6 Things to Try When Your Etsy Sales Slow Down

I know how frustrating it can be when your Etsy sales drop unexpectedly.  Many people will try to find something or someone to blame and will lose motivation.  That’s the opposite of what you should do though.  When sales drop that’s a great time to experiment with something new.  Trying something new will renew your motivation and hopefully lead to more sales.  Here are 6 of my favorite things to try when your sales drop.

When your Etsy sales slow down it's easy to lose motivation. Here are a few things to try so that you can get your sales back up as quickly as possible.

Run a Sale

During slow periods you may want to offer an extra incentive to shoppers to purchase your products.  You can use Etsy’s new Sales & Coupons tool to create a sale or create a coupon code.  When you set the sale up make sure you tell your buyers that it’s a limited time only sale to encourage them to make a purchase then and there.

Also, make sure your sale is enticing enough.  I recommend using a discount percentage of at least 20% off or an amount of $5 off.  Buyers aren’t really motivated by discounts that are any lower.

Try Extra Renewing

Most sellers don’t know about my favorite Etsy strategy.  Extra renewing is when you renew your Etsy listings outside of the normal 4 month period.  One of the biggest factors that determines where your listings will rank in the Etsy search results is called recency which is how recently an item was listed or renewed.

Paying 20 cents to renew your listing will often give it a big bump in the search results.  You may be concerned about paying this extra fee but I like to think of it as advertising.  With any business you’ll likely have to spend some money on advertising so figure out what your advertising budget is and use a portion of it for extra renewing.  Click here if you’d like to learn more about extra renewing.

Use Etsy’s Promoted Listings

Promoted listings are a way to purchase ad space on Etsy.  On each page of the Etsy search results you’ll find designated ad spots at the top and at the middle of the page.  You can pay for Etsy promoted listings for a chance for your product to be featured in these spots.  It’s a great way to build momentum for your business and increase your sales.

I will give a word of caution though.  If you leave your promoted listings set at the default max cost per click (the fee you’ll be charged if someone clicks on your ad) they can get really pricey.  Try out different max cost per clicks and keep a close eye on how much you are spending on promoted listings vs the revenue they are generating.  Click here to learn my exclusive promoted listings strategy.

Host a Giveaway

A giveaway can be a fun way to get some excitement buzzing about your brand.  I love Instagram giveaways because you can collaborate with other handmade sellers or Instagram influencers and get in front of their audience too.

Try to collaborate with other sellers who have the same target audience.  If you sell jewelry you may want to team up with someone who sells scarves.  Or if you sell soap you may want to team up with someone who sells wash cloths.

Work on SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is the work that you do to make sure your listings have the best chance to appear in as many different Etsy search results as possible and as high in the search results as possible.  This work is the key to getting views on Etsy which will lead to sales.

SEO is a never ending process so even if you’ve put in effort to optimize your listings in the past you can always improve.  Look at the past few weeks and see if any of your keyword phrases aren’t getting any views.  If they aren’t you may either want to try extra renewing or your may want to try a different phrase.  If you’re not sure what SEO is click here to learn the basics.

Take New Photos

I can’t stress the importance of good photos enough.  If you want to ensure that buyers click on your listings you need a photo that is inviting.  The recipe for success is a photo that is bright where the product is the star of the show.  If you feel like your photos could use some work I recommend taking advantage of slower times and experimenting with new backgrounds or photo locations.

Also if you sell accessories or apparel try to find a friend who is willing to model your products for you.  Modeled photos give the buyer an idea of the size of the product and how they can wear the product.  If you’d like to learn more about taking great photos for Etsy click here for my top photo tips.

Keep Trying New Things

Hopefully these tips help break you out of your low sales rut.  The key to growing a business is to focus on trying new things and experimenting until you find what works for your products.  Stay curious and focused on learning new things and you’ll find that you can quickly turn a period of low sales around.

