Make Money

Starting an Etsy Shop: Maximize the impact through your profile

 

I have been an artist in some medium for as long as I can remember.  So obviously, at some point I was going to consider trying to make my living with my art.  My EUREKA moment came when someone offered to buy something I’d made as a gift for a friend.This led to crafts shows with hit or miss success.  And at every show, at least one customer would ask if I had an Etsy store.

 

Earn Online on Etsy

Your Etsy shop is Your virtual business Showroom.

 

Since Etsy can be a critical tool for creating an online presence for anything and everything handmade, it made sense to me that I should try it out too.  I was skeptical because I had no programming or marketing experience, but Etsy made the process pretty painless.  For a step by step guide on how to get up and running on Etsy fast (under an hour… for real!), you should read my post, How to be Successful and Make Money on Etsy.  In that post, I detail how to set up shop and start successfully selling your art.

When first creating an Etsy shop, most of us (myself included) do not pay enough attention to what we’re writing for biographies and descriptions.  The problem with that is that most of our customers purchase from us on Etsy because they want to know us, as artists.  They want to feel, that you made this piece just for them, even if you didn’t know they’d come looking for it.

After realizing I could be making even more money by telling my story, I rewrote my entire shop, and I highly recommend it to you, if you’re serious about your shop, and you are treating it as a business to make money out of it.  When you’re going through this process, ask yourself a few questions about what drives you and why you design the way that you do.  This will be an incredible experience as an artist because it makes you really think about who you are and why you are an artist.  In this process, you’ll replace your boring, possibly colorless paragraphs with a real look in the mirror, and THAT will sell you to your customers.

 

Setting up an Etsy Store

Your customers want to think that the shop was selling only for them.

 

I’m going to show you how I did it, and how easily you can do it too!

 The Profile.This is where you introduce yourself.

Info and Appearance.  Create your look here.

Policies.  This is where you answer the questions you expect to be asked.

About Your Shop.  Talk about your members, shop store, and partners.

Finances.  What payments will you accept?

Listings Tips

 

How to Sell on Etsy

Let’s start building your successful business on Etsy.

 

The Profile.  This is Where You Introduce Yourself.

The very first thing to do (or redo if you’re trying to improve the way I did) is to make sure that your profile has PUNCH, PIZAZZ and tells your story.

If you’re not using a logo, a picture of yourself, or a picture of your best product that represents you as your profile picture… fix it!  Do not wait.  This photo is often the only thing customers see during a search where you are part of the search results.  This is your symbol, the emblem that will attract customers into your store.

If you have a winning, engaging smile, use that to your advantage!  Etsy customers are shopping for the artist as much (sometimes more) than they are looking for any particular product.  If you have a logo designed, this can be a great profile picture as well.  Or if you want your product to be your hook, get a fantastic picture of it and make that your profile picture.

If they are intrigued by your profile picture, they’re more likely to click it and start browsing the incredible art you have listed.  Think of it as someone browsing an online dating site… people will often click on a profile because of the picture even when the profile doesn’t look like it’s a good match.  The same can be said for how customers approach Etsy.  Whatever you use, make sure it represents YOU!

 

Make Online - Greetings

Greetings

 

The next part of this is the shop story.  This is where you greet customers coming into your store and tell them a bit about you, about why you create, and about what you create.  Tell your story just the way you’d talk to someone who asked you about it.  Be enthusiastic, be engaging and friendly.  You want to inspire this person to want to support your product, so don’t hide your love of the art.

If there is anything in particular that makes you, your shop, your materials, or your art itself unique, this is the place to share it.  If you are inspired by Bow ties, and bow ties are featured in many of your pieces, this is where you explain what it is about that bow Ties that captures your imagination, and why should someone come to your shop to purchase it.

 

Dandys Bow Ties

Show case your logo, to tell your story.  Your logo should explain what the store is all about.

 

There is also a checkbox section on this page about what things are included on your profile.  Basically, if you also shop on Etsy, and you’d like to support other artists like yourself, you can click a box to show your favorite shops.  There are a couple more options, and you can’t go wrong by including them all.

