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Steph Cole Lewis, founder of the handmade bosses is smiling gleefully. She is leaning against her work bench answering questions from handmade business owners.

Handmade business Q&A

etsy 101 basics Apr 03, 2024

You’ve got questions about growing and scaling a handmade business on Etsy, I’ve got the answers - let’s make virtual friends, lol! 

I am extremely proud to have built a gorgeous community on Instagram and Facebook that keep me busy and buzzing with super exciting ideas with their questions, I thought it’s about time I treated you to another blog that is packed to the rafters with pure value… 

Right, whilst I’ve got your attention, let’s cut the chase and dive right in 👇🏻

When you went full time in your handmade business, did you take a dip in income?

Oooo we’re starting off with a biggie. I can only account for my own experience as I am not a financial advisor and the right decision for you entirely depends on your own financial circumstance. When I set out on my handmade business venture I was working a job that I absolutely hated and eventually it took a huge toll on my mental health. 

I decided that I would rather have less money and more day-to-day contentment. I initially opted to cut back on all luxury expenses, but thankfully this didn’t need to be a long-term solution as by month 3 I was earning double what I earned at my corporate job.

 I’m not a financial advisor but one piece of advice that I will give you is “Try to have a list of at least 3 job that you can keep in mind as a backup plan” although I have full faith that you won’t need to use it!

How to handle a sudden drop in the amount of people leaving reviews? 

The first thing that springs to mind is to up the ante when it comes to communicating with the customer from the moment the purchase up until a little while after they receive the item. 

For example, sending a quick message to thank them for their order and how excited you are to get working on it asap! Then once you know they have received the item, you can directly ask for a review, and state how much it means to you as a small business who would appreciate the little boost to get noticed and appear more trustworthy to other shop browsers. 

If they haven’t left a review after a week you can send a little check in message to see if they have any thoughts on the product!

As a rule of thumb, I would say 3 messages per customer is about the right amount because you don’t want to go to the complete other extreme and start hounding them! 

It’s important to bear in mind that Etsy sends around 3 emails inviting the customer to leave a review so if they still don’t after your third message, I would advise that you just let it go. 

Do you find the Instagram verification tick worth the investment?

It depends on the size of your audience. As someone with quite a large platform across Instagram and Facebook, I think it worth it when you consider the extra protection and priority access to Instagram themselves if something goes wrong (although we all know that they aren’t amazing even then 🙄). 

It encourages trust in you from new followers who haven't consumed a lot of your content yet. It’s not just a quick “click n pay” process, you have to jump through quite a few hoops before you are even allowed to have one. 

All in all I think yes, if it’s within your budget, but it’s not going to be the difference between making and breaking your business. 


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 🙌🏻


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Etsy desktop vs the app - do they carry the same weight?

Finally a simple answer, lol! Etsy hasn't directly said that they prefer you to use one option over the other so I would assume not. After all, the only real difference is the Etsy Explore element that you can find on the app. 

Plus, they’re linked to each other and therefore any changes you make are automatically sync between the two, which suggests that Etsy is happy for you to use either of them. 

What should I do? I am trying to direct traffic from Etsy onto my website but it isn’t working very well.

I’m going to be honest with you, but it is a hard truth delivered with love… I don’t think this is a very good idea. Etsy isn’t going to respond favourably to you actively trying to direct customers away from their platform because that negatively impacts their own ratings. 

A much better strategy for you would be to set up and grow an email list which can sort of act as a middle man. 

Another REALLY important thing to bear in mind is the reason that Etsy converts so well. Etsy is a trusted household name so people have faith that if for whatever reason they do not receive the product which they have paid for, there is a neutral party that has the power to step in and help them. They probably don’t get that security when they purchase from your website. 

This is not me trying to put you off having a website completely, because I think they have a place in the handmade business world IF you have a large audience that knows, likes and trusts you enough to repeatedly purchase. 

To answer this question in one sentence I would say “tread very carefully and if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” 

Since you’ve read all the way to the bottom, I’d like to ask a quick favour from you. Your feedback really helps me to understand what content I need to be creating to be the best support system for handmade bosses just like you! 

Please let me know what your biggest “aha” moment was from this blog by DM’ing me over on Instagram @handmadebosses 🫶🏻.


Steph xx

If you'd prefer me to visually teach you this blog post, then you can watch it HERE.

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