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Insider Updates

How Long Does it Take to Get Your First Sale on Etsy?


This question gets posted in various forums so often by new Etsy sellers looking for their very first sale and the answers are never even remotely helpful.

Sometimes the answer is very definitive: "it takes six months". Usually it's a range months such as 6-12 months or 10-18 months. Because the sellers replying to this are giving their own experience. 

Which ultimately means nothing at all to someone else's situation and it isn't even the kind of info that's actionable. What do you even do with info like that? Is it reassuring? Not reassuring? I don't know.

What if I told you that I've launched three digital stores on Etsy in the past 12 years and for each one I had my first sale in week one.

Would that be helpful? Probably not. Not on it's own anyway. It's probably disheartening if you've been waiting for six months for your first sale and it hasn't happened yet.

But that's because sellers are asking the wrong question. Asking, how long did it take to get your first sale, is not a useful or helpful question.

Instead, try asking, how does one go about getting sales quickly after launching their Etsy shop?

That question is bound to give you some really good actionable steps you can take. It also means that the people likely to answer it are not other sellers struggling to make sales, but experienced sellers who know how to get sales.

See the difference?

Here are my top tips answering the question: 

How do I Get Sales Quickly After Launching My Etsy Shop?

1. Do your homework first! Don't skip this very important step, there are loads of things you need o know BEFORE launching an Etsy shop. Prep yourself to know what those are.

2. When you do launch your shop, fill it out completely. I can't over state this. There are parts of your shop info that Etsy uses for your shop quality score that affect ranking in search.

3. Look and act trustworthy. There are so many scammers and crooks operating on Etsy. If your shop is legit, make it look legit. Be open and transparent, offer as much info as you can - fill out your shop info!

4. Offer quality products that people actually want to buy. This takes research. Do the research. KNow your product industry and your target customers.

5. Make sure your listings are filled out fully, accurately and in detail. 

6. Understand and implement good SEO. This is how you get found in search. If you do a poor job you won't get found and you won't make sales.

7. Have a plan to drive your own traffic. Etsy isn't going to do all the work for you. There are so many products on the platform that you simply can't/shouldn't be relying on Etsy exclusively for traffic.

 

Bottom line, you have to do the work. If you half-ass the job you aren't very likely to get great results. Set yourself up for success by putting everything you have into it. It may seem hard at first but it gets easier in time once you've learned the ropes and understand the dynamics of the site.


Shawnna

Free Retro Spring Animal Clipart

 


These tiny clip art images are perfect for spring projects where you needed an added touch. Sized from just 2-4" at print resolution these little animals are adorable!


DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE HERE


Happy Crafting
Shawnna

 

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How Many Listings Should You Have on Etsy?


 

When I started selling on Etsy way back in 2011, my digital seller peers were convinced that a certain magic happened with sales once you had 50 items in your shop and then again at 100 items.

They weren't wrong. Once I hit those inventory numbers (or thereabouts) I did notice an uptick in sales. So did many of my peers. 

But here's where people get this myth about listing numbers completely wrong. There is no magic number. It just depends on what you sell, how competitive your niche is and the quality of your listings.

Let's be honest. Of course the number of products you have in your shop matters. But the ideal number of products suitable for one business isn't the same for another.

Let me give you an example from brick and mortar retail. If you walked into a really high end designer boutique hand bag shop you might find 20 different hand bag designs each in a variety of colors. And let's say each bag might cost thousands of dollars. This store wouldn't need a really high volume of daily sales to make a profit and be successful.

Contrast that to the Dollar Store where you probably have something like 1000 different products. But each is sold at a dollar each. (actually 1.25 these days). This store requires significant daily traffic to earn a profitable income.

Two completely different stores, serving completely different needs and requiring completely different inventory strategies based primarily on the price of their product

Would the dollar be successful if it only had 20 products? No. Would people continue to shop there if the choices available were reduced to only 20 products? Probably not. People shop there because it has an amazing array of choices for really cheap.

So there is some aspect of quantity needed to sell successfully anywhere, in addition to having products that people actually want to buy. The way that Etsy SEO works, and the people shop on Etsy is where the beginning of this myth comes from.  

When competing for sales against hundreds or thousands of other products, it is much easier to get found with 100 listings than it is with 10. At the very least you should have a broader range of keywords to get found in search for with more listings than with less. But there is no one specific number of listings that creates a magic formula for getting found or getting sales. 