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

Ways to Stay Motivated When Etsy Sales Are Slow

When your Etsy sales are slow it can be easy to feel like you’ve done something wrong.  Usually that’s not the case.  Retail sales are a constant roller coaster ride of ups and downs that often can’t be explained.  Here are some tips that will help you stay motivated and moving forward with your business when sales are slow.

Here are some tips that will help you stay motivated and moving forward with your handmade business when Etsy sales are slow.

Find Something That Motivates You When Etsy Sales Are Slow

It’s hard to stay positive and motivated when sales are down.  So take this time to lean on some motivational tools.

  • One of my favorites is music.  Different music motivates us so find a positive song that really speaks to you or better yet a positive playlist.  Click here for a YouTube playlist of motivational songs that Handmade Journey members have recommended.
  • Read a motivational book or audiobook.  One of my favorites is You Are a Badass* by Jen Sincero.
  • There are a ton of YouTube channels and podcasts out there that are motivational.  I love the GoalCast channel on Youtube because it shares inspirational stories of people’s rise to the top.  Brilliant Business Moms is one of my favorite business podcasts.  Beth Anne delivers content for business owners in a positive and encouraging way.
  • Laughter can truly be the best medicine.  Find a new comedy moive or TV show that’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

Find an Accountability Buddy

Each of us needs someone that we can talk to about our business.  Here are a few ways to best use an accountability buddy.

  • Find someone who has a similar business or is at a similar stage in their journey.  Check in with them to share your successes and struggles.
  • Have an honest discussion with your accountability buddy about the things that can veer you off track with your business.  Let them know the things that have derailed you in the past so that they can motivate you when those things come up in the future.
  • Commit to a regular check-in time and put it on the calendar.  Knowing that you are going to be checking in with your accountability buddy is often enough to keep you motivated and moving forward with your business.

Learn a New Skill

Slow times in your business can be useful for learning a new skill which helps us keep our minds active and busy.

  • See if there are any local crafting courses being offered in your area.  Being around other creatives can be super motivating.  Even a paint night can be enough to break you out of the trap of feeling unmotivated.
  • Sign up for an online class through SkillShare.  They have tons of classes in areas like painting, crafting, cooking, marketing and so much more.  Click here to get two free months of SkillShare*.

Try Something New in Your Business

This is where you take the new skill you learned or something you’ve been wanting to try and you put it into practice.  Shaking things up by trying something new can help us stay interested in our businesses even when things aren’t going as well as we would like.

  • Try a new way to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.  Click here to learn some new ideas like hosting a giveaway, online party or signing up for a craft show.
  • Create a product that is different from anything you’ve created before.  Sometimes it can take a while to hone in on a product that your customers will go crazy for.  So try something new.  It doesn’t have to be drastically different either.  Try a new color scheme or a new technique.
  • Create a new shop icon or cover photo for your Etsy shop.  Sometimes when our business feels a little stuck it can do wonders to freshen up our shop.  Try using a free program like Canva.com which has free templates for shop icons and cover photos.

Remember How Far You’ve Come

When I’m feeling a little bummed out about my business I love to take a look back and remember all the things I’ve already accomplished.

  • Keep track of your sales in a fun way.  You can buy beautiful scratch off maps that are similar to a lottery ticket to celebrate each sale in a new state or country.  Click here to see an example of a US scratch off map* on Etsy and click here to see an example of a scratch off world map* on Etsy.  You can also print off coloring pages from your computer and color in each state or country as you make a sale.
  • Look back at your older photos or social media posts.  Often I’ve found that I’ve fine tuned my product creation and my photos over time without even realizing it.  Taking a look back at photos you’ve taken a few months or years ago can really be eye opening to show you how much you’ve grown.
  • Read some of your past reviews to remember how happy your products have made buyers in the past.  Creating a product that people love is often one of the main reasons that we all start a handmade business so this alone can often be really motivational.
  • Take a screenshot of accomplishments like when you hit your first 100 sales or when you receive a really great review.  You can even print these out and tape them up around your workspace.

