Starting an Etsy shop was a major learning experience for me. I actually started one Etsy shop, and a year later am running a completely different shop (this will tie into my #4 below). I wish I knew what I know now before I opened up my first shop. I learned SO much in just a short time – 1,500 sales in only a year was a good run.
Here are the things I wish I knew when I started:
#1) Hands down, SEO:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely important. This is what allows people to find you when they search for you. Don’t you want the world to see your fabulous handmade goods? Then make sure SEO is always working for you, and not against you. Always do your due diligence in making sure that your tags, keywords and descriptions are on point to helping your rankings.
Photography is your “first impression” for buyers. Think, window shopping. Bright and clear images are great for showing the buyer what they’re interested in. You’re saying, I’m proud of my handmade items, enough so I want them to be displayed beautifully and show their full potential! I like to offer a couple of different shots to display to buyers what they’re getting. Lets use a t-shirt for example: I’d post one photo of a t-shirt on a model, another photo of the shirt plain with a white background, and then one photo flat-lay with a cute outfit put together. (flay-lays are so in!)
#3) Price for profit & know your numbers
Don’t under sell yourself. Pricing for profit is key for any successful business. But before that, you must know your numbers. Make sure your cost of goods and any operating expenses are covered by your products. Most business take some time to get up and becoming profitable, but the faster – the better. Amirite?
#4) Create products you love and that your customers will love in return
I learned this the hard way. I started an Etsy shop (my first shop) that I knew would make money, but my heart wasn’t in it. I eventually grew tired, was constantly stressed and quickly burned out. Make sure you create products you love. If you pour your heart and soul into something, your customers are bound to love it too. Also, if you love doing it – it won’t feel like work. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? Love you job. Get paid to do what you love.
#5) Lastly, Just go for it!
Don’t let fear stop you or drive you. When I started my t-shirt apparel shop (my first shop) I invested less than 2,000 dollars and quickly made that money back and then some in about 3 months time. Incredible turn around and blew my expectations/goals out of the water. Don’t be afraid to jump in feet first, but make sure you have a plan set before you just go wingin’ it. Check out this blog post on how to open an Etsy shop and get 40 free listings.