Selling On Etsy…
Today I wanted to share a few tips to get your small business started on Etsy. I know this is rather specific, but honestly, there are many business opportunities available on this powerful platform. So if you’ve been putting off the opening of your shop, let me inspire you with seven tips that I sure wish I knew a lot sooner!
If you’re looking at Etsy for the first time, you’ll find that many people are selling their handcrafted items. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a ton of other niches. Some stores resell products to help you run your small business, some sell antiques-refinished or untouched; others sell vintage clothing. You’ll also find some savvy business owners offering their design services or coaches providing a critique of your shop. There are even those that sell every graphic that you’ll need to get started. If you take a minute to do a quick search, you’ll see what I mean. So here’s the first step in taking that leap on Etsy!
Tip #1. Be sure that the name you pick as your user name and shop name is what you want it to be forever and ever. Etsy does allow one name revision, but really, you should take your time with this one. Your shop name should represent what you intend to sell. The longer you run your business with this name and have the branding to match it, the better.
Tip #2. Branding your shop. This, by far, is my favorite topic! Etsy allows you to create a banner and avatar. You’ll want to be consistent with your logo in your shop, packaging, business cards, and website. Make sure that your packaging reflects the same feel that your shop has. For example, if your shop sells natural green earth-friendly products, you will want to stay away from plastic packaging. In this example, your colors might be neutral in tone and should complement the images you share on your listings, in your newsletter, and logo. Take a look at a brand that you admire and notice how cohesive their brand colors, fonts, and packaging are. You’ll want to do the same for your shop.
Tip #3. You get 10 pictures…so make them count! Etsy has a simple guide to help you out with the images you should share. They have a few photo prompts that make it easy to see what images you should include in your listing. They suggest 1 main image, 3 different angles, a close-up or detailed image, one of the products in use, one that shows scale, one that is stylized, and any variations that you offer. The way that I display my images is by creating a primary close up photo. The next few pictures will be of the item at different angles, one in use, one close up, one for scale, and the last few include a picture of the packaging and what it looks like if you chose to get it wrapped. These last couple of pictures help the customer see if they like the presentation enough to mail it to the recipient or if they want to wrap it themselves. Etsy is also giving each seller a 30-second video spot in the listings as well. I’ll be creating a tutorial on the best way to shoot a product video. I’ll share that link in this month’s newsletter, so be sure to sign up!
Tip #4. Your description should be rich with keywords…but still make sense. You’ll get a better response to your listings if you have keywords to help the algorithm know what it is that you are selling, but you will want to include them in a way that makes sense to your customer. If I’m selling a wedding invitation, I will have the keyword “wedding invitation” in the title and then repeat it in the description’s first sentence. For example, the listing should say, “This lovely wedding invitation is a handpainted reproduction and easy to print at home” Remember that your ideal customer is relying on your clear description and pictures to decide if they like your product. If you can provide a clear description and include keywords within the first 160 characters, your meta description will do all of the talking for you!
Tip #5. Ask for a review. I know this one always use to make me cringe, but now I see it a little different. Although your sale might start with your picture or with your description, it is most likely your reviews that will close the deal. I know, I know…so how do you get that first sale? Most of us have had a friend ask if they could buy a product or service that we offer. This is your golden opportunity to have them purchase from your brand new shop! In the beginning, it is always a little challenging to get your shop recognized, but if you have a few friends that want your items, have them go through your shop and ask for an honest review. Plan for the day when you get a sale that is not from a friend or family. You should include a note in each purchase that thanks your customer and asks them to leave a review. I include a handwritten thank you, and on the back, it asks if they’re able to leave feedback. I have seen many creative ways people ask, and I think if it’s on-brand you too can let that fun side shine on this one!
Tip #6. Which is closely related to tip #3. Be sure that the pictures that you are taking are of good quality. The best way to achieve this is by using natural light and simple props. If you sell a product that can be worn, be sure to include a picture of what the piece looks like if it’s on. I have had some amazing customers that have sent me pictures to use in my listing. You can use anything from a phone that takes good pictures to a nice camera, but honestly, some of the most amazing Etsy sellers I interviewed have used nothing more than their phone. There is no need to spend a ton of money on expensive equipment. I promise it is not needed!
Tip #7 Start your shop with at least six listings and continue to add listings every day until you have them all listed. There isn’t a magic number here on how many you need to have, but it looks a lot better to have a shop with several products instead of just one. You could always place your listings in your shop and save them as a draft until you’re ready to publish a big batch. I wish I would have known this sooner. This way, you don’t have to feel like you’re product launch is scattered. You can create a new line, save it as a draft, and publish your listings on a specific day!
I have one more bonus tip. Consider offering gift wrapping or customization. By providing a way to customize your items, you’ll be setting yourself apart from other sellers. And the gift wrapping does help out those who buy a gift with just enough time for it to arrive at their destination. You can charge for gift wrapping, and I like to include a hand-lettered tag with each gift wrap purchase. By doing this, I have taken the burden off of my customer’s shoulders and the hand-lettered tag ads a personal touch.
Well, there you have it, my friend…just a few tips to get you on your way to selling on Etsy! If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way! As always, I love to hear from you and all about your small business adventures. Don’t forget to rate my podcast the Handmade CEO, leave a review and share it with a friend! I truly appreciate the time that you spend with me! If you have a topic that you would like to discuss or a business you would like featured, let me know!