My venture into the social marketing sphere is progressing well. Several weeks ago I started eSMArts, a group for etsy and other artisans interested in learning and applying the latest ecommerce promotion techniques in order to drive traffic to their etsy storefronts and other sales sites.
I was looking for like minded souls interested in promoting their art to work with me. eSMArts has its own mandatory yahoo forum where all information concerning social marketing is stored and shared. eSMArts also refers to our talented group of artisans who sell online at Etsy.com.
Our global collaborative consists of artists from all media and genres. We have seventy contributing members, 30 auditing members who have yet to establish an online sales venue and more applications arrive each day.
We stipulated from the outset that we were looking for artisans of handmade goods. An etsy storefront wasn't a requirement at first but for administrative purposes we may need to revisit that issue. We may amend membership criteria down the road limiting new entrants to etsy sellers in good standing.
To sell handmade goods on etsy, either you or a member of your immediate family must be making (or directly supervising the creation of) handmade goods. So that requirement goes without saying.
Etsy (owned by eBay) provides a user friendly shopping cart that accepts PayPal (also owned by eBay - big surprise). Etsy does no promotion however. Listing fees are only 20 cents per item which is great. But unlike eBay, Etsy doesn't even feed products through to google base. So merely setting up a lovely etsy store doesn't mean you'll make any sales. Your items likely won't show in search engines unless they've been promoted elsewhere on the web.
Veteran etsians have known for some time that the only way to crack the promotion problem was to form large supportive groups who cross promote one another. These groups were originally geographically based, hence the term "street team".
The etsy community consists of thousands of artisans from around the world. Check out the hundreds of thousands of wonderfully handcrafted gift items available for immediate purchase at http://www.etsy.com/!
Etsy's community is a very inspiring place for we creative types - being surrounded by so may creative folks pushes us to achieve more. And I'm noticing that even our newest etsians have made a few sales already. See our gallery of creations.
The difference between eSMArts and perhaps many of the other etsy "street teams" is that we are not merely a chat group. Each member of our team is 100% commited to promoting the endeavours of our team. We feel that fully participating in one street team is more than most artisans can handle. For that reason membership to eSMArts is limited to those who do not already belong to other etsy groups.
Our eSMArts etsy team members are currently moving through the intial setup phase of building etsy storefronts, learning more about taking quality photos to display their art in the best light, setting up online web logs (blogs) and doing online networking.
We've gone through a few growing pains, but I'm full of pride when it comes to my new team. I'm increasingly proud of their willingness to help each other and the hard work and time each member has invested is already paying off. Our team blog is taking shape too.
If you're interested in working with us, if you'd like to sell your handmade goods online, or if you're currently an etsy seller who doesn't belong to other etsy street teams, click the link in the sidebar to the right. Come see what the excitement is all about. We'd love to work with you!