If you have been selling on Etsy for any amount of time, you have probably been approached by a blog or person to participate in a collaboration in exchange for “promoting” you. You’ve probably even been asked to donate to silent auctions and adoption fundraisers too but that’s for another post. If you are a brand new seller, it seems like a win-win and you’ve heard of so many other successful sellers who blew up after someone mentioned them on Oprah. Lies.
With over five years of experience & a good number of collaborations under my belt I am going to give it to you straight.
1. There is no such thing as a free lunch/free exposure. This is how you should calculate the true cost of “free”:
2. Their number of followers means jack shit. GASP! Yea, I said it. This also applies to their unique user count unless they have their Google Analytics filters setup correctly to filter out bots & spam. Visit Lesley Hays to learn how to set this up for your own Etsy shop.
3. You need to know the engagement rate of their followers. Do they actually click through links to purchase items? If they can’t tell you, walk away.
4. Are they going to be using affiliate links instead of direct links? They are getting a double whammy off of you. Free product plus commission from your sales. You don’t pay the commission but it’s still greed in my book. Links to your products & shop are positive for Etsy search rankings but affiliate links don’t count.
5. Do they actually take the photos on their blog & Instagram? Really look.
If you are still considering a collaboration, you need to protect yourself and your brand. This is my list of requirements for all collaborations.
- All photos must be approved before they are posted.
- All photos with my items in it must be credited/tagged with my name in perpetuity. (I had an Instagrammer use my wreath in a huge Home Depot promotion & failed to credit me, even after several attempts to reach out. Hell hath no fury…)
- In the event of a failure to comply, an invoice is sent for the full cost of goods.
With all that said, I do not recommend sending free items to bloggers who approach you. The blogs who have brought the most traffic to my shop are ones that featured my wreaths without me knowing. It’s not worth the trouble, to be honest. If they really want your product, they will buy it.
Are you an Etsy seller and wondering why your sales aren’t doing that great? Let me help! For a short time, I am offering one-on-one consulting for free.