Introducing: The Etsy (+ Beyond!) Ultimate Business Bundle Giveaway!!!

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It’s no secret: I loooooooooove giving away stuff for free-- free workshops, free blog posts, free communities...

Yep, I’m all about the free stuff :)

But today I’m SUPER excited to be taking the whole freebie “giveaway” concept to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

And I’m doing it by partnering with some of the TOP experts in the e-commerce industry to help you fast-track your Etsy shop’s success.

Introducing….

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>> Enter the giveaway HERE! <<


This giveaway (valued at nearly $3,000!!!) has literally EVERYTHING you need to fast-track your online shop’s success-- courses on graphic design, photography, marketing, the whole shebang.

Excited yet? You should be! Here’s what you could win:

  • (1) free enrollment in Mastermind Your Marketing by Morgan Nield ($597 value)

  • (1) free enrollment in The InDesign Field Guide by Paper & Oats ($499)

  • (1) free enrollment in Launch Your Shop by Gemma Bonham-Carter ($497)

  • (1) free enrollment in Create. Launch. & Flourish by Rebecca Marie ($399)

  • (1) free enrollment in Photoshop 101 by Sarah Design ($97)

  • (1) Foto Rx Product Photography Editing Actions by Foto Rx ($100)

  • (1) Etsy Seller Spreadsheet + 2019 Goal-Getting Guidebook by Paper + Spark ($64)

***This giveaway runs from 2/11 - 2/15 at 10 pm MST. ***

 

Now let’s learn a little bit more about the prizes ;)

Prize No. 1: Mastermind Your Marketing by Morgan Nield

What it is:

Mastermind Your Marketing is my step by step program that teaches you how to implement a profitable marketing system to bring consistent, daily sales to your Etsy shop on autopilot.

Instead of trying to piece together hundreds of outdated marketing “tips” and “tricks” from the Internet, Mastermind Your Marketing will walk you through (start-to-finish) how to create an entire done-for-you marketing strategy following my signature four-part method for consistent sales  (optimize, attract, convert, scale).

 
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Prize No. 2 : Launch Your Shop by Gemma Bonham-Carter

What it is:

Launch Your Shop is THE program for any online business owner wanting to design, launch, and market an online shop to create an additional stream of revenue for their brand.

The program includes a comprehensive online course, live coaching, workbook, graphic design training and more. Literally EVERYTHING you need to go from zero to profitable, scalable online shop. 

 
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Prize No. 3: Create. Launch. & Flourish by Bex Marie

What it is:

Create. Launch. & Flourish is an 8-week DIY Website roadmap for handmade business owners who want to craft a thriving online shop from scratch.

In this program, you’ll be given the exact tools and training you need (+ an online community to boot!) to go from zero to fully-functioning website— in just 8 weeks (yes, even if you’re a complete newbie!).

 
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Prize No. 4: The InDesign Field Guide by Kelsey of Paper & Oats

What it is:

Instead of investing years of schooling (and major $$$) in learning how to be a graphic designer, you can fast-track your success with The InDesign Field Guide.

Inside this comprehensive program, Kelsey will teach you how to use Adobe InDesign like a pro to design almost anything you could need for your creative business — like lead magnets, social graphics, blog graphics, workbooks, ebooks, print books, stationery, course materials, promo graphics, and more!

You’ll never have to hire out your design work again!

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Prize No 5: Photoshop Mockups 101 Challenge by Sarah Guilliot

What it is:

The Photoshop Mockups 101 Challenge is designed for Photoshop newbies to dive into the program and become comfortable with creating digital mockups to showcase your products.

Inside this challenge, you’ll get access to free stock photography starter files, in-depth training videos, and a complete Photoshop tool breakdown so you know EXACTLY what you’re doing inside the program from day 1— and ditch that Photoshop intimidation factor once and for all ;)

 
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Prize No. 6: Product Photography Editing Actions by Foto Rx

What it is:

Instead of spending hours constantly tweaking and adjusting your photos in Photoshop, The Foto Rx Product Photography Editing Actions package allows you to quickly troubleshoot + edit your photos in as little as one click.

Inside this action bundle, you’ll receive over 40 premium Photoshop actions (hello one-click editing!), Etsy and social media templates, and a PDF guide with descriptions and samples of all the actions included (so you know exactly what one to use each time).

 
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Prize No. 7: The Etsy Seller Spreadsheet + The 2019 Goal-Getting Guidebook for Makers by Janet of Paper + Spark

What it is:

The Etsy Seller Spreadsheet is a spreadsheet template created specifically for Etsy shop owners to automate and simplify their monthly bookkeeping process (no more last-minute tax-time hustle!). This tool compiles your business’ revenue and expenses each month to calculate your net profit with separate tabs to help you categorize expenses, along with monthly tabs for importing your Etsy transactional data directly from Etsy.

The 2019 Goal-Getting Guidebook will walk you through setting goals specific to the handmade biz industry with an emphasis in concepts like product development, seasonal trends, profit margin by product, and more.

You’ll end up with a complete action plan for the year ahead, all designed around the main goal of being able to pay yourself your goal amount.

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Can you imagine how awesome and life-changing it would be to win this entire bundle?!!

