My name is D. Antonia and I’m a sculpture artist. I’ve been on Etsy about two and a half years and the first year was pretty quiet as I found my niche and narrowed my product. Took a while for me to stumble through and land in the right spot, and now I do everything I can to keep up with the momentum of a busy-for-me handmade shop. I’ve seen so many great success stories with excellent entrepreneurial advice, and have to chime in and share what I find has been the secret to my sauce.
Let’s talk about Alchemy. No wait! Don’t roll your eyes! This is not just any Alchemy and certainly not the Alchemy often vented about in the forums. I want to talk about my Alchemy, and more importantly… Your Alchemy. You know, the one in your shop which is launched when people click “Request Custom Item”. That is a very special link right there and let me count the ways!
First things first, the reason this has been huge for me is because of exposure. I have no control over landing on Etsy’s Front Page and those stars have only aligned once for me (but I am always hopeful!). Gift guides, same song. Do you know what I CAN control? My custom items showing up in the Recent Custom Creations over on Alchemy. Sealed deal, every time. And every time I am there I track my hearts and views, and sales as well. I have an increase in all, have had people blog about me and mention that is where they found me, and I usually get at least one new custom request each time.
The age old question people often write to me and ask: “HOW do you get your items to show up in Alchemy when you finish them?” The thing to have on your radar is that those items are all listed by Sold date. More importantly, the sale date is viewed as the agreement to purchase date, which means that after the buyer accepts the seller’s bid and the seller clicks “I Will Make This”, the cyber handshake happens and the sale is considered a done deal. Unfortunately for many, that is the very beginning of the creation process and without photos to upload pretty much right away, your item is not going to land in Recent Custom Creations. This is why whenever I do a custom order, once the seller accepts my bid I convo them back right away and thank them for accepting and let them know I will be making it. I DO NOT click that button for the life of me. Until my custom item is complete and my photos are shot and edited, I hold off on clicking “I Will Make This”, but I keep open communication with my buyer throughout the duration so they know it is coming along. Once all of the above is ready, I move forward by clicking that button, uploading all of my photos right away, and completing the order. 5-ish minutes later, to the right of the Alchemy page, there is my item hanging out among good company with the other recent customs. And then it is there for as long as it takes to be bumped all the way down, usually about a day. Sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little less. But while it is there, lots of traffic coming my way and I am ready for it.
That being out of the way, how do you actually GET the custom orders if you prefer not to be subjected to public Alchemy? I have lots of advice for this bit. I adore bullets. Mind if I bullet? Or dash here, as the case may be?
- I never list Reserved orders in my shop. If someone asks me about a custom piece, I send them the link from my shop to Request a Custom Item (your link is in your shop under your Feedback). Believe me, I learned this the hard way. How many of us have taken pains to make something with care and then put the reserved item in our shop, only to have it hang looking hopeful while the “buyer” goes ghost? Or maybe your buyer snags it right away. Perfect! But how much exposure will you get from that sale? Maybe some in Pounce, etc, but trust me, you want that item to show in Recent Custom Creations.
- I always refer friends, family, Facebook inquiries, etc back into my Etsy shop to request a custom item. Sometimes they don’t have an Etsy account yet. Even better, now they can sign up and they will love it here. When I look at my Etsy Referrals link, I have referred 29 people (lol – try hundreds! But 29 have used my name as a reference when they signed up). Yeah, making them buy from me on Etsy means I have to pay .20 cents plus 3.5%, but for me, that is how I pay for advertising. The advertising? My item floating around all day in the Recent Custom Creations. I do not have ads anywhere on the net that I pay for. I have a pretty robust facebook page, an itty bitty blog that never gets to see me, and I have my Etsy shop. I have also been very grateful for word of mouth, which has been helpful and wonderful in spreading my designs.
D. Antonia has much more to share, so head back to the Etsy forum HERE and lean even more about the Etsy Alchemy.
Giving important Etsy forum threads written by the Etsy community a second look, so Etsy sellers can Read, Learn, and Apply!