6 Myths about selling on Etsy that I’ve found to be complete garbage

6 Myths about selling on Etsy that I’ve found to be complete garbage

Guys. This post is about to get real :)

Today we’re going to talk about all of the discouragement and myths that people say about selling on Etsy. And if we’re being honest? They might even been things that you’ve said at one point or another.

In fact, if you’ve ever been discouraged about selling on Etsy, you’ve probably fallen prey to some of the more popular myths out there:

4 Mistakes that Seriously Limit Your Sales on Etsy

4 Mistakes that Seriously Limit Your Sales on Etsy

Since starting my Etsy shop, I’ve tried TONS of different strategies to drive more traffic and make more sales.

Some have been CRAZY successes. You know-- the kind you can repeat over and over again and see crazy-amazing results every single time.

But had I known which strategies to avoid? What marketing tips that were duds? What myths were holding me back from reaching my crazy Etsy dreams?

Well, I probably would have earned that six-figure income a lot faster ;) >>>

5 reasons why your Etsy shop needs a marketing funnel

Have you ever fallen down the rabbit hole of Etsy and been insanely jealous of shop after shop after shop that just seemed to be OVERFLOWING with sales while your product was just as good (and let’s face it—maybe even better) and you are still hustling hard every. single. day. just to hear that one *cha-ching.*

It’s like every other seller on Etsy knows some mystical, magical secret about making sales and somehow you got left out of the loop.

I’ve got some good news for you, my friend: There is NO “mystical, magical secret” to making sales on Etsy. Those power sellers on Etsy?

Well, they have a little somethin’ somethin’ in place known as a marketing funnel.

Now maybe you’ve heard of this term, maybe you haven’t. I’m here to tell you that I spent the better part of 2 years on Etsy not knowing anything about “marketing funnels,” and so I hodge-podged my way through selling on Etsy to the results below :

And while $3,000 is nothing to shrug at (it absolutely helped us pay off those pesky student loans quicker!), it was the WAY that those sales came in that put me on edge.

If I’m being completely honest with you (and embarrassing as it is to admit), there was no consistency to those sales.

And that scared the crap out of me.

I was making them so randomly that some days would be awesome ($200! Hooray! Must buy all the things!) while other times I would go weeks between conversions (Boo. Must take all the things back). It was ridiculously scary to feel so out-of-control over our finances-- I knew that I wanted to be able to create an income stream that I could rely on, and this certainly wasn’t it.

So what the heck changed?

Between these first 2 "Etsy experiments" and my 3rd (and current one, LittleHighbury), I hired an e-commerce marketing coach. And one of the first things she introduced me to was a little somethin’ somethin’ known as a “marketing funnel.”

And after implementing that single piece of marketing strategy?

I was blown away by the results.

Like I said before, my first shop earned about $3,000 over the course of 1 year. Not too shabby.

But with a marketing funnel in place? Guys-- I earned that same $3,000 in THE FIRST MONTH (check out those crazy stats below!).

Need further proof that a marketing funnel is awesome? Let’s take a quick math break (ahhhh!) and see what it did for my shop:

  • It single-handedly 20x my shop views
  • Earned me exactly 3,754 more sales within 12 months
  • And last but not least, it increased my revenue by 3000% in the first year (what the what?!!?!)

So yeah, this stuff is the real-deal, guys.

But maybe you're not sure. Maybe it "sounds too good to be true."

I assure you, it's not-- heck, it's hard work, especially in the beginning.

But it gets easier.

And less time-consuming.

And eventually? It runs on autopilot :)

Need further convincing that implementing a marketing funnel is the best thing you can do for your Etsy shop? Below I’m sharing my top 5 reasons why you need to implement a marketing funnel into your etsy shop, like, yesterday.

But first--

What the heck is a marketing funnel?

You may have heard this term floating around the internet and maybe you thought it sounded sleazy—like a way to just drive sales without thinking of the actual customer. And maybe you’re thinking “no thanks, that’s not for me!”

Ewwww. Nobody wants to be “that” seller (and don't worry-- you won't be!).

I’m here to put an end to that myth once and for all!

A marketing funnel is simply a way that you can get prospective customers in the door, familiar with you and your brand, and ultimately, deciding to purchase a product.

It’s not sleazy.

It’s not impersonal.

But it absolutely is effective.

Creating a marketing funnel is THE best way to build trust with your audience and drive sales like woah.

