The difference between sellers that sell and sellers that only show their products is determined not so much by the products they offer, but by the amount of effort one puts in marketing his or her items to their target audience. Period.
Here is a list of selling tips for Etsy sellers. Make note that the list below is only a list, unless you act upon our suggestions. Treat it as a guide for improving your stand in Etsy and becoming a more successful seller.
You can print this list and place it next to your keyboard. It will serve as a reminder to act. Circle those check marks you are performing on a regular basis. If there is no circle next to an item that you feel is relevant to what you are selling, it only means that you need to spend more time in that specific area.
Don't hesitate to spend some money to make progress; pay a high-school student you know, to do the more mundane tasks, so you don't have to.
Yes, being successful takes effort and time. Make the best out of it and out of yourself!
Here we go...
Branding: Develop a brand. Use your cleverness to make a brand that people remember. If you want to, you can hire designers to help with your branding.
Creativity: Develop your own style. Look at some of the styles the other successful Etsy sellers have. Look at their wording styles and their photos. While being inspired, never copy but develop your own style.
Be persistent! Don't give up before the horses are out of the gate. Don't list a few items and as a new seller get discouraged if the first attempt is not a success. Get up on the horse and do it again. But this time figure out what you could do to improve.
Staging: Just as homes are "staged" by the requests of Realtors so that a house is more desirable to buy, so is staging your items. It also helps to show your style.
Photo-editing: Using a photo editor such as "Gimp" or Adobe's "Photoshop", you can correct bad lighting or inaccurate visuals such as tonal color values due to technical difficulties with your photographic device. While you don't want to remove natural flaws or misrepresent your item, you do want it to reflect it's true beauty and accurate visual appeal. Enhancing photos is perfectly acceptable as long as the item is visually represented appropriately. There is even an app for that!
Ship your items as fast as possible.
If you have a smartphone - Use it! Etsy even has an app as mentioned above. Also your smartphone can likely take as good as a shot as your camera if not better.
Excellent customer service: Be sure to be attentive to your customers. Handle any concerns sensitively and swiftly. Put yourself in your customers shoes and empathize with them. How do they feel? Let them know you want to please them.
If there is a problem or concern with an order an easy way to solve the problem is to promptly ASK the customer what you can do to make them happy. You can communicate to your customer by simply saying "Is there anything I can do to make this transaction a positive experience for you?" You will likely both end the transaction with a positive outcome and the potential for future sales.
Keep up the communication. Whenever a customer writes with a comment or question, respond promptly and gratefully. Giving proper attention and showing gratitude helps us all feel appreciated.
Use social media: Use it effectively. Don't double publish things to both Twitter and Facebook, but use them for different purposes. Such as, use Facebook for interaction with your customers. Use Twitter to "Tweet" your latest products, a special deal that the customer can only find if they read your tweet. Promote that tweeting and Facebooking in your marketing such as newsletters and business cards. Be sure to let them know the difference of what they can find on your Facebook and Twitter such as new products and specials - so that they are more likely to visit both.
When utilizing social media - you don't have to use every media platform that you can find, but whichever ones you use, use them regularly. If it's only one such as Facebook, then simply use that one. We are all too busy to sit behind our computers and network all day long ;)
Utilize "Shop Announcement": use this shop option to its fullest potential. It's an area right below your banner that you can use to communicate with your customers. You can give your customers info on what you offer at a particular time of year, let them know when you will be on vacation or let them know about a special you are offering. You are only limited by your creativity.
COUPONS! Use coupons for promotion. There are a number of free places to post your coupon. Just search "coupon matchup" or "extreme couponing" for ideas. Also try a coupon app such as Woobox for your Facebook. http://woobox.com
Sweepstakes: sweepstakes are FUN. Woobox can help with this.
Contests: A contest is not only fun for your customers. It helps them engage with each other as a community. Building a community around your brand makes customers for life!
Photos: Create interest with your photos. If you notice, on Etsy, the photos are truly eye candy. They are artfully done, as well as have an excellent quality as far as the pixel resolution. Use proper lighting that shows your product in an attractive manner. Google and learn some photographing tips such as how to avoid "backlighting".
Include dimensions: Photographs don't always tell us how big or small an item is. Remember to include the item dimensions.
Use proper and descriptive keywords. This helps your customers find what they are looking for. They want what you've got and you want them to find it!
Utilize Etsy's shop stats for increasing your item's visibility. If you don't see a keyword that you are using in your shop stats try a synonym for that particular keyword.
Make your items stand out, not just by competing in price, but mostly by offering something unique and different.
Make your titles concise and clear. Do not overload it with keywords, and make it readable.
When you prepare your item for shipping make it look like a present! Create a package that makes your customer feel special.
Offer custom orders.
Reply back as quickly as possible to any message you receive from potential customers.
Keep looking for new ideas and inspiration. Keeping a fresh look and feel will excite your customers and give them a reason to revisit. Look at other Etsy shops that are doing well to get inspired.
Samples: Send out samples or gifts to regular customers periodically. Send sample to groups or bloggers who could promote you. Share what you have and more will come back to you!
Create a "How to" tutorial if you sell items that could help make other items. You can use social media to promote your tutorial.
Make a video! A video is a great way to bond with your clientele and also to communicate with them. You can use your smartphone and upload a video to youtube for free. There are many ways to please your customers with videos from how to videos to giving them a virtual tour of your shop. It's nice to see that a real person lives behind an Etsy store.
Apps for Etsy: Ease up your workflow with apps. Etsy has a handy list of apps for you. It's right here: http://www.etsy.com/apps
Be INVENTIVE! There are a lot of people doing the same things on Etsy. Invent a new design that no own else has. This way you can stand out in a saturated market which especially applies to jewelry making.
List nerw items frequently.
Sell in BULK! If you have an item that is used to make other items, sell it in bulk to the Etsy community which is loaded with creative people who need things to make other things.
Make a part of something that is used to make something else. If you do ceramics for example, you can make ceramic pendants that are blanks for people to paint or do assemblage with.
Put together a crafting "Kit". All creative people get bored from time to time and want something new to do. A crafting kit also serves as a tutorial to show your creative customers how to utilize your products.
Offer a gift wrapping service around the holidays for free. It is an inexpensive way to stand out from the crowd. It also helps your customer feel special and know you care.
Develop store policies to give your customer confidence and reasonable expectations. Let them know what to expect with time frame, shipping charges, and returns.
Offer referral bonuses. If a costumer sends you a customer offer to give them something special. It costs money to get customers and your current customers can be your best spokespeople. Reward them for their efforts.
Be sure to offer your products Internationally! It's a BIG world with lots of customers.
GIFT CARDS! Gift cards are a popular purchase on Etsy. It has been shown statistically that people who uses a gift card actually spend more than the face value of the gift card. This is also a way for a busy customer to take care of a gift list quickly and uniquely. Be sure to enable Direct Checkout for your Etsy store when you offer gift certificates.
Free surprise gifts with orders. Don't necessarily tell your customer you will send a free gift, but send one anyway. Everyone likes surprises. The more pleasurable an experience for your customer, the more likely they will remember the positive experience and think of ordering in the future.
Change your shop for holidays. Decorate it and engage your customer in the spirit of a holiday. This creates a happy positive experience for your customers. The more they remember you and associate fun and enjoyment, the more they are likely to revisit.
Time management: We all have times when we feel less productive. At other times we burn to much creative energy by trying to over produce. Another good article which is especially helpful to the creative Etsy seller: http://99u.com/articles/6585/10-laws-of-productivity