In this episode, we talk with Phil from Shoplo about promotion and content marketing. Phil discusses a lot of great topics from growing a fan base to maintaining your brand image, using social media and more!
Phil has written a guest post for our blog, if you guys haven’t checked that out yet, you can read his post here: 11 Etsy Mistakes You’re Probably Making. We’ll wait for you to come back. ?
A little bit of background about Phil
In Australia I had a small operation on Etsy making and selling little pieces of jewelry from recycled tools. Spanners, and other hand tools reshaped and remodeled into jewelry mostly for men. Then, I met my girlfriend and decided to move overseas to Poland.
I got in contact with an e-commerce brand called Shoplo and they are quite big and very well known here. Their goal is that they wanted to spread worldwide and part of going global is to get outside of Poland. To do that, they needed a native speaker.
I had some history with Etsy, I had some history in e-commerce and quite a bit of history in writing as well. I guess it was a natural match! I was lucky to find them by the time when they needed someone to do what I do. Since then, I’ve been with Shoplo for about 6 months now and I’m learning a lot everyday!
What tips do you have for Etsy sellers in growing their own fan base?
A good place to find people to join that are interested in your brand are also the kind of people that have a problem to solve. When you’re looking to grow, it’s very very easy to reach towards social media to try and find more people. But remember, there are a lot out there too that aren’t on social media.
Not everyone has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account and those kinds of people usually look for quality over quantity. So if you’re putting all your time and effort into promoting yourself and trying to grow on social media, you are missing out on all these people offline.
That said, it’s a good habit to have a routine of actively finding people that have problems that your products can solve. Being creative in ways to grow is essential. Finding forums for certain activities that match your brand is a good one. Another very potent way that we found to organically grow your fan base is to find Facebook Groups. A lot of people do not capitalize or realize the potential of Facebook Groups.
How would you as an Etsy seller figure out what problems your products are solving?
It’s a bit of a cliche but try and approach your product or your brand like you aren’t in control of it. Try and approach it like a customer.
For an Etsy seller, how would you recommend getting started with social media?
In 2016, social media is super important in a brand. But like I said earlier, not everyone is on social media. But for the 99.99% of your customers that are on social media, finding out which medium works best for you is important. To be brutally honest, I’m not a big fan of Twitter. It moves way too fast for me and I often lose track of what’s going on. Facebook on the other hand, I consider myself to be rather in touch with.
The best advice I have for an Etsy seller that is just starting out and wants to have a presence in social media – is to take it slow, don’t be afraid to make mistakes (because you will make them), and do a lot of research as well. Find some quality sources to learn from like Marmalead and the Shoplo Blog.
There are some other great sources too like Social Media Examiner; they have some great information and they cover everything in such minute details. The whole blog is based exactly on that – social media examination.
As well as those other tips, I’d say start off with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are probably the 3 biggest players in marketing. Slowly learn about them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you will make them. But also, don’t be afraid to walk away from something when it’s not working for you.
What’s the best way to identify when a social media platform isn’t working for you?
Social media is great for promoting a campaign. Promoting a give away or a voucher code or anything like that. If you’ve gone to all these hard work of finding X amount of followers on Twitter and no one’s buying into your discount code – that’s a sure sign that it’s not working for you. Walk away from it for a bit. Don’t give up on it completely, don’t throw your arms up and say it’s over. Yes, it’s difficult. Mastering social media is difficult even for Mark Zuckerberg. Give it some time. You cannot be a master of anything overnight. If Facebook is what works for you, then stick with Facebook; but over time, learn more about your weakness.
Brand image in Content Marketing
First thing’s first. Carrying your brand image over is literally an image as well. If you’ve got your Etsy store laid out a certain way, like if you have a certain color or theme running through your store; you want to carry that over to your blog. If your Etsy store has got a nice lavender feel around it, and then if I go to your blog and see that your blog has got an electric blue theme to it; I’d think I am in the wrong place. It’s about physically carrying your image over.
What other ways could Etsy sellers do to learn more about their customer base?
I read really interesting blog posts from Nathan Collier. He explained that there’s no need to waste money on Facebook Ads. Instead, find a Facebook Group where your customers are already hanging out. Personally add them with your personal Facebook profile. Get to know them, find what they are and what they do. That way you can learn who these people are. Everyone faces the same problem but you can learn more about the specific problem they may have.
Like I said, different forums for different problems are incredible. I heard a story a while ago about a guy who makes handmade guitars. He had a problem with his left-handed guitars; he figured it wasn’t as simple as reversing the plan around. But he found a left-handed community and got in contact with other people who make products that are left-hand right-hand bias. He spoke to those people of what problems they have in helping their left-handed market. Through teaming up – not as competitors; but with your products that complement their products – he was able to identify issues.
Tips for starting on Social Media
Don’t forget that every form of social media platform started to engage with people. Social media isn’t an advertising platform. It’s a way to engage with people. If you’ve got a Facebook page that’s just constantly promoting your own page, who’s gonna follow you? No one. If you’ve got a Twitter handle that’s just constantly promoting your own Etsy links, no one’s going to follow you.
I use Buffer to build up Shoplo’s Twitter feed, but then I also use Tweetdeck to find other conversations about people on Etsy. That’s what social media is all about! No one’s going to follow a brand that is just on constant promotion. Keep it 50% promotion and 50% personal engagement. That is a good starting ratio to find what works for you.
Don’t forget to engage and talk to people, and not just promote on social media.
Promoting on social media: You can’t look at social media as a return on your investment. You describe it as a return on relationship.
— Marmalead (@marmalead) October 29, 2016