So let’s make it happen ;)

How to win:

  1. Enter the giveaway RIGHT NOW

  2. Get your Lucky URL link when you do

  3. Share your Lucky URL like a CRAZY person (because everytime you share, you just keep racking up the entries!)

  4. Post your Lucky URL link in business Facebook groups, Instagram comments, Pinterest, basically anywhere you can think of :) The more people that see it and enter through YOUR link, the more entries you get and the better your chances of winning!

Winning this giveaway could change EVERYTHING for you-- so what are you waiting for??

Ready?

***This giveaway runs from 2/11 - 2/15 at 10 pm MST. ***

Is Your PRODUCT What’s Costing You Sales on Etsy?

We spend A LOT of time talking about marketing here on this blog.

And for good reason-- if you don’t know how to market your product, you’re never going to get found.

However.

One thing we don’t talk about a lot is the fact that sometimes you’re doing #alltherightthings with marketing your Etsy shop…

...but you’re STILL not making sales.

Yep, that can happen, too.

*Sigh*

Luckily, there is a fail-proof way to fix that problem, and it begins with your actual PRODUCT.

Repeat after me: No amount of killer marketing can sell a crappy product line.

Lousy product line = Kiss your dreams of a full-time income buh-bye.

So what constitutes a crappy product line?

I’m glad you asked :) Let’s dive right in!

Big mistake #1

One of the biggest mistakes I see brand-new Etsy shops make is that they create a product for themselves.

What does that mean?

It means that instead of thinking of the customer, they’re thinking of whatever hobby/skill they have and creating product that matches that skill-- WITHOUT thinking about whether someone will be interested in buying it or not.

And that is a sure-fire way to create a shop that FAILS.

Now don’t get in a tizzy-- I KNOW you created your Etsy shop because you genuinely enjoy creating. That’s awesome!

BUT.

You CAN’T go into product creation WITHOUT thinking about your customer-- that’s a completely backwards way of thinking.

If you’re trying to sell to a customer, wouldn’t it make sense to think about them through every step of the way?

You need to be thinking about the customer in the research & development phase, the materials sourcing phase, the product creation phase, the marketing phase…

Basically, you need to be thinking about the customer ALL. THE. TIME.


Ummm...I don’t even have customers, Morgan….

And this is where product validation comes into play ;)

Product validation is simply the way you prove (read: validate) that your product is good enough to sell and that there is a demand in the marketplace for it.

There are TONS of benefits to validating your products, but one of my favorite aspects is that it allows you to “test” your product on an audience before you pour hundreds of dollars into creating inventory that won’t sell.

(Like the time I invested $2,000 in a crib sheet line that completely BOMBED with my audience. Ask me about it sometime ;)

You should be validating your products EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you introduce a new product line to your shop.

Getting started with product validation

Chances are, if you have been around on Etsy for a while, you have probably already completed the product validation stage.

How do you know if this step is already completed?

  • You already have an Etsy sales history; or

  • You do well at in-person events (think: craft fairs) and customers (read: not family members) have purchased your items in the past and been happy with their purchase.

If either one of those scenarios describes your situation, then congratulations-- your product is already validated! You've got the stats to back you up that there is a market for your product-- so I want you to feel confident moving forward.

HOWEVER.

If you’re just getting started and have NO CLUE what actually sells, or if you’re gearing to switch up product lines but are worried about buyer interest levels, it’s probably time to do a little product validation research.

So let's take a look at what it takes to validate a product idea...

Step-by-Step Product Validation

Step #1 - Research the competition

Most of us have been conditioned to believe that competition is a bad thing-- that if someone has already created something, there won’t be any sales left for us.

The opposite is true!

Competition in the marketplace is not only a GOOD thing, it’s actually something you should feel encouraged by.

Why? Because if multiple shops have already created a product like yours, it tells us two things:

  • There is a market for your product-- hooray!

(note - this brings up the whole “do you mean my state-of-the-art invention has no market?” Of course not, but if you’re introducing something completely new to the table, you had better be willing to do the grassroots legwork to actually EDUCATE people about your product-- because the awareness isn’t there.)

  • Your marketing just got a heckuva lot easier. You now have prices, materials, marketing strategy, and more to reference when creating your killer product line (note- I said "to reference," NOT "to copy" ;)

So competition? That’s a good sign and it means that there is definitely potential for your product in the marketplace.

Again, if there isn’t any competition, this doesn’t mean your product idea will bomb-- but it does mean you have a lot of work ahead of you to educate your audience on your product + why they need it.

I want you to ask yourself honestly: Are you willing to put in that extra work?

If not, it's time to go back to the drawing board.

Step #2 - Reach out to your dream customer

Once you’ve got that product-line concept (and samples created, if at all possible!), it’s time for the hard part: You need to start talking to people.  

And no, I don’t mean your mom and your sister-- I mean people that would be ideal matches for your product. (Fun Fact: I actually pitched my product to my mom before anyone else, and she thought I was crazy and told me to go back to the drawing board. Spoiler alert: I didn’t).

This step is broken down into 2 parts:

2.1 - Reach out to people you already know who match your dream customer profile (read: the person you want to buy your product)

  • If you're in the baby industry, reach out to friends/family who have recently had a baby or are going to soon.

  • If you’re in the health and beauty industry, reach out to friends/family who are obsessed with organic products and see what they think.

  • If you’re in the planner industry, create some prototypes and test them out on your organized friends.

What kind of questions should you ask? Use the following as suggestions (but feel free to substitute in your own!):

  • What do you like best about this product?

  • What don’t you like about this product?