Ready Your Business For Busier Times

The best way to make use of slower times is to really work on your business so that you’re ready for busier sales periods like the holidays.  You’ll stay busy which can help you stay motivated.

  • Take the time to get organized.  Make sure you have all of your supplies in stock and that you’re caught up on paperwork.  When sales are busier we often don’t have as much time for things like this so the slow times can be a perfect way to get caught up.
  • Get your shop in tip top shape.  Really learn and implement SEO strategies so that you can appear in as many search results as possible.  Also take new photos of your products to make your shop look fresh and inviting.  And grab your freebie Etsy Shop Makeover Checklist which will help make sure you’ve covered all the bases and have built a shop with a solid foundation.
  • Train a friend or family member to help you with your business.  Many sellers, especially those who create holiday decor or products that make a great gift find that their sales go up exponentially during the holiday season.  Use the slower times to find someone who is willing to help with your business and train them to make your products or package your products.
  • Prepare some freezer meals during your slow times so that you’ve got a quick and easy dinner already made on nights you’ve got a ton of orders to work on.  HappyMoneySaver.com has a ton of quick and easy options.

*This post may contain affiliate links as noted with an asterisk*, which means that if you click on one of the links I’ve included, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale if you should make a purchase. But I only share products that I have tried and love or I would actually purchase myself.

The Skills You Need to Thrive as a Handmade Seller

When I started my first Etsy shop back in 2007 I had no clue how many different skills it would take to grow my handmade business.  I remember creating my first listing and hearing nothing but crickets.  It was then that I realized there must be more to thriving as a handmade seller than just creating a product and taking a few photos.

When most of us come to that realization we start researching and we quickly get overwhelmed after learning about all the hats we need to wear.  So I’m ready to break each skill down for you and give you some reassurances that you don’t need to master each one right away.

There are so many skills you need to learn to really thrive as a handmade seller. Read on to learn what those skills are that can help you succeed on Etsy and beyond.

Search Engine Optimization

I remember when I first heard SEO or search engine optimization mentioned.  I had absolutely no clue what it meant or why it mattered.  And because I had no clue my first Etsy shop completely tanked.

When I opened my second shop in 2016 I took the time to learn SEO and I realized it really did make all the difference.  When I really spent the time perfecting my SEO my views and my sales started to skyrocket.

Want to learn more about SEO?  This post will tell you what SEO is and why it is so important to achieving consistent sales.

Photography

Good photos are absolutely crucial to achieving sales on any handmade selling platform.  If your photos are dark, out of focus, or don’t showcase the product well buyers won’t click on them.  The buyer likely won’t know why they aren’t clicking but they’ll know the photo doesn’t appeal to them.

Product photography might seem overwhelming but taking the time to learn a little bit about getting the right light on your products (hint: natural light is best) and to learn a few quick editing tricks can make all the difference.

If you’d like to learn a few tips to get you started with product photography check out this post.

Social Media Marketing

Between Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter you’re likely wondering where you should even start when it comes to social media marketing.  Plus it probably feels impossible to get any interaction with your posts.  You may feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not really accomplishing anything.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are tips and tricks for each platform that can make all the difference.  It’s just a matter of focusing on one platform and really learning it well instead of trying to tackle every social media platform at once.  One of my favorite social media resources is the blog at Later.com which shares a ton of good info about Instagram.

Copy Writing

This skill isn’t discussed very often among handmade sellers but it’s a big one.  Learning how to properly write product descriptions and social media posts so that buyers will want to purchase or engage with your brand can give your business a huge boost.  Even learning to write a great tagline or about section for your Etsy shop can make a huge difference and determine if your customers want to connect with you.

But never fear.  There are some really great copy writing resources out there that can help and just like learning to write a good term paper, this is a skill that anyone can master with a little bit of practice.  I love checking out the articles at Copyblogger for copy writing tips and tricks.

Customer Service

Dealing with customers in a professional manner isn’t a skill most of us are born with.  Especially when working with difficult customers.  It can be so tough to know what to say and how to resolve issues that may arise.  But great customer service is key for handmade sellers.  When you offer amazing service your buyers will reward you with great reviews which will lead to more sales.

