When I wrote - 8 Reasons To Start An Etsy Shop - I was surprised by the amazing response I received for the post. So many of you seemed to be interested in starting an Etsy shop but weren't sure where to begin. If you have a hobby that can spark a wonderful product idea, then why keep it a secret - share it with the world! Etsy is a great starting point to launch your business as it provides you a ready, buzzing marketplace, an easy interface to set up your shop and helps you develop the confidence and skills required to run a business.I created a comprehensive checklist for you that lists each and every step in the shop setup process in an order that makes the whole process quick and easy - Download, Print and use it now!
If you want to open an Etsy shop and are wondering where to begin, here are a few key points that will get you thinking in the direction:
The burning question is - What do I sell? If you already have a hobby that you invest a lot of time in, then you already know the answer to this question. If you are an artist, you could sell your paintings; if you spend your weekends knitting, then you could sell your crochet work. Whatever maybe your hobby, there is always a possibility of taking it to the next level by sharing your creativity with the world. If there is nothing that pops to your head immediately, think hard. Dig in - what is that one thing that makes your heart sing and forget the world? What are you awesome at?
You can sell almost any creative good on Etsy - it just has to be handmade, vintage or a craft supply. Etsy has sellers in almost every category you can think of, check out the list of categories here and see which is the perfect one for you.
Now that you have figured out what you want to sell and which category your shop fits in best, what next? You need to research your market. Who are your target customers? Is there a market for your products already? Who are your competitors? What are the current selling trends? A clear idea of the current market scene will help you prepare, create and sell your products to the right audience.
Imagine walking into a very sparsely stocked shop, would you buy from there? It is difficult to trust a shop with just one or two items. To open a shop, you need to have your products ready to sell. Make a list of products you want to launch your shop with; set aside time to plan, design, develop and refine them.When I decided to open my design shop in February, I spent all my free time in January creating pre-made blog templates that I wanted to launch my shop with. When I opened my shop, I had five pre-made designs that gave the customers a peek into the kind of designs I could create, my capabilities and my skill set. You may want to spend some extra time and thought in planning and creating these initial products for your shop as they are the ones that are going to attract your first customers - and remember, first impressions matter!
Once you have the products ready to sell, you are ready to open an Etsy shop. Although Etsy makes it super easy to set up a shop, there are a lot of details to be taken care of. In future posts, I'll be diving deep into it, but here are the important things to keep in mind:
Name: You need to decide a name for your shop. Coming up with a name for your business is exciting, but can be super exhausting if you have to choose from many options. Etsy allows you to change the name only once, so you may want to carefully choose a name that you will stick with for a long time.
Set up shop: Etsy provides a super easy interface that guides you step by step while opening a shop. You will need to create listings of your items, upload product photos, fill out shop details, set up payment options etc. as a part of shop set up. Its a very simple process and what more, it costs nothing. Make sure to open your shop by clicking HERE as it will give 40 listings free to you (and me!)
Product Photographs & descriptions: While selling in a virtual environment, you have to be quick and clever in grasping the customer's attention. Since the customer cannot see, touch or feel the product for real, the best way to gain their trust is through your photos and descriptions. Hence, when you create product listings, its important to use attractive and clear product photos along with detailed product descriptions.
Packing & shipping product: If you are creating digital goods like me, there isn't much to worry in the packaging and shipping department. Just zip all your files together and make them available for instant download or take an order request and ship the files separately to the customer. However, if you are creating physical goods, you may want to take extra care in packaging and shipping your items. You know the joy of receiving a beautifully and carefully packed parcel at your doorstep? Make sure to recreate that for your customers, and they will remember you always!
What are your thoughts on Etsy? Happy Sunday :)