Ask The Entreprenette

How can I increase sales?

Hello Sarah,
I recently opened an Etsy shop selling personalized accessories for little girls, moms, teachers, and much more! We are still in the process of growing our site and we plan to expand to other types of accessories as well. I have been doing a handful of blog giveaways and trying to grow my FB and Twitter followers.

I am contacting you to see if you have any more suggestions or ways to get our name out there. I feel the blog giveaways have helped some, but not much with actual sales at this point. I know there are places to pay as sponsors on blog sites and other paid advertising, but since we are just getting started we can’t that at this time. I’m sure there are ways to increase sales by paying but I’m going for the time and hard work route:) Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much,
Julia Forbes – Once Upon a Sugar Tree


Dear Julia,

I took a look at your Etsy site and your products are very cute and I can see the appeal. I do have a few suggestions for a few “free” sales and marketing things you can do to increase fans, followers and sales – trifecta!

  • From your website, I clicked on FB and Twitter and it took me to the Etsy pages.  Is this required?  If not, then I suggest redirecting those to your proper pages so it is easier to follow you.
  • On your FB page, I noticed that you only post products you are selling…….don’t mean to be harsh, but that is boring and does not build relationships with anyone who is a fan.  I’d like to see you find ways to engage your fans and get them to comment on your page. Ask questions, post a tip, figure out what they want from you and give it to them mama!
  • Twitter is the same way.  In order to build a following, you need to  give people something to relate to.  If you haven’t had a chance to listen to my interview with Ted Rubin, I suggest finding 30 minutes as he dives into buildng relationships on line and how to do that.
  • Ok, now for blogging!  I would suggest building your own blog so you can write to your target market.  But be sure you are committed to this effort.  Not everyone can be.  They don’t have to be long – 300 words or less is best.  Also- they can be varied types of posts; an original blog, a weekly tip, a product suggestion…..  there are many options.
  • As for give-aways on blogs.  My feeling is that it is only worth it if they have over 5000 readers.  You have the right to ask how many. A good idea is to look them up on and compare them to other blogs on  This will give you some “real” numbers to compare to what they tell you.
  • Lastly, I am wondering if you are wholesaling now or plan to?  This can be much more lucrative than relying on web sales to build a successful brand.  If you are planning to wholesale, I suggest starting to build a store list right away so you have potential customers at your fingertips.  Find companies whose products you feel you might “sit next to” in a store and see if they have retail outlets listed on their website.  If so, download the lists and let your fingers do the walking!

I hope this gives you a few more avenues to walk down.

Good luck with your line……can’t wait to see what develops, please let me know



  • pinterest

Written by Sarah shaw

There are 13 comments

  • Pim says:

    Great tips, Sarah, now I have a lot of work to do..thanks 🙂

  • great ideas. i also suggest that you place the type of item like “pendant” closer to the front of the title because when I look at your pics I can’t tell what it is. I don’t want to be clicking each item until I find the item I want.

    I do hove over the title sometimes but the full wording doesn’t always show.

    I like the pink and design at the bottom of the front pic but the words are too small to see until you click on it. I see that is where you put “necklace” or “key chain” but I can’t read it…

    You mention “nice packaging” but I think you may do better by posting a pic of a sample package.

    You can also include a link to facebook and twitter in your profile.

    I love the cohesiveness of your shop.

  • Vicky says:

    Great advice, but although a lot of people recommend blogging, how exactly do you get people to your blog? For instance SEO takes a long time to build. Any suggestions?

    As for Julia’s shop I think it’s adorable but agree with Sarah’s advice especially on wholesaling and building relationships with potential customers.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Thanks Sarah – these are all great tips and so now I want you to look at my site and do the same thing! I’ve heard about these Etsy shops and wondered if they were worth the time/effort… do they replace your website? I’ve joined many social network ‘shops’ and have to say none of them have paid off. How do you know if it’s worth it?

    ps – I too am looking for a wholesaler… what do you have to have in place before you approach them and who is the best person to talk to?

    thanks! great post that I’m going to share!

  • Sarah Shaw says:

    @Jennifer – Here is a link to other blogs on my site about wholesale You will find a lot of useful info right here!

  • Cynthia says:

    Often people prefer to use Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, etc because of the time commitment needed to maintain a shopping cart on a personal website. Are there any pointers available for entrepreneurs looking into setting up shopping carts?

  • Grace Wieber says:

    Thanks for the facebook tips. It’s a good reminder to focus more on engaging one’s following while also sharing product. ~ Gracie

  • Nancy says:

    If you’re going to wholesale you need to carefully analyze your pricing structure to make sure you are still making a profit at 50%ish of your retail price. I’ve found that often artisans will set their retail price at what should be their wholesale price….. good luck, Nan

  • Great Tips! I can def apply them to my company. Thanks so much!

  • Hi Everyone..thanks for all the great advice. I really appreciate all the help and feedback. I love constructive criticism and it’s always great to learn from others!-Julia:)

  • JustAsking says:

    You mentioned getting stats from I have found that their stats are not always correct. I have also heard that you have to have an Alexa toolbar in order be counted. My website uses Urchin for stats but whenever I compare Urchin against Google Analytics or Alexa it is vastly (I mean hundreds to thousands) different. Your thoughts?

  • Christine says:

    As a Etsy seller myself I know what sort of competition your having and what you have to overcome to sell. Many people on Etsy don’t sell their products at prices that could support a 50% reduction and still make any profit. So therefore people trying to make a living selling product on Etsy (where they could give it to a brick and mortar store at 50% less) find it hard to compete.

    I just make my products as individual and unique as possible and price them to go out to retailers at 50% off even though they may be a bit high to compete on Etsy.

    Its important to do marketing on the web outside the Etsy store.
    Like subscribing to outside popular blogs that relate to the customers that would buy your items. (ex: Your if your product is baby clothes try a blog reaching out to Mommies) Let them know of your products and maybe they will write a review on something you are selling if you give a small discount to their subscribers.

    On Etsy keep adding product and when you can’t add renew so that your products come up high in the searches. Use your allotted amount of “tags” and photos and detail your descriptions.
    Good Luck and I wish you much success!

  • Nick Wallace says:

    Some pretty good tips. Thanks.

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