There are a few generic things on this page as well, such as gender, birth date, and location.  These are very straightforward.  If you want to skip these, go for it… except for location.  People want to know this.  They want to know where their new artist is from.

I will provide you with a brief sitemap of your etsy shop.  This will make things clearer.

 

Etsy Sitemap Created a sitemap for a startup

Sitemap for your shop.

 

Info and Appearance.  Create your look here.

 

Your Public Profile on Etsy

Create your public profile on Etsy Shop.

 

This page has a couple of tabs for us to look at.  The first one that comes up is labeled as “Info and Appearance,” and this is where you set up your shop title and banner.  This is where you choose your shop name if you start out, and also where you will write what your shop title will be.  The shop name can only ever change one time, so if you’re doing it now… make it count!

For some helpful tips, see my earlier post How to be Successful and Make Money on Etsy.  This is also where you decide how your shop name will be listed.  If your shop name is “Diva Design”, you can have your shop title be something like “Diva Design Shoppe.  This field can be edited as you like, so if you find something you like even better, you can come back and change it again.  See the image below.  Better thought name, is bound to come neatly in Google searches.

 

How to boost Etsy sales

Search the right name that perfectly suits your business.

 

A few smaller pieces of your information are on this page too.  A critical piece of this page is your Banner.  Use a brand banner if you have one.  But if you’re just starting out, you may not have a brand yet.  If that’s the case, take an assortment of your best work and take some incredible photos of it.  Or have a friend do it if you aren’t great with the camera.  Then all you have to do is crop it to fit, and you’ve got a banner that perfectly represents your art.  This will work as another enticement to make people curious enough to click through to your listings.

 

Check out some of my custom made banners for etsy shops

Banners are an important part of your ETSY Shop.

 

There are also sections regarding messages to buyers… be sure to say thank you and to fill the appropriate one out.  One section is for buyers of a product that will ship to them.  The other is about digital products.  What do you want someone who bought your products to know about it?  Do you want a customer to know that this purchase supports local business, or that you appreciate them not making you go back to work in a cubicle farm?  Then tell them!

 

Listing an item for sale on etsy

Listing an item for sale on etsy

 

As per Kartikeya Sharma of iTV, a great part of this page is all the links.  You can click a box to allow you to connect your show calendar to the Etsy page if you do craft or art shows.  You can link to Facebook and Twitter so that you can post your Etsy updates straight to your pages.  Using these links are a great benefit to Etsy because you can use it to keep up with your social media marketing at the same time you’re updating your store.  And having these all linked will send customers back to your store whenever they see your social media posts.

 

Info & Appearance

Info & Appearance

 

Policies.  Where you answer the questions you expect to be asked.

 

Etsy Shop - How to Set up Etsy Store Policies

Etsy Shop – How to Set up Etsy Store Policies

 

The next tab you want to work on is your Policies section.  Here is where you’re going to set up your welcome message that customers will see when they first enter your store.  This is where you greet them, thank them for visiting, and make them feel welcome in your space.  Yes… that sounds a lot like owning a brick and mortar store.  And that’s exactly what you’re doing, just virtually!

This page also gives you space to detail your payment policies.  Please don’t skip this one.  Many artists do not want to deal the money policies; it’s boring, and it’s about setting rules… things we artists generally hate.  But it’s important!  For example, if you do custom orders, do you have an upfront materials charge?  Or do you expect 50% down payment on all large orders, with the balance due just before shipping?  Make sure you spell these policies out clearly because a misunderstanding can lead to far-reaching bad publicity in today’s web markets.

 

The Promotional Frenzy Team on Etsy

Etsy Shipping Policies – Make sure you tell your customers in Advvance about your shop policies.

 

You should detail out the shipping policies while you’re here.  If your products are all of a similar size and weight, do you charge a flat shipping and handling charge?  Or do you charge by shipping charges only, such as USPS charges being billed to the customer as part of their total purchase price?  If you have a HUGE product, do you have to ship freight?  Your customer needs to know these things when they’re looking to buy your products.  And frankly, so do you.

