How do I summon a passion for marketing?
November 2, 2018 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I’m great at applying myself to tasks that have definite answers or solutions. I’m great at applying myself to tasks that are creative and expressive, where the right answer is a matter of taste. But sales/marketing falls somewhere in the middle in a very stressful way.

I’m a small-time artist, conveniently underemployed, hoping to sell my art/jewelry on Etsy to help make ends meet. But I have a fear that no matter what I do, I’ll have 0 views and 0 sales.

There are endless guides on how to tweak your shop and SEO your items, so I’m worried that I’ll invest hundreds of hours and still fail, resulting in a negative ROI and incredible damage to my confidence.

(A little context: I had my first art walk street fair last night that I spent two solid weeks prepping for. I made three sales, which is two more than I expected. On the upside, I have a few hundred dollars worth of product ready and waiting. On the downside, I need some mild success to remind me I’m not wasting my time. I’ve dabbled in crafty business for the past decade, but this time I’m taking it more seriously.)

Question in a succinct form: how do I psyche myself up for amorphous marketing tasks/projects when the financial reward for doing them is outside my control?
posted by itesser to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just start. Don’t be afraid to fail, invest the amount of time and money that you have for one week. Look at the results, but just a little bit, again limiting the time you devote to both figuring out the problem and changing the thing that you’re doing. You will find that you will work this out pretty quickly.
posted by warriorqueen at 12:00 PM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

The biggest step to sales and marketing is to create something that people want. I would focus all of your energy on the creative side of things. Typically with most creatives, if you are making something people want, people will actively beg you to set up a website or something. Until then, keep working on making your product awesome!
posted by bbqturtle at 12:23 PM on November 2, 2018

Before people can beg you to set up a website, they have to know you're making stuff :) So you have to show them!

Don't think of it as marketing (that term carries a lot of weirdness for lots of people, I know) -- think of it as getting to share the full story of your art and creative process with others. Instagram is great for this (and free!). Post pics of your finished work, of course, but there are lots more ways to share -- for example, take photos as you work on a piece, and then post one process shot a day leading up to the reveal of the finished piece. Make sure your etsy store is the link in your bio, and mention that when you post a finished piece that's for sale.

Other types of content to post are things that inspire you, photos of your workspace (people love workspace tours!), photos of your art supplies. Use plenty of relevant hashtags, post daily, and follow lots of people who make similar things. Follow people back who follow you (as long as it's not weird spam accounts or whatever). Engage with people who comment on your photos. Comment on other people's work. Make friends with folks in the art community on Instagram. Do collabs. Try challenges. InkTober is a huge one, with a very popular hashtag. But there are plenty more like that. This all takes time, of course, but it is worth it to build a strong following you can direct to your shop. You can set up your Insta to automatically cross-post to Facebook so your friends who are only on there can also see the awesome stuff you do.

Etsy listings do need to have good keywords, but you really need to be promoting your art on other channels. As many veteran Etsy folks can tell you, trying to advertise in-platform is frustrating in the extreme. It's a very saturated marketplace. Instagram gives you a chance to come at it from a different, far more effective, direction.

You can also do paid ads on Instagram, but that's a whole other thing you can try later.
posted by ananci at 2:14 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Join some Etsy seller groups on Facebook - they are a great source of information and examples.
posted by Calzephyr at 4:25 PM on November 2, 2018

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