One of the biggest hurdles for new entrepreneurs when they are starting an Etsy shop is making that first leap to open a shop and actually commit to trying to make it a business.
There are tons of worthwhile things to spend time on which I’ve covered in several blog posts.
However, there are also things that people spend time on which are a total time suck and don’t get you anywhere- -- the business equivalent of spinning your wheels.
Today we’re going to talk about those things.
If you’ve never heard the term before, this is when you’re standing in front of the bread section of the grocery store and there are so many dang options you don’t even know what you should be looking for. Do I get whole wheat? White? Rye? Gluten-free (the answer is no on that one). You pull out your phone and start googling bread brands to research options before you realize “wait...this is nuts. Just buy some stupid bread.”
This is analysis paralysis.
There is SO much information on the internet, and so many opinions offering advice and how tos.
I’m part of this crowd, so I’m not knocking it, but at some point you have to just take the first step and jump. You’re not going to be able to research the heck out of a shop so much that you dive right in and know absolutely everything about selling on Etsy from the start.
Some things will be learned with trial and error and customer feedback and bad reviews. It is a learning process, but you can’t start the process until you START.
2) Posting in the Etsy Forums
I’m not going to lie, I hang out in the Etsy forums from time to time.
They are fine for a specific question or have some community with other Etsy sellers (though obviously I would recommend my FB Group over the forums for building community and support).
However, there are tons of people who spend so long in the forums either a) complaining about changes on etsy or bemoaning their low sales or b) thinking that posting is helping build traffic to their shop.
Now, if you post in the forums the chances are that you will see a spike in traffic from people clicking on your shop. However, that is *not* targeted traffic, ie. it doesn’t really add any value.
Maybe you’ll get an odd sale (big maybe) but likely people are just being nosey and checking out your shop with no intentions of interacting with anything in it or making any purchase -- and that doesn’t help your quality score!
There are *much* better ways to market and drive traffic to your shop, and you should be spending time on efforts that actually help with sales, not just vanity numbers.
3) Paying for Etsy promotions on Instagram
If you have an Instagram account (which you should) and you use any Etsy related hashtags, chances are you’ve either come across or been propositioned by other Instagram accounts that do promotions for Etsy shops.
I’m telling you (sadly from experience) that they are a waste of time and money. Many (all) of these accounts have primarily fake followers, and if you spend any real time doing research on their followers and engagement you’ll see that the target market likely doesn’t line up with yours at.all. and/or that while they may have 10, 20, or 60k followers, they get very few likes or comments on any post (and the ones they do get look very spam-bot-y).
Trust me on this one, you’re wasting your money.
4) Like/Follow Trains on Facebook
If you’re a member of any Etsy related Facebook groups, I’m sure you’ve seen these before.
They are rampant in the new seller/not a lot of traffic Facebook group realm, and people participate in them in droves.
But they are such a waste of time!
As I said before in the Forum part, driving traffic to your shop that isn’t actually interested in your shop and isn’t going to be interacting with your products at all does not help your sales -- and could actually hurt your shop.
Etsy has recently changed some of their search engine rules, and one of the biggest things they stressed was the listing quality score, which is primarily based on how people are interacting with your products. If people are looking but not buying, not clicking through the pictures, basically not really interested at all, it does NOT help your quality score (and may hurt it).
Are you spending time on any of these?
If so, stahp already.
They aren’t worth it, and while they allow you to *feel* like you’re doing something productive, they aren’t actually going to get you anywhere. There are lots of ways to effectively and efficiently market your shop, so spend time on those and you’ll actually see the cash money profit that results!
Need help taking the next steps? Grab your Ultimate Etsy Starter Kit below: