The Etsy Marketing System
We're gonna start with the marketing system, and this is an umbrella definition of what your marketing should be doing for you. I like to follow the formula, I'm gonna show you the system, I'm gonna walk you through the system in a minute. But any time that I am trying to build and grow my business, I follow a simple formula, and it is to reach potential customers, connect with potential customers, capture their attention, and convert them to actual customers. And that's the underlying movement, and the flow of the buying process that I want my customers to come in and follow. So we're looking at the marketing system. And again, this is the umbrella of activities, these are six activities that your marketing should be set up to do automatically. We're gonna run through this, and then I'm gonna bring it in life throughout several examples for the rest of the day. So you're gonna see it once, and I'm gonna go over the general concepts, and then I'm gonna keep bring it up with you over th...
e day so that you'll really see it come to life. I think that it's easier to... Identify these when you see them in already working models, I think that's always the easiest way to pick them out. So marketing, again, is a broad concept, and it's thrown around as this big general term in our industry, which I feel confuses and overwhelms a lot of makers. So that's my specialty, and the thing that I love most. I really enjoy taking apart a marketing strategy, or building a marketing strategy, and taking it for the systems, and teaching people how to create one that they can repeat, and grow on. And your marketing system can be simple, and effective, and automated, and that's my goal for the class, that's what I'm gonna help you build by the end of the day today. So these six tasks or activities fall underneath the marketing umbrella. And it eases confusion if you can understand these tasks, and understand that this is marketing's job. This is your marketing's job. When you say, I'm marketing today, or I'm working on marketing this hour, it should fall with one of these six activities. This is marketing's job to do. And marketing, as the broad term, means always doing these six things. So a good marketing system covers everything under this umbrella all the time. And the number one thing that you need to do and you need to have is to identify who your potential customers are. As we talked about, there is as much to know about your potential customers as their is your best friend, or your spouse. This is also a personal exercise, and until I created this workbook, and until I really dove into it, and copywriting for crafters, I always just issued the prompts, because I believe that everybody needs to build the ideal customer for themselves. Everybody needs to go through own exercise, that not only helps you know your ideal customer, it helps you know your business better, and it's all very important. So the question to ask to help yourself identify that perfect customer, is who is the perfect customer for my product? That was a little redundant, I know, but it is really saying, who's the perfect match for my style? Who's the person wanting to bring home this product? Who's the perfect match for my brand? What is their life like? And that person's style, and taste, and budget will match everything about what you're offering. So, getting to know your ideal customer is vital, and something that you really definitely wanna spend the time on. It's the oil to a well running marketing system. The number two activity is the actual act of reaching those customers. And this is the most often overlooked in creative business, because as creatives, who are makers and doers and creators, we make a product and we really enjoy the process of making the product, we build the business, and there's also a lot of creativity involved in that, and learning about how to list it online and how to put it online, and we forget that it's also our job to reach our potential customers, to go out and actively pursue potential customers for the product. So if I were to ask you, where are you reaching for your potential customers right now? I would assume that you would say the same thing that most creatives that would say, that I would have said for a few years, and that is well, I'm on Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram, and I have a LinkedIn profile, I don't use LinkedIn that often, but I have one, and I'm on, and you go on and on and on. And basically, we just rattle off all the social media accounts that we've signed up for. However, this task of reaching your potential customers, is not complete until you have, not only reached for them, but successfully connected. Where you feel engaged, where you feel them commenting, where you feel them liking, and boosting, and helping your business grow by being interested in it. So the question to ask to help you reach more potential customers, is how do people typically find products like mine? That gives you a great starting point, for where they start, and moreover, you usually get well immersed in your own industry. You become so in tune with it, you know the language so well, you forget where you started when you were first looking for these products, when you were first looking to grow this business. So you go all the way back to the beginning. You meet your customer where they're starting, and you ask, how do people typically find products like mine? Where do they start? 