You’ve opened up your Etsy shop, now what?
So you’ve read my getting started on Etsy guide, stocked your shop, and shared your new venture with friends and family. All the hard work is done, right? If you think it’s time to sit back, relax, and wait for sales – you are going to be disappointed.
After you open your Etsy shop, the real fun begins! There’s still work to be done, I mean this is a growing business, right?
1. Get a Professional Email Address
Although a lot of messaging happens within the Etsy platform itself, there’s a chance you’ll use email to communicate with potential buyers, customers, vendors, and more.
At a basic level, you can use Gmail (or whatever email service your prefer) to create “email@example.com” or something very similar that is identifying. After you register a domain name (see details below!) you can update your address so the second half is your business name. Not only does this make you appear more professional, but will also help keep your business messages and contacts organized!
2. Purchase a Domain
Even if you’re not ready to set up a website, you can purchase the domain name. Depending on the name, the cost can be relatively inexpensive. I pay around $15 a year to own my domain.
It’s nice to have this ready to go for when you are ready to set up a website, even something basic with contact information and a shop link. I highly recommend NameCheap.com. I use them for multiple domains and hosting as well!
3. Set up Social Media Channels
Use shop name to create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, (insert latest and greatest social media platform here). Add a profile photo and try to keep images + copy as similar as possible throughout each. Make sure to include a direct link to your Etsy shop as well.
Similar to the domain, even if you’re not actively posting on the social pages at least you’ll have a presence with your information.
Click to read tips on using Instagram and Pinterest for your Etsy shop!
4. Biz Branding
Since I’m such an advocate of just start creating and selling before making sure everything is totally perfect, I highly recommend branding your business within the first year. If you’re not totally sure what branding means, fear not. In the simplest terms, branding is the why behind what you do and the feel of your visual business presence. It’s more than just a logo – branding is your vibe, it’s your mission statement, it’s the reason you started this shop, why you create these products, it’s the complete story of your business!
You’ll have to decide if it’s time to hire a professional or DIY your branding. When starting out, professional branding can be a big investment. It’s totally worth it and you’ll make your money back as you grow your business, but I don’t suggest going into major debt over it! Possibly hire out for design and work on things like your WHY and mission statement yourself.
5. Set Goals
Every business owner should set some goals. Put a pen to paper and write out the things you’d like to accomplish, including the time frame you’d like to do it in.
I recommend settings goals around sales, either number of sales or revenue, for each quarter. Get creative on business goals like a number of new items you want to add to your shop, followers you want to gain on a particular social media platform, etc. After writing down your goals, work backwards on creating a strategy to achieve them!
6. Work on Product Photography
I’m probably a broken record on this subject, but it’s because it is one of the most important things to having a successful Etsy shop! Your product photos are everything. We shop with our eyes first. Having clear, quality photos is the key to turning shoppers into buyers.
Continue working on your shop photography skills your first year on Etsy. It’s an ever-evolving process, even at almost six years in I’m still perfecting my own photos! Play around with lighting, editing, and styling to see what makes for the most beautiful images and converts into sales! Read this post with more tips on shop photography.
7. Try Something New
Just like photography, creating is a constantly changing process. Try adding different products to your shop to see what catches on. Find your best sellers and offer similar products of different variations, sizes, and colors.
Try new marketing strategies by adjusting tags, titles, and featured photos to see what is and is not working. Consider offering free shipping on select products. Gauge the results after making these tweaks. If you notice a particular change resulted in more views or sales, add that to the remaining products in your shop!
8. Keep Creating
It can be so hard to run and grow a business while continuing to create. Don’t focus 100% of your energy ON your business and forget to work IN your business.
Your shop will grow if you keep adding new products, adhering to trends, and providing exceptional customer service. Besides, I’m guessing one of the reasons you started a creative business was so you could work on something you loved. Don’t forget the passion for your products as you grow your business!
9. Organize your Finances
This is a big one. Bookkeeping and taxes can be super overwhelming, but by keeping everything organized from the beginning you will surely save your sanity!
I highly recommend setting up a separate bank account for your business from the very beginning. It’s super easy to do and you can read more about that in my post here.
Analyze cost of goods you’re using to see where you can save, do your research on finding different suppliers and vendors, make sure you’re making enough to pay yourself an hourly wage that you feel is deserved. Adjust the prices of your shop items accordingly. It’s hard to know at the beginning what the true costs on running an Etsy shop will be, but within the first year you should be able to tell if you can continue this as a successful business!
10. Have Fun!
At the end of the day, if you’re having fun selling online it will never feel like work. It’s true that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Of course, as with anything, some days are better than others but overall being an online business owner is somewhat of a dream!
You’ll never be a beginner again, so relish in this stage. Have fun creating products, working with customers, and learning how to grow your biz. There’s some trial and error involved, but I’m cheering you on!
Ten things might seem a little overwhelming in your first year, but focus on one each month and you’ll be feeling solid on that one-year bizaversary!
Comment below and let me know what you’re excited to do in your first year as an Etsy shop owner!
What is the best place to create a blog…?
Hi Polo! Depending on your needs, I recommend WordPress or SquareSpace. I currently use WordPress, but it’s a tad bit more technical. SquareSpace is really easy to set up, has drag and drop templates, and you can integrate a shop when you’re ready to expand from Etsy 🙂
Thank you, Steph!
Has solved my doubts… 😉
Wonderful, what a web site it is! This blog provides useful facts to us,
keep it up.
That is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
Short but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
A must read article!
I am a new seller in Etsy. Regarding the switching of email address from name@gmail to firstname.lastname@example.org, how can i do this? Im planning to buy a domain name for a custom email address but i don’t know what’s next?
Thanks in advance,
Hi Krys! It will depend on your hosting company – if you use Gmail you should be able to easily change it though G-suite! This can only be done once your purchase the domain.
Best of luck! Steph
Thanks for an informative, to-the-point article! As a ‘newby’ it’s great to know there are others out there willing new businesses like mine to be successful! Also great to hear from someone who understands creative business!
Hey Cathryn! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment – I love helping and wish there were more resources when I get started (in 2013!) Live by the “teach everything you know” philosophy to pass on my experience 🙂 Wishing you all the best for your Etsy journey!
Question: I bought my domain through namecheap, but I don’t plan to set up a website for some time. Can I still get a professional email@example.com? Is there available through NameCheap? Where do I pick up the mail?
Hello! I have tried doing Etsy off & on over the years. I have decided to start an Etsy Shop selling digital printables, though I have a blog with the a name I like (bought a domain) I want to use it for my shop. The thing is I want to be a sole proprietor and use my name, and I want to use only my first name in the shop name. Can I use only my first name in the Etsy Shop name for what I am wanting when it comes to taxes eventually? I haven’t even opened up my shop or anything yet as I want to get everything in order.
I think that should be fine, I have my Etsy shop/biz name as a DBA. Definitely check what your local laws are regarding this as it can be different depending on where you live and operate. I recommend paperandspark.com for all things legal and taxes : )