That time that I almost quit my Etsy shop...
Can I get real with you for a second?
Just over 2 years ago I was on the brink of burnout with LittleHighbury. For real. I was on track to double my first year's income, and I was seriously burning the candle at both ends. I was irritable towards my family, irritable towards my customers (I had to have my husband respond to more than one Etsy conversation for me...), and more especially-- irritated that I had to work so freakin' hard to promote my Etsy shop.
And yes, even though I was stressed out beyond words, I realize I was blessed-- the strategies I was implementing were working. I was seeing consistent monthly growth. I had turned my Etsy shop into a full-blown career that could support my entire family.
But I was also going CRAZY.
(my husband can attest to the truthfulness of that statement)
Instead of focusing on the part of Etsy I loved most-- creating beautiful new designs (heck, the reason I started this shop in the first place!)-- I was stuck in this vicious rat race of CONSTANTLY promoting my shop to get sales-- and that was definitely NOT part of my Etsy dream.
It wasn't sustainable, to say the least.
Maybe you can relate? ;)
If you feel like you feel like marketing your shop is slowly (or quickly-- no judging!) sucking the life out of you, then this post is for you :)
So stop stressing for a minute and imagine with me that:
- You could grow traffic to your Etsy shop + make sales EXPONENTIALLY in as little as 30 minutes/week. A "set it and forget it" mentality that allows you to focus more on the things you want to focus on. #forreals
- You could automate your social media strategy to work overtime for you--literally making sales for you while you sleep.
- You could put in a little effort once--just ONCE-- and watch your Etsy shop grow 100% FREE + authentically-- as in, social media that works FOR you and NOT the other way around.
- You could find the time to create + design (you know--the reason why you started this whole Etsy gig in the first place?!) and fall in love with your shop all over again.
If any of that sounds a-okay with you, then allow me to introduce you to your new best friend:
Did that reveal disappoint you? I hope not! If you've tried to use Pinterest to promote your Etsy shop and have been seriously underwhelmed by the lack of results, let me share a little secret with you:
YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT WRONG.
(and please know that I mean that in the absolute kindest way possible because I was EXACTLY where you were 2 years ago-- so I'm speaking to my past self just as much as you ;).
If you are “over” Pinterest or think it’s just for people with food blogs (hint: it’s not), by the end of this blog post you’ll see some crazy-amazing potential for your Etsy shop and have a direct route on how to make that happen.
A Pinterest Case Study for LittleHighbury
When I started LittleHighbury, I was 0% focused on driving my own traffic into my shop. I had figured out my SEO (which is so, so important!), branding, and had a strong product line. My sales were doing fine and I was happy with where I was.
And then the Etsy algorithm changed (thank you, Etsy...). Instead of being found multiple times on one page of Etsy search, I was limited to just one item/page for the first 20 pages.
And my views took a major nose dive.
I was still getting traffic from Etsy, but it wasn't nearly as much, and certainly not enough to keep LittleHighbury growing at the rate I was accustomed to. I knew it was time for me to start driving my own traffic.
And so I started working hard. Really hard. Like probably-not-healthy-for-my-mental-sanity hard. I was on Facebook, on Instagram, promoting weekly to social media influencers.
And it worked! (YAY!)
And I wanted to quit (BOO!).
And so I did. Well, I didn't quit LittleHighbury. But I did quit hustling myself into the ground and took a course on Pinterest marketing -- and it literally changed my life and my Etsy sales.
Before, I was spending all those hours meticulously crafting perfect social media posts that got buried just a few hours later. But with Pinterest? The content I created stuck around for MONTHS--and reached more and more customers every day on autopilot-- even when I wasn't pinning anything new.
A social media strategy that works FOR you? Sign me up!
See that growth above? And yes, I had a "holy cow" moment when I saw it :) Yeah, that's what happened the minute I started implementing the strategies in Pinfinite Growth.
And guess what? It's also the minute I dumped my previous social media strategy and began promoting my Etsy shop almost exclusively on Pinterest.
If you've ever looked at an Etsy shop and seen their growth seem to EXPLODE, chances are they've figured out Pinterest and are now letting it do the majority of the work for them.
