RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A MAKER, TO A MAKER
I know as a Maker or a small nonprofit, you probably do not have the budget to work with a Marketing Agency! Being a Maker myself, I know a lot of options are out of reach financially. I do not think your business should receive any less respect or guidance because of its size.
Many times, you have to try to figure out website design, SEO, and running digital ads by yourself. This can take weeks or months of precious time away from crafting your product!
WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE RECOMMENDATION I GIVE ALL MAKERS WHO WANT TO TAKE THEIR MARKETING TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
TAKE YOURSELF FROM A HOBBY MAKER TO A BRANDED BUSINESS OWNER IN JUST ONE STEP...
There are several reasons why I feel it is important for your business to have its own custom branded website with domain.
First and foremost it comes down to the simple fact that the media and customers take you MUCH more seriously as a business. You would not believe the incredible opportunities my itty bitty candle company received because our website made us look like a major player in the candle industry. Many of the opportunities we couldn't pursue because we were too small. BUT as we grew, our professional web presence made it EASY for us to get press in magazines and business papers.
You give Etsy too much control over YOUR business when that is your only method of online sales. Think about it, the power really is in Etsy's hands. You are subject to any policy changes, administrative decisions, and algorithm changes that they roll out. THEY decide if your products get seen, not YOU.
You have limited design control and virtually no Branding opportunities on Etsy. It is incredibly difficult to distinguish yourself on Etsy. Besides the boxes that you fill out, your StoreFront pretty much looks like everyone else's, including all of your competitors. It is extremely difficult to optimize CTAs in multiple places like you can on your website. You are not able to grow a custom email marketing list that you can utilize for sales like you can on a website. I grew my online sales RAPIDLY through my email marketing list through my custom website.
This goes hand-in-hand with lack of control and no branding, but you can get lost in a sea of competition. For example, you have a client from a craft show that wants to buy from you online. You hand them your business card with your Etsy URL on it. They head on over to your StoreFront, and with just a few clicks they have discovered one of your competitors with better pricing! It is much harder for a potential customer to navigate from your website and you certainly aren't recommending any competing products like Etsy is!
Finally, in my opinion, Etsy is expensive! You pay 20cents for each product listing, and 3.5% of the selling price which is pretty much a royalty. If you have watched SharkTank enough, you should know that royalty deals are BAD! This can add up quickly, especially when you are listing a high volume of products. I also had to pay for Etsy Ads to just get my products included in searches. On Wix, you pay a flat fee for website hosting, and a percentage to the Payment Processor like PayPal or Square, both of which have been less than 3.5%. For our candle business, we quickly recouped the investment in our website, selling well into the five figures of product in a year! Are you doing this on your Etsy?