What you should be doing while business is slow...Tips for preparing for the Economy to improve

So you're not making any sales. Or, your sales are WAYYYY down. I feel your pain! In fact, I think we should start a club called "Low Etsy Sales Anonymous".

However there is always a silver lining to any despairing situation. Ours is that we have lots of time to grow our business while we wait for the money to start flowing again. This "down" time is best used preparing for the inevitable recovery of our economy. Here are a few ideas of how to build your customer base while we wait for everyone to start spending again:

1. Social Networking: "Yeah, yeah" you say. "I'm already doing that". Yes, but are you building a real presence online? You should be a member of at least the following sites & ideas for improving your following:

Twitter-set a goal for a certain # of followers. Mine was 2000, and I just reached it the other day!

Facebook-Start a business page if you don't already have one. Load applications that are relevant to your shop and products.

Blogspot or Wordpress-Start a blog!! Follow other blogs and regularly leave comments on them.

Ning (one of their many sites, ie: Indiepublic)-like Twitter, set a # of friends goal.

2. Up your technology game: "Yikes!" you say. Don't be afraid the big bad technology monster. Think of it like a pet...you are in charge! Technology is your friend and the most savvy business people know that if you want to keep up with consumers you must keep up with technology. Here are some links that I have used or tried that will make a difference in how you operate your social networking sites:

1. LinkWithin is a site that allows you to put a "you might also like these stories" after each blog post. Your readers can see an image and the title of 3 other posts in your blog that they might like to also read.

2. Twitterfeed automatically tweets any new blog posts to your twitter acccount

3. Jott This one is for all of the Blackberry / Iphone users. It allows you to use your social networking sites, email, etc. with your voice. No more typing!

4.Tweetlater will automatically tweet for you. But, a warning...be careful how you use this, I leaped before looking and upset a few of my followers unintentionally!

3. Upgrade your photos I think most of us agree this is one of the most daunting tasks associated with having an Etsy shop. I would recommend looking in other Etsy shops to see what works and what doesn't. Here are a few tips I've noticed:

1. Use natural lighting on a sunny day

2. Use patterned backgrounds like tissue paper or the page of a book

3. Show your item as it would be used, ie: clothing on a person, purses filled with items, etc.

4. Get some press Downtime is the perfect time to start reaching out to the media. You could write a press release, and send it out to your local newspapers and television news shows as well as craft magazines. You could also donate an item to a local charity fundraiser, and make sure you have tags and a brochure attached to the item that has your website clearly printed. Another great idea is to send your information to other blogs and see if they would consider featuring your shop, maybe in exchange for a link on your blog?

5. Host a contest I have found that one of the best ways to get people to visit your blog is to have a contest. You can offer one of your items as a prize, which is a great way to introduce buyers to your products. I have seen so many clever ideas for contests-so get creative and launch your own!

The fact of the matter is, the economy will improve! The question is, when is does, will you be ready?


  1. What a wonderful post! Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Linkwithin sounds like a great app! thanks for the tips

  3. Great tips & advice. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks so much - this is a great reminder and doing something productive feels so much better than sitting and worrying!

  5. great tips. I SHOULD be using my time more productively . . .

  6. Thanks for the advice! I've been wondering what I can do to build my shop and business. ~Off to get started!

  7. Thanks! Great blog...you are a saint. I just opened a twitter and blogspot, as well as hosting a mother's day giveaway. The only I haven't been doing is leaving comments . Great Tip!

  8. Thanks for the advice! Computer challenged, but trying to figure it all out.

  9. Thanks great tips. I have been trying a few of these. I guess we all need to hang in here together. Things will get better!

  10. A very informative and timely post--thanks!
    Smiles, Karen

    ps Love the music!

  11. Great advice! I'll have to check out LinkWithin.

  12. Holy Moly! Wow, thank you all so much for your kind comments! I especially liked Jo's comment...we do all have to hang in there together and ride this one out :)

  13. Thank you. Even though I know some of this stuff already, it's great to be reminded what I should be doing.