  • Is there room for improvement with this product?

  • What is the biggest struggle you face with using a product like this?

  • What would you be willing to pay?

Bottom line?

Ask for feedback on your product(s).

Be willing to take the good (and the bad!) and act on those suggestions (<-- SO important).  

This is NOT a time to let personal bias get in the way. While you may think you know what will sell, you’ll never actually know until you ask.

Remember- you’re not creating a product for YOU-- you’re creating it for THEM.

2.2 - Reach out to people you DON’T know, but would be a good fit for your dream customer criteria.  

Now that you’ve gotten some good feedback from people you know (and have hopefully made some tweaks based on their feedback), it’s time to pitch your product to an audience of people you don’t know.

Now, if you’ve got an existing fan-base, this is a GREAT time to reach out to them. However, if you’re just getting started, chances are you don’t have a pool of people to pull from.

So where can you find people to get feedback from?

  • Reddit threads

  • Facebook groups

  • Niche blog forums

Again, you're going to want to ask the following questions:

  • What do you like best about this product?

  • What don’t you like about this product?

  • Is there room for improvement with this product?

  • What is the biggest struggle you face with using a product like this?

  • What would you be willing to pay?

Yes, I know these are hard questions to ask-- but they NEED to be asked. There is nothing worse than blowing cash on a huge inventory of product that no one will be interested in buying.

Save yourself the headache (and the financial stress!) and do a bit of research before you dive in-- you'll thank me later, I promise ;)

That sounds super overwhelming. I sell 10 different products--how on earth do I get each of those validated without losing my sanity?!

Alright, it’s time to take a step back.

Part of your problem here is that you’re trying (literally) to go 10 different directions at once.

Lack of focus = Major problems.

Because when you’re starting an Etsy shop, you’re trying to wrap your head around a million different things-- photography, copywriting, marketing, etc.

It’s hard enough figuring all of those things out for ONE product, let alone 10.

If you’re trying to market 10 different things to “see which one sells”, you’re going to put out disjointed marketing messaging, and confuse your customers on what you’re trying to sell and what they should buy.

Believe it or not, customers like being told what to do.

They LIKE having limited choices (too many choices = decision fatigue).

So make things easier (and much more clear!) for them and yourself (and your bank account!) by simplifying your product line down to ONE flagship product.

I don’t care that you can make tea cozies and baby blankets and slippers and scarves (well, I do care-- I mean, you sound really talented!). But that doesn’t mean you should.

Did you get that?

Just because you CAN make it, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

I am SO serious about that.

Instead, I want you to pick ONE product to focus on.

(I can already see you asking, “But, but, but how will I know which one to pick? I’m just going to make and list them all to see what sells!”)

No. Just stop right now.

One of the biggest keys to successful marketing (no matter what industry you’re in) is to go ALL IN with ONE thing.

Yes, you can always add additional income streams later with complimentary product lines and such, but right now I need you to focus on ONE and validate that ONE product.

No need to introduce an entire shopping center before you even get started ;)

Alrighty, I’ve followed your steps and validated my product...now what?

Congratulations! You now know that you have a product line that is going to sell...but what’s next?

Your next steps involve listing your product (hooray-- progress!) and then honing in on shop optimization-- make sure it’s an easy “yes” for people to purchase your product!


(If you’re curious on exactly how you can optimize your shop to become a conversion machine, make sure you join the VIP waitlist for my signature program, Mastermind Your Marketing. There are 12 weeks’ (!!!) worth of shop optimization implementation to hold you accountable + make sure that you’re making as many sales as possible with the traffic you drive!)


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Marketing your Etsy shop just got a whole lot easier! Grab your FREE Etsy Marketing Roadmap below!

How Ditching Social Media (!!!) Can Make You More Sales on Etsy

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If you feel like you are hustling nonstop week after week to market and sell your products, it's time to reevaluate your "strategy."

Social media is NOT the best (or most efficient!) way to promote your Etsy shop.

(wait...wha?!?!)

Here's the deal: I KNOW you're busy and I KNOW you have so much to do every. single. day.

So what if I told you that you could DITCH the social media and STILL MAKE SALES??

Yep-- I'm completely serious.

(cue the hallelujah chorus!)

It all begins with a MARKETING SYSTEM.

And in this post I'm going to be introducing you to EXACTLY what that is + why it's the SMARTEST thing you'll ever implement for your Etsy shop (hey-- it’s what I used for LittleHighbury to the tune of over 23,000 sales and $600K+ in revenue!)

So…what the heck is a marketing system?

It’s basically your new BFF ;)

But in all seriousness, a marketing system is simply a way to funnel potential customers into your door, familiarize them with your brand, and turn them into paying customers.

What this means for you: Instead of hustling every single day for every single sale, a marketing system AUTOMATES a large part of that and works 24/7 to drive you consistent sales on autopilot.

Meaning that you don’t have to play that e-commerce “feast or famine” sales game any longer (which is honestly the worst!).

Inside my signature program, Mastermind Your Marketing, you’ll learn that there are 4 must-have phases you’ll implement to create a profitable marketing system:

  • Phase 1: Optimize
    Make sure your shop is set up for conversions BEFORE you start driving traffic.

  • Phase 2: Attract
    Begin funneling the RIGHT type of traffic into your shop using effective traffic-driving strategy.

  • Phase 3: Convert
    Have a sales sequence in place that warms potential customers up to your brand and secures the sale.

