Monday, May 9, 2011

Revisting the Etsy MARRIAGE Proposal : Social Networking Bridal Style

I originally posted this article on Handmadeology, however; someone has started a Marriage Team up on Etsy because of my article, and it's helping Etsy sellers--- so if you haven't read it yet, maybe you should!

A wedding doll of mine is probably on her 10th marriage by now.

"Will you marry me?", asked RetroBabs. After I thought about the idea of marrying her for about thirty seconds, I agreed.  After all, I was already married to a few others too.  In fact, I'm the one who suggested getting hitched in a few articles.  Of course, I've never met any "my so called wives", never obtained any marriage licenses and certainly husband doesn't even realize I have these other marriages, so perhaps I should as crazy as this may sound, I am taking the time to share this secret with you because it DID work for me!

My Definition of an Etsy Marriage:
Essentially, an "Etsy Marriage" is my idea on increasing your shop sales by teaming up with another member wherein the relationship mutually benefits you both.   This is where you must seek and find a shop owner who is as passionate about selling as you. By proposing this idea of faux-marriage to them, you both agree to promote each other's shops, blog about each other, and social network each other's items in and outside of Etsy.  Now let me explain further.
Dino Love Cake Topper by Jennifer Marsh shop theaircastle shows the perfect mate!

Your Ideal Marriage Partner:
Your goal is to find a shop who has more sales than you. This is most likely going to be someone who has been on Etsy longer than you, and has learned a thing or two. Read their profile and their announcement, and see if they blog, twitter, or have a Facebook because that is key. 

What Your Potential Husband or Wife Sells is Very Important For Success in Marriage:
One of the key questions I get asked all the time is, should you find someone who sells the same as you? My answer is no.  Someone complete opposite?  No, but this is a tricky question so I'll get more in depth with my answer.

If you make and sell lucite rings, it will do you no good to marry another lucite ring seller. This would be a total conflict of interest, and quite frankly, your direct competition is not going to help you. I'd hate to see you in divorce court before the honeymoon period is over.   Your goal is to find indirect competition where both shops can benefit. Here are a few ideal marriages:

  • The lucite ring seller who makes bright and cheery rings marries a scrabble tile pendant seller whose look is the same. 
  • The baby onsies seller (with baby hats and clothing) pairs with the baby plush toy seller.
  • A necklace shop marries a ring shop.
  • The crocheter pairs with the needlepoint seller.
  • Someone who wire wraps jewelry marries a metal artist. 
  •  A handmade tote bag seller marries someone who sells a lot of homemade cosmetics, hair care products, or someone who sells beach wear.  It would be very easy for the beach seller to promote the bags! 
  •  A seller of homemade dog treats marries a dog coat maker. 
  •  A ceramic or clay tea pot maker marries someone who sells herbal tea and natural herbs.
  •  A bridal veil maker marries a wedding scrapbook or party favor themed shop.

  • A handmade upcycled notebook maker marries a handmade greeting card artist. This is easy to cross promote and they have a common love of ephemera.

  • A supply seller who sells charms marries someone whose main supplies are jewelry findings. Both cater to people looking to make jewelry and have a love for supplies.
  • A jewelry maker whose work is steampunk designs may seek out and marry a gothic hat maker, or clothing maker.  Better yet, what about a clock shop?
  • A vintage jewelry seller marries a vintage clothing shop.  Accessorize those retro clothes!
  • A green herbal remedy shop marries a green food shop. Buy some food and healthy alternatives too.
  • A person who sells recipes which include desserts marries a cake supply seller. 
  • The soap seller pairs with the lipstick seller.  Beautify yourself!
  • A shop that sells handmade hats that look like they are from the forties should find a vintage shop who specializes decor from the same era.
  • A furniture designer who makes retro looking furniture could marry a vintage housewares shop--the thought process here is someone who likes retro design would shop both.
"The Lovers" Ceramic Wall Platter by AdrienArt of Seattle.

 Propose to the Potential Husband or Wife and Suggest 4 Ways the Marriage Will Work: 
Convo them on Etsy and be honest. Tell them you are asking for their help. Tell them you like their products, and think you could work successfully together on promotions. Offer them an item free from your shop or samples of your products if they help promote you a bit.    Here are ways they can help you and you'll want to suggest some of these at first, but save some for later.  (Don't overwhelm your new husband or wife all at once...)


  • Send them samples of your product and ask them to state this in the item description. I use Mattie Reid's handmade rings (above) and showed them on my glove molds. I use the rings a lot, so she gets credit in the listings over and over again. Note that I used them in a few photos, and make sure to steer people to her shop in the description itself. Your marriage partner could word it a bit differently, but the overall aspect would be the same.

  • Ask them to list your shop in their shop banner as a shop they love. "Shops I love : YOUR SHOP HERE  (see examples above....) A lot of sellers say "For great purses go here, for jewelry go here...." and they have a few shops listed in their announcement which is okay!  After this shop added me my sales went up.
Tweeting gets people to look at your items.

  • Tweeting is very easy on Etsy, there's a share button now when you go into any item! If they are big Twitter users, ask them to tweet your items in question form to their followers ie:  "What do you think of this great rose made from a tie at TranzendentalArts?  If not, maybe they use Facebook?
Today on my blog we're reviewing Bags and Purses like this great one from LizzieCaye!
  • Ask them to review your products on a blog!  Nothing looks better than the free purse they've sent you smack dab in the middle of their blog!  If they have a HUGE blog following, ask them to do a giveaway for you! This means lots of people looking at your shop. 
Give it Time:
Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is any Made-in-Vegas style wedding.  It may take you a few tries to find the perfect for shop to wed, but if you keep trying, you will and the benefits can pay off. I hope you'll try it and with some practice that it works for you as well as it's worked for me.



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