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Be My Own Boss? Yes.
Get creative and share my designs with the world? Heck Yes!
Make tons of sales in my first month and let the cash roll in? Not quite.
You see, starting a successful Etsy business isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes hard work and good marketing skills to optimize your shop and have your listings on that coveted first page of search results.
Etsy is a fantastic platform to showcase your handmade designs and provides a huge audience primed to buy. With so many sellers, how can you make your items stand apart? How can you skyrocket your sales to make your dreams of being a successful business owner come true?
Here are the 5 top mistakes that are hurting your Etsy sales (and how to fix them).
Not Offering In-Demand Products
Before rushing to put items into a store, think carefully about what types of things you are going to sell. Are your items too general? Are you trying to sell in a heavily saturated niche (looking at you jewelry and art prints)?
You should be asking yourself: What does the market truly want? What is working for others in your given niche? What types of products are they offering? How many other sellers have an item similar to yours?
Etsy offers a page dedicated to showing you all the latest and greatest trending items. You should get a broad sense of the things people are not only shopping for but also BUYING.
Next, find the keywords that match your item and take a look at the search results from Etsy. If you have a keyword tool (like Erank or Marmalead) what do the results show? Are you trying to break into a high-competition niche? Or perhaps the niche has low or medium competition, but the search volume is too low? You can have the greatest product in the world, but if no one is searching for it, no one is buying it.
Look for the best sellers in your niche and look for trends. What colors are they using? What styles are most popular? I am not suggesting you copy their style because if you do chances are you will fail. You must come up with your own style but learn from the best.
Always know what’s actually selling before you invest the time, energy, and yes, money — into creating something.
Don’t just create something because you “think” it will sell. Do your research and KNOW it will sell!
Branding That Is Not Cohesive
With branding, every detail matters. Cohesive branding builds trust with your potential customer. A disjointed site will have shoppers running for the hills in a matter of seconds.
Think about it, does your banner match your logo? Is your color scheme consistent? What is your photography style? And do all of these appeal to your target customer?
You want your customers to imagine they have walked into your brick-and-mortar store and instantly feel your vibe. Can they connect with your store in a way that makes them excited to shop with you?
Make your store MEMORABLE. Make your customers keep coming back because they know you get them, you understand what they love, and they need all of your stuff!
Branding is also evolutionary. Test out different things to see what resonates better with your customers. Experiment!
Here are a few great resources to get you started on building a branding kit that you and your customers will love:
- Etsy designers
- Creative Market (logos, and graphic elements)
Using Mediocre Photos
Any potential buyer will scroll right past your listing if that first photo isn’t that great.
You need to make any potential buyer want to know more. The way to do that is to connect with them emotionally.
You want to make your product look so appealing, they don’t hesitate to add it to their cart. After all, you don’t want your hard work to go to waste with poor-quality photos that don’t show off the quality of your goods.
Here are a few tips:
- Use all 10 images available to you
- Stay cohesive with your shop’s branding. Try organizing your backgrounds with similar color palettes and/or lighting. Keep the overall “feel” the same for each product to build a consistent look.
- Use natural light, it will help show the true color of your item as well as provide warmth to your photos. Try setting up your photoshoot area outside or near a window.
- Always use close-up shots as well as others further back. Close-ups can show off the texture. A shot from farther away can show the item’s size and how it looks in context.
- It can also help to try A/B testing. Copy a listing that you want to test, then switch up that front photo to see which is getting more hits, favorites, or even better, purchases. Check back in a few weeks to look at the results. You should see a clear winner in terms of what appeals to your customers.
Not Researching SEO
When you want to get the attention of people shopping on Etsy, you’ve got to show up where they are searching. Having the right keywords in titles and tags is how to do it.
Research the words that drive the most traffic and use them for your products. You should start with a core set of 4-5 keywords and put them EVERYWHERE.
There are a number of tools available to help to find the best keywords to use. For more in-depth advice on SEO, check out this article on Mastering SEO.
You are tweaking your SEO, crafting sales or special offers on what you think will work, but you are still not seeing any results! The problem is you are not looking at the data!
This is also a great place to try A/B testing. Copy your best-selling listing, then tweak your SEO and listing details or photos. (Bonus – you will get an extra boost for having a new listing! )
Relevant keywords matter. Use the EXACT keywords a shopper uses in their search
Order of keywords matter. If you include the same word in the title and tags, you get an extra boost in the Etsy search algorithm.
It can take weeks to months before you have enough data to analyze your results. You should then be able to evaluate what is working or not working.
Do Your Research
Figure out what you want to sell, see what’s already available on Etsy, look into costs, and read up on optimizing an online shop before you make dozens of products that you can’t sell. I’ve written a few articles on tips & tricks I have learned that can help.
Craft A Plan Of Action
There aren’t any guarantees that you’ll be successful unless you do some planning. Even a simple outline of how you can tackle the things mentioned above will have you well on your way.