for the price I guess? The best option would probably be to make my own online store but that requires work and numbers and junk. Math? I've also heard about red bubble as a way to generate some (admittedly small) passive income from designs and what not. I'll probably look into that as well.

  • JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    I did a little more looking around and came across something called Big Cartel which I think is like a Shopify but made by and specifically for independent artists. It's got different pay walls that nets you different stuff and seems a little feature bare but based on the reviews if you're not planning on selling a huge amount of product it's all pretty easy and straightforward. One of my favorite artists uses it for his shop and it seems like a pretty decent layout. I may give it a shot since it's only about $10 a month.

    I'll need to look into how to like, customize it or whatever though.

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