Seven biggest mistakes that I see people make on Etsy just so you can make sure that you’re not making them. Let’s dive in.
Before we talk about mistake number one, I just want to mention quickly that I will be referring to more free resources to help you avoid and fix the mistakes that we’re about to cover. So anything that I mentioned in this video is going to be linked just below. Okay.
Mistake number one: you aren’t niched enough.
Now, the very first mistake I see many, many, many makers make is not being niched down enough on what they actually sell. This means that you’re trying to sell a bit of everything in your shop: maybe a little bit of ceramics here, maybe some knitted things here and so there isn’t really a sense of a shop that is cohesive a brand that is cohesive; and you’re trying to sell to pretty much anyone.
It might be because you as a crafter or someone who enjoys doing a lot of different things as a hobby, you decided to open a shop and so you decided to sell a few different articles and items, but nothing is really cohesive and you’re not really niched down enough.
To succeed as a handmade shop you need to be very specific when it comes to what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. If you’re trying to sell a little bit of this and a little bit of that, it’s not going to work.
You’re more than welcome to do all sorts of awesome crafts at home, but your shop needs to look cohesive and it starts by refining what you are selling or you might fall under what I call the Dollar store stigma.
Mistake number two is average or even less than average product photography, and this is a very big one, you guys.
More info on that is in another video of mine that I link to below this video for you.
Taking pictures is bloody hard work. Like I know it’s so frustrating and usually what happens is you spend a couple of hours, maybe a couple of days trying to take pictures of your product, you think you’re doing pretty good looking at your camera and then you put it on your computer and you’re like, oh, it’s not really perfect, but it will have to do because I spent so much time already taking all of those and I’m a photographer, so this is as good as it can be. The thing is, it cannot be as good as it can be. You have to spend more time learning photography if you’re not willing to invest in a professional photographer for your products, which you don’t have to do.
You just have to accept that it will take more than an hour to take pictures of your product and that you’re going to have to experiment with different light sources, with different backgrounds, with different areas in your home when you take pictures in order to get really, really good professional looking images for your products. The good news though is that once that’s done, you can just set this up exactly the same way over and over again every time you come up with a new product, because very likely your products are going to be all the similar size, so it’s going to be the same setting, same setup every time.
But I don’t want to see any shadows, any weird angle over an underexposed picture, not saturated colors, background, a little more gray or purplish than they look white… And I know this is, this sounds like, “that’s a lot of work, Deb”, but it has to be because if your product images aren’t up to standard or even above, you won’t get a good conversion rate and you will not sell well on Etsy or anywhere else on the Internet.
Mistake number three is not understanding and not using SEO properly.
If you don’t know what SEO is, that’s search engine optimization. Etsy isn’t just a marketplace, it’s a search engine with another couple million sellers on it, so you need to understand SEO and how it works on Etsy particularly to understand how to get found on the platform.
Don’t start in forums, don’t start on free Facebook groups or some Reddit thread online. Start by reading the official guide that
Etsy has out there that explain our SEO works so you understand how it works.
Once that’s done – and honestly, you have to read this guide if you’re serious about understanding SEO and about selling on Etsy – once that’s done, get to work and research keywords and long tail keywords that your ideal customers are likely to search on the platform. You can’t just put up your listing, put some random keywords in your title or not even think about them and hope that you’re going to be found because you simply won’t.
So you can use tools like Marmalead or Etsy Rank to help you understand what keywords are more likely to help you get found on search, but you have to take SEO very seriously when you sell on Etsy.
Now, I’m not going to dive into the details of it right now, but I do have another video that I’m linking just below that dives into what is new in Etsy SEO in 2018.
I really recommend you go and watch that when you’re finished watching this one.
Mistake number four is not bringing your own traffic to your Etsy shop.
I know that Etsy is amazing because it comes with all these visitors that come and visit and browse the platform everyday looking for things to purchase.
It might not be enough because you don’t want to be reliant on the Etsy SEO algorithm because that bad boy changes all the time and also because sometimes
SEO isn’t going to be enough to get you found and get you enough traffic.
So as we’ve just seen, it is very important to understand and leverage SEO, but it also shouldn’t be your sole focus.
It can be hard to rank high in a crowded niche, and even if all your products were to rank really well, you do not want to have all of your eggs in one Etsy SEO basket.
Because the algorithm isn’t something you can control you should be working at bringing your own traffic to your Etsy shop.
So take control of it, take control of your traffic and your business by bringing in some traffic from other places.
My best recommendation is: leverage Pinterest, for example, or other social media, but I’m really a big fan of Pinterest for that and make sure to grow your email list at the same time so that you can reengage with people who are interested in your products rather than relying just on Etsy SEO.
Mistake number five is not adding new products regularly.
Now, many successful sellers will tell you that regularly adding new items to their shop is what has helped them increase their sales.
In fact, even Etsy states it in the seller handbook: increase your chance of getting found by shoppers by adding more listings and variety to your shop.
They say, and I quote, “you want more views and you want more sales, so what’s the number one thing you need to work towards?
Add more items”. So make sure to release new items and product collections regularly to increase your chances of getting found and to make more sales on the platform.
Mistake number six is competing on price rather than competing on value.
Competing on price rather than value is not only going to kill your profits because you’re going to sell items at a very low price, but it will most likely also kill your sales, which makes it a lose lose situation.
Look, your products aren’t a commodity.
Instead of competing on price, you need to compete on value.
Make sure that your brand from graphics, to your logo to your product photography, your customer service, your packaging, and everything in between, screams high value designer brand and not crafty, homemade. And most importantly, learn to use perceived value as an integral part of your pricing strategy.
Now, if that didn’t make any sense to you, that’s okay, but please make sure to check the links below. I’ve got a full playlist of videos just on the topic of pricing. It’s all free stuff you guys.
There’s also a free pricing calculator and I really recommend you go and take a look at that because it’s very important to price properly so that you can compete on value and not on price. So make sure you check that out below.
Last mistake, mistake number seven is giving up too quickly.
That’s something I see all the time and it breaks my heart and I understand why it happens.
Because sometimes when you move from, you know, just making products at home to selling on Etsy, you realize that there is so much more to do than just creating the product and you get overwhelmed by all the businessy things that you didn’t see coming that you now have to focus on in order to grow your shop and to make sells so that you can make more products and have fun doing that.
And so I understand that it can feel too much at times, especially because it takes a little bit of time to build that momentum on the platform. And so I see a lot people giving up too quickly. You can’t realistically expect to start a shop and quit your day job or you know, make a full time living from it in a month or two.
You have to give it a little bit more time.
It takes some time, as we’ve said in this film, to learn just even photography and how to take beautiful products.
It takes some time to learn SEO on Etsy and how to leverage it for your shop.
And so it’s normal that things don’t just click into place as soon as you launch and click and your shop is life, so please be a little bit patient – and
I’m not saying patient while doing nothing, you see left to work on things, but don’t give up too quickly.
It gets easier and if you need help, if you need support, if you need to rant about something, join us in the free Facebook community –
Tizzit circle. It’s a free Facebook group with over 5,000 members at this stage that, you know, are all doing the same thing and so they will understand what you’re going through here, and I’m there as well, you know, giving you advice and support and answering any questions that you might have along the way. So make sure to take a look at all the links I’ve mentioned below this video and subscribe to the channel if you enjoyed this video so that you don’t miss the next one.
I release a new video every Tuesday. By for now!