Image from Think VitaminMost of you have probably noticed that Etsy has created a bunch of new apps to make listing, searching and connecting easier and more fun. One of the newest is the "activity feed". In it you can see a live feed of who likes you or your items, who puts you in a treasury, and my personal favorite, who adds you to their "circle". Adding someone to your circle is sort of like "friending" them into a creative network. (Which leads one to wonder if there will be a rash of uncircling, just like unfriending on Facebook...hmmm?) One plus to being in a network is the strength that comes with numbers.
Speaking of numbers, let me give you a little math....
I started my Etsy shop late in 2006 while in college. I didn't network. I didn't know how to take great photos. I didn't have feedback from other artists. And I had no business tips from anyone. Not surprisingly, between 2006-2008 I averaged a measly 8.5 sales a year. Finally in August of 2009 I began to get serious and joined RNEST, a local network or circle one could say. With better morale and a few tips I doubled my sales to 17 in 2009. Still small potatoes I know...but with the ideas, suggestions and accountability I feel being on a team, in 2010 I have made 48 sales with a couple solid holiday shopping weeks left. And this doesn't even include the opportunities I have gotten from local businesses and indie craft shows, just because I knew someone, who knew someone.
So what am I getting at? Fill your circle. Fill it with everyone on your team. Fill it with other local sellers you love. Then fill it with those special Etsy sellers you love and may never meet, but really really want to from all over the world. There is strength in numbers and it multiplies the opportunities for people to find YOU.