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How To Sell More On Etsy

How To Sell More On Etsy

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and put your wonderful creative wares up for sale on Etsy: hooray! The first step to selling on Etsy is admitting you’d like to do it. Actually selling items, well, that can be a different story.

While Etsy is a great platform for many small artisans, attracting a wide base of customers it would otherwise be very difficult to find, it’s easy for first-time sellers to get lost among the platform’s many voices. But not to worry, with a few handy tips and best practices under your belt, you’ll be sure to make the most of the famous crafting site in no time. We highly suggest starting with this extensive interactive guide, as well as with these following key tips to to ensure you sell more on Etsy.


    Click image to open interactive version (via WorldPay Zinc).

    1. Find a Theme for Your Store

    Your theme will guide just about everything you do for your store, from the kind of products you sell to your marketing strategy. Start with a good brainstorming session, sticking to your known talents and skills. Then narrow down your options based on the product guidelines. It’s of the utmost importance that you pick a first product you can really do well, so also cut any that are too labor intensive or require too much experimentation.

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    Once you’ve picked your first product, try to think of related accessory products or even products that are very similar to the original one but with a new twist. True creativity is often manifestations of a theme, and sticking to this theme will also help keep your branding consistent. Save the totally out there or different ideas for when your store is better established.

    Once you’ve got your first product, you’ve pretty much got your theme. Did you decide to make a knitted tea cozy? Your theme could be anything from knitted products to tea products. Your theme will help guide a number of things to follow, including:

    Your store name. Go for something memorable that also doesn’t box you into a topic so you can expand later. Do a search of current user names so you can be sure to pick something distinctive. Use uppercase letters but NO numbers, or else you’ll look spammy.
    Your store visuals. Your banner is one of the few places where you can do your own branding. If you don’t have an idea of what this is yet, then just make sure to pick a professional-looking photo—either one that features a few of your products or one purchased from a fellow Etsy seller. Even better, head to a graphic designer to create one of your own. This will help you develop a distinctive voice and tone for your visual branding as you expand your reach and branch out onto other sites.
    Your profile. Your profile page should definitely be filled out fully. Do your best to tell a compelling story about yourself, using your theme to guide you towards the kinds of details you’d like to share (i.e. those that keep you on topic and demonstrate your unique qualifications for selling within this field). The more details you give, the more buyers will trust you and the higher you’ll be ranked in search results, as you’ll find yourself naturally including keywords.

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    2. Optimize Your Products for Sale and Your Store for Sharing

    Once you’ve got your products loaded up on to the site, they’ll need a little assistance in getting found and convincing customers to make a purchase. Just slapping up a hastily written product description and calling it a day isn’t going to do the trick!

    Snap some high-quality photos. Really, there’s nothing more key to making a sale than providing a sharp product image. Doing so not only gives your potential customer a much better sense of the product itself and the kind of experience they might have with it, but it also just makes you look more professional. To take a high-quality photo, pay particularly good attention to lighting and backgrounds, and make sure to take shots from multiple angles and distances. For more in-depth tips on this, we highly recommend Etsy’s own Photography Seller Handbook.
    Write excellent product descriptions. Product descriptions should first and foremost be functional and descriptive. They should get to the point, discussing all of the specifics, perhaps discussing your inspiration, and directing customers to other items they might want to buy in tandem. Keep it all in first-person so it’s nice and personal, establishing trust with your potential buyers and giving them a good sense of who you are.
    Use the correct titles, tags and categories. As you create your listing, it’s important to select a category that really fits with what you’re selling, as that will help searchers more easily find your wares and may also get you featured on the site. If your products span categories, try one category for one product and another for a related product to determine which sells more. It’s also important to choose accurate tags and titles, preferably including keywords, to help searchers find your products. This guide to tagging takes a more in-depth look at how to choose the perfect tags for you.

    3. Market Your Products on Social Media

    Phew! After all of that work, your listing is finally ready to go. Now what? Why, promotion on social media, of course! With millions upon millions of users both within and between the Facebooks, Twitters, Google Pluses and Pinterests of the world, there’s no better (and more cost-effective) way to spread the news about your products. That said, effective social media usage means doing more than just clicking follow.

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    Practice engagement marketing. Remember when you used to watch TV ads rather than fast forwarding through them on your DVR? Well, TV ads (and, really, ads in general) are what we call “broadcast advertising,” and they’re widely ignored by today’s consumer. Social media, in contrast, is all about engagement marketing. Rather than blasting out a constant stream of tweets about your products or sales, reach out to potential and current customers to engage in conversation. Comment like a friend on follower feeds, and share content they really want to read. Host a Hangout on Google+ where you get to do something fun, like demonstrate how to make an accessory for one of your products. While you can occasionally post about your products, it’s best to follow the 80-20 rule: 80% of your posts should share relevant content and build relationships with your followers; 20% of your posts can be promotional.
    Join an Etsy Pinterest group. The visual nature of Pinterest makes it a natural marketing venue for Etsy sellers. Not only should you make your own board, but you should also consider joining any one of these Etsy pinning boards, upon which various Etsy sellers actively pin each other’s materials to build exposure and traction—just one of many examples where the strong Etsy community can really launch sellers to success.

    4. Know When It’s Time to Move On

    Maybe it’s the fees that are getting to you, the competition from similar sellers or the dependency on a single site with its own changeable regulations. Or, maybe you’ve just had enough success that you’ve gained a strong entrepreneurial sense, established your brand and developed a base of customers you know will follow you wherever you go. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that while Etsy is a great place for many crafters to get started, there comes a time when your business may be better hosted on your own domain, integrating a third-party sales platform into your site. How to do so?

    Choose a host and domain name. Try to keep your domain name consistent with your store name so customers will easily be able to find and recognize you. Choose a web host with a good reputation and that also optimizes web speed, as even a few seconds of load time can put a customer off of a purchase.
    Choose a template, content management system and store platform. Whether it’s WordPress, Joomla or something in between, it’s important to pick a template and CMS you’ll be able to manage on your own, even if you get a designer to help you initially establish a site that brings your branding to the forefront. Then choose a hearty and responsive eCommerce platform that’s easy to integrate into your site. Amazon’s webstore is a good candidate, as it has the extra benefit of also including your products in Amazon search results and it comes with extensive support resources.
    Get marketing, all over again! Selling on your own will require a little more work on your end to ensure you’re keeping and growing your following. Be ready to get those hands dirty!

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    The Takeaway

    Etsy is really the perfect platform for the first-time seller. If you’re just getting started, you’re in good hands! The tips above will go a long way towards launching you, but if you feel overwhelmed at any time, Etsy’s community boards, where you’ll find plenty of passionate and caring Etsy users, are just a click away. We can’t wait to see your store!

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    Last Updated on June 6, 2019

    The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

    The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

    Are you on track for retirement?

    If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

    Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

    But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

    If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

    What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

    Saving for retirement is tricky.

    Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

    Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

    Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

    Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

    20’s – $16,000

    During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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    Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

    30’s – $45,000

    At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

    Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

    40’s – $63,000

    This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

    50’s – $115,000

    During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

    60’s – $172,000

    By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

    Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

    The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

    Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

    First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

    Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

    Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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    How to Save Money Each Month

    By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

    But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

    Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

    Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

    Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

    Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

    Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

    To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

    How?

    By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

    Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

    If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

    Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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    Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

    Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

    When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

    Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

    Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

    If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

    Why?

    You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

    Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

    Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

    Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

    After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

    You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

    By starting a side-business.

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    This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

    The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

    So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

    Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

    Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

    What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

    My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

    Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

    For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

    If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

    Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

    Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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