Getting found in Etsy search results depends on quite a few factors; including, your particular niche, how much competition you have, your photo quality, your SEO, how much traffic you yourself are sending, your sales history, your shop quality score etc.

When I first started selling on Etsy, and hearing about the so called magic of the number 50 or 100 for item listings I cam across a shop that had less than 10 listings that was doing really really well. Totally blowing up the myth of 50. The shop owner was a lawyer offering e-books on topics relevant to Etsy sellers.

This kind of shop doesn't need a high volume of listings because they have a very unique skill backed by accreditation that can't be easily replicated. At that time I believe they were they only shop of its kind on Etsy. So they had no competition with a high quality product that was targeted directly at customers who needed the info in those e-books. Talk about a recipe for success! 

No matter what kind of shop you have, determining how many listings you need in your shop should be based around the income you're hoping to earn and the price point you are selling at, factoring in how much competition you have or how easy/difficult your product is to make.

Generally speaking, the greater skill o complexity of a product + a higher price point the less amount of listings you'll likely need. Versus the opposite, the less skill or complexity + lower price point the more likely you'll need a higher number of listings. Even within this very generalized rule there will be exceptions. And much of that has to do with popularity. If you have an amazing product that you can't keep in stock inventory doesn't much matter :)

Bottom line, be consistent with your listings. Don't rush to create mass amounts of products that aren't good quality or are not what people are looking to buy. Just keep working away at it and have some longer term goals in mind to aim for and you'll get there in time!


happy crafting!!
Shawnna

Free Vintage Easter Cross Spring Flowers Cards

 

Vintage Christian Easter cards featuring the holy cross with spring flowers. Scanned from vintage postcards these old ephemera cards will have slight imperfection due to age and wear, just part of their vintage charm.

 

DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE HERE


Happy Crafting
Shawnna


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Free Vintage Drawer Pull Printables

 


These vintage style drawer pulls were used in library card catalogues or apothecary cabinets. Arranged as a PDF printable these also come as individual PNGs. Download altogether in the zip folder link below.

 

DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE HERE


Happy Crafting
Shawnna


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Is it Getting a bit too Crowded on Etsy?


 

Etsy has been around for quite a few years now, but its popularity has really exploded in just the last few. As an online marketplace it's a great place for people to sell handmade goods, vintage items, and various supplies. But has its recent exponential growth made it too saturated to start your business on?

A lot of new sellers coming into the marketplace say yes. But in reality the answer isn't that simple. It's certainly harder to stand out and get found than it used to be, but not impossible. The Etsy of today is not the Etsy of 10 years ago. And sellers need to up their game to get in and do well, but there is definitely room for new products and new ideas.

HOW MANY SELLERS ARE ON ETSY

As of early 2023 the number of seller accounts are being reported as active on Etsy are approx 5.4 million - with 89 million total users on the site. An active seller account means that the shop had at least one transaction in the last reported 12 month period.

HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO OTHER VENUES?

If we look to Ebay as a comparison (and ebay has been around a lot longer) there are 18.3 million sellers with 138 million total users. So more than double the sellers but no one is saying Ebay is over saturated.

Meanwhile, Instagram is currently at 2.3 billion users. So selling via social media would be just as, if not more challenging.

The internet as a whole is quite crowded, so it will likely always be difficult to be seen or found. Not impossible, you'll just need to work at it.

ARE CERTAIN PRODUCTS OVER-SATURATED ON ETSY?

This comes up quite a bit. There are certainly quite a few specific product groups that are very heavy in selection, jewelry is a popular example. But over-saturation means that product availability has out-stripped demand. And I'm not sure that this is true for any category on Etsy. 

You really have to look beyond Etsy to the wider market when you analyze this question. Is there more jewelry on Etsy for example than the rest of the internet combined? Hardly. Because Etsy is a marketplace though you're going to find a broader selection than single retailer sites. 

For some perspective the word 'jewelry' on Etsy had 25.3 million results. On Ebay there were 1.8 billion.

SO WHY IS SELLING ON ETSY SO HARD?

This is complicated, and the answer is, it depends on the seller in question. Here are a few factors to consider when starting out as an Etsy seller:

1. Most new sellers to Etsy don't have real world business experience or even a relevant education in a useful business field (like marketing maybe). So sellers are learning 'on the job' and that takes time.

2. A lot of new Etsy sellers jump in feet first without a lot of prep work or research beforehand. This step can make a big difference to how quickly or how well a shop does.