  • Phase 4: Scale
    Set up multiple touch points for your shop so that your sales can maintain consistency on a day-to-day basis.

Learn more about each of these phases by grabbing your FREE Etsy Marketing Roadmap below!

Okay, so where does social media fit into this plan?

Wait for itttttttttt….

IT DOESN’T

Unpopular opinion of the day: Social media is NOT the most effective way to bring sales to your Etsy shop.

Whew--so glad to get that off my chest ;)

Let’s face it: Up to this point, you’ve been beat over the head with the notion that:

…social media is THE only way to make sales online without ads.

…that the more social media platforms you use and more frequently you post, the better.

…that every single caption needs to be witty and clever and that your photos….oh, don’t even get me started on photos (if you’re not a pro photographer, you might as well throw in the towel).

Aint nobody got time for that!

(but seriously!)

If your social media is stressing you out (and I’m 99% sure that if you’re reading this article, it probably is ;), it’s time to take a step AWAY from social media and start focusing your efforts on more efficient and profitable marketing activities.

Like implementing a marketing system ;)

Giving up social media sounds too good to be true…

It almost does, doesn’t it?!

I hear your skepticism loud and clear ;)

So let me set the record straight-- you aren’t just going to wave a wand and magically have a marketing system implemented in your Etsy shop.

That would be too good to be true.

Implementing a marketing system is going to take some work.

In fact, it’s going to take quite a bit of work in the beginning-- especially if you’ve never done anything like this before.

But we’re going to front-load that work so that we can minimize your work later.

Meaning: Work hard now, reap the rewards later.

Because once you’ve got it set up correctly, your marketing system is going to do the heavy lifting for you.

And it’s going to do it BRILLIANTLY.

(And allow you to finally stop thinking of “marketing” as a nasty four-letter word ;)

So where’s the “secret sauce” in all of this?

I’m guessing if you’ve stumbled upon this article, you’ve probably fallen down the rabbit hole at least once with researching how to market your Etsy shop.

And you’ve probably learned a lot of “tips” and “tricks” along the way that you’re implementing left and right but aren’t seeing any results.

In fact, at this point you might even be second guessing your products and ability to be an online business owner because none of those tips you’ve implemented are actually working.

(I call this the “throwing-spaghetti-at-the-wall” phase that most Etsy shop owners start out at ;)

Can I let you in on a secret?

It’s not you, it’s them.

Seriously.

The reason all of your hustling isn’t working is because those “tips” and “tricks” you’re trying to implement?

They’re not designed to work together.

Because while you’re pulling this bit of advice from Expert A and that piece of advice from Expert B, you’re only seeing a *small* portion of a much BIGGER picture.

Kind of like the whole iceberg philosophy where you can only see a little bit at a time ;)

And without a change in mentality, you’re never going to be as successful as you deserve because you don’t really understand the “big picture” of what you’re doing (and the steps you’re missing in the process).

So the “secret sauce” (that I’m about to tell you-- *gasp*!) of a marketing system is that you can see the ENTIRE PICTURE from start to finish.

You’ll understand how every piece of the puzzle you implement fits into your overall strategy-- and how they work TOGETHER to turn a casual browser into a lifelong customer.

No more creating social media posts and online content just for the sake of creating them.

You’ll understand EXACTLY why each piece of the puzzle matters and how it contributes to the customer sales journey.

The whole sales automation aspect? That’s honestly just the icing on the cake ;)

So….where do I even begin, Morgan?!

Here are two take-action steps for you today:

1. Sign up for the Mastermind Your Marketing VIP waitlist so that I can walk you through this entire process (and tell you exactly what to do and when to do it) in the fastest and easiest way possible (because every day you wait to implement your marketing system is a day you’re leaving serious $$$ on the table).  


2. Download the Etsy Marketing Roadmap. It will give you a more complete roadmap of how to get started implementing your marketing system + prevent you from making some CRUCIAL mistakes that I see over and over again.

 
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An honest and open behind-the-scenes look at why I sold my Etsy shop.

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“If you’re really as “successful” as you say you are/were, why don’t you run your Etsy shop anymore? Why would you stop actively marketing it if it was supposedly “working” out for you. Something’s fishy and doesn’t add up…”

It’s an email that I’ve gotten more than once (although occasionally with more colorful language that I’ll choose not to repeat on my G-rated blog ;) 

One of the wonderful things about running a business online is all of the amazing people you meet across the world. People that write kind emails and let you know how much even your free content has helped them to grow their Etsy businesses. I love those emails. 

Unfortunately, you also get those who attempt to understand your choices better than you do and criticize you every step along the way.

Since selling my Etsy shop to my sister in July 2018, I’ve had more than one comment thrown my way about how I must be a “fraud” or “not as successful as I claim to be” when it comes to running an Etsy shop.

I realized I've never openly addressed the "WHY" of doing this (short of a few quick statements mixed into livestreams), so if you are one of those many people who are genuinely wondering why the heck someone would give up a multiple six-figure Etsy shop to work on ANOTHER completely different business model (this MorganNield.com one, here!), this post is for you :)


The beginning

It all started in year 3 of selling on Etsy.

