How would you like to get paid for something you love to do? Hands in the air.
You’re a creative who makes handmade products as a hobby and now you want to translate your craft, into a money-making business.
Hey, nothing is wrong with that. And I applaud you for taking this BIG step.
This was such a huge moment for me when I started my Etsy shop. Boy was it exciting, but with that excitement brought along uncertainty and overwhelm. Where do I begin? What do I need to get this thing rolling?
This is the part that rears it’s ugly head and often causes many people to abandon their dreams in its entirety. Luckily, I did not allow fear to be my story and I am here today to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
You see, I come from a place of living your best life with passion and purpose. Everything you do in life should be centered around what you love to do and serves a purpose for not only yourself but someone else. So, to help you get started I will share with you 10 things you will need to launch and grow a profitable business using Etsy.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1 | Ideal Customer
When I started my business, I completely skipped this part. Not because I wanted to get right to the good stuff, but because I didn’t have a clue this was a necessary element.
I must admit, this isn’t the fun part, but is one of the most important things you need in comparison to figuring out your product line, photos, or packaging.
Your ideal customer represents who your dream customer is. Their age, location, female or male, what they like, how they shop, what motivates them. Identifying your ideal customer helps define your products, price your products appropriately, determine your marketing strategy and even the overall branding of your shop.
Above it all, it gives you an exact blueprint on how to find your customers and how to market to them. Because I skipped this part, it took me fives months to streamline my process. I was literally spinning my wheels trying to figure out how to make consistent sales.
In a nutshell, if you don’t do anything else, determine who your ideal customer is before you start your business. It will save you a ton of time, reduce mistakes, and create a focused strategy.
2 | Branding
Enters the fun stuff. Branding is simply a way to set you apart from the sea of sellers within the Etsy marketplace. Your branding helps identify you from your competition and goes beyond choosing the right fonts and colors.
Before you begin this process, think in terms of your dream customer. Your branding should be catered to the very person that will be buying your products.
Once you have determined that, you can begin to make the branding elements for your shop. What I love most about Etsy is you don’t need a background in graphic design to set up your shop. There are just a few elements you will need to brand your shop:
- Logo- Something simple, yet appealing. Can be made in Canvafor free.
- Colors – Choose 2-3 colors that you will use for Pinterest and social media posts.
- Shop icon – this is where your logo goes or a photo that clearly defines what your shop is about.
- Cover photo – a banner where you can display your products.
3 | Products
You need 50 items to start your shop. NOT TRUE. And if someone says you need a certain amount, run the opposite way. There isn’t a set number of products you need when you open your Etsy shop. If you toil over this, you will neveropen your shop. I say go for it and add products later as you go.
What you should be concerned with…
- Creating quality products – don’t just throw together products to get them listed.
- Creating products that are consistent with your brand – you don’t want to sell baby swaddles and jewelry within the same shop.
- Creating products that you can make over and over again.
4 | Pricing
You want success so bad that you are willing to do anything to make it happen. So much so that you would lower your prices to ensure you make a sale. Wrong answer. Lowering your prices not only decreases the value of your product, but you will find that you will work much harder and make pennies.
Your pricing should account for:
- The cost of materials – what you spend on supplies.
- Labor costs – the cost per hour to make each product.
- Overhead – costs associated with running your business such as an email service provider for sending out your newsletters.
5 | Packaging
I am always for the customer. It brings me great pleasure when a customer reaches out to me because they not only loved my product but the overall experience.
One of the ways that I help solidify a good shopping experience is with my packaging. When customers receive their items, my products are shipped in a mailer that includes a thank you note and a coupon to use for future purchases.
This allows me to showcase my brand, create a strategy for repeat purchases, and satisfies the customers need.
6 | Product Photography
Before you list your products, you will need to ensure you have high-quality images for your listings.
Does that mean you should run out and purchase the most expensive camera on the market? Absolutely not! You can achieve quality images by simply using your smartphone. Your goal is to ensure your photos are clutter free, not blurry, and no shadows.
There isn’t a workaround with this – in reality, this is how your products REALLY sell. If you have crappy photos, your chance of selling your awesome products diminishes.
7 | Titles & Descriptions
Each of your products will be accompanied by a title and a description. Both of which should be in alignment with your ideal customer.
Your title describes what the product is, essentially naming your product. Your description does the job of luring the shopper to make a purchase. Your description will list the benefits and features of each item.
Be sure to add keywords to help with getting found.
8 | Policies
Set policies in place so that customers understand how things work. Your policies should include information such as how to handle refunds, your turnaround time, and what do if your customer receives a damaged item.
Establishing this ahead of time decreases any miscommunications for the future.
9 | Accounting
Create a separate bank account to avoid mixing your personal finances with your business. Also, use an accounting software, such as Wave, to manage your purchases and track your sales.
10 | Marketing
Starting your shop is just the tip of the iceberg. You will have to create some noise to let people know you are there. This involves marketing the heck out of your products.
Although I have worked hard to build my foundation on Etsy, I do not rely 100% on Etsy to drive traffic to my shop. Which is why I utilize email marketing and Pinterest. You should also use social media to build a community for your loyal, raving fans.
Woohoo! You made it, I hope you found value in this post and that it provided some clarity on what you need to do start your handmade business on Etsy!
Meet The Author:
I’m Frankie Croker and I help Etsy entrepreneurs start their biz + turn their creativity into profits. When I’m not helping build profitable businesses, I inspire littles to be the best version of themselves with my handcrafted bows at Little Wonders Co. Most importantly, I enjoy the journey of motherhood with two of my very own little people, my heartbeats.