If you feel intimidated by your audience’s size and how that is going to impact your success on Etsy – this one is for you!
If you’ve been putting off opening shop on Etsy until you have a big audience, don’t! I’ll explain why.
You don’t need an audience
Many would-be Etsy sellers, and quite a few already-sellers – feel that they cannot see success on Etsy because they don’t have a large following. There are lots of ways this manifests. It might sound like, “I don’t have many Instagram followers” or “I don’t have a mailing list.”
Basically, it boils down to a general malaise of “I don’t have an audience to sell to yet so I’m waiting for that before I open my shop” and/or “I don’t have an audience to sell to so I cannot be successful on Etsy.”
Thankfully though, those thoughts are actually entirely incorrect!
You do NOT need a big, organic audience to have success on Etsy! You don’t need an audience at all, actually.
This is one of the main reasons we LOVE Etsy so much. You don’t need a big audience or audience at all to sell to because Etsy has it for you.
The thought process is decent. It’s excellent that sellers see the value in having a following to nurture and connect with and make sales to. But when it comes to Etsy specifically, if you DON’T have that audience, Etsy has it for you, and Etsy can help you build your customer base long term.
The benefits of Etsy’s audience go deeper than merely existing.
First of all, Etsy’s audience (all the people coming to Etsy.com daily) is HUGE. It is frankly gigantic. This is because cumulatively sellers are working together, and Etsy has their own promotional activities going on.
The next awesome thing that will help you see success on Etsy is that this is traffic you didn’t have to actively work for. Lots of traffic comes to Etsy.com every day whether you worked for it or not. (Pretty sweet.)
Finally, this traffic coming to Etsy.com is full of potential buyers as well as influential people. In short, Etsy is generating a lot of shoppers as well as people with power. Let’s discuss:
These are people looking to purchase things right now on the spot or shortly. They’re looking for items like gifts, or for weddings, and babies, or for themselves, or home decor, like for all different purposes, all different points of life, all different occasions.
success doesn’t always come from a sale
That alone is great. But we are also lucky that Etsy attracts people of influence such as bloggers, editors, published, wholesalers… etc. etc.
I have had many lucrative opportunities come my way via Etsy because the right people saw my shop. Magazine editors, people who dress movie and TV sets, bloggers… just to name a few, are continually looking to Etsy sellers for fresh, unique things to feature.
Many of those sorts of opportunities are ultimately more profitable than a single sale made to a single buyer.
So to be clear: you want to have a presence on Etsy
This traffic is already warmed up to help you see success on Etsy in two essential ways:
One, they are warm to the idea of purchasing something. Etsy is an e-commerce platform. People are expecting to see things for sale and looking for things for sale when they browse Etsy. As compared to a platform like Instagram where people may or may not necessarily be looking for items to buy outright.
And two, they’re warm to purchasing or collaborating with people like you; small independent makers, people who are purveyors of unique goods!
This traffic that exists on Etsy is absolutely ideal, and you didn’t have to work for it. It’s coming to Etsy regardless. This is a massive win for sellers.
Your role as a seller is NOT to send your traffic to Etsy – which is why you don’t need a big audience, to begin with. Your role is to make your Etsy shop as visible as possible to the people who are ALREADY on Etsy. Those people who are already coming to Etsy whether you sent them there or not. And you want to appeal to Etsy in all of the ways that you can make yourself more visible to that traffic.
Search optimization isn’t your golden ticket
Obviously, search is part of that, but there’s so much more to it than SEO. I always like to mention that because Etsy sellers are really attached to the idea that search is the be-all, end-all of their experience, and it isn’t at all.
There are many ways to appeal to Etsy, so your shop can be more visible to that warm and lovely pool of people who are already coming to the platform.
Are you wondering why I said NOT to send your traffic to Etsy? Let me explain. Even if you have a large audience, you don’t want to send those people to Etsy. We all know how difficult it is to generate traffic, be noticed on social media, and get people to click the links we want them to. Once you’ve done all of this excellent work to generate interest and traffic, and clicks from your profile to somewhere, you want those people going somewhere where it is 100 percent about you! You want to send your organic, actively earned traffic to YOUR site, not Etsy. Listen to episode 93 for more info on this!
You don’t want to send your traffic to Etsy, you want Etsy to send their traffic to you.
(This is the difference between Etsy earning their commission and you paying Etsy for work YOU did. Something to think about!)
So there you have it. It really does not matter how many followers you have, you can still see success on Etsy! If no one knows who you are, Etsy can connect you to people, and over time, it will help you build your organic audience. That’s why having an optimized Etsy experience is gonna help you build, not just your shop, but your entire brand on and off of Etsy.
The most important thing for sellers to understand is that every ounce of energy you put into this platform should come back. Being optimized and visible on Etsy is so essential for the longevity of you building your entire business, and your entire brand. Look at Etsy as a really valuable tool in your business’s big picture – not your business, the end. Because it’s not!
*This post is written and published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.