The First 4 Weeks on Etsy - Week 1

etsy 101 basics get more traffic starting a handmade business May 30, 2022

Welcome to week one of the 'First 4 weeks on Etsy mini course'. This course is a beginners guide to Etsy, and this week we will be talking about what you should be doing within your first week on Etsy.

I have made a PDF workbook for you to complete the tasks in, and you can download that HERE.

So let's get into it.

1. Creative Concepts

Before we even open an Etsy shop, we need to look at the creative concepts (the things we can do). Brainstorm a list of the things that you can do or make, or that you want to make.

This step may not be applicable to a lot of you as you may already know what you want to make but, just in case, it's always good to make that list of things that you can make.

If you're building a proper legacy business (longterm business, not short term), you're going to be making your items A LOT, so you need to make sure that you enjoy making it, and that you're passionate about it.

So, spend 30 minutes brainstorming a list of all the things you can and want to make. 

2. Create a Prototype

This sounds very fancy, but all I want you to do is to create a tester, sample, mockup, prototype version of the thing you want to sell. 

It is completely different making it when you're chilled out and there isn't a deadline, rather than doing it as a business where you HAVE to make the item and send it out within a specific time frame.

This prototype stage is really important for point number 3.


3. Focus Group

I'd like you to take your prototype that you've made and give it to your family, friends & loved ones to test. This is called a focus group in the retail industry and big businesses spend £millions on this. 

It would be best if you can get your target market as your focus group to test your prototype/ sample.


So, let's say you are a soap business and you have created a batch of soap as your prototype, and you want to give it to your focus group to test it out. 

The reason why we need a focus group is because you would be surprised how many comments/ constructive feedback people will give you which is going to save your butt, and avoid negative reviews.

Now, you will get people who will be very polite and say that everything is fine and you don't need to change anything. But, what you're really after is skipping that 'tester period' that every Etsy shop goes through where you get 3*, 2* or even a 1* review because you haven't quite got it 100% right just yet.


By doing a focus group properly, you will avoid negative reviews


Write the notes down and see what people say. Are they saying that the soap bars are too big, too small, that they need a tin to keep it in? This could then spark some more product ideas, or upsell ideas! Ask them about packaging and how they'd prefer to receive it. Gather as much information as you possibly can from this step.

DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP because you will suffer for it in the long run.

BOSS! Do you want to make more sales on Etsy? Then you need to increase your conversion rate! DON'T PANIC! I'm going to explain exactly how to do that in my FREE 90 minute masterclass - The 3 Step System To Skyrocket Your Etsy Conversion Rate πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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4. Open Your Etsy Shop

Once you've done the 3 steps above, and theres nothing more for you to do, open your shop.

I want to set you a challenge. I don't want you to procrastinate this step, so spend no more than 40 minutes opening your Etsy shop and doing the basics - your policies, shipping profiles, shop name etc.

This will enable you to move through this process faster as we only have a week, and you can come back and improve where you need to at a later date.

We have to do this quickly and efficiently, so don't procrastinate!


5. Place Holder Listings

You need to set up your shop so it's possible for it to receive sales, but it isn't making sales.

What do I mean? Your shop should be open so that if someone wants to purchase something, they are able to, but you're not actively going out there to make sales yet, we're not there yet. 

You will need some listings to open your shop, but don't spend too much time on these.

Use the same listing (you can duplicate a listing) with a different picture to make this process quicker, and create 5-10 placeholder listings. You're really just practicing listing an item at the moment.


Side note: there are lots of videos about how to list an item on Etsy over on my YouTube channel, so definitely check those out HERE.


6. Target Market

Once you've done steps 1 to 5, you are ready to think about your target market.

I'd like you to start by making notes on who your target market is NOT. Who will be completely repelled by your product?

This sounds very counterintuitive, but if I was to say to you 'who would buy your products?', I bet you'd be struggling to find an answer and you'd give me a vague reply.

In order for us to clarify who IS our target market, we first need to figure out who our target market is NOT.


So, have a look at some of your competitors, and even physical shops too. Go in and observe who is walking past and isn't looking, who is walking in and walking out again. 

Going back to our soap shop example, I would think of Lush and sit outside with a note pad and look at the people who go in, come straight back out, who walk straight on by, and I'd make a TON of notes.


These 6 steps are your tasks for this week. It is a lot of research, but you really will be setting your business up on a solid foundation by following this beginners guide to Etsy.

Join me for week 2 of the 'First 4 weeks on Etsy' mini course HERE.

If you'd prefer to watch me teach the topics in this blog post, you can watch my YouTube video HERE.


Don't forget to check out more blog posts from Handmade Bosses, and follow us on social media!

> Instagram is where you need to be for top tips, and behind the scenes sneak peeks into how I run my 6 figure business.

> Join THE most supportive Etsy Facebook group there ever was, and connect with motivated, like-minded people.

> YouTube is the place to be for hundreds of super informative videos, packed full of actionable advice. 

> If you're ready to increase your conversion rate on Etsy (NEWS FLASH! This is key to increasing your sales!), then check out my FREE 90 minute masterclass - The 3 Step System To Skyrocket Your Etsy Conversion Rate.

> If you plan to launch (or relaunch) an Etsy shop, then Boss, you need a roadmap! I've created one that will ensure your Etsy store is set up to make those sales in no time. Download the '30 Days To A Kick Butt Etsy Shop Launch Plan' here.