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Build an Etsy Storefront That Sells

Lesson 6 of 18

Common Etsy Mistakes to Avoid


Build an Etsy Storefront That Sells

Lesson 6 of 18

Common Etsy Mistakes to Avoid


Lesson Info

Common Etsy Mistakes to Avoid

I'm going to talk to you about some common mistakes to avoid with your Etsy store front. A lot of times in the beginning we take a product straight from the making and then we upload it and then it becomes the listing and then we quickly are wondering why nobody's buying, what happened? And so I always say never underestimate your customers. Never underestimate your visitors. Just because you put something online does not entitle you to sales, does not entitle you to success or a successful store front. So when I was starting my shop, I tested my products by wearing them all the time to see if I got any reaction for them, about them, any questions about them. I would give them to people that I knew, and I would ask, I would engage their reactions. It always surprised me when I would give them out and then I would see a friend at a place she didn't expect to see me, and they'd be wearing their bracelets. To me like chills are going. I'm like, I have a marketable product here. They genui...

nely like the product. And so you're engaging their reactions, your testing the durability. You're making sure that you really have a valid offer before your putting it online. And then you want to shape the listing to represent the quality that you've tested. You want to shape it to represent those reactions that you garnered while you were wearing it, while you were testing. And without that time and attention invested into the product, customers will not trust it. So never underestimate your customers. Always be sure that just because you put it there they're not going to necessarily dive in and grab it and want it. So instead you want to create a level of high quality brand distinction. If you're not sure about your brand yet, again please just use those three adjectives. It's a great way to get yourself started and think what direction you want to take your business? What do you want from your business? And now I'm taking you from zero to because every time that I talk about a mistake to avoid I'm going to show you somebody doing really well on Etsy. I'm going to show you how rich the experience is with them. So I want to introduce you to a business named For Strange Women. Now this is an Etsy storefront. The owner of this shop is named Jill. The name of the business is named For Strange Women and for every example I use I always put the URL so you can go check them out, you can pull them up right now, you can flip through while I'm talking about this experience. So I clipped a sample of this storefront. I'm going to zoom in later on on all these examples but I wanted to come out as far as I could get into the keynotes so that you got the experience that that storefront was delivering. So I got as far out as I can but I'm telling you, if you're anything like me you want to really dive into those pictures, you want to see what they're about. You really want to explore like the wonderland she's created in an Etsy storefront. Now this again, her name is Jill. This is For Strange Women. She sells on Etsy. This is a home based product. This isn't something that's manufactured in any sort of certain terms or anything like that. It's something she's invested in. It's handmade but you can tell how professional it's become. It is incredibly unique. The storefront, the experience when you shop with her, it's all so her. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for my blog and she was just really, really cool. She schedules and completes all of her new projects following the lunar cycles, by the moon, that's how she finishes her work. And she builds that just unique personality into her Etsy storefront. And at the same time she's done that, she's experienced outrageous success. She's been featured in Oh Magazine, got a full page on The Maker in Oh Magazine. And so that's just one of amazing press opportunities that's she's gained in business. What I want you to notice and what's so important here is the level of sophistication in her offer. When you come here you don't feel underestimated at all. She clearly puts something together that she wants you to come in and experience. She really took some time. So today, Jill has made nearly 30,000 sales on Etsy alone, she sells on her own independent website. But just on Etsy alone she's made nearly 30,000 sales. And when she was on her 6,000 sale, she wrote a thread and she put it into the Etsy forms and I read it, and that's when I really became a raving fan. And she also turned it into a blog post for her own site about making those first 6,000 sales on Etsy and what a strange ride it had been. I clicked this quote because it's so powerful. She said, if you are not beginning your business with 10 to 20,000 dollars in startup revenue, the first 10 to 20,000 that you earn with your art or craftwork will need to be reinvested. That's powerful to me because that's something that I knew coming into business. I absolutely agreed to it. We've been talking abut the truth of online business we're going to talk a lot more about it but during this session, I'm going to drop some realistic numbers on you. I want you to walk away with the actual facts of what it takes. And I loved when she said this, the takeaway is expect to invest. As you can tell that she has in her storefront. So when I look at this page I can practically smell the products. If you get in there and you start to click around, every page that you open, every product listing comes with the ingredients and the different scents that you can use and it is such a vivid experience to shop with her. I can tell if I didn't know Jill and I was just lending her I can tell how invested she is in this business and I can tell, I trust immediately that she's taken the time to develop a high quality product. And see that's the thing, that's what we're getting here, that's what our goal is today. So once you see all that and you see the richness and you see the investment and you see the power of this presentation, you want to bring it home. There's no question, you're bringing it home. I didn't even look at the prices. I don't care about the prices. That's a powerful presentation. I don't care and yet I want to bring it home. So you let the professionalism translate onto the page. You really invest in it and then you let it translate onto the page. Let me apply our three questions to the first impression. Can I immediately make sense of what I'm seeing? I know it smells. I know it's going to smell. I can see that there's a richness. Does the imagery capture my attention and pull me in? Absolutely, absolutely from a mile away. And can I trust this site to deliver? Well look how much she's already invested. Absolutely, I believe I'll receive a high quality product when I bring it home and that's a well put together site. That's some strong shop cohesion. So the first common mistake that we want to avoid is rushing the offer. Underestimating the customer, putting something out there before it's ready, not testing it, not investing in it. That offer, that storefront needs value. So Jill's a great example of the sophistication that is required of a top selling shop. Next I want to talk about another common mistake to avoid and that is the jack of all trades, plea for business. So, this is common. I'm saying this as not so much of a critique or criticism. It's common, we are creatives. That is the nature of us. There's no question that we don't love a lot and like to do a lot and like to try a lot and learn a lot. No question about that. So I would never take that from anyone of us. However, when we list all of that into an Etsy storefront and what I'm talking about is that, I make jewelry and then I learned to knit and now I'm obsessed with knitting and then I learned that succulence can grow just by putting them in dirt. And now I'm obsessed with succulent. So now I start adding knitting projects and jewelry and succulence. You can buy succulence from me, to all of my Etsy storefront and now it doesn't make sense anymore. So just because you are creative and that's the nature of you don't get creative with you Etsy offer. Let that storefront be specific. Let people have a strong, hear a strong message from you. Use that brand to represent. Just because you have the knowledge to create all that doesn't mean you should list it all for sale. Again that's going to underestimate your customer. When you do that and when you start listing things together the storefront turns into a bit of a flea market. And if the point of it all is to market outside, market to the world and bring them to the Etsy shop and then when they arrive they see all these different things, it smells desperate versus gives them a strong brand to come in and shop. If you have a lot of different styles and a lot of different tastes and there's no way to organize that on and believe me that there's not, then it won't make sense to the buyer and you'll lose them upon arrival so you don't want to do that. Be careful not to put products that have no business beside each other, next to each other. However Etsy is the place to do one thing and do it very, very well. So again we're going to look at how to create brand distinction on the Etsy storefront and remember, this is a limited storefront. There's a handful of categories. It's a very clean presentation. You want to bring a very clean product presentation to it. We're going to stop thinking of it as a place to catch a one off sale in the marketplace of Etsy but rather think of it as a place to showcase a brand and showcase your experience and your expertise. So I'm pulling up an example that we all, many of us know and love and you're looking at the shop Pixiebell. Pixiebell is the number one knitter on Etsy by a landslide. She's a true Etsy veteran. Been on the site since 2007 and now she has nearly 30,000 sales. She's head and shoulder above the number two knitter on Etsy. When I say she the owner is named Diane and her business is so busy that her husband has come on, his name is Christopher and he knits the products as well. So Diane and Christopher are at home knitting and selling these orders. So, just like with For Strange Women, we want to look at this in and apply the elements of a first impression to it again. Can I make sense of what I'm seeing? Yes, absolutely. And this is so familiar to me, I feel familiar with this storefront. I love and respect the owners of this shop. I've bought from this storefront before. Does the imagery capture my attention? Absolutely. Can I trust this site to deliver? Yes you can, many have. They're excellent and phenomenal. So this is the example of an expert doing one thing and doing it very well and really becoming known for it and really building a business off of that expertise. We all know and if you've ever spent any time on Etsy form, she's generously offered her advice. She's given me interviews. She's willing to help out sellers left and right. And for that reason, the Etsy community knows very well and knows her brand because of it. So it's a common misconception that product photographs have to be styled and taken in a very specific way. And this is going to lead us to our next common mistake to avoid. When we get advice on the product presentation it depends on who you're asking but we get a lot of specific advice, like use white backgrounds. Has anybody heard use white backgrounds? Use light boxes instead of artificial lighting. None of that's bad advice but it's very specific advice. It doesn't leave a lot of room to play and remember that this is creative business and we are here to play. But if you've noticed, every example that I've used so far has defied those rules. None of them were on all white backgrounds. None of them were shot in light boxes. In fact, photographs are even more engaging when they exude ambience. When they exude personality and style. So you want your photographs to have that style and personality that invites them in, that makes them want to see more, click more, have that rich experience from you.

