I asked several of our Christian Artists Street Team shops, which have over 1000 Etsy sales each, if they would kindly provide us with their TOP 5 Etsy Success tips.  The first post of four shops was published last week and today's post contains advice from the last four shops.


Holmescraft

 

1. Be Uniquely You -- Nobody likes a Copycat. Find your own style. Find a unique way to do what you do. The best way to get noticed is to stand out from the crowd. The best way to stand out is to be different than everyone else. 

2. Success Doesn't Come in Just One Size -- My Success does not equal Your Success. Don't let someone else define what success is for you. Why do you do what you do? What are you wanting to accomplish? Ten sales a day, one sale a day, one sale a week? Your definition of success may not even have anything to do with your number of sales. Set realistic goals, both long-term and short-term. And remember, they are just goals, something to reach for. Not reaching a goal does not mean failure. Maybe your goals were not realistic for you or maybe life just got in the way and it will take a little longer to get there. 

3. Be Prepared for Success (Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it) -- Ten sales a day might "sound" exciting but can you HANDLE ten sales a day? Know your limitations, how much you can handle. How can you streamline your process? A few years ago, one of my rings *went viral*, literally overnight and right before Christmas. I was averaging almost a sale a day. November of that year, I had 25 sales. Imagine getting twice that amount in one day! What would you do? I had to get organized. Quick! And I needed to buy more supplies. And I had to be realistic about how much I could handle. How many orders could I get done in a day? I needed to know when I was at my limit for getting future orders out in time for Christmas. 

4. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak -- You can't just "set up shop" and then set back and relax. A sharp axe will get much better results than a dull one. But to keep it sharp, you have to sharpen it often. Find ways to tweak your skills, your photography, SEO (tags, titles and descriptions), your presentation, both in your shop and in your packaging, and your customer service. Those are never-ending tasks. 

 5. If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again -- What works today might not work next month. Be flexible and adaptable. What key words are people using to find you? Have they changed over time? Are your key words in both your titles and your tags? Do you need to change them. Last year when my sales weren't as good as they should have been, I began doing some research. The key words I had been using weren't as affective as they once were. When I changed them, my sales picked up. Do a search for the type of items you sell. If your items are not showing up in the first few pages, see what those shops that are are doing. What can you learn from them? 

 6. BONUS -- Be the Best YOU you can be and love what you do. Whatever you find to do, do it with all your heart. "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

by Dian of HolmesCraft Jewelry Design 


LusciousLather

 


1. Don't forget who your target market is. Cater to them only and resist the urge to follow trends your customer would not really be interested in.

2. Research what your customer likes and offer it to them.

3. Ignore all 458 "video gurus" who want you to send them boxes of your products for free so that they can use it and take advantage of you with the promise of recommending it to their supposed thousands of followers. You already have that recommendation. It's called feedback and it's listed on your site by the customers who actually paid to receive your products.

4. Listen to your customers and offer what they suggest when possible and profitable.

5. Treat your customers well.

6. Work your butt off.

by Diane of LusciousLather

WormeWoole

 

1. Find a product you love to make and others love too. You might like to make a certain item, but if no one else needs it or wants it...it won't sell.

2. Don't be afraid to price your items high enough to make a decent profit, but don't be afraid to bend a little. Make someone happy by granting a request. Reward a returning customer. Go the extra mile. Give a discount when you can. Happy customers give great referrals.

3. Come up with branding that suits your shop and stick with it. This helps you be memorable in the Etsy sea of shops and products. Your shop name, avatar, logo, colors, font, labels, business card, and so on should be recognizable and consistent.

4. Keep up on trends. Be aware of the current popular colors or prints, styles and fads, and use them in your creations if appropriate or possible. Browsing in magazines and on Pinterest, reading Etsy's trend report, consulting Pantone for colors, and even strolling through the mall will give you an idea of what's "in." But, know the trends of your niche. For example, the color trends for primitive decor may be very different than that for baby clothes, which may not be the trendiest colors at all.