3. There's a common misconception that selling on Etsy is easy. It isn't. It's usually hard work.

4. Too many sellers make mistakes that get them shut down or simply ranked so poorly they'll never be found in search. See points 1 and 2.

5. Lastly, shops that are creative and original do better than those who just add more of the same that's already there. 


I hope this helps de-mystify the Etsy saturation question!
Shawnna

Make a Vintage Library Card Collage


 

I used Photoshop to make this design, but you can use any software that gives you the ability to layer elements, apply opacity and/or layer adjustments and an eraser tool.

You could use Canva but I find it doesn't have quite enough design flexibility. So something like Procreate or an online editor such as Photopea are better choices if you don't have access to PS.

To make this collage card I used the following steps (all elements used are available in my shop):

1. I started with a 3x5" canvas and added a texture background by re-sizing one of my digital papers to fit as desired.

2. I then added the library card PNG overlay, which fits nicely into the canvas size. I applied the layer adjustment multiply so it blended a bit into the background paper.

3. Insert the vintage lady graphic and re-size to fit nicely. I used Multiply again but also took the opacity down to about 80%. 

4. At this point the library card lines are running through the graphic quite harshly and I want to soften the whole element to give it a grungier look, so I use the eraser with a texture selection at 50% flow and just brush lightly and randomly until I'm happy with how it looks. (you can change the eraser to any grungy texture for this)

5. I opted to add an embellishment in the top corner, I re-colored it to gold and took the opacity way down for a barely there look so that it's more like a watermark.

6. To finish off I added a dragonfly on top, re-sized and positioned to fit again applying Multiply as a layer adjustment.

And that's it!

Resources Used:
Paper Background in this set
Library Card Overlay
Vintage Ladies
Swirl Elements
Dragonfly from this set of graphics


Happy crafting
Shawnna


Make Colorful Tab Dividers for Spring

 


Make these easy to create tab dividers for a custom look in your journal or planner!

This is not a full tutorial, but an inspiration design post with a few tips to quickly create these using my handy templates.

Every software program will have slightly different steps depending on the file format you're using, so make use of google to search for tutorials on specific steps you get stuck on with your program of choice!

Use my stencil window template in programs like Word or Canva for super fast designs. 

In this example I simply drew colorful rectangles using the shape tool onto a blank canvas then dropped the template on top. A few quick adjustments to the color strip placement and instant presto, I have a ready to print and cut tab sheet. You should be able to easily draw basic shapes in any software program.

 

If you are using Cricut, upload the SVG file and you can directly edit the tabs however you want right in Design Space. Beware of the print and cut sizing though, you'll need to lose a column of tabs to accommodate!

Want to edit in Photoshop, Photopea or PS Elements? Use the PSD file and simply change the shape colors individually or by row in just a couple clicks. Use the clipping mask tool to insert patterns.

You can also edit these in just about any other program, just look for the file format compatibility and use the correct file for your program. Look at my beginner tutorials if you want to use the stencil template like I have shown here.

Add additional details like labels or icons to further personalize. You get to create whatever you want with these!

Resources Used:
Tab template from my shop


Happy Crafting
Shawnna


3 Free Vintage Birthday Postcards


 

Three beautiful vintage birthday cards featuring purple lilac flowers scanned in at extra large size for utmost versatility. Use these public domain images in any project type.


DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE HERE

 

Happy Crafting
Shawnna


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Can I Edit This File Template in Canva?


 

In my Etsy shop I get this question a lot for my templates. Given the popularity of Canva it's a reasonable question and many 'would be' customers possibly even expect that of course these will work in Canva.

Unfortunately, that's not at all the case, so if you're a Canva user it's important to understand exactly how their service works, what's possible and what isn't.

Canva operates a closed system. That means files made in Canva can only be edited in Canva and files not made in Canva cannot be edited there (or least very minimally so).

So basically, if you want to work in Canva with templates you have to buy Canva specific templates. 

And because Canva templates can only be edited in Canva, sellers will always have them very clearly labelled as Canva templates.

Designers (like me currently) who do not label their templates as Canva specific therefore, are not designing templates made for use in the Canva program. It's just that simple.

If you have followed that so far, the next question might be, is there nothing I can import into Canva for my design projects? And the answer is: yes, there is!

But elements imported in Canva are currently very restricted in how you can use or edit them so you need to tailor your expectations accordingly. For the most part you should expect that anything you upload into Canva is going to have to be used almost exactly 'as is'.

