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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 September 2, 2020

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

    In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

    4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

    Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

    1. Be Clear About the Objectives

    Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

    It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

    Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

    2. Keep Goals Realistic

    It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

    It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

    3. Account for Inflation

    Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

    Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

    For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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    4. Short Term Vs Long Term

    Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

    As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

    By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

    How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

    • Ensuring healthy savings
    • Making smart investments

    You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

    Ensuring Healthy Savings

    Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

    This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

    1. Track Expenses

    The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

    Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

    If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

    2. Pay Yourself First

    Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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    Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

    The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

    Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

    3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

    Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

    Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

    At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

    Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

    You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

    4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

    In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

    Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

    • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
    • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
    • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

    The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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    5. Talk About It

    Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

    Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

    6. Maintain a Journal

    For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

    If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

    When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

    Making Smart Investments

    Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

    1. Consult a Financial Advisor

    Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

    Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

    2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

    Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

    Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

    As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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    3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

    Einstein once remarked about compounding:

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

    Use compound interest when setting financial goals

      Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

      Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

      4. Measure, Measure, Measure

      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

      If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

      Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

      The Bottom Line

      Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

      and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

      More Tips on Financial Goals

      Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

      Reference

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