'Cause that's where you wanna meet them. So there's different ways to reach your customers throughout the different stages. From the time that they find you, to the time that they become a repeat customer, those are things, the way that you typically reach is direct contact. And for us, that means email. Email, everybody needs an email list. The referrals and shares, so word of mouth, and being on social media, that's another way to reach them, as long as you're connecting wherever you're putting your efforts in. A blog is a great way... To reach out. Your customers sharing your product on social media is a great way to reach more customers. And doing industry shows and events, I tried that route for a while, I tried craft shows and things like that. Wasn't my forte, but it works really well for some. And paid advertising is another one. And paid advertising is something we are going to explore and advertise your creative business. So, I was teaching this subject privately. I have a membership program, it's called the Luminaries Club, and I was teaching a class on this specific subject, and as I was talking about reaching the customers, I said to myself, well, 'cause I've been doing it for so many years, my comfort zone is constantly stretching that comfort zone, and so I said to myself, well let me just give everybody an example, let me think of all the different ways that I've reached my customers. I only have 10 minutes to complete the workbook, and my timer was counting down on me. So within 10 minutes I rattled off 42 ways. 42 ways that are not like, shared of Facebook. 42 things that I've tried in order to reach potential customers over the year. And they're like crazy things, like I once rented an actual physical list and sent postcards to people, like randomly, throughout the United States with a coupon code to see if it worked. I've tried everything, so I'll go really above and beyond to reach my customers. What I realized from that, is if I had more time, if I'd given it more time, I could have come up with 101 ways that I've done, and different things that I've tried. I'm gonna keep talking about it throughout the day, because not only because it might give you some ideas, but some of the things I've tried are kinda crazy. But what I realized is, the question I should be asking, is not what have I tried, but what haven't I tried yet? Because I'm gonna go try it. I guarantee you I'll try it to see if I like it, and see if it helps me reach more of the right customers, and if it does I'll keep doing it. So, again, I'm gonna say it again, email should be implemented into your marketing plan immediately if it's not already. It's gonna be the best, most effective, most profitable way to reach your customers. And number three, the number three activity, is engage your potential customers. And the best way to engage your potential customers, is to share your brand message consistently. So, creatives are jack of all trades, this is something we talked about in build an Etsy storefront that sells, and we're often good at several things. And so, yesterday in build the Etsy storefront, we said, don't try to sell all the things that we're good at next to each other, because they probably don't match, and they probably don't make sense. But, we often use our marketing platforms, like our business accounts to share all the things we're working on, and talk about all the different things, and all the interests that we have. And sometimes when a customer comes to you, because you have a strong brand, and because you're consistently sharing a message, it is jarring to hear you talk about something else, when I've signed up to always know you for this category. In our personal lives, of course we have a lot of layers to our personalities, a lot of different interests, but if a brand has a consistent message, it is like showing up to an Italian restaurant, expecting to order pasta, and they say hey, we're having Japanese night tonight. It's not what you signed up for, it's not what you came looking for, and it's not what you've come to expect. It is fun to add personal tidbits. It is fun to show a knitting project if you're a jeweler, and say, trying this out. But if then you go on that tangent, and then everything is about knitting all the time, you really start to confuse the people that signed up for the jewelry. So you have to be careful about the consistency of that message, to really start that engagement, and keep that engagement going. To engage well, your business needs to be one face, one brand, and one source of expertise. It can, and should evolve with your business over time, but it needs a clear purpose. It needs a consistency to it, in order to have the potential customers and the visitors stick. So you wanna hone in on what you have to offer. Do one thing, and do one thing very well, especially when it comes to your Etsy storefront, and your creative business. The question to ask to help you better engage with your potential customers is, what's in it for them? Wherever possible, with whatever you're sharing, or whatever you're talking about, or whatever platform you use, always be wondering, what's in it for them when I share this, or I post this, or I request this from them? Present the benefit that the potential customer can expect to receive, and show them the value of it as a solution. As a solution. When you get this watch, it's gonna be the perfect accessory to your outfit. It's bringing it home. It's making sure that something's completed. We have emotions attached to solutions. We like those details, and we like finished business. So if you can provide me, or you can figure out how your product can provide me that relief, a comfort, or convenience, or somehow improve my quality of life, and help me finish business, help me wrap things up. Then you're really presenting a powerful offer, you're really making a strong suggestion with your product. The number four activity in your marketing umbrella, is to establish trust. So just like in any other relationship in life, trust happens over time as you continue to engage with potential customers. You continue to appeal to their interests, and you continue to treat them like a friend, like you're concerned about them, you care about them, and you talk from a place that... Obviously cares for them. So as your comfort level begins to grow, it doesn't start out with a comfort level between you and your customer. As you first start talking to your customer, it's kind of awkward. And you kind of are always wondering, what am I gonna