And maybe that sounds good in theory, but you’re still not convinced. Well keep reading, my friend :)

5 reasons why your Etsy shop needs a marketing funnel


1 | So you can stop worrying about that next sale— and rest assured that you’re doing everything you can to get it

I love being an entrepreneur; I really do. But one of the most stressful things early on was that constant hustle I felt with trying to make sales. Maybe you can relate?

When I planned to start LittleHighbury, I was at a point in my life where we desperately needed additional income, so I was constantly uptight and tense trying to figure out how to market my shop all day, everyday (you know—in between the baby napping) so that I could get those much-needed sales.

I’m here to tell you that after about a week of that crazy hustling, I was feeling irritable, exhausted, and so far removed from my Etsy shop that I considered giving up before I even started (luckily I didn’t, but that’s not to say that the thought didn’t cross my mind!).

There must be a better way. I KNEW there had to be a better way. There was no way that every single entrepreneur out there woke up feeling as anxious about sales as I did.

A marketing funnel ensures that you don’t have to worry about where that next sale will be coming from—it drives traffic to you consistently on autopilot so that you can have the peace of mind that most etsy-preneurs only dream of. 

2 | So when Etsy search goes bonkers, you don’t too

Remember that day when you woke up and checked your stats on Etsy only to see them significantly lower than usual? And then you popped into the forums and found a million and one people talking about how Etsy had changed the search algorithm again (oh, and it was probably during the holiday season, because, well, why not, Etsy...)

Yeah, it’s happened to us all.

If you’ve come to rely on your Etsy income to any degree, a sudden drop in views and sales can seem absolutely catastrophic and flustering to bounce back from.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

There was a time that I’d be in panic mode whenever that happened—I’d instantly jump to the worst-case scenario and immediately start rationing food and conserving energy because I just knew that this was the end (I’m nothing if not melodramatic…).

But.

Just because Etsy search goes bonkers, it doesn't mean that you have to, too!

If you take the time to create a marketing funnel, Etsy can completely do away with the search function, and you'll still be able to drive traffic and make sales like craaaaaaazy. You won’t have to solely rely on people finding you through Etsy anymore—you’ll have systems in place that will allow you to roll with the punches and still get a good night’s sleep.
 

3 | So that when one platform doesn’t drive traffic, the other ones can pick up the slack

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after over 6 years in business, it’s that nothing is more constant than change.

When I started my first Etsy shop back in 2011, it was a much, MUCH different ball game then it is today. The strategies that worked back then don’t always work so efficiently nowadays (hello, Etsy shareholders).

And Etsy isn’t the only one making change—Google recently announced a new major algorithm adjustment, Facebook becomes more “pay to play” everyday, and Pinterest is constantly updating their “smart feed” to be, well, more smart.

Part of being a successful business owner is being able to adapt and adjust to those changes as they happen (even if you don't always want to). But sometimes they can take a while to figure out, and if you’re only driving traffic from one source, the minute that platform makes ANY change in it’s algorithm, you’re going to be hustling like crazy trying to make up for that loss in sales.

Driving traffic with a marketing funnel is THE BEST way to maintain consistently high views and sales with your Etsy shop. Even if one platform makes major changes; you’ll still have 3-4 others that you can rely on until you can get the adjustments in place for the other one.

3 | So that you always have something working overtime to drive traffic for you

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel so busy with everything going on in my Etsy shop (not to mention my home life with a crazy toddler! Wait--are they still considered a toddler at 3 years old? See—I’m too busy to research these things!), that I don’t have time to work on a last-minute Instagram post for that day, or to organize a promotional contest to drive sales for that week.

Honestly? Most of the time (nowadays, especially, as I'm running these two businesses!), I’m just too exhausted to organize a grand marketing scheme. 

Having a marketing funnel in place ensures that you’re always going to be driving traffic into your Etsy shop—even when you’re not actually doing the driving at that exact moment.

Imagine a marketing strategy that:

  • Makes you sales in your sleep—literally—while you dream about...whoever is considered dreamy nowadays (see-- I don’t have time to figure this stuff out!)
     
  • Pays for your vacation—you know, the one that you’re currently on (making $$$ while riding the teacups at Disneyland? Yes, please!)
     
  • Allows you to take a day off—on a complete whim—and still hear *cha-chings* as you play hooky (or just sleep. You do you.)

And as far-out dreamy as that all sounds, let me let you in on a little secret: There are Etsy sellers all over that have that freedom—because they’ve set up a reliable marketing funnel. I would know because I'm one of them :)

5- So that YOU can take charge of your future— and not put it into somebody else’s hands

Do you have big dreams for your Etsy shop?! You better! As your Etsy shop grows and grows, you may even find yourself dreaming of the day that you can branch off of Etsy and start selling directly from your own website.

