Once I decided I was going to start a handmade business, things kicked into high gear extremely fast.
This is the second post in a Getting to Know Me series. You can find other posts here:
- How I Added More Fun Creativity In My Life
- Pouring More Energy Into My Competitive Handmade Business (you are here)
- Why It’s Important to Invest In Yourself
Deciding on a Platform
There are several different platforms out there for makers to sell their crafts. I looked into a bunch before I took the Etsy plunge. Naturally, there’s Etsy, where I run my business. There’s also Amazon Handmade, where I’m testing out a small shop currently. There’s Ebay, something I decided wasn’t the right road for me, and there was the option of hosting my own site. Because I’d have to drive traffic to my own site without the benefit of a marketplace like Etsy or Amazon, I decided to stick with a marketplace. I have the option of adding a web store to this site eventually, but right now I’m really happy with my Etsy shops (Libby & Lu and Libby & Lu Baby).
Coming Up With a Business Name
Once I decided to open my own handmade business, I needed a name. I wanted something that meant something to me, would be easy to remember, and something that I could create a brand around. I ended up getting the name from a friend of mine. We took the nickname that we call my daughter and altered it a bit. It’s unique to my business so I won’t get confused if someone calls my daughter’s nickname, but similar enough that it means something to me and makes me smile whenever I hear it. I thought it was a great way to honor her and be true to myself at the same time.
Putting Myself Out There
It’s not easy to put your own products out there for other’s to purchase. I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. It took a lot of internal pep-talks! Once I gathered up the courage, I posted my first few items. I slowly worked on adding more items and told my family and friends about my shop. One of my friend’s bought something, then another one did. A friend even left me my first review! It took a while to start to build up a decent number of products. I started getting orders as more people found my shop. I’ve learned that it’s a slow process. I think a lot of people assume that all you have to do is put up an item and people will purchase it. I found very quickly that this is not the case.
There are millions of listings out there. And it takes time for the search algorithms to find your products and show them to people. If you only have five items and you posted them yesterday, as hard as it is, it’s likely not going to sell immediately. How did I get found and what did I do to make those first sales? I started adding products. I’m still working on this part because it’s a long-term goal and strategy. Next, I used several tools to make sure my keywords that I was using were things people were actually searching for. I use EtsyRank for this. It’s free and they also have a paid version.
Finally, I marketed my product. I got an Instagram account, set up a Pinterest Profile, and a Facebook page. It’s best when I work to drive my own traffic to my shops. Recently I started this blog as another way to let my customers know what’s going on in my shops and what is going on behind the scenes.
There are so many other things that go into running Etsy shops, but this is the basics of how I got started.
Have you ever considered selling on Etsy?
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