say? Or, what does this sound like on the other end? Or, how do I start? But as you keep the practicing, just like as with everything else that evolves with creative business, so will your comfort level. You'll begin to speak more intimately with your customers, you'll begin to think more like a friendship is growing, and it'll be more natural for you to communicate, and that communication definitely evolves over time. To establish this trust, you're gonna be using your blog, if you have one, your social media accounts, and your email contacts to answer any questions that that potential customer might be having, to continuously provide value, to continuously show that you care, to keep showing up in their lives in a meaningful, thoughtful way. Your business relationships need to be nurtured and developed, like any other relationships in life would. The question to ask to help you establish trust, is, what makes me the best person for the job? Why am I the best person to fulfill this order? Why am I the best person to provide this information? Why am I the best person for this job? Social proof comes into play here, and social proof means, it's a psychological phenomenon, it means that we're automatically attracted to what we perceive as popular, and skeptical of everything else. We're automatically to what we perceive as popular, and skeptical of everything else. In other words, the best way to get people to see your work, is having a lot of people already looking at it, and it's a conundrum for sure. So this leaves many makers at the bottom of the totem pole trying to get seen and trying to get found. Social proof is hard to get, and easy to grow, because numbers breed numbers. Momentum breeds momentum. So if you don't have social proof, you can hack it. And the way that you hack it, is there's different groups on social media platforms, there are Pinterest group boards that will help you boost each other's posts on social media, and there's Facebook groups that can help you boost your efforts online. So these systems are designed to help you start showing numbers before the numbers actually show up. And the number five activity, is to covert the potential customers to actual customers. And in an effective marketing system, always include ways and opportunities to convert a customer from a visitor, from a potential customer to an actual customer. The question to ask yourself here to help get your customer there, is what makes my customer want to buy? What makes my customer want to buy? In build an Etsy storefront that sells, we really looked at the buying process and what makes the customer wanna buy, you wanna make sure that you're always giving the customer time to consider the offer. They need time to consider the offer, 'cause they're not always gonna buy the first time they see it, but you don't want them to forget that the offer exists. So there's a delicate balance. We're gonna be talking a lot about that, about how to offer and request something, and then remind the customer that that offer exists. So, think about yourself as a buyer, and think about your potential customers. While an offer might tempt them the first time they see it, while an offer might tempt you the first time you see it, you don't immediately convert. You don't always buy the first time you see it, in fact sometimes you feel very tempted, and you think, I'm gonna buy that, I think I'll buy that, but you don't buy it at that moment, you decide to come back to it at a later date. So a truth about online business, is that we're always thinking about our customers way more than they're thinking about us. We wake up everyday thinking about them, and thinking about how we're serving them, and thinking about the last time we contacted them, and thinking about what we're gonna do next for them, and they're not thinking about us. So it's not like a friendship in that form, because they're not thinking about us until we show up in their lives. So when you are contacting your customers, or when you're requesting something, or when you're looking to make them convert, or ask them to convert, remember that, when you send an email three days later to bump them on the sale, you think, oh my gosh, I'm pestering them, they think, oh my gosh, thank goodness she reminded me. I meant to buy that the first time I saw it, but I forgot. So that's a big difference, because they're not thinking, she just emailed me three days ago, is she serious? And that's how I think we feel a lot of times when we're generating an email, and we're building a marketing campaign. It's not like that. We're always thinking about them way more than they're thinking about us. So, number five, converting potential customers to actual customers is going to deserve a lot of time and attention in our marketing strategy today, obviously. It's the bottom line, it's the thing that is actually gonna make us sales, and build our incomes online. It is the most important and most underutilized aspect of creative marketing campaigns, because there's an ask there, and it's sometimes hard to get comfortable asking. But remember that when you deliver a product to a customer, you're serving both of you. You're serving them, and you're serving your business, and they're helping you grow at the same time. So finally, number six is following up with the customer, because email marketing, and repeat business is the key to a thriving online presence. It's the key to a thriving Etsy shop. It's the key to a thriving blog, it's the key to anything that you do online. Email marketing and having customers repeatedly buy, and build that relationship, and create raving fans for your product is the key to a very successful online business. Sales are never a one off deal. They're never just one and done, as we sometimes think of them. And that's why I don't like to talk a lot about Etsy searches, or what you're gonna find with somebody coming through on a product listing a buy one product, because that's a one off sale strategy. I always see... Marketing