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

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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:

“I won’t ever make thousands of sales because my niche is so specific”
“I need to be using Etsy promoted listings and/or Facebook ads to make any sales”
“I’m too busy to find the time to marketing my Etsy shop, so I guess I'll just have to settle for 3-4 sales/month.”

(Have you ever said one of these to yourself? I'll be honest and say that I totally have :)

Today we’re tackling the most popular myths I’ve seen people say when they talk about selling on Etsy. And not in a beat-about-the-bush sort of way-- no, I’m busting through those myths with REAL examples and REAL strategy that takes those myths head on and prove them to be FALSE.

So without further ado...

Myth #1: I don’t have enough time to marketing my Etsy shop because I’m busy with xyz.

Or we could change up the wording so it’s more true: You don’t have enough time to NOT market your Etsy shop.

When most of us think about marketing in general, there’s this general image of falling down a rabbit hole for hours (or weeks, depending on your style) and not having time to do anything else because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to marketing your Etsy shop enough to make a difference.

Let’s put an end to that kind of thinking right now.

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to market your Etsy shop, let me let you in on a little secret: It’s because you’ve been doing it wrong (and I mean that in the best possible way)!

You don’t NEED to devote 80 hours/week to marketing your Etsy shop (although I’d LOVE to see the kind of crazy-awesome results someone with that kind of time could produce!)-- in fact, you can absolutely start to market your Etsy shop in less than 10 hours/ week and make a full-time income.

And once you’ve got things automated and start batching? That time cuts in half, if not more :) (seriously though-- your entire Pinterest strategy should take less than 2 hours/MONTH)

So why do some Etsy sellers feel the need to spend hours and hours marketing their shop before they see any results?

Well, it’s because they’re looking at things in the short-term-- meaning, they don’t have a long term vision for their marketing plan and how the content and promotions work together cohesively to ease up on the amount of content you need to put out.

They’re also probably not using automation tools as much as they should :)

In Mastermind Your Marketing I teach you the highest ROI (return on investment) platforms out there in a step-by-step process that works together so that you’re using the content you create for your blog also on Pinterest, Instagram, and your emails (it’s called “repurposing your content” and it’s AWESOME). Basically, you’re maximizing your reach and minimizing your workload :)
 

Myth #2: If I haven’t been on Etsy for X amount of years, my stuff will never get found.

It’s true that Etsy has made A LOT of changes over the past few years and not as easy to get found right off the bat on Etsy.

And having that strong sales history? Well, it definitely helps you stand out in search results. 

But just because you’re a new shop, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never get found. On the contrary, there are hundreds (literally) of things you can do to help yourself get found in the searches on Etsy-- you just have to be a bit more creative nowadays and take action instead of waiting passively:

1 | Drive traffic to your Etsy shop from other platforms.
Little known trick-- you actually BOOST your SEO ranking every time you drive your own traffic. So host a contest, run a giveaway, schedule our a marketing campaign. And then watch your SEO ranking rise :)

2 | Keep your SEO fresh.
As much as SEO is a “set it and forget it” strategy, you can’t ever truly just forget about it and expect to maintain high sales over the years. Just like their are trends in design, there are also trends in keywords; The terms people are using today might be moot in a few months.

An example of this? Chevrons. A few years ago this keyword was ON FIRE. Everywhere you looked there were chevrons. I took advantage of this by having chevron headband prints in my Etsy shop. And guess what? They sold like crazy!

But today? I still sell 1-2/day, but it’s about ⅕ as much as I used to sell, simply because the trends of changed-- and not nearly as many people are searching for “chevron” as they used to.

3| Consistently add new product.
I’ve got a whole article about the importance of this HERE, but here’s the gist: Etsy loves shops that add in new product. It proves that you’re an active seller on Etsy (and not just sitting around passively waiting for sales), and they reward you with higher placement in search over time. Win-win :)

Myth #3: I have to spend money on Etsy promoted listings/Facebook ads if I ever want to make money with my Etsy shop.

