Are you confused on what to focus on to grow your shop? There is a lot that goes into building your business and it depends on where you are! I’ve broken it down to 5 Etsy Seller stages and each one focuses on different elements.
1. Explorer. Shop is not open, yet
Deciding on products
You are at the first stage of knowing that you want to open up the shop but are unsure about a lot of things. You are not sure about what products to put in your shop.
You may be thinking about types of products, are they similar, or totally different? Masks or wreaths?
Or you may have heard it’s hard to open a shop (side note: it’s not!) Is it going to be worth my time? How will I know that I will be profitable?
There is a lot of good advice out there but there is a lot of bad advice. There are tons of people who have tried to sell on Etsy and were totally unsuccessful so guess what?! They will tell you don’t waste your time.
Even if it didn’t work for some, it can work for you. It takes time to build up a business! It doesn’t just happen overnight.
What you should be doing is deciding on your product lines. Think about what is popular and selling, what you can make, and is it scalable?
You want to think of your shop name although it’s not that important, but you want to have an overall congruent theme. It looks more professional when your name has something to do with what you actually sell.
And you want to know what your cost is of each product, so you know what you can list your items at and what your profit margin would be. And if you’re worried about shipping which you probably are just go ahead and pencil in $10-$20 for shipping and then as you make sales, you can adjust your pricing after you have figured out what a more accurate cost is.
2. Promo Patty. New shop
Now you are a new shop who has taken the big leap! First of all congrats and second of all what are your sales looking like?
Go into your stats and see what listings are getting views and if you have sales, what have you sold so far?
Look at the products that have not had any views, and you’ll need to tweak your SEO so people can find it. Whatever you have titled it, people are not looking for that, or they are looking for it but typing in something different. They are calling it something else. Try to find other keywords that people are searching for.
When you are a new shop this is also a heavy promotional phase. Take a look at similar items on Etsy and evaluate if you are priced competitively. If you have very similar products to someone else you don’t want to be the most expensive person. You don’t want to be the cheapest either. But if someone is debating between your item and another one and they have reviews and you don’t they’re probably going to go with the more established shop. So this is when you want to make sure you are competitive.
3. Niching Nelly. Getting some sales.
At this point you should be getting a few sales. You’ve had your shop open for a few months to a year. If you’re not getting sales at this point you need to go back and work on your SEO, your product photography, and your pricing. I have another blog about getting views but no sales and what to do, check it out here: Views, but no sales.
Now at this stage you’re going to be looking at your stats and see again what people are viewing and what people are buying. You want to concentrate on what people are buying. This is where you niche down and expand.
And what I mean by that is if you have a product selling, let’s say it is a type of door hanger, you go ahead and make variations of that door hanger. You can add the variations to that listing or you can add it as a new product.
Keep repeating this process for your listings that are selling, and also at this point you may have increased your pricing some so you have a better profit margin.
4 Pedal to the metal Mary. Getting consistent sales.
At this stage you are getting consistent sales. You can actually count on getting something like 5 orders a day, or 20 orders a week.
At this point, what I did is I stopped looking at competitors, stayed in my lane and put the gas down!
I was creating more unique products all the time. I was researching all of the trends. I was searching online for trends. I was Pinterest looking for themes, not just recipes. Just a caveat to Pinterest, Pinterest will serve you up pins that are five years old so just be careful with that. You want to be ahead of the game, not 2 years behind. My shop offers wedding decorations so I was looking at what photographers were posting, looking at displays at tradeshows, and just searching to see what trends were forming. There are always associations or shows or something like that that you can explore and see what is coming next.
Just keep on digging in and creating products. Not every product is going to be a best seller but the only way to find your best seller is to keep putting new listings out there.
5 Optimized CEO. Getting smart and optimizing your Etsy shop.
This stage this could be different for everyone but I’m gonna say your revenue is at least 50K a year.
At this point you get to decide what works for you. I’ve taken listings down because they took the life out of me. Seriously, I just didn’t like to make them.
You are busy at this stage and you may have started to pick and choose what products you want to make and what products you don’t want to. I know that there are some things that I deactivated because they drained me. Every time I got an order for something that I had to paint a name on, I would just cringe, so guess what, I don’t sell them anymore because it just slowed me down.
You may also be thinking about getting help fulfilling orders. And I’ll be honest with you it is a big deal to hire someone but you don’t have to make it a big deal. Just hire part time, someone looking for a few hours of work to start.
You probably also have your shipping streamlined at this point. When I make new products now I think about what size box it will fit in before I even make the first template, because if it’s too large or won’t fit in a box that I already stock then it’s going to possibly cause an inefficiency issue.
There’s no one time where you will be like OK I’m done, everything is set up. This is a perpetual business and you must always be a creator, promotor, analysist, CEO, customer service associate, and maker! But the more you can step out, be confident in your work, and invest in yourself is when I believe you will see the dividends pay you back in return.
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