On the flip side, poor customer service will lead to bad reviews and buyers may even open cases against your shop which can lead to Etsy closing your shop.  So it’s definitely an area where you should ask for help if you have any questions or if you’re unsure how you should deal with a difficult customer.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading about all these skills you’re not alone.  But remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same is true of your handmade business.  You can learn these skills over time.  As long as you’re working consistently to grow your business you’ll be fine.  So try not to get overwhelmed or feel like you need to be a pro at everything right away.

I do recommend investing time into growing your business and your knowledge.  It really will make all the difference in whether your business grows and succeeds over time.  Just remember to go at your own speed, however slowly that may be.  Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.  You’re doing this for you and your own business is all that really matters.

A great place to get started learning is the free Handmade Journey Facebook group.  I also have some super exciting things coming for you in the near future that will help you grow your skill sets even more!

 

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

5 New Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Etsy Shop

There are a lot of traditional ways to drive traffic to your Etsy shop that get talked about over and over.  Working on your SEO and posting frequently on social media are the two areas where most Etsy sellers spend the majority of their time.  But if you’re ready to try something new there are other creative ways available to you.  Read on to learn 5 new ways that you can drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

Tired of using the same old methods to drive traffic to your Etsy shop? Check out 5 new tips to try to increase your views and your sales.

Collaborate with other sellers

Collaborating with other sellers is one of my favorite ways to increase traffic to your Etsy shop.  I recommend finding a seller who is marketing to a similar target audience.  For instance, if you sell soap you may want to connect with a seller who sells wash cloths.  If you sell earrings you may want to connect with a seller that sells bracelets.

There are many different ways that you can help each other.  You can share each other’s products on social media.  You can set up an Instagram pod and hype up each other’s social media posts.  You could also host a giveaway together.  Check out the next tip for info on giveaways.

Host a Giveaway

Giveaways are an amazing way to build buzz around your Etsy shop and get new followers on social media.  My favorite way to host a giveaway is to collaborate with another seller so that you can get the giveaway in front of your followers as well as their followers.  This is great exposure for your shop and a great way to gain new followers.

One way to do this is to set up a giveaway on Instagram.  One of the entry qualifications should be to follow the Instagram accounts for you and the seller you’re collaborating with.  Social media platforms often change the rules for what is allowed when hosting a giveaway so before you host one make sure to read up on Instagram or Facebook’s latest rules.

Set up an Email List

An email list is crucial for your handmade business, especially if you plan to set up a standalone website down the road.  I compare an email list to a savings account.  You’ll make deposits now as you get new signups that you can cash out later when you send marketing emails.  Most people aren’t as eager to give out their email address these days so make sure to offer them an incentive such as entry into a giveaway or a percentage off their next order once they sign up.

For an email marketing service, I love MailChimp because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.  MailChimp will allow you to collect email addresses and will also allow you to send emails to your list.  They have recently added free automation so you can even set up automated emails to go out to new subscribers as they join your list.

Participate in a craft show or vendor event

Local events, especially those in the 4th quarter of the year can be a really great way to boost sales.  Look for a fall or holiday event.  Make sure to double check the booth fees and any commissions that the event holders may request before you sign up to make sure you feel confident you can still make a profit.  Also ask about past attendance to make sure it sounds worthwhile of your time.

To drive traffic to your Etsy shop after the event, make sure you have promo materials like brochures or cards to hand out to the event attendees with your web address and email listed.  Also, make sure you collect email addresses during the event so that you can market to the attendees later and direct them to your Etsy shop.

Host online parties

Take a cue from direct sales companies and offer to host an online party for a family member or friend.  It’s as easy as setting up a  Facebook event for the party and figuring out incentives and hostess rewards.  Link to your Etsy shop inside the event and add photos of your products to the event.

A lot of companies offer the hostess 10% of total sales in credits once the total party sales reach a certain amount.  I would recommend giving out a few incentives or prizes to attendees to build excitement.  An example could be a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase.