While most Etsy sellers still rely solely on the Etsy search for their traffic (just pop onto the forums and find any complainer-filled post), with a marketing funnel, you’ll have built up your traffic sources from multiple streams so that when you’re ready to break away from Etsy, all you have to do is redirect a couple of links and you’ll be able to drive alllllll of that traffic away from your Etsy shop and into your new shop. *mic drop*

 

Guys. I am so, so excited to introduce you to my upcoming course, Mastermind Your Marketing.

This course is 100% FOCUSED on creating your OWN marketing funnel for your Etsy shop-- and I'm absolutely convinced that it is going to completely change the way you approach selling on Etsy-- for the better!

Details are in the works (but will be released soon!), but for now, if it sounds like something you'd like to be apart of, be sure to leave your name and email over here so I can add you to the VIP list-- and send some special freebies + bonuses your way soon :)

 

How to start a blog for your Etsy shop

If blogging is one of those terms that makes you break out in hives at the mere mention of the word, then today’s post is for you :)

You’ve probably heard everyone and their dog say that you should be blogging, but it’s hard to commit to-- I totally get that! You’re a busy seller and you have product to create-- the idea of having to create content on-top of everything else can be a bit overwhelming.

But it doesn't have to be. If you think you need to be creating pin-worthy content 5x/week to succeed at blogging for your Etsy shop, then read on my friend-- because your content marketing strategy is about to get a whole lot easier ;)

 

Blogging: The Perfect Introvert Marketing Strategy

Raise your hand if you’re an introvert.

Now raise your hand if being an introvert means you’re scared to death of marketing your Etsy shop.

I know quite a few introverted sellers on Etsy (hey, I’m one of them if we’re being completely honest…) and marketing has always been a four-letter word to us—it’s not something we are necessarily born knowing how to do, and it's certainly not always the most comfortable of experiences.  

But that’s because marketing has this weird connotation about being IN YOUR FACE ALL THE TIME AND TELL YOU TO BUY ALL THE THINGS (thank you, cliched sleazy salesmen).

Ugh—if that’s your perception of marketing, no wonder you don’t like it!!

Blogging (or “content marketing” <-- see, there’s that “m” word again…) is a way for you to actively promote your shop by providing value to your audience behind-the-scenes. As in-- you can be 100% introverted and still be a successful blogger.

And by providing value, your audience is going to become warmer and warmer in regards to buying your product. And you’re gonna feel a whole lot less sleazy because you’re not just pushing your product all day, everyday. In fact if you’re consistently offering your audience value, you may not even have to ask for the sale!!

So how does one get started with blogging? Let’s take a look at a basic step-by-step set-up of your blog, shall we?

Step 1 | Choosing the right platform

Welcome to the part where the majority of Etsy sellers quit-- the technical part of setting up a blog. Most of us creatives aren’t tech-savvy (heck, I’ve run this morgannield.com biz for about 6 months now and I’m still cursing Leadpages every time I have to set up an opt-in form!), so setting up a blog can be daunting, to say the least :)

Well, welcome to 2017, my friend, where it’s (literally) never been easier to set up a website!

As easy at it is to set up a website, however, doesn’t help with the fact that there are SO many freakin’ options out there to choose from. Where’s a newbie to start?!?!

If you’re new to the blogging world and haven’t even given a thought to what platform to choose, figuring out which one is the right option can be downright terrifying. It can also cause you to put the whole blogging thing on hold, which is something we definitely DON’T want you to do ;) So let’s move you past that with a quick breakdown of the 3 best options out there:

Option #1 (Recommended!) | Squarespace

The one that I know and love, love, love! I’m a recent convert (I used to use Wordpress but in all honesty, I never officially got over the learning curve, ha ha!) and the drag-and-drop ease of designing a website can—literally—be learned in an afternoon. You can customimze to your heart's content + they have a lot of really great modern templates out there to choose from, in case you’re going for a specific feel.

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 8.32.15 PM.png

One thing that’s great about Squarespace is that even though it’s a blogging platform, it has easy-to-use e-commerce integrations built in. So if/when you’ve graduated from Etsy, it will be a seamless transition to turn your blog into a shop.

Cost: $12 - $18/month; FREE 14-day trial for new users

Option #2 | Wix

Wix used to be exclusively flash-based (meaning that it couldn't be ranked by SEO), so I’ve avoided this one in the past, however, it’s converted over to HTML and the reviews for this platform are awesome. This is another drag-and-drop template that's fairly intuitive to use-- and very newbie-friendly.