5. Learn all you can. There is a lot to learn so a little at a time is fine, but keep doing it. Read and learn about all aspects of running an Etsy shop. Read the articles Etsy provides, participate in discussions on teams, discover more about making your craft and about running a business. Put it into practice as you learn.

by Sara of WormeWoole
SueRunyonDesigns



1. Nothing will make your shop stand out more than taking the very best photos you can possibly take.  I admit this is not my favorite part of having an online business and I'm not great at it. However, every single photographic improvement I've managed to blunder through has resulted in noticeably higher sales figures. This is one place you should absolutely compare yourself to other shops.  Build a private treasury for yourself on Etsy interspersing your items with items from top selling shops in your category and compare.  Are your photos darker, not as crisp, is the background too busy, is the light too yellow or blue, do you need to crop closer, could you get a better angle, how can you set your items apart from every other shop in your category?

2. Search out niche markets that aren't being served by many other sellers on Etsy and keep your eye on general style trends. I was recently looking for a hand knitted cloche style hat on Etsy and, though I got a lot of results in search, there weren't many that were actually knitted, flattering, had good photos and were truly cloche style. If I was a hand knit hat designer and seller I would test that item out on Etsy. With the popularity of Downton Abbey on TV, romanticizing a time period when cloche hats were in, it might be worth trying.

3. While one-of-a-kind items are fantastic, it takes a lot of time to search out materials, make them, photograph them, figure out pricing and list them for a one time sale.  Designing items that can be sold and relisted repeatedly is a great way to pick up your sales pace and make your business profitable. When you hit on items that sell time and again you can produce them more efficiently, purchase supplies in bulk, and begin to offer them in different colors, materials, sizes, and in multiples to make a line of products that really works hard for you.

4. In direct opposition to what I just said, put a couple of unique stunners in your shop. Show off your skill and your art by listing a couple of higher priced, luxury items. These items are more likely to be included in treasuries, blogs, pinned on Pinterest, etc and can intrigue people enough to want to click and browse even if the items never sell. The average item price of sales in my shop is $15-20, but I have listed gallery quality items up to $220 and, yes, I even sold one on Etsy.

5. The best way to increase profits is to decrease costs. Look into buying wholesale or in bulk and shop around for the best deals and the best quality of products and supplies you can reasonably afford. You might not need a box of 250 padded envelopes in the next couple of months, but if you will use them in the next year and can save 40% by buying them on-line in bulk, it could be worth doing.

by Sue of SueRunyonDesigns

Comments (11)

On January 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM , Anonymous said...

Excellent advice, again.

I find that potential customers have the greatest ideas. Some of my best sellers started out as custom orders.

I also liked to read about being prepared for success.

Thank you very much for taking the time to compile all this useful advice. Etsy should see this and broadcast...

NellywithWings

 
On January 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM , C. Weed said...

Absolutely fabulous advice! With all this wisdom put into practice, our shops should see much more sales. :) Thank you!

 
On January 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM , sammysgrammy said...

It is heartening to see the successes in etsy shops of people we know, love and trust. It is so generous of them to share how they got there. Their advice is invaluable.

 
On January 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM , KarenW said...

Thanks to all for sharing. There's always something new to learn. Thank you Sue for doing this series.

 
On January 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM , The REAL EverSewSweet said...

Very good information. Thank you so much to the shops that contributed, and to Sue for compiling it.

 
On January 14, 2014 at 5:15 PM , bananaorangeapple said...

This is very informative, thanks so much. Exactly what I need to read.

 
On January 14, 2014 at 11:02 PM , Anonymous said...

I love both articles by successful Etsy shop owners.

I hope there will be more articles like these two. I have learned from them.

Thank you very much

 
On January 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this together, Sue!
Julia

 
On January 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM , Kathleen said...

Great advice! Thanks to those who shared.

 
On January 16, 2014 at 1:20 AM , JulieandMax said...

Once again, excellent advice. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this all together :)
Julie

 
On January 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM , Judy Russi said...

What great advice. We all think we want overnight success -- but are we really prepared for our sales to double or more. Good idea from Sue R. about putting a private treasury together to compare items/photos. Yes, more of these posts would be great!