Another way to build excitement is to go live inside the event or add a video where you show off some of your products.  Also, make sure you’re regularly checking the event to answer any questions shoppers may have.

Try out something new for your Etsy shop

These are just a few ways you can drive additional traffic to your Etsy shop.  SEO is still the most important way to drive traffic but it’s a good idea to branch out and try a few different things.  Try one of these out or get creative and see if you can use one of these suggestions in your own way to help drive traffic.

 

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

What Really Happens After You Create Your First Etsy Listing

You’ve taken the big leap and started an Etsy shop.  You’ve created an awesome product and you’ve gone through the confusing steps of creating your first Etsy listing.  Give yourself a huge pat on the back because many makers don’t make it that far.  But your first listing is just the beginning.  So what really happens next?

After you create your first Etsy listing it may feel like the hard work is over. But really it's just beginning. Learn what really happens for an Etsy seller after creating their first listing.

You Wait

Etsy listings build momentum over time. It can take time to build that initial momentum that will help you start to see consistent sales.  So you’re going to likely be waiting a bit before your first sale happens.  I know this part can be frustrating because you’ve put in a good amount of effort already and it’s hard to be patient.

So here are a few things you can do to help shorten that wait:

  • If you have family and friends who you think might want to help support your venture, reach out to them. You can create a special discount code to give them extra incentive to make a purchase.
  • Try Etsy Promoted Listings.  Promoted listings are ad spaces that help boost your products placement in the search results.
  • Create social media accounts for your business and share your new listings there.  A Facebook page is a great place to get started.
  • Try introductory pricing where you start your product off at a lower price.  Make sure that the regular price is listed so that buyers understand the value of the product. I list the introductory price in the image as seen below and at the top of the product description.  Mention that the introductory price is available limited time only to encourage buyers to act quickly.

You Realize You Need to Learn All About SEO

Many sellers have no clue what SEO is or why it’s so important.  If that’s you, no worries.  Search engine optimization is something that everyone struggles with but it can make a huge difference in your shop.

Take the time to read through my SEO articles here on the blog and you’ll be well on your way to learning what you can do to ensure your listings appear in the search for as many Etsy buyers as possible.

You Discover Good Photos Are a Must

Good photos can make all the difference in how many views your listing receives.  Buyers prefer bright and inviting photos where the product is showcased on a neutral background.  Use the same background for all of your photos for a cohesive look.

You’ll also need to find a great spot to take your photos.  Avoid direct sun because it’s just too harsh.  My favorite spots are right beside a big window or outside under a porch.

Photography training can go a long way toward improving your photos.  Taking time to learn a few basics like how to get the best light and how to edit your photos will make a huge difference.  Check out my photography tips blog article to get you started.

You Find Out You’ll Be Wearing a Lot of Hats

When you open an Etsy shop you’re starting a business.  Running a business requires a lot of skills in areas that you may not be familiar with like marketing, shipping, customer service, and so much more.

I know it can seem tempting to try to learn everything at once but just start with the essentials.  If you’ve created a listing go ahead and research what you’ll use to package your order.

Then figure out which shipping service you’d like to use.  If you’re in the US I recommend using the US postal service.  You can print labels right through Etsy at a discount.  If you’re using USPS Priority Mail shipping you can even get free boxes.

You Do It All Over Again

The more listings you have the better chance you will have of achieving consistent sales. After you’ve created your first Etsy listing make a short term goal of adding 5-10 listings.

It’s important to keep innovating and trying new things to see which products will do best for you on Etsy.  Make a long term goal of getting to 50 listings.  Many sellers report that they start to see consistent sales on Etsy when they get to 40-50 listings.

Hang in there and focus on moving forward little by little.  Don’t start out feeling like you need to tackle everything.  This is your own handmade journey so don’t compare yourself to other Etsy shops.  Just do what feels right for you and stick with it!

 

Want some help with your SEO?  Click below to grab your free SEO checklist!

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