While I use and love Squarespace, if I switched over to any other platform, Wix would be it :)

Cost: $10 - $25/month, depending on the level of customization you are looking for

Option #3 | Wordpress

Hello, learning curve. This is one of the industry-standards in platforms and it’s also one of the trickiest to learn. That being said, once you get the hang of it, you can do just about ANYTHING with this platform. It’s ridiculously customizable, and designed with serious bloggers in mind. If you're the go big or go home type, this is the platform for you :)

Cost: Anywhere from $3 - $25/month, depending on the level of customization you are looking for.

Step 2 | Designing Your Blog

Have you picked a platform to use? Awesome! You’ve tackled step one- and that’s the step that most people get stuck on ;)

Depending on the platform you choose and the amount of technical know-how you have, designing your blog/website can take anywhere from an afternoon to a couple of months.

While you’ll definitely want to give your website a customized feel, there are a few things that every single Etsy blog should have:

Blog Page - Obvious, but it has to be mentioned :) The whole purpose of having this blog/website is to host content on your blog, so make sure that your blog page is one of the first things that you create.
 

About Me Page - Your about me page is actually the second most-viewed page on any blog (crazy, right?!), so it’s important that you include some of your best copy writing in this section.

You should use this page to introduce yourself to your potential customers, but stick mostly to sharing your personality and backstory as it's applicable to your brand.  Yes, you may have a super-awesome Disney pin collection (not that I would know anything about that...), but if you're selling earrings? Well, your customers probably aren't going to care to hear about it here (although it could be something fun to randomly mention on social media to give your brand a more "human" aspect!)
 

Opt-in forms - These need to be everywhere. And I’m not talking about the “Sign up for the newsletter” type of opt-in forms-- because NO one signs up for those.

Make your opt-ins enticing and juicy for your audience-- you want them to be so ridiculously compelling and a no-brainer that your potential customers can't help but give you their email. Offering instant downloads, inspirational guides, or PDF tutorials are great incentives to use for opt-in forms (You can easily deliver these using ConvertKit--just upload the incentive download to the site and it automatically sends it for you every time someone wants to download it. Easy peasy.)

Obviously this isn't for my Etsy shop, but it's a great example all the same-- I offer a free 7-day email course for new subscribers that I have packed full of useful tips and tricks on how to start earning consistent sales on Etsy. This juicy offer is my #1 traffic driver and I've taught--literally-- hundreds of Etsy sellers through this course.

Etsy shop link - Obvious, but crucial if missed. If you’re driving hundreds of visitors to your website everyday (hooray if you are!), you are missing out on SERIOUS sales if you aren’t linking to your Etsy shop throughout your site.

Your Etsy shop should have a space on your blog sidebar (if you have one), a tab at the main navigation of your website, and you should also include native links within every single blog post. (<-- yes, every single blog post. We want to make sure to give your audience as many opportunities as possible to view your shop)
 

Social Proof - Social proof is a HUGE driving factor in converting the casual browser into a paying customer. By showcasing photos and/or testimonials from previous happy customers, you're letting new fans know that a) you're the real deal; and b) that hundreds of other people like your stuff, so it must be great.

June & January (below) does a fantastic job of this by having a standing page on their website that showcases photos tagged #juneandjanuary from their Instagram. It also does a great job in showing their items in everyday use-- not just styled photographs-- and can help potential customers picture their child wearing June & January clothing.


Step 3 | Create Content for your Blog

One thing that a lot of Etsy sellers get hung up on is that they hear the word “blog” and immediately think that they’re now going to need to make time in their already-busy schedule to create blog post content every. single. day.

Um, no. You don’t have time for that and I don’t have time for that. So let’s put an end to that myth RIGHT NOW.

So when I mention “blogging” as an INSANELY powerful strategy for your Etsy shop, it might help you to think of it as less of a blog and more of a content storage location.

Basically, you’re going to create useful content for your audience (but not everyday because #overwhelm) and use your “blog” to store that content. The idea being that your audience (or potential audience) will be able to pop over to your blog, see that awesome content you have, and begin the process of “warming up” to you—and, ideally, later becoming a raving fan.

You only need to be creating content for your audience 1x/week

So what kind of content should you be creating for your audience?

Once you really get the hang of promoting your Etsy shop, you’ll want to start developing a blog content strategy that “primes” buyers to purchase from you (We'll be talking more about that in Mastermind Your Marketing). But if you’re just starting out, let’s get your feet wet before throwing you into the deep end of marketing ;)

The main purpose of the content you'll create is to position yourself as a resource for your audience, so consider blogging about topics like:

  • Behind the scenes of your product creation strategy
  • Sneak peeks of an upcoming product launch
  • Tutorials on how to creatively use your product
  • FAQ Blog post addressing the most common questions you receive about your products
  • Freebie downloads that lead into your actual product

It can seem overwhelming to start creating content-- especially while you're trying to create product. But if you can batch your blog content and take care of it 1x/month, I think you'll find it really manageable :)

Step 4 | Promote Your Blog

So once you’ve created your content, it’s time to promote the heck out of it! We want people to actually be able to find this awesome content that you’ve poured your heart into creating-- so it’s now time to come up with a content promotion strategy.

There are many different ways that you can go about promoting your Etsy blog (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, to name a few), but the important thing is that you will be promoting it consistently. 

Do NOT go into blogging with the idea that if you upload your blog post to Instagram once that it will automatically go viral and you’ll never need to promote it again.

Yes, that would be nice, but sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

You need to be promoting your content every. single. day. Multiple times. On multiple platforms.

Seriously.

If you’re worried that your audience is going to get sick of you really fast, then take a moment to ask yourself something: do you catch every single post from your favorite brand across all of social media?

Of course not. You’re not on social media all day (because you’re busy creating product, you awesome Etsy seller!), so you’re probably only seeing 1-2 of their posts/day.

Chances are that your audience is exactly the same :) You can be promoting your blog multiple times a day across multiple platforms and only certain portions of your audience will see certain posts. 

If the thought of promoting your blog multiple times every day stresses you out, there's a simple solution: it's called automating. Invest in a few low-cost or free automation tools to schedule out your content and save yourself some major headache in the future. It's worth it, promise :)

Some of my favorite automating tools:

For Instagram: Later

  • This is the scheduler I use for Instagram and I love it. I'm not awesome at taking photos + writing captions everyday, so this program allows me to schedule out months in advance (if I ever find myself that dedicated, ha ha!) and integrates directly with your Instagram account so that you can just copy + paste it into Instagram when you've scheduled your post. Easy peasy.

For Pinterest: BoardBooster

  • This is my all-time favorite pinning tool thanks to a useful little feature known as "looping," which basically takes my old pins and repins them on autopilot so even when I'm not actively pinning, it's still pinning for me. It's insanely awesome. It also has the traditional pin scheduler feature as well as detailed analytics to help you figure out the best time to post to your Pinterest.

For Email: ConvertKit

  • This email management program basically works day and night for me, sending automated email sequences (like my free email course!), sharing welcome emails with every new subscriber, and delivering content upgrades (freebies) to my audience with a few simple clicks. It's my favorite program to use for email delivery and saves me so much time with it's automation features. 
     

How often should you be promoting your blog?

I'll be talking waaaaaaay more in-depth about the most efficient ways to promote your Etsy shop and blog in my upcoming course, Mastermind Your Marketing, but here's a quick frame of reference if you're new to promotion:

Instagram -  Share your own content 2x/week. This should include at least 1 new post + a throw-back to an old post from your archives

Pinterest - Pin at least 50 pins/day with about 10 of those pins being your own content.

Email - You need to be emailing your audience at least 2x/month, but preferably every week. While it may seem pointless in the beginning when you're emailing your tiny list of 20 people (been there!), it's worth it. I promise. It's so, so important to build up a relationship with your audience via email because this is where the majority of your sales will come from.

That's right-- forget everything you've heard about social media to drive 100% of your sales; your list is filled with the "warmest" audience members who are primed and ready to buy your product-- and if you've taken the time to form a relationship with them (via weekly emails), they are going to be more than happy to hand over their dollars when you launch your next product. Oh, and email marketing? 100% delivery rate. No "pay to play" like Facebook-- every single email subscriber gets your emails. 


So now what? Well, take a minute and grab the freebie download below if you haven't already ;), and don't waste another minute-- get your blog up and running!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 3 statistics that actually matter to your Etsy shop

The 3 statistics that actually matter to your Etsy shop

When I opened my first Etsy chop circa 2011 I was obsessed with stats. Seriously—I would find myself popping into my Etsy shop 8-10x/day just to see how many views I had, if I was getting favorites, and all that jazz.

And while it’s not bad in and of itself to check in on your stats (and if you aren’t currently doing it, you should be!), it can become a really unhealthy cycle when you start obsessing over ALL the numbers instead of focusing on the ones that really matter—the ones that bring you sales.

Yes, that’s right—not all views and favorites and likes are created equal...