And here is where there is one possibility with my own templates that could allow you to use them in that somewhat restricted way, but still used in Canva anyway. 

And that's with my stencil style file format. These are saved as PNG files meant to be used in any program and you just stack your design elements underneath it. Like in the example below:


I offer this file format where applicable with all of my templates.

It may not be the most elegant way to design but it does the job and works just fine for simpler projects. 

Templates with a lot more parts to it may not be as easy to work with here, but it also depends on your experience, skill and patience with the program.


happy designing!
Shawnna

7 Things to Consider Before Branding Your Etsy Shop


As an independent retailer, branding plays a crucial role in your business success. A brand is the essence of everything you do as a business owner. It’s the personality, values and aims that you have for your shop. 

A strong brand gives your business credibility and sets you apart from other retailers. An effective brand can give customers a clear idea about what your store stands for and differentiates you from competitors. 

We understand that it may feel like something abstract or intangible but rest assured it has a huge impact on your business success. Moreover, establishing an effective brand is not impossible task to achieve! 

In this blog post, we will discuss 7 essential tips to build your own personal brand as well as the brand of your shop so you can start creating an image that best represents who you are and what you sell.

 

Why Should You Brand Your Shop?

Branding sets you apart from your competitors and creates a unique identity for your shop. It’s the process of creating a consistent visual identity that appeals to your intended audience. 

As an independent Etsy seller, you likely have plenty of competition both online and offline. Establishing a consistent brand that differentiates you from the rest is your best bet for standing out. 

An effective brand can increase your customer base and, in turn, increase your revenue. A brand can act as a source of inspiration for customers and help them connect to your brand emotionally. Customers that connect with your brand are more likely to purchase from you. 

A strong brand can also help you in the long run. Once you’ve established a strong brand, it makes it easy for customers to recognize you in the future. This can lead to repeat customers and an increase in revenue over time.

 

Step 1: Know your shop’s ultimate goal

Before you can even start building a brand, you first have to know what your goal is. What do you want to achieve with your business? What are your business goals and objectives? Why are you even opening up a shop in the first place? 

These are crucial questions to ask yourself while branding your shop. If you’re thinking of opening your own store, you need to know what your ultimate goal is. Do you want to become the next big thing amongst all the other online sellers? Do you hope to make enough money to live off of? Or, do you simply want to create a shop for fun and to interact with customers? 

Your ultimate goal can help you decide on what type of brand strategy to go with.

 

Step 2: Decide on a name for your shop

The first impression of your shop will occur when customers first visit your shop. They will be making a decision whether to stay or leave within seconds of landing on your site. This is where the name of your brand comes into play. 

What you name your store is one of the most crucial aspects of your branding. It can make or break your business success. It will be the first thing that customers will see when visiting your site and is essential that you choose the right name for your shop.

 

Step 3: Create a logo and visual brand identity

Once you’ve found the perfect name for your shop, it’s time to create a visual brand identity. This is the visual representation of your shop. 

The elements that make up your visual identity include your logo, colour palette, fonts, and imagery. 

Depending on your brand strategy, your logo could be simple and straightforward or have a complex design. Take into consideration what customers will associate your logo with. You can create a logo using various design tools or hiring a professional designer to create one for you.

 

Step 4: Develop an ad campaign and newsletter

An effective way to get your name out there and build a brand is through advertisements. An ad campaign can help you create awareness and attention for your shop. Whether you choose print, social media, or even TV ads, you have the power to reach a wide audience with your ads. 

This is one of the best ways to build your brand as it gives you the chance to directly communicate with your customers and let them know what your shop stands for. You can use an ad campaign to promote your products and services or simply use it as a branding tool.

 

Step 5: Select the right colour palette for your shop

Colour plays a huge role in the overall branding of your shop. It can help you to create a specific mood and can even have an effect on your customers’ buying habits. It’s important to choose colours that best represent your brand and shop.

 

Step 6: Welcome customers with signage and merchandising

What’s the first thing you do when you enter a shop? You look up at the signage to figure out what that shop sells. This is why signage is so important in branding. It’s the first thing that customers will notice when they walk into your shop. You can use signage to create a consistent look and feel throughout your store.

 

Step 7: Summing it Up

Branding your shop can be a little challenging but it is definitely worth it. A well-branded shop shows customers that you are serious about your business and gives you a competitive edge. It shows customers what your shop is about and helps them connect with your brand. 

