Okay guys. I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while. Now, let me start by saying this isn’t going to be a huge in depth post, but some of the topics I’ve covered here I’ll be doing individual posts on (Etsy shop SEO anyone?). I really wanted to call this post 10 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE I Started My Etsy Shop… but that is not SEO friendly… at. all. So here we go!
10 Etsy Shop Tips Your Shop Can’t Live Without!
A little background.. if you’ve been following my blog, you probably know I have a little Etsy shop over in my little corner of the internet, and it does pretty well. As of today I’ve had 1,361 orders this year. Woah! So, I wanted to share the love & share some tips for anyone out there who is looking to start a shop. Just a disclaimer… I am not Etsy OR marketing expert, and I’m 100% self-taught. I can tell you that if you follow some of these tips, you will most likely be more successful than had you never come across them, but I can’t really guarantee any certain level of success.
1. Research Your Product- If you have a product in mind to make & sell, that’s great! I recommend doing a little research… how saturated is the market (how many other sellers are selling similar items), how popular is this item (how many sales do the top sellers in your “niche” have and how long have they been running their shop?)… this will give you a good idea of the need for your product. Don’t be TOO afraid of an over abundance of sellers with the same items, it could mean that there is a high demand, and you’ll still do just fine. Just use your judgment and most importantly, if there are a TON of sellers with the same products, think hard about a way that you can make your products better or different. Be unique and offer buyers something a little sweeter or a little better than what your competition is offering.
2. Branding, branding branding! Your brand is KEY. I didn’t really know a lot about this when I first started, and now I have too many Pinterest, Twitter, etc… followers to go back and change all my usernames. Lock down your shop name on the social networks you want to utilize, and of course, your shop. Also, what are you selling? What keyword (or keyword phrase) sums up your shop? If you can include this in your shop name you will be on the fast track to good seo.
This isn’t a make it or break it tip… it might not always be possible to have great keywords in your shop name, however, if you can do it, do it!
Also along the lines of branding, create yourself (or have someone create for you) a well designed Etsy shop banner. If you can get matching social media branding (facebook headers, twitter backgrounds) that’s even better! You want your customers and fans to be able to recognize you all across the internet!
3. Great Photos- you absolutely have to have great listing photos. This is a MUST! Do not skimp on this part or you could be losing out on lots of sales because customers simply overlook your items because they are not visually appealing. Hopefully, you have a good camera… if not, that may be one of the first things you should save up for your business. Also, you could consider borrowing one from a friend or family member or you could even hire a photographer to take product photos for you. If you do have a camera, make yourself a light box (it will give you even better photos!) and then check out this info-graphic on how to use it!
4. Shop listings- this is another tid bit that you can’t skimp on. You have to have GREAT shop listings. Tell your story, help your customer imagine themselves using your product. Write as if they already own the product, or that it is already theirs. You need to make a compelling case for your products and why they’re a must have for your customers. Also, you want to be super descriptive. Look at your product and think to yourself what questions your customers would have about the product. Try to answer all of these in the listing so that they don’t have to contact you. This task can be tedious, especially if you have a lot of listings, but trust me, it will be worth it!
Bonus Tip! Include a link to your shop’s main page at the bottom of every listing! This will entice shoppers to click on over to your shop and take a look at your other items!
5. Pricing Your Products- So, this one is a little tricky, because of course you need to have competitive prices compared to other sellers, but here is a general “how to” that tells how you should price your products to cover your cost, fees, taxes, & to still pay yourself!
6. Use Coupon Codes- Etsy gives you coupon codes you can use for your shop! You can start by offering people that purchase a coupon off their next purchase. It can be a dollar amount, a percentage, or free shipping. Another idea is to offer an incentive coupon- for liking your facebook page maybe, or subscribing to a newsletter. You can set up an easy newsletter system with mailchimp.
7. E-mail list- Also speaking of mailchimp, whether you use a coupon incentive or not, I strongly recommend setting up an email newsletter list. This is your lifeline when you have your own business. Anything could happen to your blog or your shop, but when customers opt in to your email list you always have a way to get into contact with them. Share the link to sign up with your customers, and (especially if you have an incentive for signing up) watch your list grow! Also, it never hurts to back up your list!
8. Social Media- Social Media can be kind of overwhelming if you are just starting out, but there are tons of resources out there on google and especially on Pinterest. Start slow with one or two networks, I recommend starting with Facebook and Pinterest (can be a HUGE traffic source) and then maybe Twitter. Search on Google & Pinterest for “facebook page tips” or “facebook for small businesses” or something else similar, and make sure to check out my 10 Tips for Facebook Marketing.
9. Etsy Search Ads- Etsy Search Ads can be a great marketing tool. Basically you set a budget for the week, and you pay for impressions (views) of your items on the TOP ROW of Etsy search results. Some shops do very well with this, and some do not. Test it out for a week or two and see what kind of results you get. Etsy Search Ads works very well for me. I will be doing another in depth post on this in a couple of weeks to help you maximize your results, so make sure you are subscribed!
10. Invest in YOU.- Make sure you are investing some of your profit back into your business. This can be a little tricky if your household is dependent on your Etsy income and you just aren’t making enough yet. In the meantime, make sure you take advantage of any free marketing resources. Once you are able, make sure you put some of your profit back into things like marketing, new supplies, new equipment, etc… My rule of thumb is that I set aside 50% of my profit for income, 35% for taxes, and then around 5% for supplies or equipment and 10% for marketing. These numbers can fluctuate and change week to week depending on the current needs of my shop and my wallet, but they’re a good starting point and basic guideline.
Please note, I am not a financial advisor or accountant by any means. These figures are not meant to be solid financial advice, they’re only an example of how I personally manage my money.
So there you have it, 10 things that your shop HAS to have to survive and thrive! Hopefully putting some of these tips into place will help increase your shop traffic, and ultimately your sales. Good luck!
Disclaimer: this post includes my affiliate links and if you click through and make a purchase or sign up I may receive a small commission, but don’t worry, I never recommend products or services unless I know and love them!