Guys. True story: I never spent a penny on ads for LittleHighbury my first year and I turned it into a six-figure biz. How’s that for a real life case-study?

So you’ll understand me when I say that it drives me nuts when people send me emails asking how much I spent on ads to grow my business so fast.

GUYS: You don’t have to waste your money on ads to see sales with your Etsy business. In fact, if you’re just starting out without a large budget, there are PLENTY of other things I recommend that you invest in as opposed to ads (online courses or a business coach, for starters!).

Eventually, I did invest in ads (about 2 ½ years into Etsy). Pinterest and Facebook ads, to be exact. I wanted to see what all the chatter was about, and I wanted to get some first-hand experience so I felt like I knew what was out there.

Did my ads work? Yes, absolutely. Nothing crazy-astronomic (although I imagine with a lot more research and testing I could get better results), but I definitely did see an increase in sales that came directly through my ads.

But was it any better than the other strategies I was currently using? Not really.

I was getting a much, MUCH higher ROI utilizing FREE marketing strategies like Pinterest, blogging, and promotional giveaways.

SO while it was convenient to hand someone my money and have them do the work through advertising (although I still had to create the graphics/copy for them), I felt like it was a MUCH better use of my time to grow my business organically and authentically through traditional marketing efforts-- and I found that those marketing efforts produced much more engaged, loyal fans and customers.

So here’s what I’m saying: I didn’t spend a penny on ads in the first few years, and you don’t have to either! It is absolutely possible to grow your business from the ground up authentically, organically, and quickly. I am a walking case-study and there are dozens of others out there just like me :) It’s just a matter of strategically and intentionally marketing your Etsy shop with a system that works.

Myth #4: My product is niche and unique-- so while you talk about earning $$$, you obviously don’t understand MY market.

Oh, but I do :) I understand that every shop is different and there isn’t a “one size fits all” way to run your Etsy shop.

I promise that I still want success for the people that send me these kinds of emails (I actually posted some Etsy tips on the Etsy forums once and got a whole SLEW of comments about how “out of touch” I was with the reality of selling on Etsy…), but whenever I hear this myth/excuse, I just have to laugh-- because there is very little truth to it.

First off: If your product is unique and niche, then good for you! You’ve already figured out a way to stand out from the crowd, and that in and of itself is a FANTASTIC thing.

And the reality of it is: yes, it’s going to be harder to find your people-- simply because they’re not looking for it with the search volumes that other markets see.

But just because you’re in a unique niche doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a full-time income. In fact, when you tell yourself that, you’re already limiting your earning potential (self-fulfilling prophesy, anyone?)

There are--literally-- thousands of people in unique niches that make a full-time income from their market. It’s just about marketing strategically- and implementing a marketing system for your Etsy shop that is based on results-- and not just a spur-of-the-moment thing.  really finding out where your people are hanging out instead of just waiting for them to find you.

Myth #5: I hate marketing. I’ve tried it and haven’t seen results. Marketing just doesn’t work for my shop.

Guys. Guys. This one hits SO close to home ;) Can I share a little story with you real quick?

During my last semester in college, my 3 roommates were photographers. This doesn’t mean a whole lot except for the fact that whenever we hung out all together, they just wanted to take photos.

As much as I loved these girls (and truly-- I did. 2 of them were bridesmaids at my wedding), I detested the evenings where we were all together and the DSLR cameras would come out.

I would tell them over and over again “I hate taking photos. I’m never going to be a photographer. How is this possibly your idea of fun?!”

Imagine the irony of irony when I decided to open an Etsy shop and realized that I was going to have to take photos of my product.

Like any normal human, I protested this for a while. As I was prepping to start LittleHighbury, I would tell my husband over and over and over again “I want to sell on Etsy but I just HATE taking photos. Taking photos sucks! I hate this! Where’s the ice cream!?”

And he put up with this for a while (he’s a saint!), but one night I think he had had enough because he turned to me and said, “I think the only reason you “hate” taking photos is because you don’t know what you’re doing.”

This made me angry, but not because he had said it-- but because it was true.