Now that you know what branding is and why it’s so important, it’s time to get to work. You can start by brainstorming ideas and sketching out a few different visual identities. Once you’ve nailed down a brand that you love and are excited to start using, it will be easier to attract customers to your shop.

 

 

Why is My PDF File Printing Blank

 


Guaranteed this issue crops up for you right when you're in a hurry or whilst in the middle of a project. Frustrating right?!

This issue of PDFs not printing is common enough that Adobe has been dealing with it for years and there have been many troubleshooter posts written about it. In short, it's a known problem.

I'm going to walk you through the most common steps to resolve this starting with the quick fix so that you can get back to what you were doing as fast as possible.

 

PRINT AS IMAGE

This is a neat little trick that you can use whenever a PDF isn't printing nicely or at all. You just use your printer options to switch from document printing to picture printing. This is super easy to do.

1. Choose print as normal

2. In the printer dialog box look for a button labeled 'Advanced'

3. In the advanced section tick the option to 'print as image'

Every printer will have a slightly different looking print dialog box so the options may show up in different places depending on the printer brand you have but you should be able to find this somewhere in your print options.

Here is my print dialog box as an example from HP:



UPDATE ACROBAT READER

To resolve to issue more thoroughly the first step would be to ensure that you are using the most up to date version of acrobat reader. Updates to any software often clear up performance issues and compatibility.

Open acrobat reader and from the top menu choose Help. Then click Check for Updates. 


UPDATE PRINTER DRIVERS

This is a very overlooked update that doesn't always happen automatically. If you are using a desktop or laptop computer you may need to periodically update printer drivers.

To check if your printer drivers are current you'll need to take note of your printer model and go to the manufacturers website. Once there do a search for 'printer drivers' and look for your model. Download and install the printer driver per the manufacturers instructions.

You'll need to restart your computer once you've done this.

If you are printing from a phone or tablet and have a newer printer model many printer manufacturers now have smart apps to assist you with your printer access.


RESTART YOUR COMPUTER

Sometimes issues simply need to be cleared by re-starting your computer. If it's been on for a while or you've doing a lot of work before the issue cropped up, try a restart to clear the memory and reset things.


DOWNLOAD FILE AGAIN

Occasionally files do get corrupted during download. Try downloading the file again to see if this clears things up.


CREATE A COPY

Not sure how this works from a technical aspect but saving a copy of a file sometimes works to clear issues. 

Open the PDF in Acrobat Reader and from the File menu click Save As, then give the file a new name (using just letters or numbers).
















Inspiring Yourself: 7 Ways to Find Your Creativity

 

Creativity is essential for anyone looking to succeed in any field. It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, an artist, a programmer or anything else. Creativity can take you places you never thought you could go. 

However, it’s also something that many people struggle with. Since so many people struggle to find their creativity on demand, we’ve put together a list of the seven best ways to inspire and find your creativity. 

If you have been struggling to tap into your creative side, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of being creative and some ways that you can begin unlocking your inner muse again.

 

Get out and explore

Creativity generally stems from curiosity. If you become interested in something or get out and explore new things, you’ll automatically become more curious. This curiosity can then help you find new creative inspiration. 

To help you get creative, you need to explore new things, go new places and meet new people. That’s one of the main reasons why you see artists traveling so much and networking with other creators. It’s because they know that exploring and meeting new people can lead to creative inspiration. 

If you’re struggling to find creative inspiration, consider getting out and exploring. Explore new places and new activities. When you do this, you’ll get that sense of curiosity that can lead to more creative inspiration.

 

Read a Book

In addition to getting out and exploring, you should also consider reading a book. Reading is a great way to spark creativity. It can help you access different ideas and concepts that you can use when you write or want to do something else creative. 

When you read a book, you can tap into the author’s creativity. You can explore the world that they have created. You can also delve into their thoughts and opinions about things. Reading a book can help you spark your creativity and find new ways to create that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find. 

Additionally, reading a book can also help you learn new concepts and skills that you can use in your own creative ventures.

 

Doodle and play

At the heart of creativity is play. When we’re children, we’re very creative because we’re playing all the time. As we get older, we often lose the playfulness and creativity that we had as children. 

However, if you want to start being more creative, you need to get back to that child-like state of playfulness. That’s where creativity comes from. So, how can you get back to being playful and creative? 

