For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an artist. I’m obsessed with creating and seeing my ideas come to fruition. In the past few years, I’ve sold my art and jewelry here and there, but I have been interested in turning it into a legitimate side-hustle. I decided to follow this drive and push myself to build an Etsy shop. Throughout this project, I discovered the steps to create a solid foundation for an Etsy Shop:
The first step is to open your shop with 10-20 products, give or take depending on your niche. When launching your products you need clear, quality photos to captivate your viewers. Next, you write solid product descriptions that reflect your brand and are to the point, yet thorough to sell your products.
Here is pre-launch checklist:
- Product photos are clean, simple and from all angles and styles; also, no filters.
- Product descriptions are thorough, yet prompt.
- Mulitple keywords are used in your title and product descriptions—What words might someone use to search for your listings?
- Every material listed in the description
- Measurements are listed
- Weight for your products measured for shipping purposes (you can print shipping labels from home, expediting the process)
It is also key to experiment — check your shop stats frequently and determine which keywords viewers are using to find your shop. This gives you a better idea of what you should focus on and areas to improve upon. I wrote a quick guide for starting an Etsy shop for a more step-by-step guide.
Marketing and sales are like bees to flowers, one doesn’t work without the other. I spent the second-week researching marketing tactics to grow an eCommerce business.
I’ve found that a ton of successful Etsy shops utilize Instagram as a tool for their business— a strong online presence will send viewers to your shop. Here are simple strategies to grow your Instagram following:
- Hashtags are essential— they are keywords to bring traffic to your posts. Use hashtags in your photo captions that are relevant to your business (#etsyshops, #smallbusiness), your area, and your products (#handmadejewelry, #tiedye, etc.). Hashtags based on your business focus will target the right audience, rather than hashtags to gain likes.
- Try using “calls to actions” or asking questions in your photo captions; captivating captions will increase engagement. The more engagement, the more your photos will see traffic.
- The key to growing your business with Instagram carving out time for engagement everyday— posting, liking photos, responding to comments on your post, commenting on other photos, and following your target audience.
As you can see social media, Instagram, in particular, sends more than half of my viewers to my shop:
On January 7th, I had 23 followers on my Instagram with an average of 8 likes. On January 31st I had 112 followers and an average of 35 likes. That is a five and a four-fold increase. My goal for February is to continue the increase by five-fold and have at least 500 followers.
Creating a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a multi-step process that moves prospects into buyers. Creating your sales funnel help you find the best results out of your sales leads, therefore, increasing your prospects into buyers conversion rate.
A lot occurs between the time that a potential customer enters your funnel, to completion of a purchase. Depending on your niche and sales model, they are typically 4-7 stages. Here is my article on my sales funnel process and a flow-chart of my sales funnel:
Growing Your Etsy Shop
While studying some successful shops, I found that they had commonalities with their up-selling and customer retention tactics. Here are 5 points for up-selling and customer retention:
- Communication — always respond to questions and concerns within 24 hours
- Timely shipping and personal touches like handwritten notes kickstart a return path.
- Follow-up with a coupon code. This is a great way to build customer loyalty
- Suggestions for matching products or offers bundling help you up-sell
- Offering free shipping or a free item when you spend x amount; many savvy shoppers will add additional items to their cart to receive something for free
I wrote an article on increasing your revenue on Etsy. In addition to Etsy, these principles can also apply to selling on many different online marketplaces.
What I learned
Throughout this month, I found that sales is both an art and a science. Here are the top skills I’ve learned from this project:
- How to write solid product descriptions and what information prospects need to become buyers
- Marketing on Instagram and how to reach your target audience
- Writing a sales funnel and understanding conversion rates
- Upselling and creating a return path for customer retention
There are formulas and tactics but selling also needs personable communication and creativity. I’m passionate about growing my sales skills and I’m looking forward to my career in sales.