8 Things You Need to Do Before Opening Your ETSY Business....
8 Things You Need to Do
Opening Your ETSY Business
This series is an attempt to save you time, money and headaches in the process of opening and running your online handmade, art or vintage business. These posts contain what I have learned, experienced and continue to learn in the process of running mine. If you have come across some amazing ideas that I haven't included here, please feel free to contact me and let me know, I would love to hear your ideas.
I know that you are excited and ready to go, you just want to sell sell sell. Unfortunately, it does NOT work that way. No matter how many craft fairs, art shows or events you have attended, selling online take technique. There IS a formula. It isn't easy, but it can be a whole lot easier if you start out with a little bit of guidance.
- Decide on a Shop Name - This will be the name that will not only represent your business, but your brand. If you want to be successful, don't rush into this. Think about it carefully, ask people that matter for their opinion and do research online. Make sure that no one else has the name and you won't be competing with others using the name. You will use this name EVERYWHERE. This name will represent you and your brand on every single thing that is put out there, not just your product, but your ads online, your listings online. It is VERY important. There is nothing worse than seeing someone changing their business name over and over again. It really does give you a bad reputation.
- Write Out Your Story - This might not seem crucial right at this moment, but it is the perfect time to do so. While you are thinking about your name and the concept behind your business is the exact time that you should sit down with pen and paper, or your computer and write out a good couple of paragraphs about you and your business. Who you are and why you are doing this. What makes you and your ideas different than someone else's. Why would someone choose you and your products. Your story is incredibly important in this process. Once you have done this, set it aside somewhere safe, you will need it later.
- Create an Email Address - Using the name that you have chosen, create an email address using that name. I suggest using gmail because with it you will be able to link to Google Docs and Blogger and many other tools that you will want access to as your business grows. You want this email prior to opening your shop so that all of your business correspondence goes directly to one address and you can easily organize it all in one place. If you later decide to create an email list of your customers, this will make it much easier.
- Sign up on Social Media - I know that you probably already have Social Media accounts for yourself on different platforms, you will want ones just for the business as well. Ways for people to recognize you and a way to promote your item throughout the day. Using the name that you have chosen, make accounts on Facebook (a business page), Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to start. There are about 20 others, but that will get you started. I made each of those linkable to my accounts in case you need some ideas about setting up yours.
- Canva Design School - This might seem like a strange one, but you are going to have to trust me. As you grow, you will need this more and more. The sooner you learn it, the better off you will be. It is 30 tutorials, all free and they will teach you all of the ins and outs of how to use their program. Spend an evening taking them all. You will absolutely need them.
- Canva Banners for Social Media and Etsy - The coolest part of Canva, besides the fact that it is free, is that it has templates. There is no guessing or figuring out how big a post needs to be. When you find a successful shop, you will ALWAYS notice how professional it looks. From the banner to the listings to the photography. We will get to all of that, for now, let's talk banners. Using the templates, create for yourself a nice eye catching banner. If you need to, go to the front page of Etsy, pick a couple of shops that are on the front page and go into them. Check out their logos, see what kind of banners they are using. The probably paid hundreds of dollars for theirs. If you have that kind of budget, you are probably not reading this. So, since you don't, get to work making your own. Be creative. Make one for each of your Social Media sites and your Etsy shop.
- Make Enough Items - I cannot stress this enough. I have seen shop after shop with ten items in it and the owner whining over not having sales. You can absolutely NOT seem reputable or be taken seriously if you do not have enough items in your shop. There is a theme among Etsy Shop Owners, many will say that they really did not see a big sales influx until their listings was up to 100 items. I have heard this said dozens of times. So, that is something to shoot for. If that isn't doable, I would say to at least have two good pages worth to start with. If you don't have that many, get to work.
- Consider your Packaging and Shipping - You can never make your packaging and shipping an afterthought. The most successful shops have some of the most adorable packaging. This is something that you should really consider ahead of time. If there are things that you need to purchase and have on hand, you need to get them first. I myself am guilty of this, when I have really large bags to ship, they sometimes get some tissue paper and a USPS box. Sorry folks.. You want your items to look consistent, your packaging to look consistent. I also suggest always including a written note or thank you card. It is a nice touch and seems to help with reviews.
After completing these items, you should be ready to open your shop. In my next post, I will discuss what you need to do when you first open it, the things that ABSOLUTELY need to be filled out. I look forward to your comments. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
If you have a business online or are thinking of starting one, begin today listening to the Web.Search.Social Podcast, start at Episode One and work your way through them. I have learned more about how to run my business online from them than all the things I have read or listened to combined. Great Resource, Great People...
Please stop by and see what is new in the shop this week at Trampleedesigns
Until then KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...