I’m a perfectionist and I like to do things right or not at all. It’s a type-A thing that can be a blessing or a curse.

Photography-- because it was something I had never invested any time into learning-- was something that I didn’t know how to do. I had no idea how to use a DSLR, I didn’t understand photography composition, and photo editing? How in the heck do you even know what contrast is good? Heck, what is contrast?!

And because I had no idea what I was doing, I had decided that I “hated” photography and that was that.

So can I make a little bit of a guess about why you “hate” marketing? ;)

Now don’t get me wrong-- marketing isn’t a natural fit for everyone-- and sometimes it takes a while to get into a groove.

But if you’re currently haphazardly marketing your Etsy shop willy-nilly and hating every stinkin' minute of it, I’ve got a little secret for you: it’s because you don’t know what you’re doing.

I used to “hate” marketing too-- I felt like it was sleazy, unnatural, and took away from the one thing I enjoyed about selling on Etsy: creating. I didn’t understand how some people loved marketing because in my experience? It sucked!

But as I made a mindset shift-- and invested a lot of money into hiring a business coach-- I learned how to market effectively (aka- not just asking for the sale every single time) by providing value to my customers, you better believe that I started to fall in love with the whole process.

Nowadays? It’s all I want to talk about with you guys! And you know why? It’s because I finally know what I’m doing :) It took a while, but over the past 5 years I’ve learned how to market in a way that’s authentic, natural, and--get this-- actually brings in sales!

So “marketing isn’t for me!”? Yeah, I don’t buy that ;) I’m willing to bet that you’re a lot better marketer than you think you are-- you just need someone to lay it out for you in a way that resonates with YOU (just like I do in Mastermind Your Marketing!)

Myth #6 - I don’t have to invest $$$ in my Etsy shop because I can just find all of that information out there for FREE.

So tell me-- how’s all that free “marketing advice” working out for ya? ;)

I don’t mean to sound pretentious-- and yes, you absolutely can find some golden nuggets of information buried deep in the free-ness of the internet.

But nothing is ever truly “free” -- meaning that maybe you’re not spending $$$, but you ARE spending valuable time.

And by going after all of the “free” advice out there, you’re taking a big gamble on your shop’s future: you maybe researched a ton, implemented new strategies, and then found out that not only are these strategies outdated, but they just don’t work for your unique position as an Etsy seller.

If you’re not willing to invest in the tools that can grow your Etsy shop-- be it in online courses, business coaches, e-books, software, etc.-- then you’re not really running a business- you’re just running a hobby.

Every single business owner out there will tell you that in those early days? There’s nothing more important than investing in your business. It isn’t wasting money that you don’t have-- it’s putting money into your business with the understanding that your investment will pay for itself over and over again.

This was a MAJOR roadblock for me about investing in my business when I just started out. I didn’t know half of what I was doing, and I really pinched my pennies because we needed the extra income. Trust me: I know what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck. It’s not fun.

While running my Etsy shop on a shoe-string budget saved me money on the surface, it actually cost me money in the long run.

You see, while I was refusing to invest in the programs and people that had been where I was, I was trying to hodge-podge together a strategy that took months to bring me any sort of revenue increase.

Imagine my amazement when I finally invested in a Pinterest e-course and started seeing improved sales in just weeks. Instead of investing months of time and energy and effort, I realized that I was able to fast-track my success like CRAZY by investing in a simple step-by-step program or coaching session.

Here’s the deal: You HAVE to invest in your business. There’s no way around it.  You’re either going to be investing money or time.

So ask yourself: “What’s my time worth to me?” Is it worth it to spend months researching vague, *free* content in the hopes that you can hodge-podge together a strategy that actually works?

Or is it worth more to invest the $$$ upfront, learn quickly and efficiently from someone who’s been there, and start increasing your income even faster?

I know which one I pick every time :)

BONUS MYTH: Everything is just so overwhelming and confusing-- there's no way I can figure out all of this on my own

If you're serious about accelerating your audience, tripling your traffic, and skyrocketing your sales on Etsy, you'll want to check out my new course:

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