I remember when I started my Etsy shop five years ago. I had never sold on an e-commerce platform. It was all new to me and so much to take in.
I made so many MISTAKES, and I have been in your place if you are currently struggling with sales or getting any traction with your Etsy shop.
However, I have also LEARNED a lot now with 13,701 sales later, and in this video, I wanted to share my top eight mistakes that I made and maybe you are making at this exact moment that is affecting the growth of your shop.
I will break down each of my top eight mistakes that I made and give you actionable steps on what you to do instead so by the time you finish watching this video, you can apply them to your shop.
So, if you’re interested in learning what not to do and what you should be doing to build a thriving Etsy business, then make sure to read this blog article till the end .
Let’s dive right in.
Mistake #1 Offering Too Many Discounts
When I first started my Etsy journey, my sales were inconsistent, and I would offer discounts all the time.
By offering too many discounts, your primary focus is on price rather than your products or services.
Offering sales discounts is not a bad thing, but the key is to be intentional with them. It’s better to offer a discount to your email list or for returning customers.
I recommend in the begging to start to niche down and create products that are unique and cater to your audience. When you focus on creating products that solve a problem for your audience, you will be able to charge premium prices, not give or give out as many discounts, and start getting sales consistently.
Mistake #2 Not Using Email Marketing
When I started my Etsy shop, I was scared of upsetting any of my buyers by joining my email list. I was intimidated by the process of collecting emails and had read a lot of wrong information when it came to starting an email list for my Etsy shop.
I would go onto FB groups and ask other Etsy sellers, and the majority of them would say I don’t bother with email marketing.
I didn’t start my email list based on other people’s opinions. After a year of opening my shop, I started doing more research and noticed the top-selling shops all had email marketing. I also learn that Etsy allows email marketing either with their integrated email partners or your choice of the email provider.
This was when I decided to follow all of Etsy’s guidelines for collecting emails and setting up my main shop with email marketing. And it was a game-changer for me. Email marketing may sound intimidating, but when done correctly, it can help increase sales and get them regularly by simply nurturing your leads.
An actionable step you can take is to start an email list today and make sure that you promote your email list everywhere on your shop, banner, about me section, and outside of Etsy where you promote your business. Please note you can’t add emails to your lists. The person has to opt-in.
Mistake #3 Saying yes to every custom request
OMG, this is a big one for me. I am sure many of you guys can relate. I use to say YES to every custom request leaving me overworked and stressed out.
I would get customers who would send me a screenshot of a wedding invite or printable from another shop and say can you do this.
I would look at my sales and say I have to say yes to every customer request. Who am I to turn down an order from a paying customer.
Little did I know after saying yes, going out of my way to find the clipart or fonts they are looking for, paying extra for these items since I personally didn’t have them in my inventory, to find out after 4 proofs that they don’t like the order and want to cancel the custom order.
Please learn from my mistakes. Do not say yes to every possible custom order that comes along your way. Especially when they ask to recreate another shop’s design, and you know that you don’t have the font or digital assets to recreate.
Learn to value your time and focus on other areas in your business that would bring the biggest return.
Mistake #4 Lowering my prices
Another huge mistake I have made is to lower my prices too low even still to this day. I am a bit of a pushover, and sometimes I get customers who share with me their most personal circumstances of what they are going through, and they would like a discount, and I can’t help but give in.
I’m so thankful to God that he has given me even more than I deserved, so I try to use these experiences as a learning lesson in business.
I say what I am about to say with the utmost respect. I personally understand how it is to hit rock bottom. In 2009, I lost my home, went through bankruptcy, and had to drop out of school.
I have learned you should not feel guilty for someone else’s struggle or what they are going through. If you say no is okay, and you should not feel guilty or think of it as missing a sale.
It will help if you base your prices on your cost, not your customers. In fact, lowering the prices of your products too drastically can cheapen the perceived value they carry for customers.
Focus on creating products that your ideal customer can’t find elsewhere, making it a no-brainer to buy your product over your competitors, and those clients will pay premium prices, buy from you regularly. Most likely, they will not be asking for discounts.
Mistake #5 Not Niching Down
At the beginning of my Etsy journey, I didn’t have any strategy in place. I was winging it by adding all sorts of products and not focusing on niching down nor creating products for a target audience.
The worst part was I already had years of experience when it came to digital marketing. I knew niching down was the best option for growing a solid brand.
Sometimes we self-sabotage our own self by not doing the things we should be doing.
I was working like a mad person adding randoms products to my shop. In the beginning, it was great because when you add new listings to your shop, you get a temporary boost and, as a result, drives a lot of traffic to your shop if you are constantly adding new products.
But what happens next is what happens to most Etsy sellers. When I got burned out and stop adding products by store views, click, and sales tanked.
A better strategy is to create quality products that cater to your target audience, build your email list, and expand your digital footprint outside of Etsy to grow a solid brand.
Mistake #6 Not Writing An Enticing Listing Description
Your listing description can either entice buyers or turn them off. I use to take shortcuts with my listing descriptions and leave out a lot of useful information to build credibility and increase my sales.
The minute I started writing longer listing descriptions that explained everything and anything that comes with my digital product, how to order, what comes included, where they can be printed at, and even linked all matching items or similar items, it helped me with several things.
- Less unnecessary messages
- I was able to upsell them to additional items in my shop that helped me average 2-4 sales per customer
- My email list started growing faster
- Customers felt more comfortable with the process of ordering from my shop
Please note your photo is what grabs the person’s attention in the feed, your Etsy SEO is how they found you in the first place, and your listing description builds credibility with the prospective buyer and entices them to buy from your shop.
Make sure to take the time to explain everything they know about your products, from the size, color, shipping, returns, how to get in contact with you, etc.
Mistake #7 Comparing my shops to other similar shops
Whew, this is a HUGE one for me. Let me know in the comments if you struggle with this one. I struggled with comparing my shops to other similar shops a lot.
What I didn’t realize back then that I do know is that comparing your shop to other shops is not really fair for you. We don’t know if they already have an established online presence outside of Etsy, a large marketing budget, a huge following on YT or Instagram.
When I see a similar shop, I do my research and try to find them online. The majority of the time, they have a larger pretense online, huge YT channels, and large FB groups. So, even though their Etsy SEO might be done incorrectly or have not attractive photos, they drive traffic back to Etsy from other medians, and that’s why you see the consistent sales, etc.
It is great to do market research and know your competitors but don’t get hung up in the process of comparing yourself to other Etsy shops.
As the saying goes: Water your own grass. When we focus on other people, we lose time that we could otherwise invest in ourselves.
In this scenario, focus on investing that time in your business.
Mistake #8 Not Using Pinterest To Amplify My Reach
I had heard of everyone say use Pinterest to increase your traffic drastically, but I wasn’t taking it seriously. Whenever I remember and didn’t focus on establishing myself as an expert in my niche, I would post whenever I remember.
The minute I took my Pinterest account serious for my party printable shop, started posting regularly, optimize my pins for SEO, made sure to pin regularly, that’s when my traffic exploded.
I now average over 10+ million monthly views on that account, and it drives me tons of traffic not only to my Etsy shop, email list, and affiliate programs.
My Pinterest account drives me more traffic than any other platform, I don’t have to worry about learning how to crack the algorithm like Instagram, and it’s a great platform since you don’t have to pay to play the type of platform. You can start seeing results right away when used correctly.
My recommendation if you’re overwhelmed with social media and feeling burned out. I suggest starting with Pinterest and really focusing your energy on one social media platform at a time.
If you have any additional questions about what I talked about, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!