Class Description

This course is part of the 
Turn Your Etsy Shop Into a Sales Machine Bundle.  

Bringing your creative business to Etsy® can tap you into the wide online market, but it isn’t as simple as setting the product of your hard work in the store window and waiting for customers to wander by. To make your online storefront irresistible to customers, you have to learn to showcase your products effectively.

Join creative marketing guru Lisa Jacobs for step-by-step instruction on how to use Etsy as it’s meant to be used - as a sales platform. 

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • What it takes to get your Etsy shop found online
  • How to avoid common Etsy mistakes that are hurting your sales
  • How to fine-tune your storefront to attract visitors and convert them into buyers
The skills you will learn in this class will give your business new energy, especially if you’re struggling to stand out in the crowded online marketplace or dealing with long droughts without a sale. Make selling your products on Etsy easy and intuitive.



Overall, I thought this presentation was filled with lots of useful information about creating an Etsy store. I am new to Etsy so this was a good introduction to a lot of things I did not know that... I needed to learn about. I also pricked up a lit of good tips especilly from the QAs. However, the organization of the presentation was a little confusing. The slides noted general topics but the lecture tended to meander. I found myself writing a lot down but I will have to go back later and try to re-organize my notes to put everything together. I viewed a free broadcast so I did not have the course materials to use as a guide.


Please have Tim Adam from Handmadeology come teach a class or two or three. That was the best part of this class! Seems like the 3 classes that Lisa teaches could be combined into a two day class. So much repeat info between the classes. Time is valuable when you are an entrepreneur. Basic info is out there...focus on the next level info to present.


I would recommend this course with 2 caveats: 1) The course was quite long for online viewing and it could have been significantly streamlined without losing any effective content. 2) The module with Tim Adam would have been better to have him on a live feed with GoToMeeting or something like that rather than just his picture. This was the one module that could have benefited from spending a little time explaining things.