And it's truly a snowball effect-- all it takes is for 1-2 of your followers to repin your initial pin, then 1-2 followers of theirs and before you know it you have 2,000 pins on your item and you're driving hundreds of traffic to your shop everyday FOR FREE. Off of ONE pin.
(and that's not just an example-- that's a real-deal case study from yours truly ;)
Here's a quick shot at my views from Pinterest just this year:
Those are the stats from the past year with LittleHighbury. Almost 30,000 views from Pinterest ALONE. I was getting hundreds of views from Pinterest a day and all I can say is that my sales were more than enough to convince me that PINTEREST IS THE PERFECT MARKETING STRATEGY FOR ETSY SELLERS.
(And in case you're wondering, yes, those views translated into sales :) I didn't have the Google Analytics pixel installed back when I first started utilizing Pinterest, but I asked my customers how they found me and I'll bet you can guess what they said ;)
But there is a catch to all this amazingness: Because Pinterest isn't so much a social media platform (although it is still considered one) as a Search Engine-- like Google or Bing, you have to pin smart. You can't just throw something up there and call it a day-- your pin will get lost down the Pinterest rabbit hole and you'll be wasting your time (which none of us handmade sellers have enough of to begin with!)
You need to be STRATEGIC about how you pin-- what to pin, how you write your description, what pins to automate, and stuff like that. It doesn't take much time once you get the hang of it, but there definitely is strategy involved.
"Okay, you've convinced me. But how can I actually figure this Pinterest thing out?"
Today I'm sharing my top 5 non-negotiable Pinterest tips that are absolutely ESSENTIAL for your growth on Pinterest and are going to jump-start your sales LIGHT-YEARS ahead of the competition (because you are awesome).
There are a million different strategies out there, but these 5 tips are part of every single one of those strategies (speaking of which, are we following each other on Pinterest?! We should be! I've curated my boards to work with Etsy sellers directly-- so you'll get super-helpful Etsy tips in your feed :).
Anyways, without further ado, here are 5 tips that you absolutely HAVE to utilize with Pinterest:
1 | Sign up for Pinterest Business Account.
Like, yesterday. Not only will you get access to Promoted Pins (the very best use of your advertising budget), but you’ll also be able to track your analytics and see what’s working for you (so you can do more of that!) and what’s not (so you can stop wasting your time!).
2 | Register yourself for Rich Pins.
Not only do rich pins show up higher in search results, but they also allow you to list more information on each of your pins-- and let you look legit while you do it. You can get started with rich pins here.
Rich pins also allow you to include your price on any pins that link directly to your Etsy shop. Pinterest has also run studies that show Rich pins with prices on them get repined 16% more.
3 | Create 10-15 boards that your audience will love.
Stop pinning recipes that have nothing to do with the handmade soap you sell-- you need to create a Pinterest profile that attracts your ideal customer over and over again. And while you may care about those 30-minute meals, they probably don’t. So stop pinning things that YOU love and start pinning things that THEY will love :)
4 | Focus on getting as many repins as possible.
You know how things “go viral”? Start focusing on repins and your shop could be next! You need to be posting constantly onto Pinterest to get your stuff seen by as many people as possible. No, I am not telling you to hang out on Pinterest all day (although that would be fun, wouldn’t it?!)-- you can sign up for an automation tool like Tailwind or BoardBooster (the one I use + love) that will take care of all that for you.
5 | Aim for an average of 50 pins/day.
As overwhelming as that may sound, Melyssa explains how easy this can be achieved with her Pinfinite Growth BoardBooster tutorials. 50 is the optimal number of daily pins, according to Pinterest, and will let Pinterest know that you are serious about growing your account-- and not just spamming people with your content. A good rule of thumb is to keep your pins at 20% your content/ 80% other people’s content. MAKE SURE YOU ARE PINNING YOUR OWN CONTENT. This is absolutely critical to promotional success.
And trust me when I say that's seriously just the tip of the iceberg with Pinterest. There is so, so much more you can learn about it to really optimize your sales on Etsy and see the kind of growth that you watch other shop owners achieve (c'mon, we all have that one competitor's shop that we scope out like a hawk...)
