When I first started on Etsy four months ago, I contacted another Etsian, getartnow, who I discovered actually lives where I do, Port Huron, Michigan. I wanted to know where he got his art prints done and he gave me that information along with some other good advice. He said, "Etsy doesn't really advertise, if you want your shop to be successful, YOU have to be the one to promote it."
Promote it? How the heck do I do that? Well, at the time, I really didn't think too much more about it. I had items to list, a banner & avatar to create and all the other exciting things that go along with setting up shop.
It was sometime during this time that I discovered BNRs. BNRs, for those who do not know are Buy-and-Replace treasuries, treasuries that you can buy into to. You simply visit the shops featured, buy something from one of them, and your shop replaces theirs. While buying in to various BNRs, I got familiar with several good folks. There is one wonderful lady, wimsy, who invited me to join a great forum thread, Goshen's Game Round BNR , started by another wonderful lady, Goshengirl. This thread became home to me quickly. What a friendly, welcoming, supporting group that hang out there! Many of these fine people host most of the BNRs you find in the main treasury at any given time.
It was a couple months later, a sweet girl Amee, of Amee's Adornments convoed me, saying she loved my shop and she invited me to join the More Meaningful Gifts forum. This thread was created by Dorana who is just this little dynamo! We all sit back and wonder how she juggles all the things she does! It was here in this forum that I started learning about various ways to promote my shop, not by somebody telling me, "You should do this", but by learning by example as these smart women go about actually promoting their shops on a daily basis and sharing their knowledge.
Since joining this MMG, without even realizing it, I've learned how to set up an Etsy mini on Facebook, started an ArtFire Shop, learned about Google Analytics, set up a business page on Facebook, joined my Handmade Registry AND became a moderator, learned to Twitter, started this Blog, and more.
In addition to creating and running MMG, Dorana created the myHandmadeRegistry website. This is a great site where folks can go on and create a wishlist for handmade items, a registry just like at Target or Macy's, only handmade items. I help moderate the Etsy University & Handmade Handbook groups. These are both learning groups, you'll find a lot of good advice, tips, links etc. to help you out with your handmade business.
In addition, Dorana has been setting up informative guest speakers on mRH. Last week we had a teleconference with JS Perkins, who has been a Life and Business Development Coach for nearly two decades. She coaches many individuals that are seeking to change their lives for the better and realize their maximum potential. In coming weeks, we will be having guests who will help us other important aspects of running a handmade business.
Well, I didn't mean to ramble on so, but I wanted to make sure I gave kudos to those individuals and groups who have helped me thus far. I have more to accomplish, and even more to learn but I'm always ready! You can find me daily posting on both of the forums I've listed above. I thank all of you in both threads for the love, support and knowledge you have shared so warmly with me. I love you all!!!
PS. Tomorrow, pictures....I promise!