Having a successful Etsy shop does not happen by chance! Let me share with you how I grew my shop to over 500 sales in a little over a year with these must do tips, and you can build your store into success story too!
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When I first opened my shop, I was clueless! I thought I could just snap a few pictures, list my items, and the sales would just roll in. Boy was I wrong! It took so much more than that for me to have a successful Etsy shop.
After over a year of selling on Etsy, I thought I could save you all the trouble I went through to find out what really works and what doesn’t.
Affiliate links are used in this post which means that I make a small commission when you make a purchase, at no cost to you. I never recommend products or service I do not like or love! See my full disclosure here.
11 Things You MUST Do For a Successful Etsy Shop
If you have not opened your shop yet, use my link and get 40 FREE listing to get your shop started!
Be Willing to Work Hard for a Successful Etsy Shop
You are competing with shops all around the world, and it will take hard work to succeed! Having a successful Etsy shop is more than just opening your shop and listing a few products. For example, you will need to research what works, what to sell, how much competition you have, and so many other things before you get started.
Now I am not trying to scare you off of opening your own Etsy shop… you just need to realize it will take LOTS of hard work to run a successful Etsy shop!
View Your Shop as a Business and Not a Hobby!
Okay… this is a pet peeve of mine that I have seen so many times. Hobbies are for fun, and yes, sometimes you can make a successful shop from your hobby, but for your shop to thrive, you have to view it as a business!
Let’s new shop owner Jane for example; Jane loves to crochet and starts to make a few cute headbands for little girls. She quickly opens her shop with a few items and little to no planning. Fast forward a few months she cannot understand why no one is purchasing her cute headbands, and before you know it she gives up and closes her shop. What type of attitude did Jane have? HOBBY
Why is Viewing You Shop as a Business Important?
It changes your mindset. You start thinking about things like profit, goals, and long-term success. Then you research, plan, and put your customers first. Plus, you work hard, put in the effort, and find ways to improve and grow your shop.
With the dreaded hobby mentality, you are focused on what brings you enjoyment and hoping that will bring you sales. And guess what? You may even blame Etsy saying it is too hard when you really just need to view it as a business.
I see so many shops that fail because they are making the same things 500 other shops are selling. You are just setting yourself up for failure! You must be unique and standout to have a successful Etsy shop.
Take time to evaluate why you are different.
You can start by asking yourself these questions.
- What sets you apart from other shops? Is it your customer service, unique packaging, or maybe your attention to details?
- How are your items different? Do you use better materials, unique colors, or even specialty sizing
- Does your item solve a problem? Finding a solution to a pesky problem is always a winner!
Now mind you, my shop is in what most would consider a flooded market (jewelry), but I choose to make something that was unique that is tailored to a particular customer. And guess what? I am now at over 500 sales and making a nice little income.
Set Aside Time for a Successful Etsy Shop
You should set aside time every day to work on your shop… even 15 minutes a day can make a difference! In those few minutes, you could do 3 to 4 small quick tasks that can push your shop to the next level. Then on days when you have more time to research, make new items, evaluate your items performance and so on!
You also have to have time set aside to make and fill orders… this you need to go by how many orders you get but don’t fall into the trap like I did and stopped researching and making new items to sell. Your shop can tend to stop growing without those critical new items, and repeat buyers may want something else to buy.
Ship Your Orders Fast
Nobody likes to wait for their order! Under-promise and over deliver!!! If you quote 3–5 days then ship within 1–3 etc. And guess what your buyers will love to receive their items before they were expecting them and will most likely leave you a fantastic review. And, always include tracking!
Bonus Tip: If you do run into delays be proactive! Don’t wait for them to contact you instead send them a quick message with a short explanation and apology.
Answers Convos Quickly
It shows you are professional and take their business serious because your shop is a business! For my shop, I personally respond to questions within the hour if not minutes. The only exceptions I make is after I go to bed and our weekly Bible meetings. Some shop owners set dedicated hours to answer questions and will note them in the FAQ section.
Have Great Photos
You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words! And that is even more essential for a successful Etsy shop. No matter how much you describe your items, you cannot specify all the details as one great photo can.
- Lighting is HUGE! Natural light is best, but that doesn’t always work, and if you work at night as I do, you will supplement your lighting and this light does fantastic (I’ve used it for over two years).
- Invest in a nice backdrop… depending on size these backdrops are very reasonable!
- Learn how to use your camera/phone. I use this DSLR camera and love it, but I know of several who use their iPhone. It is all about knowing your equipment!
- Use all five photos Etsy gives you! Show your item from different views, and a close up of details are great.
- Learn from the pros! This is the ebook I read (I know it says for bloggers, but it works for product photography too), and it changed my photography tenfold! Plus, she with her advice I was able to cut my editing time from 30-45 minutes to 5 per picture and finally learn to use my camera correctly. I have a blog post coming soon!
And if all else fails, consider hiring a professional to take your photos. There is no shame in that! Because if that is what it takes for you to succeed go for it.
Bonus Tip: Check with local college because a student may be willing to do them for a discounted rate.
If you look at my shop keep in mind, I am still the process of updating my photos. So you will see examples of bad and great pictures, and you might just learn a little about what not to do.
Harness Social Media
Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are HUGE for a successful Etsy shop! You are already taking fantastic photos, and with a little help, you can be funneling sales from these popular social media accounts.
What I will tell you is to pick one social media platform to focus on learning. Research image sizes, how to’s, because what works on Facebook will not work on Pinterest. And once you master one then add another in, and that way you are giving each network, it’s best chance to work for you.
Check out my social media tips here!
Learn SEO Basics
Take time to learn basic SEO and then optimize your listings. Using a service like ETSY Rank will help with tags and finding errors, but you still need to learn the basic principles of SEO. MOZ has a great beginner SEO course.
After you learn a little, then test what works! As you will notice in my shop, I have the same item listed multiple times, and for each one, I vary my targeted keywords. Your buyers will not care, and then you can pin down what works and what doesn’t.
Evaluate Your Etsy Stats
I am so glad Etsy updated their stats recently! This change has so much more information than before. You can now funnel down per item to see where your traffic is coming from and what people are searching for to get to you.
Bonus Tip: Use the terms they are searching for keywords in other another duplicate listing. You can also use them to update existing listing so that they will rank better.
Use Etsy Promoted Listing
I see a LOT of sellers who do not want to pay for promoted listings. They are afraid of the cost and don’t think they work. Once I got over the hang-up of spending money on advertising, and began using Etsy’s promoted my shop sales doubled! You can set your budget to what you can afford even if it is just $1 a day it will help.
Bonus Tip: Don’t let Etsy figure out your bid per item. Instead set higher amounts to items that are selling well, so you will have a better chance of converting that advertising money into sales.
Finally, Don’t Give Up on Having a Successful Etsy Shop
A shop takes a lot of time to become established, and don’t give up if you do not see the results you want. Plan on having your shop open at least six months to a year before deciding to close it. It takes time for your listing to get views and become established.
What tips can you give for a succesful Etsy shop?