 

opening an Etsy Shop

Shipping Policy

 

A critical piece of this page is your refund policy.  Again, we’re setting up rules, but this will save you so much hassle later.  Do you accept returns for a refund without question?  Or do you only accept exchange for an equal product?  You could also only refund under certain circumstances.  For example, if a product is a custom piece, you might be reluctant to allow refunds because you are investing your own money in the piece.  But if the piece arrives broken, a refund is the only way to save the customer relationship.

There are also sections for seller information and private receipt info.  These are sections that are required for certain countries depending on their laws and what you’re shipping.  Since these rules can change as part of international laws, I highly recommend that you study the Etsy help on this part carefully.  Be very thorough in these sections in case of an issue.  And you may want to review this part twice a year or so to be sure you’re covered.

 

About Your Shop.  Talk about your members, shop store, and partners.

 

The “About Your Shop” tab is a great way to deepen the relationship with your customer.  This whole section is all about letting the customer get to know you personally, so they feel connected to you and your store and want to support you more in the future.  This page gives you space to create a personal profile within your company profile.  Here you detail the members of your team (or just yourself), what roles are played, and a personal bio about how that person became critical to your team.

 

How to Edit page on Etsy

Create a great About your shop profile

 

There is a tab just for your shop’s story as well.  Where in your biography you told the story of your shop briefly, this is where you can dig into the real history of your art.  Did your oil paintings evolve from professional finger paint?  Did you trip over a feather and realize that feathers just have to be featured in all of your products?  Did you have a life event that brought you that moment where you just knew you had to sell your art and start an Etsy store?  This is where you tell that tale!

 

Etsy Shop How To- Post a Profile Picture

Etsy Shop How To- Post a Profile Picture

 

There’s one more tab here for manufacturers.  This is intended for you to use if there is a custom component in your product (or the entire product) that is manufactured for you.  The design must be yours, and there’s an application process in order for a manufacturer to be allowed as part of your team.  Typical materials do not count, even if you buy charms for your bell chimes at the crafts store.  But if you have a custom designed Whatsit that is critical to your piece, and that you have to have contracted to be manufactured before you can finish your work, it must be detailed here.

 

Finances.  What payments will you accept?

 

This section is relatively simple but essential.  It’s more rules, but if you don’t set this one up, you can’t be successful as a shop owner.  Here is where you link to PayPal, decide if you want to accept credit cards, what currency your store will work with and so on.  You can mark here if you take personal checks, money orders, or some other form of payment.  Everything prompts you to walk through it carefully, and I highly recommend accepting PayPal and credit cards at least.

 

Etsy Wholesale Help Center

Etsy Wholesale Help Center

 

Payments that need to be mailed can be useful, but I love the online versions because I can ship the product faster.  For me, if a product is sold, I don’t want it taking up stock space any longer… but that’s just my way.

 

Listings Tips

 

When you’re listing, you’re essentially staging the product on the shelf in your shop.  You want to treat each listing picture and description just as you did your profile picture and your biography.  Customers want to know what it is, yes.  But even more, they want to know WHY it is.  They want to know what inspired you, what unique process you used if you soup cans as a base, and more.  Tell them everything, and they are more likely to purchase.

You also want to be sure that if you have a brand, you make it part of every listing in some way.  And if you don’t have a brand, then you want to come up with a picture or emblem to use as one.  You will use this for banners, labels on photos, use in backdrops for product photos… honestly, there is no end to how useful branding can be.  But if you’re not ready to develop a brand, these photos can be just what you need to set yourself apart.  You can always invest in branding on your own or with professional help later on.

There you have it!  Work through these steps and really add punch and zip to your profile.  This will set you apart from the masses, and customers won’t be able to resist you!  Happy selling!


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A freelance writer and artist, I’ve extensively explored how to make a living online. If it can be done, I’ve probably researched it and more than likely I’ve done it! I have an Etsy store with fiancé, run an eBay and a resale business, and a few other tricks up my sleeve to keep me from going back to corporate. And I’m ready to share my expert knowledge on how I did it, you can make it work too!

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