Today I have a guest post from Laura who blogs at Thrifty Londoner. Laura is sharing her tips on how to make money with an Etsy business – a great side hustle that has huge potential to turn into a full-time business too.
I’m Laura, and 18 months ago I started my own craft business on Etsy called Tee Party Clothing. It all started when I embroidered my own t-shirt and my colleague asked if I took commissions – I had never thought about embroidering t-shirts as a side hustle, but snapped up the opportunity to do a commissioned design. After that, I decided to set up an Etsy shop and claim a little corner of the internet for my own. I had dabbled with Etsy before, selling crochet tops, and had never made a sale, so I wasn’t expecting orders to start rolling in. But, as luck would have it, I also made the decision to open up an Instagram account alongside my Etsy store – and the rest is history!
Friends and acquaintances started to follow my new Instagram page and orders started to flood in alongside the new designs which I uploaded frequently to my Etsy store. The real pinch-me moment came when the PR department of the Maybourne Hotel Group (Claridges, The Connaught, The Berkeley) asked for some bespoke embroidered napkins for an event that they were holding after seeing my designs on Instagram. The power of social media!
The great thing about this is, that if I can make money with an Etsy business, anyone can – and I’m going to tell you exactly how.
Choose your product category
There is just about everything that you can think of listed on Etsy, and before you get started, you’ll need to find your niche. Your Etsy store should ideally comprise of one product category, for example; greetings cards, leather goods, knitted items or slogan t-shirts. You want to make sure that when a customer buys something from your store, they remember it and make a reorder.
Etsy has long been known as a destination to buy and sell crafts and that means it is really well suited to unique or personalised items. That said, Etsy has grown and grown over the last few years and you can definitely find success selling non-craft items such as vintage clothing or retro furniture.
Choose your niche, and stick with it, because it will make creating a brand easier…
Create a brand
Creating a brand goes hand in hand with opening an Etsy store. When you first set up your store, you will have to choose a store name, add a logo or photo, and write about the products that your store is selling. Take some time to think about what you want your name to say about your store, the colours that you use, and what your store stands for.
Since you are selling your products, it’s a good idea to think about how you would like to package them, and what the items are going to look like when they are unopened. Thoughtful touches such as thank you notes and delicately wrapped products all mean that buyers are likely to come back to your store again, and leave you positive reviews.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on packaging your products, I pondered for a while about how to add a tag to my t-shirts- and to avoid spending too much I decided to print out my logo onto normal paper and then cut it out and stick it to cardboard tags with a message on the reverse. This means that if anyone receives the t-shirt as a gift, they know where it came from and can start to follow my store if they wish to.
Optimise your listings
If you’re familiar with eBay listings, you can treat Etsy listings in a fairly similar way. To stand out from all of the other listings available, you need to have a searchable title with lots of key words, coupled with clear and eye catching photos.
Make the most of the full character allowance of the title, and use searchable key words. For example, if you were listing a dress from the 60s, you would add information such as the brand, size, decade, colour and material in the title.
Etsy has an additional feature where you can add tags and material compositions- these are also searchable so you don’t need to repeat these in your title. You can add searchable phrases into the tags section, and you could change these seasonally so that your listing is always optimised. For example with Christmas coming up, you could add ‘personalised Christmas gift’ or ‘gifts for dad’ in your tags.
Promote your business
Start off by sharing your Etsy store on your personal social media channels with all of your friends and family. Set up a dedicated Instagram page for your Etsy store and then start to add some beautiful visuals of the product. Instagram is such a great accompaniment to an Etsy store and that is due to the fact that it is very visual. Followers (aka potential customers) can see updates of new products available whenever they scroll through their Instagram feed. There is a huge crafting community on Instagram, so by using some relevant hashtags (#etsyuk is a personal favourite of mine), you will soon reach not only like-minded people but new customers too.
Build a relationship with your customers
They key to a successful Etsy business is having a great relationship with your customers- this can be facilitated by platforms like Instagram where you can chat to your customers, and they can comment on your designs. Your customers will begin to feel that they know you and that they can trust you- and that makes them buy from you. They’ll tell their friends about you, and with any luck they will post photos of your products online. Your business will keep on snowballing as long as you have happy customers who are spreading the word about you and your brand.
So there you have it, those are my top tips for making money with a successful Etsy business. Having an Etsy store works really well as a side hustle alongside a full time job, and many people have even found that their Etsy store is so successful, they can give up their day job and work on their craft business full time instead- that’s living the dream!
Don’t forget to pin this post if you’re interested in learning how to make money with an Etsy business!