It’s no secret-- I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2011 (with a shop called “Highbury Place” that specialized in notecards and wedding guest book prints-- *this shop is currently closed*) and then more recently (2013 - 2018) with “Little Highbury,” an Etsy shop that utilized custom-designed fabrics to create unique baby products. You can check it out here :)

I like to think of “Highbury Place” as my Etsy experiment. This is where I first learned about the platform (and boy was it overwhelming at the time!), where I first learned how to print off postage in my home (a novel concept!), and where I learned that spending $2.50 for an envelope at the local post office was NOT going to be profitable long-term.

I made a lot of mistakes. Like, A LOT.

(My biggest one being that SEO is the make-it-or-break-it strategy of Etsy).

But that’s not to say that my mistakes didn’t pay off-- they did.

And when I opened Little Highbury in 2013 (after learning A LOT through trial + error, and investing in a business coach + online courses-- yes, I actually PAID money to learn how to make money-- best decision I ever made :), LittleHighbury opened its doors “officially” in November 2013 to the tune of $1,789.

And that was--literally-- just the beginning. 

A screenshot from my "baby," although you can now clearly see it's owned by my sister, Kelsee :)

A screenshot from my "baby," although you can now clearly see it's owned by my sister, Kelsee :)

Armed with a new strategy in hand (hello, marketing system!) and experience under my belt, to an outsider it looked like LittleHighbury was an instant hit and that things almost came “too easy” for me (I’ve had more than one person accuse me of that).

On the surface, it looked, well, effortless.

Within a year I was making 600-700 sales/MONTH and averaging around $700 - $1,000 in gross revenue PER DAY.

And when the holidays hit?

That number easily DOUBLED.

(and if I was running a sales promotion, that number went through the roof).

On paper it looked AH-MAZING:

  • I had a 70% profit margin
  • My items (literally) took less than 5 minutes to make, and...
  • I had mastered my marketing system to the point that I didn’t have to worry about finding traffic for my Etsy shop-- it was finding ME (thank you, marketing system!)

But behind-the-scenes was a completely different story.

There were MANY tears.

MANY sleepless nights.

And a whole lotta grunt-work (those orders don’t fill themselves, yo!).

(note- I am not complaining about selling and making money. I realize this is genuinely the best possible problem to have with an online business and I am forever grateful for the opportunities it gave me and the doors that have opened because of it. I am merely sharing how it emotionally felt to me at the time).

The turning point

After managing the business 100% solely by myself for over a year (well, my husband was recruited to package and wrap orders for me-- thanks, hun!)...

...and hitting over $11K in monthly sales…

Stats from my first full year selling on Etsy with LittleHighbury

Stats from my first full year selling on Etsy with LittleHighbury

I knew something had to change.

Because while it was AWESOME to pour all of those (insane!) profits back into the business/into our bank account…

...I was DYING. 

Because here's the deal: Besides being the owner of LittleHighbury, I was also a stay-at-home-mother (to a VERY busy toddler!), wife, active church volunteer, and chief "errand runner" in our home. 

Add that to 25-30 DAILY orders from the Etsy shop and it's basically a recipe for disaster for those of us who aren't super-woman material ;)

A couple of things I learned during this phase of the business:

  • Try to work AND tend my child at the same time was beyond frustrating. I needed separate time to focus on each.
  • There is no way to succeed at all of those things all at the same time. Balance is great in theory, but not practical (or possible!) in execution.
  • I am basically absolute RUBBISH after 10 pm. None of my work was ever that great after that point, ha ha, and I found myself redoing a lot of it the next day! #funfact

These "realizations" led me to hire my first “employee” (and I use that term VERY informally ;).

This "employee" was actually just a local high school girl that needed a part-time job to work around student-council obligations and she didn’t actually “work for me” because she was contractual (meaning she wasn’t technically an employee so I didn’t have to pay taxes or provide benefits-- so don't come asking me about those details because I don't know them!).

She started by taking up the menial labor tasks like cutting fabric and sewing headbands and I felt like I could FINALLY breathe again. 

My mom was hired shortly after that.

And a couple of local stay-at-home mom friends right after that.

Within a year I had gone from a one-woman show to 5 people running an Etsy business that consistently maintained five-figures/month.

It wasn’t easy to keep on top of everything (especially during the holidays!)...

But with help? It was manageable.  

It was around this time (we had just had our first $20K month) that I got my first “How do you do it?!” question on Etsy.

And that’s when everything changed.

A mindset shift

I received probably about 10-15 conversations/day on Etsy asking questions about my products/ordering/wholesale/etc.

I had a canned set of responses (definitely something to consider doing if you aren’t already!) that saved me OODLES of time with these questions. My goal was to spend less than 15 min/day in my Etsy inbox.

But when I received my first “How do you do it?” question about running an Etsy shop I couldn’t believe it.

Someone was asking me (ME!) about how to run a successful business on Etsy.

And I took 45 minutes answering that question in so much detail that the poor Etsy shop owner probably had to split the reading into a two-part session.

And I had FUN answering it (wha?!)!

That question was--literally-- just the beginning.

The more LittleHighbury sold, the more the questions seemed to flow in from ready-to-hustle entrepreneurs that were willing to do the work (MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE EQUATION!) but just didn’t know what “work” to do.

(a question I address + solve for you inside Mastermind Your Marketing!)

I answered probably about 15-20 of these questions via Etsy convos super in-depth before I saw an ad on my Facebook home feed for a FREE Etsy training from a couple who averaged 125 orders/month selling on Etsy.

And people were FREAKING OUT in the comments at how awesome it would be to make that amount of sales.

Note: At this point in my business I was hitting 600-700 sales/month.

And that’s when I realized that THIS could be a business, too.

Now, at this point I certainly didn’t want to give up my Etsy shop (it was so profitable and it’s not easy to walk away from that kind of income!), but I realized that since I had extra help with the labor of creating product for my Etsy shop, I could totally do this “Etsy coaching” thing as a side-hustle. (<-- serial entrepreneur right here, folks!)

Within a few days (and even without a website!) I booked my first one-on-one call and charged $247 for a 60-minute one-on-one coaching session with a client (which included a 60-minute Skype call, 2 weeks of email support, and a personalized marketing plan).

She left THRILLED with the direction and guidance that I offered (and is making BANK now with her shop!) and I couldn’t believe that I had--figuratively-- sold my knowledge and experience-- and made a decent chunk of change doing it.  

Also? I didn’t have to ship out a product at the end. (<-- I’ll admit, this was a big one for me, ha!).

Things quickly took off from there.

While I was still running my Etsy shop full-time, I was booking more and more one-on-one clients (and having the time of my life chatting with other business owners!).

But there was a major problem.

And while I'll be the first to admit that I didn't spend a lot of time "searching" for these clients-- they seemed to find me on their own (<-- huge blessing, I realize that), there was still a MAJOR issue I ran into:

The 60-minute phone call sessions? They took up TIME (truth: you can’t rush a 60-minute call-- it’s ALWAYS going to be 60-minutes [and usually turned into 75 minutes because I can’t stop talking about marketing!]).

Time I didn’t *really* have if I was being honest because LittleHighbury was still so. dang. busy. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not super-woman, nor do I ever pretend to moonlight as her or profess to have ANYTHING in common with her.

I’m seriously just your average human being.

And being average with that kind of schedule?

Well, something had to give.

(lest you thought it was the baby, know that even on her worst tantrum-filled days, we decided she was worth keeping in the mix ;)

I wasn’t working IN my Etsy shop much nowadays (thank you, employees!), but I definitely was actively working to drive traffic to it (following the system I outline in Mastermind Your Marketing).

And even with a streamlined marketing system, it still takes a bit of time to stay on top of things.

And so I gave up marketing my Etsy shop. 

...I stopped adjusting my SEO every 4-6 months.

...I stopped posting on Instagram every day.

...I stopped creating new blog posts and actively growing my email list.

(cue the audible gasps).

Now I bet I know what you're thinking right now...

Why on earth would someone choose to stop doing what was working?!?!?

(the infamous question I get asked all. the. time.)

Today I'm going to answer it for you as honestly and openly as I can :) (Note- I'm not going to justify my answer to you or debate my decision in the comments (it's already been made!), but just explain MY reasoning why I did what I did) 

Actually, there were a couple of reasons:

  1. I was making serious money OFF of Etsy.

    My Etsy shop wasn’t the ONLY thing that was working for me.

    With VERY little effort on my part, I was booking one-on-one clients to chat marketing and making $497/hour doing it (yes, I raised my prices early on and people STILL kept booking with me).

    Also? I didn’t have to ship a physical product. I didn’t have to buy inventory. I didn’t have to spend HOURS/day in my sewing room fulfilling orders and crossing my fingers that USPS would hurry and deliver that “I waited to purchase until the last minute!” order that was placed by a frazzled customer (I absolutely HATE stressing out about people's last-minute rush orders, but I always do! Drives me crazy!)

  2. I had lost my passion for my target market.

    Now this is a seemingly trivial piece of the puzzle that a lot of people don’t understand.

    What does “passion” have to do with making money? If you’re making six figures and doing it consistently, why does “passion” even matter? You’re making money! Enjoy it!

    I felt that way at first, too :)

    I was SO thankful that this Etsy business had taken off. We were the definition of poor church mice when I started (I had to take a $300 loan from my mom to buy inventory because we--literally-- couldn’t afford to buy supplies), and without it?

    I’d hate to think where we would have ended up...

    But was I passionate about my “dream customer” or “target market”?

    Nope :)

    I’ve always been fairly transparent about my journey into motherhood-- it’s not something that came easy to me and it’s still a challenge almost every day. I’m not what you’d call a “natural fit” for the role-- and even though I was making baby products, I didn’t enjoy conversing with other mothers about sleep training, swapping debates about homeschooling vs. public education, or talking about the divine blessing that being a SAHM is. (truth- I get so much social anxiety going to play groups because motherhood and kiddos is ALL anyone ever talks about at those places).

    So even though I tended to avoid those conversations in "real-life," having a baby accessories business means you are surrounded by those types of conversation all day every day (no brainer, I know!).

    From 2013 - 2016, I was of the “fake it til you make it” mindset when interacting with my customers and fans. I swooned over their baby photos, offered tips on parenting that I had learned from raising my own daughter, and obsessed over the latest baby trends because #socute #amiright.

    But it didn’t feel natural and I didn’t enjoy it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with those who could talk 24/7 about #allthingsbaby (I admire you so much!), but in the words of Amy Poehler- “Good for her, NOT for me."

    But with business questions? Marketing?

    I could (and would, if I wasn’t careful!) talk about those things all day.

    That’s when I came to the realization that I could adapt my business to better fit MY needs and dreams-- and that was OKAY.

A mental breakdown

Even though I started plugging away at MorganNield.com back in late 2016, I still kept my Etsy shop. No, I wasn’t actively marketing it (which was a relief in so many ways!), but it was still making daily sales (average about 10-15/day with residual marketing from all the efforts I’d put in over the years).

And because those Etsy sales had--literally-- given us a roof over our head and food in our bellies-- I was more than a *little* queasy at the idea of closing the shop. After all, we had lived off this income for YEARS. Would it be possible to make do without it?

I couldn't convince myself that it was, so I kept working on both ;)

Truth bomb: Building MorganNield.com while managing LittleHighbury was not the walk in the park you’d expect.

It took a lot out of me.

When I wasn’t fulfilling orders, I was writing blog posts.

When I wasn’t answering customer convo’s on Etsy, I was juggling one-on-one client coaching calls.

Oh, and I had that thing called “family” that I enjoyed hanging around with (although by this point I'd almost forgotten what they looked like...kidding).

I’d like to say that juggling two businesses helped me master “balance” with things, but I’m going to be straight up honest with you--

It caused me to have a mental breakdown in February 2018.

As in curled-in-a-fetal-position, hunched over sobbing in our bathroom with the fan on for hours at a time not being able to physically move. 

And that’s when the doors to Little Highbury closed for an “indefinite vacation”.

Now you may be asking "What went down in February that changed things?"

Here's a quick synopsis:

I was in the “pre-launch” phase of my third round of Mastermind Your Marketing.

Lest you think launching an online course is easy (hahaha!), let me clear that up for your right now: It’s not.

Is it rewarding? Yes. Profitable? Yes. Amazing? Yes.

But easy?

Ha!

Here's a list of tasks I was working on just during pre-launch:

  • I was recording livestreams and on a weekly (and sometimes daily!) basis
  • I was creating 1-2 pieces of new content for my blog each week
  • I was networking with others in my niche to build relationships with them and--ultimately-- pitch my product
  • I was answering the never-ending questions of people interested in learning more about the program and if it would be a good fit for THEIR business (probably about 10 questions/day in the pre-launch phase-- more during the actual "open-cart" launch)
  • I was reworking the course to be even better than it was. This essentially meant starting from scratch again and adding SO much more to it to make it as done-for-you-marketing as possible.

Now take alllllllllllllll of those things and add:

  • Managing 10-15 daily orders with Little Highbury.
  • A (surprise) positive pregnancy test and almost immediate puking non-stop.

(yep, apparently I’m one of those “lucky ones” that gets hyperemesis gravidarum like Princess Kate Middleton and spends the next 2-3 months working out of the upstairs bathroom in-between puke sessions).

Oh, and tries to take care of an incredibly active 4-year-old while doing it because, you know, the whole “SAHM” thing I signed up for :)

So we’ve established that by this point in my businesses (February 2018), I was still running Little Highbury AND MorganNield.com.

I thought I could keep doing both.

After all, they were both INCREDIBLY profitable (Little Highbury was still hitting $100K even without the heavy marketing [or any marketing at all, if I'm being honest], and MorganNield.com was WAY past that already).

From a financial standpoint (and logically, as well), it made sense to keep both businesses going.

And whenever I casually mentioned “killing off Little Highbury,” people looked at me like I was CRAZY. Like, why would you ever get rid of something that made you money like that?!?!

(And from an outsider’s perspective, I TOTALLY get that. I remember wondering the same thing when Melyssa Griffin stopped offering graphic design services and focused solely on online courses. I thought she was CRAZY for giving up a six-figure design business at the time. Now I understand a bit better ;)

But when my husband found me on the bathroom floor after an especially grueling toilet session, bawling my eyes out, it became ridiculously apparent that I couldn’t balance both anymore. #tmi

I’ll spare you the details of my pros and cons lists for both (yes, I’m a little Rory Gilmore sometimes) and assume that after reading through this post you’ll know which one was the obvious choice.

And just like that, Little Highbury became a part of my past.

  • Yes, I GAVE UP a six-figure business.
  • Yes, I WALKED AWAY from something that was already working.
  • Yes, I WENT AGAINST every logical and financial bone in my body and put my shop in “permanent” vacation mode (for the first time ever!).

And instead? I went ALL IN with MorganNield.com.

(and--literally-- doubled my annual revenue with that next Mastermind Your Marketing launch (which I basically executed from my bathroom floor-- now how's that for a happy ending!?).

Giving up my Etsy shop after 4+ years of selling?

It was the BEST business decision I have EVER made. 

And I don't regret it for a minute. 

Now you may appreciate my decision, or you may violently disagree with it. That is totally up to you. I give you 100% permission to over-analyze my story above and come to your own conclusions about my decision and whether or not you think I'm a "fraud" for walking away from Etsy.

(know, however, that during the time you’re analyzing MY business, you’re wasting valuable time that you could be using to actually grow yours ;).

Choosing to sell Little Highbury

And for one final FAQ: What did I do with Little Highbury? 

For those of you who know my story, you know that I created Little Highbury at an EXTREMELY vulnerable time in my life (it was my main coping mechanism that I used to deal with my post-partum depression after my daughter was born), and it didn’t seem right to “sell it” to someone that most likely wouldn’t have understood the backbone of why I was doing what I had done.

Also, there was the whole “I design my own fabrics!” thing to consider (a lot harder to hand off to someone than you’d think, haha) ;)

That's why when most people asked about me selling, I always told them, "Nope-- I'm letting it die a slow death."

And truthfully? I had every intention of keeping that “vacation mode” on for the remainder of the year and eventually closing out the shop by the end of 2018.

And then my sister came to me with a business proposition (fun fact: I’m from a whole family of entrepreneurs) and presented an agreement to “buy out” Little Highbury because she was in need of a project to keep her busy (Ha! Joke's on her!).

***Edited for clarification: I did not "sell" her the shop (yes, I am aware that is against Etsy's TOU's!) -- I am still "unofficially" overseeing things with LittleHighbury, however, she is the COO. She is in the process of setting up her OWN shop on Etsy and has purchased the inventory/equipment/marketing that I have used with LittleHighbury in the past to create her "new" shop.

Now before you come to me asking for help on drafting contracts and negotiating terms for selling a business, know that my sister is one of the most Christ-like people I know and doesn’t have an advantage-taking bone in her body. Seriously. (it gets really annoying sometimes because she’s always so...good :P) Yes, our agreement is written down, but it’s not your typical “legal” document and there wasn’t a notary present and all that jazz.

But for now?

It feels good.

She’s LOVING running the business and getting her hands wet with entrepreneurship, and I’m LOVING being able to focus 100% on MorganNield.com without balancing inventory/customer service/marketing/etc. (you know, all those bazillion hats we Etsy shop owners seem to wear at all times ;)

Will I go back to Etsy one day?

Eh, maybe.

But I can promise you this: It will NOT be with a physical product, ha ha! Once you go digital, you never go back, my friend ;)


And if you made it to the end of this post, thank you. Thank you for hearing me out and taking a minute (or 60) to understand where I am coming from and to learn more of the "why" behind my business decisions.

I feel like people always gloss over the less-than-glamorous details of business evolutions, and I want you to know that it's okay if your business is currently a hot mess and you're overwhelmed. 

Life is messy

Business is messy.

And business evolution is a TOTALLY normal (and good!) thing.

Don't ever feel like you have to stick with something that doesn't bring you joy.

Consider this permission to go after your dreams and make them happen no matter what anyone says-- because I'm right behind you, cheering you on :)

xoxo, Morgan  

How long does it actually take to earn a five-figure month on Etsy? [case study!]

BI - how long to earn 5 figures case study-04.png

You've got some crazy-ambitious revenue goals and you're willing to do the work.

But what work are you actually supposed to do!?!

It's a question I get asked A LOT. 

In fact, most creative-type Etsy sellers are absolutely KILLER at creating beautiful product. 

But when it comes to actually marketing it?

They don't have a clue where to start. 

Sure, they've hopped on Google and typed in "how to get found on Etsy" and found approximately 1 bajillion outdated and extremely vague tips and tricks about SEO, but as for an actual marketing plan?

Nada.

In fact, my student Molly was the EXACT same way-- she had an amazing business idea (you can check her out HERE!) and more creativity in her little finger than I have in my whole body (true story!), but when it came to selling?

She had absolutely NO idea where to start (probably similar to you!).

Molly enrolled in Mastermind Your Marketing in May 2017 (when it first launched-- I can't believe it's been over a year!) and opened her Etsy shop just a couple months later. 

Here's a screenshot of a post she shared in September 2017-- just 2 months after she opened her Etsy shop following the Mastermind Your Marketing curriculum:

molly testimonial.png

But you may be thinking "Sure, Morgan-- but that was MONTHS ago. Is she still selling that much?"

I'd better let Molly take it over from here ;) 

Are success stories an everyday occurence inside Mastermind Your Marketing?

Why yes, yes they are :)

 
content_testimonials_-_final_email-41 (1).png
 

Are these students "special snowflakes" with unique situations (although I do happen to think each of these students is pretty dang awesome!)?

NO.

Do they have a 100% unique product that no other Etsy shop sells?

NO. 

Do they rely on "free" strategies on the internet to get where they wanted to be revenue-wise?

NO. 

Each of these case studies enrolled in Mastermind Your Marketing, did the work (important!), and saw the results. 

It's seriously that simple. 

And guess what? They come from selling a variety of products-- baby accessories, photography props, jewelry, and wedding stationary. There's honestly no "one size fits all" niche for successfully marketing your shop on Etsy-- ANYONE can be successful. 

You just need to have a profitable marketing system in place. 

...a system that makes you *cha-chings* in your sleep so that you can spend more time working ON your shop instead of in it

...a system that completely takes the guesswork out when you'll make your next sale (you're in control, yo!).

...a system that actually makes marketing--dare I say it-- FUN (gasp!). And seriously easy to implement (just follow the step-by-step workbooks inside MYM, plug in YOUR shop details and get to work!)

Oh, and did I mention that once you've got it set up, it's just rinse-and-repeat from here on out? 

Seriously. 

Spoiler alert: There is no "secret trick" to selling on Etsy.

Every successful Etsy shop out there will tell you that it takes WORK to make $$$ happen.

But can you imagine if someone held your hand and walked you through exactly what "work" that needed to be?

Consider me your personal mentor-- I'm going to show you EXACTLY what to do in the EXACT order you need to do it.

(+ bonus tech videos walking you through it because, you know, #techchallenged is a real thing)

Ready for the course that will change EVERYTHING for you about selling on Etsy?

I’ll see you on the inside :)

xoxo,
Morgan