I often get messages from Etsy shop owners asking how I run a successful shop. They want to know how to be found in an endless sea of Etsy Sellers. I love to help and support other small businesses, so I thought I would jot down a few tips and tricks that I have learned since opening my shop in 2010.
1. Get stellar professional photos.
When I first started on Etsy my photos were taken by me, in my back yard and were pretty abysmal. I used to peruse other shops and see their amazing photos. I did not know how I could afford to get professional photos with such a small budget starting out. One day I stumbled across the website at www.adoramodels.com and it all became clear. Adora Models is a firm that will allow small boutiques to trade shop items for professionally modeled photos. It is a lot cheaper than paying for a professional photo session.
You can also connect with a local photographer who may be willing to trade their services for exposure on your social media outlets. It’s a great way to cross-promote each other and get the word out. I always credit the Photographer and the Party Stylist in the listing in return for donating the photos. And I promote the heck out of my features and collaborations.
This is, in my opinion, the single most important thing I have done for my shop. On Etsy, high-quality photos = high quality merchandise. It is the first impression many of us will make. You have to stand out. I am always attracted to high-quality photos in my feed and want to know more about that item and seller. it is a lot cheaper than paying for a session. Your photos should tell a story that makes people want to live that story. Get creative. Make sure their pictures are stellar.
Also, be sure to pay attention to the profile photo you use as your image. Make sure the photo is high-quality, professional, tasteful and clear. Use this same image on all of your business-related social networks to create a cohesive image.
2. Hire a professional designer to create a logo and header image for your shop.
The image your shop portrays should be as a business. Even if you are like me, hand making your items at your dining room table while The Bachelor or The Voice plays on the tv in the background, you want to look the part. Customers will take you more seriously if your image is professional. Our goal is to make customers feel at ease buying from someone they don’t know yet (more on that later). A professional image portrays that you are serious about your craft and it is more than a hobby for you. A great tip is to contact a local design class and see if any of the students would work with you. Or ask your friends if they know a good designer. You may even be able to barter your services for design skills.
3. Be Social.
I recommend posting on social media and letting your customers get to know the “YOU” behind your brand. I use a Facebook Business Page, Instrgram, Pinterest and Twitter. Use your business name for those accounts. Leave shop links in all of your profiles so your customers can find you.
My mama says its’ a lazy dog that won’t wag its own tail. So wag that tail. Tell people why your stuff is better, why you are awesome and why they can’t live without you. There is only one unique you and people need to know how awesome and unique you are!
The single most important thing that has happened to us socially is when our Breakfast At Tiffany’s Tutu Dress went viral on Pinterest. Did ya’ll see it?
Praise God for that! I wish I knew who pinned it and got that ball rolling. I’d hug their neck so tight!
Also I recommend a professional head shot, logo and banner that is cohesive throughout all of your social media channels so that people begin to recognize you and put a face to the name. Make friends on social media and help support each other.
4. Use all 13 etsy tag words in your listing.
Etsy gives you 13 tag words to use in every listing. Use every one of them on every listing. I even use phrases and some words from the phrases by themselves to emphasize where I am found in the searches. For example, Breakfast At Tiffanys, Tiffanys, Tiffanys Tutu, tutu dress, etc., etc. I really want people looking for me to find me. Search for what you are selling on the etsy search and see what the people on the first page are using for their titles and key words and follow suit.
5. Name your items intelligently.
This one really hurt my feelings, at first… I tried coming up with cutesy names for my dresses. I really wanted my shop to be adorable from top to bottom. There was only problem. Customers were not searching for those titles. While I was calling my tutu Circus Fun Tutu the customers were actually searching for a rainbow tutu. So I added a few more duplicate listings and changed the names to do a test run. My stats showed a dramatic increase when I called a spade a spade.
6. Have 50 -75 listings MINIMUM.
I saw a dramatic uptick in sales and views once I reached 50 shop listings. A sparse shop does not look like you are a serious shop. It’s okay to have duplicate listings with different names, but keep those to a minimum.
7. Please make your business a business page and list it on your personal Facebook profile as your current employer.
One big mistake I often see people make is to not list their shop as their employer on Facebook. They will post something awesome or cool in a private group or on a friend’s page. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking their photo and not having a clue as to what their business is. And they lose me right there. If I cannot easily find that information I give up and move on. People are busy these days and don’t have time to track you down. Make it almost impossible for them not to find you.
8. Watch your etsy and facebook stats and see what is working for you.
A lot of the things I am sharing are from simply monitoring my stats for a few years. It helps me to know what items, titles, listings, etc. are working for me. Also what keywords are being searched. Sometimes things I love and think will be a surefire hit are a total dud. And the ones I deem a dud are completely hot. It’s hard to know without these stats. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Sometimes I post my lunch, or shoes that day, and it is more popular than my tutu. I think this goes back to people enjoying learning more about the seller’s personal life. It’s fun to connect over a pair of cute shoes you both love.
9. Watermark your photos.
One of my biggest regrets is not realizing just how popular my Mini Audrey Hepburn would be. I could have saved myself massive amounts of wasted time and energy going after people who have stolen my photos. Please, I beg you, put your stamp on everything you do. And be warned, if I see you with my photo you will be shut down! I have gotten pretty good at it. I am planning a post very soon on intellectual property and will offer tips and tricks on how to handle this type of stuff. Stay tuned for that.
10. Make and sell what you love.
Nothing is more rewarding than creating something from your head and translating it into your medium. If you truly make something you love to make you will never work a day in your lie. Follow your passion. Put your stamp on it. Be original.
I hope this information helps you! Please feel free to make comments below and let me know if you have other questions I can help you with. Please share your struggles as an Etsy seller. I would love to help!