Whether you’re a jeweler, graphic designer, carpenter, or vintage toy collector, popular digital platform Etsy makes it’s easier than ever to get the word out about your products.
Etsy is a marketplace designed for unique handmade or vintage items. Once you find something you’re passionate about and enjoy creating, you’ll want to focus on originality, marketing, and how you stand out amongst the competition.
Check out our four tips to set you apart from the competition when you start an Etsy business.
#1: Do Market Research First
Market research is a major part of any business plan. Before you start up your business, you need to determine where there are gaps in the market and compare prices. While matching or beating the pricing of your competition can give you an advantage, you can’t slash your prices if you’ll end up selling your products at a loss.
“Paying yourself first — and fairly — should be top priority,” says Amy Schroeder, entrepreneur and founder of Venus Zine.
Your products should have a unique edge that people can’t get anywhere else – that’s your differentiator.
Even if it’s a popular product category – say, wedding invitations – what about your product is different? Maybe you hand-letter the text or print on only premium cardstock. Whatever it is, build your shop around that.
Need help fine-tuning your product? Learn how a SWOT analysis for your business can help.
#2: Pick a Unique Shop Name
In the age of social media, sound bites are a key part of your marketing strategy, which means you need to find a catchy name for your business.
While choosing the perfect name isn’t an end-all-be-all of an Etsy business, having a unique, standout name can be helpful when you begin to advertise. Choose something simple and memorable to help news travel by word of mouth.
Sarah Peterson, a contributor at the Huffington Post, recommends searching for other shops with similar names.
“While it can be crushing when the shop name that you’ve set your heart on is not available, don’t let it stop you from creating your shop,” she says. “If you’re in this boat, try adding the word ‘shop’ or ‘boutique,’ your location, or even your initials to the end of your desired name.”
If you can’t think of the perfect name upfront, don’t worry. You always have the option of changing your business’ name later.
#3: Create Great Product Photos
You can have great products, but without great photos, the customer won’t get a good look at what makes them stand out.
“The age-old expression ‘first impressions are everything’ holds true on Etsy,” says Schroeder. “Because Etsy is an image-driven site, shoppers make quick visual decisions based on needs, personal taste and the quality of your shop’s images.”
Before you get caught up in the world of photography, step back and take a look at what resources you already have. You don’t need a DSLR camera to take quality photos. Smartphones nowadays have great camera quality, so you just need to know how to set up your shot.
If possible, set up a neutral or aesthetically pleasing background for your product photos. Remove any extra clutter from the shot so your product can stand out as the focal point of the image.
#4: Create a Marketing Plan
On a digital platform, digital marketing is more important than ever. Even with high-quality, unique products and rave reviews, potential new customers won’t know about your site unless they stumble upon it.
Fortunately, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are some quick tips for getting started with a simple marketing strategy:
- – Social media is key, but keep it to one or two channels, especially at first. Instagram is a great starting point because it’s so image-focused.
- – Create a plan at the beginning of each month so you know what you want to share and when.
- – People love authentic snapshots of you and your business. Don’t be afraid to try tactics like going live and sharing behind-the-scenes photos when possible.
- – Make use of reviews and customer testimonials. Share them on your social channels and prove to other people that your shop is a good one.
- – Finally, while you might not need a full-blown brand, a simple logo and a main color palette can keep your content looking professional. Online tools like Canva are great for creating images and designs with ease.
Do What You Love With Etsy
Finding a craft you’re passionate about is an extraordinary discovery, and being able to make money doing it is even rarer. Starting a business on Etsy gives you the chance to make a living doing what you love; you just have to know where to start.
Small businesses need capital to grow. Learn more about business loans and other tools that can help you get off to a great start.
Published by Minster Bank
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