Etsy is a Tool For Your Business
(Speaker) I stand here and tell you that Etsy's a tool that I think is a fabulous tool, but I think of it no differently than a tool such as the other tools we use online, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. It's not the answer; it's not the end all be all of a successful creative, business, but it is a valuable tool that we can all utilize. So, it's easy to get caught up in that hangout, it's easy to get caught in that relationship. Remember that Etsy is not the CEO of your business. They are not in charge of your business, you are, and a lot of times when we list online and we're expecting those sales, we ask ourselves how do I get found on Etsy, how do I get more sales on Etsy. The real truth is that Etsy is just a tool. That's all your responsibility, that's all your job is as the creative business owner that you want to become, is taking it, taking ownership of it. So it's a tool; nothing more, nothing less. That's how we're going to treat it here today. I want to show you how...
to use Etsy to you advantage and I think just my history with it helps me give a realistic approach, a very practical approach. That's why I'm the best person to talk about how to build an Etsy storefront and use it to your advantage. If you have an Etsy shop or you're in the dreaming stages of an Etsy shop or you're in the planning stages of an Etsy shop, these classes were designed to help you take the guess work out of building a business on Etsy and I created it as a learning curve to help you create your own sold out success. The last time it was on Creativelive. I taught a class called Copywriting for Crafters. One of our favorite creatives, I know for a fact she's known in the industry, her name's Kelly Jane, Kelly Jane Creative. I'm hoping she's watching today. She, after the class, she said I have my feet up, I'm in my office, I'm having meals delivered today, so I don't miss a beat of your Creativelive class. And I loved it and I loved the scene of her getting her meals delivered and I want to tell everybody that at home as well. This is going to be jampacked. I'm here to give you actionable take aways. We're going to be talking a very specific language. We're talking our own language the entire time, so it's Etsy all day long, for three days, and it's going to be directly for you and your needs, so get your meals delivered, kick your feet up, and be here with me.
One question came over the online audience and I wanted to ask you, I know you touched upon it a little bit, but just for a little bit more specificity, Nala Cabala asked is it advisable or not to have shops on Etsy, as well as one or two other platforms with the same products?
That's a great question. I think that when you're starting out all of efforts should be focused on one platform and the reason that you want to do that is because starting out online and listing your products in a lot of different places can really take a lot of time and if your efforts are too disbursed, you're not gonna get any results from one specific platform. Over time, it's a good idea to back off Etsy and look at other options, but in this case, when you're starting a business online, start it in one place and focus everything there. Because when you have multiple storefronts what happens is you end up sending some customers here, some customers there. You can't track the success. You don't have all of the data together and it's best to really hone your efforts into one area and focus there.
That's a great question because a lot of people in the beginning get caught up about all the places that they need to be because they think that all of those places has something to do with sales, but really you need to be in one place and you need to be in one place well and the reason being is now you can focus all of your efforts on growing that one place.
(Moderator) Sounds a lot like social media in that way because I think a lot of people think they need to win every social media platform, but sometimes it's better if they concentrate on one in the beginning and then expand if they have that one down.
Absolutely and that's something we're going to touch on as well. Yes, absolutely.
(Moderator) I wanted to ask the studio audience also how many of you have Etsy shops and how long have you been on Etsy with your shops? Anybody want to jump in?
(Audience Member 1) I'll jump in I guess. I do have an Etsy shop. It's called OodleBaDoodle and I've technically been open for four years, so... there ya go. (laughs) (Audience laughs)
Yeah, your shop is fabulous too. If you have an Etsy, if you are on Etsy, let's here about it. Please Kara...
(Kara) I have an Etsy shop. It's called BohoBerry and I make bohemian wrap bracelets, Mala necklaces for meditation, and things along those lines.
(Host) Yes, yes it's fabulous. Yes, please Erika.
(Erika) I do have an Etsy shop. It's called Thread and Wanderlust. I've been open since October and I handmake, hand sew little accessory pouches, clutches, and keychains.
