I started my Etsy shop 2 years ago. Since then I have had over 6000 sales. A lot of people have been asking me lately for advice about selling on Etsy, starting a business, and finding your niche. I am a pretty opinionated person so do not think of this as fact, it is just a view into my own world, the way I think things should be- it works for me, and it might work for you. Hopefully there are some new concepts here for you to think about!
(I posted this earlier without realizing the rules changed and I cannot link to my blog- sorry! I really want to share, not self-promote.)
1- Allow your art to consume all aspects of your life. You should be conscious of what your style is, and if you are freely expressing yourself as you should be, then your entire house or studio should naturally make a perfect setting for photographing your products (although you only need one spot).
Also, have you ever noticed when you go to one of those juried art fairs, the artists in the booths always seem to match their work! The lady who makes fuzzy textiles has frizzy hair, the ceramic artist wears same the earthy colors of their glazing, the stained glass guy is wearing nice glasses, the tall thin person creates tall thin sculptures…. these people are successful with their craft because they are intertwined with it. They do not make their art from 9-5 and come home and live a different life, as the corporate world does. They are expressing themselves (oftentimes unconsciously) through their work so much that it shows when they are standing next to it. If you do not “match” your work, it is possible you are not expressing what you want to with your work. (because you want to express yourself, right?)
2- If you are not beginning your business with $10-20K in startup revenue, the first 10-20K that you earn with your art/craftwork will need to be reinvested (in better tools, materials that may need to be bought in bulk, things that will make your production faster/more efficient, independent contractors to do easy but time consuming tasks, hiring a designer*, etc.) before you start making a profit and paying yourself. This is just an estimated price range, and maybe not necessary for everyone, but this is what I did for myself.
3- About hiring a designer- I spent about 3 years working as a graphic designer. If you do not have this kind of time to spend to learn how to create an original brand, packaging, etc. you should really invest in a good designer to make something for you. When people shop online, they are not able to experience your products in person. They only have your branding, your photos, and your description to experience. Your branding is extremely important and you should treat it this way.
And if you find a really good deal- $50 to design your logo, banner, business cards, and packaging, you are going to get what you pay for. Usually hiring a professional designer to do this kind of work will cost a minimum of $1,000, and even 2-10x this much. There is a huge range of talent and it would be wise for you to hire the best you possibly can. Always look at a designer’s portfolio before you decide to use them.
4- Good design is most often measured in simplicity. Do not over embellish for the sake of it (that goes for your product photos too) or your work may begin to look like your mom’s scrapbook. (although mom I think your scrapbooks are lovely)
5- I have mailed thousands of orders, and have never included a printed receipt. This means I have saved thousands of pieces of paper and no one has complained! Unless it’s a wholesale order, people probably will not want a receipt anyway, and if they do they can easily access it online.
I also never include more than one business card (unless requested). I find it excessive and impolite to do so- I always tell or write down names and web addresses if I recommend something to a friend, because I do not carry around copies of everyone’s card with me, and I assume this goes for others as well.
Read more of these awesome tips HERE in the Etsy forum.
Giving important Etsy forum threads written by the Etsy community a second look, so Etsy sellers can Read, Learn, and Apply! Find more Etsy Tips Here!