One simple way to do it is to grab a sketchbook and a set of colorful pencils. Then, start doodling anything and everything. Doodle your thoughts. Doodle your dreams and goals. Doodle your inspirations and ideas. 

When you do this, you’ll tap into your playful side and find the creativity hidden within you.

 

Go for a walk

One of the best ways to get inspired is to go for a walk. When you go for a walk, you can’t help but get lost in your own thoughts. You have nothing else to do but walk, which means that your mind can wander as far as it wants. As your mind wanders, it will often lead you to new places and new ideas. 

This is perfect for those who want to get creative. When you go for a walk, you let your mind wander and come up with creative ideas and thoughts. You don’t have any other distractions to deal with and no one is going to interrupt you. 

When you go for a walk, you’ll be able to come up with new ideas and things to do on the fly. You’ll be able to tap into your creative side and find inspiration wherever you walk.

 

Go window shopping

If you want to get inspired, you need to get out of your comfort zone. You need to do things that make you uncomfortable because it’s in that discomfort that you find inspiration. One way to get out of your comfort zone and get inspired is to go window shopping. 

When you go window shopping, you’re essentially looking around at things that you want but can’t currently afford. This will help you get inspired because you’ll want the things that you see and you’ll want to create them. 

You’ll want to make your own versions of these things and come up with creative ways to do it. When you go window shopping, you get inspiration by seeing what’s possible.

 

Take a breather

Sometimes all you need to do to get inspired is to take a breather. In the midst of your day-to-day life, you might not feel like you have the time or energy to be creative. In those moments, it can be difficult to tap into your creative side. 

Sometimes all you need to do is take a breather. This could mean a number of things. It could mean taking a break from work and doing something completely unrelated. It could mean taking a 10-minute break to do something you love. It could mean taking a long bath or even meditating and clearing your mind. 

No matter what form it takes, taking a breather can help you get creative again. It can help you get into that creative headspace again so that you can come up with new ideas and be creative once more.

 

Spend quality time with yourself

Lastly, you can also get inspired by spending quality time with yourself. When you spend time with yourself, you allow your mind to wander and think freely. You let your thoughts go where they want and come up with whatever they want. This is perfect for creativity. 

When you spend time with yourself, you let go of all your obligations and distractions and let your thoughts wander wherever they want. This can help you tap into your creativity once again allowing you to come up with new ideas and the wanting to create new things. 

Whether you spend that time meditating, writing or just sitting and thinking, you can tap into your creativity and find new inspiration.

 

 

 

Change Your Mindset: From Hobby to Business Owner

 

Starting your own business or side gig can be an exciting endeavor. But it’s also hard work. In order for your business to thrive, you need to have a clear mindset and the right set of beliefs from the very beginning. After all, your success hinges on how you think and what you believe about yourself, your business, and the industry in general. 

If you’re thinking about starting a side gig or launching your own business but aren’t sure if that’s the right move for you, read on for some advice about changing your mindset for the better.

 

Know Your Why

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, chances are you’ll fail. Even if you are successful (financially or otherwise) in the short-term, you’ll almost certainly fail over the long haul. So before you start your side gig or launch your own business, you need to have a clear and concise “why” in place. 

Your why needs to be something that drives you and motivates you to keep going when things get tough. It won't always be smooth sailing, there will likely be bumps and setbacks along the way. You might find yourself discouraged or overwhelmed sometimes so having goals in place that motivate you to keep going will help you push through.  

But, it needs to be something that grounds you and provides a sense of purpose for why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your why needs to be strong enough to carry you through the tough times.

 

Keep Focused on the End Goal

Starting a new business or launching a side gig requires a lot of hard work. You’ll likely experience some initial failures and setbacks. This is perfectly normal, but you'll need to be prepared for that and keep focused on the long-term end goal. 

Why are you doing this in the first place? What prompted you to start this side gig or launch your own business? What’s your ultimate goal? 

Getting sidetracked is very easy to do when you’re working on something new. But you need to keep focused on the end goal at all times. Otherwise, you risk falling down a rabbit hole of frustration and despair. By keeping your long-term goal in mind at all times it’ll help you stay focused and driven no matter how tough things get.

 

Negativity is Good — But Don’t Let It Define You

Starting a new business or launching a side gig is hard. It’s also risky. You’ll likely face some degree of criticism or negativity from family members, friends, and strangers. You need to be prepared for that and not take it too personally. 

