January is the prefect time to sit down and make a list of business goals for your Etsy shop for the new year. Whether you want to take the leap with a new products or are looking to grow your existing product line, planning out what you want to accomplish can help you stay motivated and on task all year.
Here are 10 quick tips to jump start your Etsy business in 2012:
1. Identify your target customers – when you first start out selling your products you might think that selling to everyone will yield the most sales. But this strategy often backfires because you end up spending too much time marketing to the wrong customers. If you have a clearly defined target market (for example, yoga practitioners, moms with kids under 2, etc.) you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts and money on the market that will get you the most sales.
2. Re-evaluate your pricing – if you tend to underprice your products because you think people won’t buy them if you price higher, you’re not alone! A lot of Etsy sellersprice their products a lot lower than they are worth and this strategy is not sustainable. You should be pricing your products at least double all your manufacturing costs (if you plan on selling directly to your customers) or at least four times your manufacturing costs if you plan on selling your products to other retailers.
3. Revisit your branding – do you have a consistent brand message across your etsy shop, packaging, social media channels, your emails and labeling? If your labels are different from the images on your Facebook page and different from the logo in your email, your customers might be confused because there is no consistency. Create a similar look across all areas of your business and make it easy for your buyers to find and recognize you.
4. Add publicity/PR to your marketing efforts – consider contacting magazines and bloggers to get your products in front of your customers. Magazines often publish editorial calendars (in their advertising section on their website), so get a hold of their editorial calendar and start pitching your products. If they are looking for eco-friendly back to school items, for example, and you make eco-friendly lunch boxes, email the magazine and let them know about your products. Also, sign up for a service like www.helpareporter.com and scan their publicity opportunities daily.
5. Revamp your product photos – if you only have one photo of your products, now is the time to re-take your product photos and show your products from different angles. Shoppers like to see as much of the product as they can before making a decision to purchase, so make it easy for them by showing them as much as you can of your products.
6. Spice up your product descriptions – talk about the benefits of your products first instead of the features in your product descriptions. People often buy because of the “what’s in it for me” factor, so if your product description starts with “100% cotton, pre-shrunk, available in blue, green and yellow,” you’re not really telling your customers what’s in it for them. But if you start with something like “Embrace the new year and look amazing in this flattering handmade dress,” then you’re on your way to winning their business.
7. List your location – if you don’t have your location listed or if you’ve recently moved, make sure to update it to reflect your new location. This gives your customers and idea of how long it will take to ship your products, which is something they often take into consideration when buying online.
8. Update your shop policies – read your shop policies to make sure that everything is up to date. And if you often get asked the same question by numerous customers (for example, how soon do you ship your products), make sure to address those questions here to save you time from answering emails and addressing customer service concerns.
9. Write an engaging profile – people often purchase based on stories, so make sure they know yours when they visit your shop. Address questions like what motivates and inspires you, why you started your business, and anything else that is relevant to your business. The more they know about you, the more your shop visitors are likely to click the BUY button.
10. Don’t forget SEO – it’s easy to forget to write product and shop descriptions based on SEO keywords, but if you pick a 2-4 word keyword for each one of your products (for example, organic cotton long sleeve shirt) and use that keyword in your product title, your product description and your image name, you’ll increase the number of shoppers to your site from search engine traffic.
Keep these tips in mind as you start your Etsy journey in 2012 and you’ll be on your way to success this year.