(Host) That's fabulous. I can't wait to check that out. Please...
(Audience Member 2) Yeah, I have a shop. It's called Crafter Day and I do home decor, like different types of hangings and tapestries and that sort of thing. I've been open for four years, but I've been doing it full time for the past year.
(Host) I've checked out your shop. It's amazing.
(Audience Member 2) Oh really? Thank you.
Go check that out, it's awesome, yes. Please...
(Audience Member 3) I have an Etsy shop. It's Basic Design and I opened up my shop in 2012, but I didn't do anything with it until the last year and a half, and then I have Boha Island Chic Jewelry.
(Host) Great, thank you so much. I can't wait to check that out. Alright, okay, thank you so much, thanks for sharing. That's exciting. I love that we're all here for the same reasons and we're all gonna be working on Etsy.
(Moderator) We have also some answers from the online audience, Lisa. So, RedScorpio says I've been on Etsy since 2008 and DaisyChainOddities says I'll start my Etsy shop in July of this year. Molly0 says that she has two shops on Etsy. So, a lot of people also in the online audience who are joining who are active in Etsy and really interested in what you have to say.
That's fabulous. Yeah, and I love when people have two shops because I myself, that's what I call multifaceted business, so I myself go through the same thing. I would suggest, and I know because a lot of people, because we're creative we often have a lot of different interests, I would suggest that as you're working through the course and all of the different materials we're going to cover over the next two days that you separate your shops into two different categories, that you work on them differently. Don't shop critique if we're, I'm going to give you some checklists and some things you can go over, don't do both at the same time. Put them in their own notebooks. Put them in their own notes because it gets confusing if you take all of your products and you clump them into one big bundle. So, that's great; that's fabulous. The other thing we're going to do today is we're going to address all of the common questions that people are asking, such as what should I be working on. When I'm working on my business, what should I be focusing my business hours on? I know that's a big question, I get it all the time. Where do I need to focus my time and efforts and what am I doing wrong? I think if there's one question I get more than any other it's what am I doing wrong. We're not only going to be talking about all that, we're gonna be talking about the psychology that goes along with an Etsy storefront. The movement of your buyers, the different layers and all the different things they're thinking, and how to give them the very best impression while we go. There is no two ways about it. Etsy is an overcrowded market. It's incredibly overcrowded and I'm going to show you why that's a good thing as we work together. When I started in 2010, there were approximately 400 thousand active sellers. That might sound like a lot, but it wasn't for a website like Etsy and the views that they were getting. So if I would list a new item, in Etsy at the time, I would be 30 to 60 views within the first hour because at the time Etsy had a scrolling homepage. It showed you every new listing that came up and that's amazing that you can get views just by listing a product, but that is no longer the case. Etsy veterans that I've talked to who have been on longer than 2010 said, reported so many more views. They would list it and get hundreds of views within the first hour of listing it and we all know that's not the case. Today, with over a million active sellers, new listings will go virtually unseen, and I don't know about you, but I've listed things that sit there with zero views, nobody's looking, and nobody does look until I take that product and I go start marketing it myself. Many creatives come to Etsy as the answer for a successful creative business and that's absolutely normal. I think it's absolutely normal to see other sellers thriving on Etsy and think that Etsy is the reason that that happened. But it's not the case. When we see it as a tool, like any tool that we would use, we begin to understand what it's there for. We begin to utilize to our advantage. It's just like buying a garden shovel and then expecting a garden to grow. No, of course we know that we need to take that tool and actually use it to grow a garden and there's a lot of work that goes in and around it. Contrary to popular belief, a saturated market is a very good thing. It means there's high demand for your product, and so that's the other thing that is disheartening for me. I talk to a lot of creatives that say I'm gonna go into jewelry, but there are so many other jewelers out there. No, there's room for you; there's space enough. Because there are a lot of people selling jewelry means that there's a high demand for it. It means there must be customers out there buying. I'm gonna show you how to use Etsy's popularity to your advantage and it all starts right here.