As retail sales move increasingly online, commerce in the arts is rapidly shifting. Marketing tips for handmade artisans are so pervasive that marketing your marketing tips is now also a mushrooming phenomenon. While there are a few stellar sites offering quality advice for free, such as Handmadeology, which has, overall, the best, most up-to-date articles, much of the advice is about how to establish link farms on every available social media site. While this grows Etsy’s business by increasing page views, and may result in some sales, it won’t grow your business. Why? Because you really don’t need individual sales. What you need is True Fans. It takes a lot more effort to sell 1 thing to 1,000 people than to sell 1,000 things to 1 person. A True Fan is a loyal, repeat buyer. You establish this relationship by offering a genuine connection, a way to engage people who are interested in you. One of the best ways to do that is to look at social media sites as a way to virtually entertain, to throw a big party, to have an intimate dinner, to open your studio to a weekly discussion.
So, your Pinterest boards could create a virtual space serving your favorite treats to eat, decorated in your own style, with bookcases of your favorite books. Just like your home, the things that you make are there, but your entire house is not a billboard. And there aren’t price tags all over, either.
Your blog is a peek into your workspace, with a chance to see how you work, and what you think about.
Your Facebook business page could be a cafe where you meet friends for a quick chat.
Once I understood this, using social media sites became as natural for me as telling a kindred spirit to “stop on by” when you are in my neighborhood.
by Lee Wolfe