TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 13 Getting Press

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!


Then, be sure to check out:
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 1 How to Open an Etsy Shop
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 2 Branding & Shop Banners
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 3 Shop Profiles Bios and Photos
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 4 Make Listings Tempting
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 5 About Pages

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 6 Shop Policies
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 7 Communication
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 8 Shipping and Packaging
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 9 Social Media
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 11 Shop Stats
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 12 Holiday Prep in Bite-Sized Pieces
So far, we've covered opening your shop, making it look its best, making it easy to find, easy to interact with and practical skills like pricing your items appropriately, how to get products to customers, how to monitor who visits your shop and how to get ready for the holiday rush. Today, we're going to cover something which might also be particularly important this time of year: getting press.

In particular, when you're just starting out you want people to be able to find you. You're probably wearing many hats: creator/fabricator/curator; photographer; shipping; sales and being your own press agent and social media rep (see Class 9 Social Media for our tips on promoting your shop through your own social media). It's important to use your own network, but it can be very useful to reach out to someone else's network too. 

The good news is that you've probably already signed up for this Bootcamp, and so, you may find that we select one of your items to feature here or in our TEST ♥ Newbies section. How else can you get a little press for you and your shop? Well, let's start with a big one for Etsy sellers: blogs.

Pitching to Bloggers or Editors

Don't feel ready for pitching your shop? Good design and good advice:
Fake It Till You Make It Typographic Print by JessWestDesigns
So, like the internet in general, the trick is being found. The first time someone other than you writes about your Etsy shop, it might very well be someone you know, and they might not have a large following or the clout to drive a lot of traffic. But you shouldn't underestimate the utility of any post. Each one can incrementally increase your SEO (search engine optimization), each one might introduce a buyer to your wares, and each one might introduce your Etsy shop  to a blogger with a larger audience or an audience of 'your people', the ones who understand, appreciate and love what you do. Also, write-ups on small blogs lead to write-ups on big blogs (and the converse is also true so one write-up and spiral out to all sorts of press)- and magazine editors read blogs too! So, here are some helpful tips:
  • Be open and friendly. You don't have to say yes to every request. Your time is important. You want to nurture your brand. It is possible you might have a reason to refuse a request (especially if free merchandise is requested for a give-away), but it's always good practise to make a connection and be polite. Give-aways or rebates can be effective, but it is important to make decisions that work for you and your business. Barring any specific concerns, any blog press can help your Etsy shop so why not! You may know specific blogs you want to target, but if bloggers approach you, it's like getting something for (basically) nothing. Yes, please.
  • Make great photos. Check out Class 4 Make Listings Tempting for our advice for making your listings look their best. Listings which tempt buyers, may also tempt bloggers (or even print magazines). Watermarks and logos can turn bloggers off. See  Class 12 Holiday Prep in Bite-Sized Pieces for advice about using some seasonal flare and props in photos - this can strike the right note for what bloggers might be seeking too. See the Etsy blog article How to Make Your Photos Publicity-Ready for more tips.
  • Do your homework. Identify your five favorite blogs and look for publications which are a good fit for your brand. If you're going to pitch to your favorite blog (or magazine), make sure you've read the blog, you know its scope, and you are familiar with what has been recently posted (so you don't suggest something inappropriate or redundant). Read the blog's About page and any guidelines for submissions. Let your message show that you care; you've read the blog and you're following their guidelines.
  • Like a snail mail letter, a personalized pitch will feel special
    and be more likely to get noticed - like this Vintage German
    postage stamp glass tile pendant from dandytigerdesings
    Be interesting, polite, personal, brief, and helpful. Your email subject line should be original and specific to catch someone's attention. Don't pitch the world all at once - make a personalized pitch to a specific blogger. You're trying to suggest something mutually beneficial - great content for them, press for you. Tell a story! Don't be demanding or have large expectations, but do make it easy for them: include all pertinent links and embed (rather than attach) a few low-res photos, with the offer of high res upon request. Keep your pitch to one or two (carefully proof-read) paragraphs. People are busy. Particularly for any daily publication or TV show, content might be in flux until deadline and stories can be ditched at the last minute; don't take it personally.
  • Think ahead. Bloggers may be working a full season in advance.
  • Be available and answer any questions promptly. Bloggers and editors might be a) working with tight deadlines and b) have hundreds of other pitches to choose from. If you're unavailable, they will move on. Volunteering your cell phone number might be a wise move. 
  • Be persistent. You can follow up an unanswered pitch after say 10 days, or return later with further pitches about new products or ideas. If you are featured, thank them!
  • Find more tips and example pitches on the Etsy blog articles How to Win the Hearts of Bloggers, Seller How-To: Get Noticed by the Blogosphere, How to Pitch to Bloggers, Holiday Boot Camp: Get Some Blog Love and Top 5 Tips for Getting Press.
Sometimes people find you. You won't always be the source of any profile of your shop. So, do be sure to make things easy for people: good photos, clear and accurate text, fill in your profile and About Page. Also, sometimes press can come to you indirectly, as a by-product of something else you do.

Other things which can get you press:
Stand out from the crowd, like this Vintage Bright Pink
60s Mr Mort Dress from KikuyeJeanVintage
  • Join a Team. Yes, we might be biased, but we know that joining a team like the Toronto Etsy Street Team will introduce you to a large collection of fellow Etsy sellers (all of whom may have their own blogs, social media and networks) and give you an opportunity to get profiled by that team and blogs like this one.
  • Participate in an art, craft or vintage show. Shows are a great way to meet buyers (some of whom also have blogs), network with fellow sellers and get some press. Any fee to participate is something you could consider an advertising cost.
  • Competitions. Many fields of art and craft have competitions. It's good experience to put your work out there. You might win a prize, gain fans and get some press.
  • Share your skills. If you teach a class or a workshop, you'll meet a group of people interested in your skill set and you might also get some press.
  • Getting press! That's right, getting press will generate more press. If someone writes an article about you share it through all your social media channels and with your network. That way, fans of the publication and your fans both might pass it on.
Remember: If you already have a shop, or you open one today, please let us know how to find it! We will be featuring some of our favorite newbie items right here. 

 The Toronto Etsy Street Team loves Newbie shops! You can find some of our favorite listings from talented Newbie sellers, including those featured in this class in our new TEST ♥ Newbies section. Be sure to stop by often to see what's new in this evolving, curated treasury of amazing Newbie finds!

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