If you're hungry for more (or anticipate you will be soon because you're going to realize just how freakin' awesome Pinterest is!) I've got some good news for you: There are a million (free!) resources out there that can help you figure this stuff out. I plan on sharing quite a bit here on the blog, in fact, to get you started because I KNOW you will see success using Pinterest.
But it's probably going to take you months to figure out how to piece together all that free information. I know because I tried :) It's a long and tedious process, but it can be done if you're determined.
The Fastest Way to Grow Your Pinterest
Here's a little secret: I'm the type of person who prefers to have things laid out for me step-by-step. I can do the hard work--the hustling-- but I crave structure and experience from people who have already achieved what I'm setting out to achieve (serisouly-- the smartest thing you can do for your Etsy shop is to talk with people who have been there, done that. Don't run your biz in a vacuum.)
So yes, I can figure it out on my own, but if I can figure it out quickly and more efficiently? Well, I'm all about that :)
If you're anything like me and super-serious about whipping your Pinterest-Etsy strategy into shape ASAP (and start earning more sales within the next couple of weeks), then I want to introduce you to one of my very favorite bloggers + Pinterest goddess-- Melyssa Griffin. Her course, Pinfinite Growth, is the course to learn all things Pinterest. Hands down.
Oh, and she's also one of the most genuine people I've ever talked with :)
I signed up for Melyssa's course back in 2015 mostly because I love learning (and was super-crazy jealous that my husband got to go to graduate school while I stayed at home), but I figure I might learn a few things along the way as an added bonus.
Holy cow was I wrong!
I was seriously BLOWN AWAY by all the information she provides in there. Not only does she give you a behind-the-scenes look at EXACTLY how she runs her multi-million dollar biz, but she also gives ridiculously in-depth tutorials that teach you steo-by-step how to grow a Pinterest marketing empire and drive crazy traffic to your shop.
Oh, and did I mention that she built her small (multi-million dollar) biz almost ENTIRELY on Pinterest (you can read more of her story here)?
Yeah, this stuff's the real-deal.
My own Etsy shop, LittleHighbury jumped a couple hundred dollars/day in sales once I implemented Pinfinite Growth's strategies (and I hadn't even finished the course-- seriously-- there was so much good info in there!).
The biggest eye opener was that once I started making these changes and implementing Pinterest into my marketing strategy, I realized that I was leaving money on the table I didn't even know about.
Because here's the ridiculously cool thing: Not only will Pinterest drive more direct traffic to your Etsy shop, Etsy will too!
See, Etsy looooooooves it when you drive your own traffic so they reward you with higher placement in search because your items have more "perceived interest" (meaning that they must be what customers are looking for).
So that Pinterest strategy you're working on only a few minutes a week? Yeah, It's working in tandem with Etsy to bring you sales!
Can you say killing two birds with one stone? Talk about a time-saving strategy!
So here's a quick recap on just a few of the reasons I loooooooove using Pinterest to market my Etsy shop
- You can grow traffic to your Etsy shop + make sales EXPONENTIALLY in as little as 30 minutes/week. FOR FREE. A "set it and forget it" mentality that allows you to focus more on the things you want to focus on. #forreals
- You can AUTOMATE your social media strategy to work overtime for you--literally making sales for you while you sleep.
- You can put in a little effort once--just ONCE-- and watch your Etsy shop grow 100% FREE + authentically-- as in, social media that works FOR you and NOT the other way around.
- You can find the time to create + design (you know--the reason why you started this whole Etsy gig in the first place?!) and fall in love with your shop all over again.
So if you're tired (literally) of hustling like crazy over your social media day in and day out, you can grab Pinfinite Growth here. I'm an affilliate for Melyssa but I absolutely LOVE this course and recommend it to almost every Etsy shop owner I know-- whether they purchase through my link or not-- because it is that life-changing. (oh, and she has a 60 day money-back guarantee so it's no-risk for you!)
And even if you're not looking to take a course right now, you ought to hop over to her landing page and read about her experience-- Melyssa's story is incredible + inspiring and might just give you that boost you need to take your Etsy shop to the next level (which, hello, is where it belongs ;)
So my challenge to you today is to stop spending #allthetime on your social media strategy. If you sell a product, Pinterest is an absolute MUST for promotion-- and it's going to save you some crazy time and give you that freedom that many of us Etsy-preneurs dream about ;)