This article is part of my “How to Make Planner Stickers to Sell on Etsy” guide.
It was quite a struggle for me to write this post.
Not because I don’t have anything to share, but because I am definitely not an expert when it comes to advertising. In fact, most of my life I have actively avoided voting for myself in competitions, let alone trying to persuade others to do so as well. Unfortunately, starting a business sometimes requires that we step outside our comfort zones; which means I have been forced into learning a thing or two about advertising.
In this article, I’ll be sharing everything that I’ve learned about how to effectively promote your stickers, as well as some creative ideas to boost your business. I’ve also collected a few links to other blogs and websites that were written by people that actually are experts in the subject to further help you learn about promoting your Etsy shop.
1. Use your stickers
One of the most important tips I can give you is to actually use your own stickers. You will learn so much about your product by becoming your own customer. If you simply follow trends and make assumptions about good ideas for new products, you might not realize that they don’t fit as nicely on the page as anticipated, or that they don’t actually solve the intended problem. In order to effectively speak about your products, it is crucial that you become your biggest fan first.
There are also some tangible benefits to using your own stickers:
Post your daily spreads to Instagram or other social media platforms - By using your own stickers, each day becomes an opportunity to share content without being too obvious or repetitive. Experiment with different tags and filters to find what works best for you! You can also join various planning groups dedicated to stickers to become part of a community and benefit from the targeted audience. Sharing on social media is great because potentially thousands of people can see your product for free!
Make YouTube videos - Although more work intensive, starting a YouTube channel is a great way to show your stickers in action. “Plan with me” videos are very popular within the community, and the reduced number of content creators on YouTube vs other social media platforms means that your videos will have much greater visibility than a simple post anywhere else.
2. Form Connections
With so many other sticker shops in the market, forming connections within the community becomes a vitally important component to your success. First and foremost, you should try to connect with your audience: become a member of the community, make friends, and don’t be a robot that is only concerned with making sales. Not only will you find greater enjoyment in the process, but you will find that showing your humanity to others makes your appear more trustworthy and real. People are more likely to make a purchase if they know the face behind the shop.
There are other benefits to connecting with the community as well:
Sticker swaps – Trading stickers with others is a great way to spread your products around the community. Everyone loves receiving new stickers, and swaps are a great way to make your shop better known!
Collaborate with friends – Have a friend that also owns a sticker shop? How about an artist/photographer friend or social influencer? Doing a collaboration is an excellent way to share audiences that will benefit both people. Work together on a new product, create stickers based around favorite words/phrases, or turn the collaboration into a public challenge. Either way, ask your friend to share your sticker store on their social media accounts, and do the same for their business. This can potentially double the visibility of your stickers and bring new people into the community.
Work out a deal with other business owners – You are not just limited to working with others in the planning community. If you’re feeling bold, try to get your products in a subscription box, or start a new local box with a group of friends! Know the owner of a local bookstore or café? Perhaps you could get your product on the shelf. Target small businesses that have the most flexibility with respect to managing their stores. They may be willing to let you sell from their shelves if your products match their overall mission and they get a cut of the profits.
3. Happy Customers are Key
Remember, the customer is always right. Five star ratings are incredibly important in today’s world, and having just one bad review could steer potential customers away from your shop. You should always try your hardest to keep customers happy by fulfilling orders in a timely manner, maintaining quality standards, and trying to resolve any potential issues in the most professional and courteous way possible.
Additionally, I take a few extra steps to give the customer a pleasurable shopping experience:
Send Freebies - It is not uncommon nowadays for shops to send a small freebie with each order. Everyone likes surprises, especially when it comes to receiving more than was purchased. Receiving a freebie will almost certainly brighten someone’s day. You should make it clear that the extra sticker sheet is a freebie and not a mistake.
Write a Personal Note – I designed my business cards in a way that provided room for a handwritten message. A handwritten note can provide a sense of luxury to an item and a personality to your business. When someone orders from my shop, I like to personally thank them for their purchase. Customers get a large amount of satisfaction knowing they purchased a hand-crafted item from an individual, not a mass-produced item from a giant corporation.
Establish a Brand – I will be writing a separate article on how to establish a consistent brand, but remember that branding should not be ignored entirely. When a customer spends money, they both would like a professional, yet personal experience. Branding is a great way to maintain a certain level of professionalism. Remember that everything you do online and every product you ship reflects on your brand.
4. Attend Events
While it’s completely possible to run a successful shop entirely from the internet, you may find that attending real life events are a great way to get a boost in sales or to become better known locally in the community. I haven’t personally done either of these two suggestions yet, but I do hope to set up a booth at a craft show in the future.
Craft Shows and Flea Markets – I’ve walked around craft shows before and I’m always amazed at the variety of beautiful products for sale. The ability to talk to people about your product in real life means you might be able to introduce new people to the hobby!
Planning Conventions and Meetups – I’ve never actually attended a planning convention, but they are obviously a great way to meet others that have the same interests, as well as attend panels on related subjects. Recently, crafts stores have been catering to the planning community and I’ve seen multiple planning meet-up events at Michaels lately. If you’re feeling social, give them a try!
I am still learning and growing in this Etsy journey, just like all of you, but I think the experiences I’ve had so far have justified sharing some of the insights I’ve learned. I hope that at least one of these strategies were not something that you have previously thought about, but that you may now be inspired to try.
For additional articles about how to grow your sticker business, check out these articles below:
- Etsy Seller Handbook
- 26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business
- 21 Ways to Market Your Business Online