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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

How I've Grown My Etsy Business

Happy New Year everyone! Here's to 2015 - I can tell it's going to be a big one!

2014 has been so amazing for me and my business, it's become so much more than I had imagined and originally planned three years ago. I had to make a decision, did I want FunkyPinks to be a hobby I dabbled in every now and then; or did I want this to grow into a successful commercial business I could make a real profit from?

If you look back on my blog you'll see that this time last year I re-branded my business and changed my product offering, which was a bit daunting for me at the time, but I felt it was a risk worth taking.

My New Branding

At the beginning of the year I set myself a business goal - I wanted to achieve a total of 365 orders on Etsy averaging out one order a day. This felt like a realistic goal at the time, as in 2013 I racked up 112 orders.

What actually happened stunned me!

I took a massive 1,308 orders for the whole of 2014! Whilst some small businesses may scoff at this number, I'm incredibly proud of it; Especially as this is a part time business I run when I'm not doing my day job. 

There's been many a night when I've worked 9-5 to then sit down and work through the days orders to get them shipped out on time! Some days demand became so high I had to close my shop to new orders so I didn't get too far behind!

Even though I have well over 1000 orders, this doesn't actually reflect the amount of individual jewellery pieces I've made, as well as individual pieces I also sell a lot of sets, so one order could amount to 6 pieces, for example.

I've actually made over 1,500 individual necklaces and 800 bracelets over the course of the year, each one made to order and to individual specifications!

Set of Three Sister Necklaces are my most popular set!

I've read a lot of 'how to sell more on Etsy' blogs, which all have great advice and guidance to improve sales numbers, and I've implemented many of these ideas into my business which has definitely contributed to my success.

I wanted to share some of my own thoughts and experiences of selling on Etsy, what I've explored, and the results I've had. These things are not going to apply to every business on Etsy, but may give someone food for thought to help them!

Making my Business more Commercial - As I work a full time job as well as my business, I don't have the time to sit and create one off pieces and be able to market them successfully enough to make a reliable profit. I shifted my designs from one off pieces to personalised charm jewellery, and this has provided me with a steady stream of orders for the same design, but in a different colour or style. It's means I can manage my time more productively.

I used to class myself as a 'craft business' and whilst I do make each piece by hand I wouldn't call myself a 'crafter'. I'm a business woman (entrepreneur if you will), my priority is making my invested time worth it financially.

I keep my creative thirst at bay by designing new pieces and my website, I love building my brand through my packaging and graphics.

Improving Product Photographs - I've vastly improved the images I use to market my products, this was the trickiest part for me, it has taken me a few years to get them right, and I still struggle to take that perfect picture! Few things put me off buying something online more than a poor quality photograph! I also wanted my photographs to have a 'style', something that would be instantly recognisable to customers who know my branding.


Improving the Quality of my Etsy Listings - Again, there is a lot of information online about improving your item listings to get them higher up on search pages. The most reliable source is always Etsy itselfhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/help/article/247

Etsy changed their search algorithm in the last year, and sellers were complaining in the forums that they were not getting as many views in their shop, probably because they hadn't changed anything on their listings. It's good to keep in touch with the changes, what they mean, and how to change your listings to enable your listings to rank higher in searches.

My top tip is to monitor your stats page, work out what phrases people are using to find your listings on Etsy, and use these specific phrases in your titles, tags and descriptions for maximum impact.

I invested in the blugrin application called Betsi. 

It allows you to bulk edit your Etsy listings in a single click, which is essential for effectively managing a high number of individual listings in your shop. They have a free 'Lite' version but I would recommend paying the monthly subscription to be able to edit tags and variations.

Exploring New Markets - Bridesmaid and Flower Girl gifts were my best selling products in the Summer, I only really had two designs that I marketed, and I sold out three times in three months. This year, I'm going to launch several new designs aimed at this market in order to increase my slice of this very lucrative pie!

I am by no means an Etsy expert but it really works for me, and enables me to run a thriving business alongside my day job. The dream is to make this business my full time job, I'm still working on it!

Would you like to open your own store on Etsy?
Click the link below to get started and get 40 listings for free!