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 ;)
And the same goes for you (don’t shake your head-- I can sense that head shake ;)
You can absolutely achieve your crazy-success Etsy goals.
Yes, you, the 9-5 working woman.
Yes, you, the stay-at-home-momma that is typing with one hand.
And yes, even you, the retired hobbyist that has never taken a business class in your life.
Today’s post is going to be a little bit about tough love. Because I’m guessing that you’re here on the blog for at least one reason: you HAVEN’T reached your sales goals yet on Etsy.
And today? Well, we’re going to talk about why.
There are 6 common mistakes I see over and over again (and I’ve lived a good portion of them back in my early Etsy days, so rest assured-- I’m cringing a bit as I type these!).
Maybe you’re making 1-2 of these mistakes. Maybe you’re making all of them. Regardless, these are mistakes that you can start to fix today.
Mistake #1 | You’re relying solely on Etsy search to drive traffic to your Etsy shop
This is a shout-out to all those that hang out on the forums whining about the recent SEO changes Etsy has made ;)
I say that partially in jest because feel like I’m talking to myself a couple of years ago :) When I first started selling on Etsy, I honestly, truly believed that I could focus 100% of my attention on SEO and never have to worry about marketing my shop. I didn’t “market” my Etsy shop any other way because I didn’t believe that I needed to (and true story: I used to haaaaaaaaaaate marketing).
And then Etsy went public (read: brought on shareholders) and made some MAJOR changes to the SEO algorithm, I watched my Etsy shop almost crumble-- literally-- overnight. It was honestly and truly one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever had to deal with with my business-- to watch everything I’d worked so hard for to come to a screeching halt overnight.
And that’s when I realized that I wasn’t running my business-- Etsy was.
And they had run it right into the ground.
And that was just about the worst feeling in the entire world-- to realize that I had no control over my business because I was relying solely on one person (Etsy) to take care of my shop.
I genuinely and sincerely hope that you never come to this realization. It sucks.
That’s not to say there isn’t a happy ending to this story (there is!)-- but it took me MONTHS of strategy and tweaking and trying and failing and research to get an actual real-deal marketing strategy set up for my Etsy shop.
And panic. If I'm being honest, there was a lot of panic involved in the process as well.
Panic that could have been avoided if I had implemented a strategic marketing plan for my Etsy shop back when I first opened.
If I hadn’t relied solely on Etsy to drive traffic to my shop, but instead took ownership for marketing MY shop.
Etsy SEO as an end-all marketing strategy? Sure, that may have worked 3 years ago. But today? Etsy’s search algorithm is so sophisticated and fluid at this point that you can’t rely solely on Etsy SEO to bring you consistent sales.
Etsy SEO should absolutely be a PART of your marketing plan, but not the entirety of it. As a general rule, I recommend utilizing at least 5 different platforms to be driving traffic into your Etsy shop.
Mistake #2 | You’re trying to use ALLLLLLL the social media platforms out there to promote their Etsy shop.
Ready for a statement that's going to rock your world?
I , Morgan Nield, give you permission to trash that Twitter account, scrap that Snapchat, and get rid of that Google+.
(Did I just become your new BFF or what?! ;)
The truth of the matter? You don’t need to be using ALLLLL the platforms out there to find success on Etsy.
In fact, I strongly discourage you from using them all. Seriously.
Because while on the surface it makes sense to get your name out on as many social media platforms as you can, the truth of the matter?
If you’re utilizing them all, you’re mediocre at them all--at best.
And mediocrity doesn’t equal sales.
In Mastermind Your Marketing, I actually only encourage you to use ONE (that’s right, just one!) social media platform to promote your Etsy shop: and that’s Instagram.
Now I see you shaking your head like I’m some crazy woman for suggesting that you utilize just one platform. Well, I probably am crazy, but not about this :)
Social media should NOT be the end-all to your marketing strategy. In fact, in terms of sales, social media can be a great tool to get your name out there, but it’s not the best tool and it’s certainly not the best strategy to spend your time on (of course, there are exceptions to this, but as a general rule...).
You’ll be much better equipped to spend your time and energy in other areas that will give you a MUCH higher ROI-- areas like content marketing, email, and collaborations.
Social media can be powerful-- which is why in Mastermind Your Marketing we definitely still utilize it-- but in a much more simplified approach. Because here’s how I feel: If your social media is stressing you out instead of helping you make sales (because remember-- that’s the WHOLE point of social media-- to HELP you), then it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.
So simplify your social media strategy. Focus on one or two platforms and RUN LIKE HECK WITH THEM.
Trust me: you and your sanity will thank me later.
Mistake #3 | You have the mentality of “if I build it, they will come.”
Have you ever pushed something into the very back of your mind over and over again hoping it will just go away?
Yeah, me too ;)
When I was a new Etsy seller setting up shop, that’s kind of how I felt about marketing. I’m not a naturally extroverted person (Friday night at home watching Poldark? Yes, please!), and the idea of marketing my products felt, well, super sleazy. I didn’t want to push my products on someone who might not want them, and I certainly didn’t want to put my shop out there with all my might only to watch it fall flat on its face.
Yeah, I’ve got a little bit of a pride probleml ;)
So, to avoid that kind of failure, I just kind of put marketing off. Again. And again. And again. I figured that I couldn’t fail at something I didn’t even try. (<-- sound reasoning right there, my friend ;)
And because I wouldn’t market my shop, I kept putting off making sales again. And again. And again.
True story: No matter how fantastically brilliant your product is (and you and I both know that it probably is!), you’re never going to reach your revenue goals if you simply open an Etsy shop, throw some product up there and wait.
It would be nice if things worked that way, but they don’t. #lifelesson
And as fantastic as Etsy is for driving additional traffic to your Etsy shop with their built-in search, you still need to be proactive in your marketing to make a quit-your-day-job income for yourself.
Please know that I’m absolutely NOT recommending that you spend all of your time marketing your Etsy shop-- you’ll not only struggle to find the time to do so (hey, we’re all busy people!), but you’ll also probably lose your mind a little bit in the process. Because thinking about marketing all day everyday? Not the most well-rounded lifestyle :)
But if you're NOT thinking about marketing? Well, expect your first few months to be filled with *crickets.*
Mistake #4 | You’re coming up with their “marketing strategy” the day of. As in, that morning.
Posting something—anything—is better than posting nothing at all, right?
How many times have you found yourself hustling late the night before or—gasp—the morning of trying to come up with a witty caption for that day’s Instagram post?
And how many times did it feel half-baked, lame, and not as efficient as it could have been?
Can I offer you a bit of tough love? Yes? No? Well, here it is anyways: if your marketing plan consists of flying by the seat of your pants, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Also? You’re leaving MAJOR $$$ on the table.
Creating a “marketing plan” the day of lacks long-term vision, which is what causes tens of thousands of Etsy shops to burn out every single year.
Lest you think I’m too far removed from that new Etsy shop marketing struggle, hear this: I KNOW how hard it is to carve out a block of time to create a marketing strategy. Not only does it take time just to brainstorm the ideas for your posts, but it takes A HECKUVA LOT of research to learn how to market effectively and strategically-- and that’s time spent away from doing the one thing you love: creating (hey, that’s why you started this Etsy gig in the first place, yes?)
I want you to succeed on Etsy (for reals-- or I wouldn’t spend time every week on this blog!), but in order to do so, you need to be thinking long-term. If you want your Etsy shop to stand even a chance of long-term success, you need a marketing plan that outlines step-by-step how you’re going to get there.
In fact, if you’re not driving traffic or making sales with every single Instagram post or email you send out, then it’s time to block out a chunk of dedicated time (whether it’s 5:00 a.m. or 11:00 p.m.) and seriously rethink your strategy.
And if the idea of creating a strategy for your marketing plan is causing you to already break out into hives, you'll want to take a gander at my new course, Mastermind Your Marketing :)
BONUS MISTAKE # 5 | You’re so overwhelmed by EVERYTHING you need to do and the amount of time you think you need to do it, that you NEVER *really* get started (because, let's face it: running an Etsy shop is hard work, yo!).
Guys: If you’re letting the shear overwhelm of “where do I even start?” hold you back from creating a strategic marketing system for your Etsy shop, you’re putting a cap on your earning potential. And I don't want to see you do that.
I get that it’s scary to try and marketing your Etsy shop-- especially if you’ve never marketing a dang thing in your life. Ooooh, trust me, I get that because that was ME a few years ago.
I also get that “too busy to market my Etsy shop” thing, too. In fact, I started LittleHighbury with a newborn (what was I thinking?!?! Oh wait, no sleep = not thinking!), so I understand just how precious your few hours/day are.
And that’s why I created Mastermind Your Marketing.
It's true: I spent YEARS testing, experimenting, trial & error, and a few too many "oh crap!" moments before I created a system that WORKED for marketing my Etsy shop.
I'd like to spare you from that frustration, if I can ;)
Your time is precious and I don’t want you to spend YEARS researching how to SEO optimize your Etsy shop, how to start an email list, how to get people to actually say “yes!” to collaborations (there are some networking hacks I can’t wait to share with you that will blow your mind!).
You don't have time for that and you shouldn't have to figure it out on your own-- especially if you can learn from someone who has been there. As in- right where you are standing today.
Mastermind Your Marketing is my exclusive 8-week masterclass that teaches the EXACT strategies you need to be using in the EXACT order you need to use them to create a PROFITABLE marketing funnel system for your Etsy shop.
This is the EXACT system I've used to generate over 1,000,000 shop views and over $500,000.00 in sales in less than 3 years on Etsy. For real.
The best part? You’re not JUST going to learn a TON-- at the end of this 8-week course, you'll also have created a fully-functioning marketing funnel system for your Etsy shop that you can rinse and repeat to bring you sales on autopilot.
If you’ve been looking for someone to hold your hand and walk you through creating a strategic and PROFITABLE marketing system for your Etsy shop, (with strategies that have been PROVEN time and time again with myself + my private coaching clients) then you’ll want to join the VIP list for Mastermind Your Marketing. I’ll be sending some freebie goodies your way soon + you’ll receive VIP access to the course materials and special early-bird pricing. Trust me-- you won’t want to miss it!