Etsy Seller, Don’t be a Praying Mantis — Part 2


First, I encourage you to read Part 1 of this series if you haven't already.

We've already talked about the fact that Etsy sellers should avoid the praying mantis's tendency to "wait unmoving," and today we'll discuss another one of its characteristics.

The praying mantis has many enemies such as birds, so it must blend in with its environment to avoid being eaten.

Etsy sellers should never "blend in."

ChameleonEtsy is jam-packed with many wonderful shops; so many, in fact, that shopping can become overwhelming. For example, do an Etsy search for "jewelry," and you'll be faced with 1,271,319 listings.  Yikes!

So, how can you stand out and get noticed on Etsy?

1. Specialize in something.
Etsy seller, you might be a jack-of-all-trades with the ability to create a variety of different items, but consider sticking with just one or two types of items. Too many different items in your shop can overwhelm your customers. 

Think about it this way, when you're shopping in a brick-and-mortar shop for a special gift, do you prefer a one-stop shop (like Wal-Mart, for example) or a small boutique that specializes in the items you're looking for? I'll take a boutique over Wal-Mart any day. :)

2. Have a distinctive shop "look."
All of your shop graphics/marketing materials should work together as a cohesive brand.

* banner
* avatar
* product photography
* advertisement graphics

Hire one of the many talented graphic designers on Etsy to create a custom graphics package for you if you don't feel comfortable tackling the task yourself.

3. Be everywhere at once. 
Take advantage of as many social media venues as you have time for. Spread the word about your items on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc. Caution: these sites can be time-suckers, so use common sense and balance when telling the world about your shop.

Bottom line . . . be creative, be different, be YOU! Don't blend in with the crowd: be unique!

Any other ideas for distinguishing your shop from the thousands of others on Etsy? Do tell.


  • I just read parts 1 and 2. ALL good advice!! I was in direct sales for several years and got use to a lot of self-promotion. Now I rely on a lot of the tactics you mentioned–carrying business cards any time my hobby/shop comes up in conversation, giving my items away as gifts (“Ooo, you made this???”) and advertising on Facebook (like doing an update that says, “My 75th sale ships for FREE!”). It’s aaaallll gooood!! :) I just started working on a “specialty.” I use to carry mostly cards but they are truly a dime a dozen so now I specialize in decorative file folders (most of which have polka dot paper!) and carry a few other items just for “add-ons” to people ordering the folders. I try to stick to the “Roots & Wings” concept by using a lot of butterflies and flowers, too. So I guess I’m already doing a lot of things right–but I can always improve! Thank you for the informative posts!!

  • just found your and LOVE your advice. so true, waiting around doing nothing and having too much variety in my shop have not been working for me. I am going to make an “iron on” of one of my images today and use it on a market bag to promote my shop! It will take out that shyness factor that is sucha problem for me.

  • Some excellent tips…especially the one with the being in as many places as possible. Having one spot on the Internet is not the way to get found.
    Another thing that I would suggest is to find a way to start building an email list of people that would be interested in your Etsy shop. Past customers, visitors to your blog, your Twitter followers…all of these people are candidates for your email list. Provide an incentive for them to join (free shipping for your first purchase?) and then you’re able to email them whenever you have something new on your shop!

  • Hi, I am new here but I just LOVE your blog! I am reading it second day in a row :) I also posted a link to your “Secrets of Savvy Etsy Sellers” book on my blog and Pinterest because I think that great finds need to be shared ! :))
    That´s a great article! I think that staying proactive and finding new ways to advertise offline is a key to have sales. People actually talk to you and get to know you in person and that also attracts potential customers. Since my shop is kids related I came up with an idea to embroider my daughters denim jacket with my shop’s avatar and a phrase: My mom embroidered that! with a name of my shop somewhere in it. (this one is in the process) Or doing an appliqué on a simple shopping bag with a link of your shop… something like that.

  • Hi there, Lena. Thanks SO much for your very kind comment! I am so glad you stopped by! I love your idea of customizing your products to spread the word about your business. I’d love to see a photo of your daughter’s jacket when you’re finished!

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