Editor’s Note: We’re excited welcome Rachel Gregg from CreativeLive to the blog for this guest post on 3 mistakes most beginner Etsy sellers make. Rachel interviewed experienced Etsy sellers including Craftcation Conference presenters Lauren Venell and Marlo Miyashiro.
CreativeLive is one of the best educational resources for creatives. I have taken several awesome and rewarding CreativeLive classes, and also taught one). CreativeLive offers FREE live classes in business, photography, crafting and more, plus you can purchase workshops and watch them anytime.
As the most popular online marketplace for crafters, artists, and makers to sell their wares, Etsy is a powerful outlet for makers around the globe. The Etsy marketplace is teeming with makers who use its technology to facilitate international sales and sustain their creative businesses.
But success on Etsy doesn’t come easy.
CreativeLive talked with experienced Etsy sellers and educators to find out the top three mistakes most beginner Etsy sellers make and asked for insights on how to avoid them.
- There is no doubt that Etsy proper sees a lot of traffic. According to the web analytics outfit, Alexa, Etsy ranks 136 in global web traffic and shoots up to the 40th position in the US. But all of that traffic to Etsy.com doesn’t mean traffic to your shop.
Many sellers start out assuming a well-appointed shop will automatically attract buyers. It seems obvious. Etsy has a big reach, shouldn’t that be enough to bring buyers to your store? The simple answer: no.
Lisa Spinella of Tickle and Smash puts it like this, “my mistake was relying completely on Etsy for online traffic and not taking the initiative to drive traffic to my shop via my own personal social media and branding.”
Success on Etsy comes from effort. And not just the effort you put into making stuff. Your Etsy shop is an independent small business and like all businesses, you have to do the work of attracting customers through marketing and promotion. Yes, you might get some sales from random folks hitting up Etsy.com, but your business won’t thrive until you start attracting customers of your very own.
- Ignoring features. “Etsy is constantly changing things and adding features.” Lauren Venell knows this from experience and realized, after a few growing pains of her own – including ignoring auto-renew, realized how important it is to stay up-to-date on Etsy updates.
Marlo Miyashiro has some specific tips on taking advantage of an oft-ignored option, “There are two places to create a “profile” for your Etsy shop. The first is the “public profile” that pops up when someone clicks on an account name and/or profile photo that both buyers and sellers are encouraged to fill out (edit by using the top navigation: You > Shop Settings > Public Profile). And the other is an “About Page” that sellers are able to create to allow a more in-depth view of their business and processes (edit by using the top navigation: Your shop > Shop Settings > About Your Shop).” Fill out both.
- Bad writing. “The biggest mistake I’ve made on Etsy was poor copywriting,” says Lisa Jacobs. According to Lisa, customers always try on products in their mind before they buy. When Lisa first started out, she spoke in “I’s” and “my’s” in her product listings. Now she helps customers imagine how they’ll experience the product.
Marlo expands on Lisa’s advice and encourages sellers to use, “descriptive copy to describe each item in detail, including measurements, weights, and words that evoke the imagination of the reader.” She also suggests including answers to any of the questions potential customers might have up front making it ultra-easy for them to go ahead and click that buy button now.
For more insights and access to the comprehensive Make a Profit Guidebook check out, Easy Ways to Improve Your Etsy Shop on the CreativeLive blog.
About Rachel Gregg:
My day job is dedicated to helping makers develop their digital marketing skills and grow their business. I work as the content marketing lead for the CreativeLive Craft Channel and run a small floral design business on the side.