Not everyone will want to see you succeed. That’s just the way life goes sometimes. But you need to keep that negativity from defining you. Instead, convert that negativity into fuel and motivation. Use that negativity as extra motivation to prove naysayers wrong and succeed against all odds.

 

Your Skills are Appreciated and Valued

A positive mindset is critical to success, you need to always remember that your skills and abilities are appreciated and valued. There are millions of people out there who desperately want what you have to offer. 

That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it does mean that people are out there waiting for what you have to give. Your customers are out there and they appreciate what you have to offer. Your skills and abilities are appreciated. You just have to find the right people who appreciate and value your work.

 

Your Business is a Reflection of You

Your business should be a reflection of you and your personality. That doesn’t mean you have to start a business that’s purely based on your hobbies, though that may be a good starting point. 

Instead, your business should reflect your personality and be something that you’re proud of. Something that reflects your values and morals. Sinve your business is a reflection of you, that means you need to stay authentic and genuine at all times. Don’t try to be something you’re not or do something you don’t believe in. You’ll end up hurting yourself and your business in the long run.

 

You Have the Right to Make a Living

If you truly love what you’re doing, all of the above is worth it. You have a right to make a living doing work you love. If you have a hobby or side gig that you truly love, it could become your full-time gig one day. All it takes is a little bit of hard work, patience, and perseverance.

By working hard, working consistently, pushing through fears, doubts and hard times and still be true to yourself, it's possible to build a successful business that thrives for the long term. On your terms.

 

 

 

An Overlooked Mistake that New Etsy Sellers Often Make


 

More and more I'm noticing a trend amongst new Etsy sellers... they're not fully setting up their shops as they open for business.

I'm seeing a lot of newbie sellers in the forums asking for help, and most of the time, they haven't set up the framework for their Etsy store, focusing instead only on the listings, and then at a bare minimum.

This is problematic for a few reasons. The first of which are legal obligations that any seller needs to be aware of. This will depend on the product type, where you live and where you sell to. There are consumer laws in most jurisdictions, not only do you have to be aware of what those are in your own backyard, but you also need to be aware of any international selling issues.

The EU for example requires any retailer selling any type of products to it's citizens to have a privacy policy on their shopping page as well as visible contact info. Every Etsy shop selling to Europe needs to comply with this, if you don't, any and all disputes you have with a customer will automatically be decided in their favor.

The second problem has to do with trust. Etsy gives us specific slots to fill out in our shops, the framework, and each of these works to build trust with our customers. Not filling out these basic pieces of information puts a seller in the same league as a scammer or con artist. 

There are a lot of bad players on Etsy looking to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers, and they generally do the least amount of work possible in their efforts. In order to stand out and be seen as a legit and honest seller, you need to make the effort and build that trust with potential shoppers.

And third, Etsy uses much of this information as part of your shop's quality score, which is used in part for search rankings. Want to rank a little higher in search? Fill out your policies and about section!

So many new shops I have visited this year have skipped over all these shop info pieces. Things like a shop banner, shop button, profile pic may seem un-necessary - and there's an argument to be made that these don't increase sales per say. But they do build trust. Your about section and policies though are a must have. So while on the surface it doesn't seem like these would necessarily be important or essential, it does in fact help in long term by building that trust, building a brand and building a following.

To illustrate my point I looked at the current top 100 selling Etsy shops to calculate how many were making use of certain shop features. Here are the results:


Shop Banner: 95% of top sellers had a shop banner

Shop Button: 100% had a shop button

Profile Pic: 99% filled this out with something

Shop Tagline: 93% made use of this for their branding

Shop Announcement: 86% were using this space

About Section: 85% had filled out at least part of this area

Policies: 100% had their policies filled in


This is how successful shops set themselves up. You can see from the numbers where the priorities lie. 

The shop button and profile pic are used throughout the site and on various communications, these are key trust points and the most successful sellers know this. It aids in brand recognition.

The shop tagline should convey what your business is about, and it's searchable by external search engines like Google. So it's helpful all around to write this up well.

Policies have legal implications. Simply put, you have to have them.

The about section is really for your own benefit, Etsy counts it in your shop's quality score, it can nudge you up slightly in search and it's an awesome tool to communicate with buyers and let them know more about you or your business. You can also add your social links here. Really, why wouldn't you make use of this even in part?

The shop announcement is useful for communication, but doesn't otherwise have specific benefits. Successful sellers use this to convey all kinds of different things depending on their needs and the vast majority found something to add here.

 

Do the work, sell well
Shawnna


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