How long will it take to get sales from your handmade or Etsy shop?

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There’s nothing more heart-breaking than obsessively refreshing your shop stats and not seeing the results that you want for your handmade shop.

Naturally, you then start wondering: how long is too long for me to get results?
Like… how long is it meant to take me to get some sales from my shop? To get some momentum going?

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. I also have a FREE traffic goal calculator for you to download here.

Let’s dive in!

You can watch the video or read the written version below.

Today I’d like to take you on a journey and break down what a “success story” selling handmade products is made up of and for each step give you an estimate of how long is considered “normal”.

I want to give you some guidelines and some real, honest facts about what it takes and how long it can take for you to grow a successful handmade shop because I love the internet but there is something that I find really frustrating with it and it’s that unicorn success stories are emphasized much more than less glamorous ones.

What I mean by that is that for each video or each blog post that says “how I made $10,000 in my first 3 months on Etsy” or “how I sold 100 handmade products 3 weeks after opening my handmade shop” … there are thousands of other videos that were never recorded about how it took someone else a full year for someone else to get to that level of success.

I don’t want you focusing too much on those glamorous success stories (the ones that go from LAUNCH to 6-figure SALES in 3 weeks) because after working with thousands of handmade shops myself, let me tell you… these stories ARE NOT the norm.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t get there, it just means that I don’t want you thinking that because you didn’t get $1,000 on your first week selling your products online you’re a failure, or that your products are not good enough or that YOU’RE not good enough, because you are.

OK, now that we’ve got this out of the way, let’s see what REALITY looks like.

handmade shop traffic calculator

HOW MUCH TRAFFIC DO YOU REALLY NEED TO GET TO YOUR HANDMADE SHOP TO REACH YOUR SALES GOAL?

USE THIS CALCULATOR TO FIND OUT!

Time spent before launch

First, what those stories are forgetting is the time pre-launch. And yes, this is important EVEN IF you already launched your shop.

This isn’t a study or an official survey, but based on my experience working with handmade shop owners for years now, the ones who open their shops and get sales during the first week or the first month after opening up and that have what we would all call a rather successful launch ALL worked on their shops for a couple of months at least before they actually open the shop.

Some more than that, some less – depending on personal circumstances (if they have another job, or a family with young kids, etc.).

It takes time to plan for a successful shop and all that work that’s not glamorous and that no one really talks about before you open your shop is what sets you up to make sales quicker once it’s opened.

That means strategically thinking about your:

  • branding,
  • visual identity,
  • product collection structure,
  • pricing,
  • product photography,
  • product descriptions,
  • if you’re on Etsy your keyword research

and all of that good stuff that will really set the tone of how quickly you will get sales after you open your shop.

So keep that in mind because if you already have a shop and you didn’t take the time to do that work beforehand then you need to add that to your “success timeline”. If you don’t have a shop yet, then you need to be realistic and take it into consideration.

After launch

Now, let’s look at the second part of our “success story timeline”. How LONG after you open your shop should you expect it will take before you get some sales?

The simple answer is this: As long as it takes you to generate enough traffic to sustain your sales goal.

Say whaaaat?

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Well, many makers ask me, often quite panicked, what they’re doing wrong because they’ve got 200 views on their shop but no sales yet.

200 views.
Over an entire shop.
If you have, say, 20 products for sale there (often it’s more than that), that’s only 10 views on average per product. That’s simply not enough.

It takes on average 100 views to make 1 sale.

If you want to make $2000 and you sell a $42 product, you’ll need to get 4600 views to your shop.

That might not happen overnight. And that is O-kay…

Gone are the days where you could get 1000 followers and super high engagement rates on social media in a matter of weeks. It takes more time now and it takes consistency – and consistency happens over time.

Not based on any studies but from what I see happening with the hundreds of shops I work with inside the Tizzit HQ community, it takes another few months here before they start generating enough visits to their shop to reach their sales goal.

So give yourself 6-8 months rather than 3-4 weeks. I am sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear but I am also not sorry to be the honest voice. I am not here to sell you any BS, I am here to tell you how it is and to help you grow a successful shop that’s going to generate consistent and predictable sales over the long haul.

Some of you WILL get incredible results in your first month. Yes, this happens. But for others, it might take you a couple of years.

Remember you all have a different amount of time you can spend working on your shop each week so don’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself. Progress is the true measure of success here.

Now here’s what I recommend you do next: rather than freaking out and calling yourself a failure based on no data at all:

1 – set yourself a realistic traffic goal and focus on that (and I have a video to help you with that);
2 – when AND ONLY when you reach that traffic goal and you’re still not getting sales are you allowed to think something is wrong (and I have a video to help with that too).

Catch you soon!

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