as the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I always see it as the start of a relationship. I see a sale as pretty much the middle of my campaign, and it had a long beginning, and it's gonna continue on for a long time as well. It has a long follow up. The question to ask yourself when you are following up with customers, is how can I wow them? What can I do on their first sale that will make them wanna come back for more? So for example, you can offer a welcome back coupon, and invite the customer to opt in to the email list. When I was first starting out, I ordered from a potter on Etsy, I loved her work, absolutely loved it, and the package came and it was all colored, like she had markered it all up and it was so adorable, and then inside that package, she had given me a business card, and she had hand written a note with a 10% off coupon any time I wanted to come back and shop. Any time, that coupon never expired. So, I took that business card and I put it right by my computer, so that if I every shopped there again, I would make sure I remember that coupon. What a brilliant marketing strategy. I took her business and I put it front and center where I would shop online, and I looked at it every day, for about six months, it was about six months before I cleared my desk and threw it away, but every day I thought about her business, and I was tempted to shop with her again. So it's a brilliant strategy to make sure that you always consider that one off sale, as the start of repeat business. This is your six step plan to an effective marketing system. And so I'm gonna use my Etsy shop, Energy Shop, as an example how I employ this with a product based business. I have identified my customers. I know their interests, and I know their hobbies, and I know the solutions that they want. I know them very well, and especially after this long, I mean I just, I love getting to know them everyday. Getting to know them better. Then I reach for them on Facebook. There's a lot of different places you can reach for a customer, but I know that I've connected with them on Facebook, and so I put all my efforts there. They're on Facebook and that's what I know they're using most. You know, I reach with my blog on online business to Pinterest, and I use Instagram, and things like that, but that's really more our world, that's people that are very familiar with online. We're the ones spending a lot of time on Pinterest, we're the ones spending a lot of time on Instagram. But the everybody internet user is gonna be most likely on Facebook, they have the Facebook profile. And we know that for sure, we can guarantee everybody has Facebook. And I'm reaching them there because I know I can connect. So, after a while, I started to employ Facebook advertisements, paid advertisements, into my marketing campaign. And I'm gonna show you what to look for in a marketing campaign that you know it's successful enough that you wanna invest a little bit and boost your reach a little bit, and then we are really going to dive into that, in advertise your creative business. And then I engage with them constantly, and I engage with them on Facebook by showing them gem stones that I might be working with, by sharing testimonials of the products and the results people are getting with them, by giving them information, just like the attributes of gem stones, things they might not know otherwise, to get them thinking about the product and sharing the brand message. And then I simultaneously establish trust, and I'm establishing trust with that engagement by showcasing my expertise. I really know what I'm talking about when it comes to this product, and I really know what's in it for them, for the customer when I'm talking about that product. So engagement and establishing trust go hand in hand in your marketing system. They're happening simultaneously. So at this point, I'm looking to convert customers, and so now I'm sharing links. I'm trying to entice customers to sign up. I'm gonna show you great ways to entice customers to sign up off social media platforms, onto your list. I'm sharing offers, I'm sharing products, direct links to product buys, there's direct links to the storefronts with coupon codes, and I'm using those techniques to convert customers and follow up. So that's a bird's eye perspective, and we're going to use the day to explore these strategies that work, and help you find winning marketing strategies you can employ in your technique. Now this is complex material, but we're gonna break it down into different components.
So Lisa, the chatroom is getting really excited about your six steps, and really engaged with what those six steps are and the marketing system. So we asked people what they struggle with the most, and I wanted to read a few of your responses from the online audience. So Daisy Chain Oddities says, "All of them?" Question mark. And Home Spun Country says, that her struggle is just having enough time to do them all. A little Girl's Peace says, "Convert is my big struggle, but it's getting better." And Daisy Chain Oddities also says, "Coming up with content." And finally, The Recycled Library says, "Follow up is my biggest struggle, I think a vibrant email list will help for sure." Now does anyone here in the studio audience have any comments on, if you'd like to share, on what your biggest struggle is, you think in the six steps?
I feel like for me, it's definitely convert. Like, I feel like I engage with people, and can like, talk to them and find, like the types of people that would buy my product, but it always seems like there's a little disconnect with the actual, like, sale, so I'm looking forward to that part.
For me, it's the identify. 'Cause I think I'm not actually my customer. My customer's somebody who's different than me, and I like her... But identifying is one I'm looking forward to hearing.
That's interesting, good. Okay, great. Thank you. So, again, this is a complex system, a lot of working parts, a lot of activities going on.