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How long does it REALLY take to grow a successful Etsy shop?

etsy 101 basics get more traffic make more sales Dec 27, 2022

Today we're talking about how long it really takes to grow a successful Etsy shop, and I'll be sharing some Etsy growth hacks to get your first 100 sales. These hacks could potentially double your sales in as little as a day. 

Before we start, I just want to say that you should not focus on vanity metrics. Don't focus on sales numbers, or views, or favourites or follower numbers (on social media). You cannot compare your journey with somebody else's. If someone has been on Etsy for 2 weeks and they've got their first 5 sales, but you're here 2 months later and you've only had 1 sale, then it's hard to directly compare.

The biggest reason may be that person A may have uploaded something new to their Etsy shop everyday for 2 weeks, and they're getting more sales because they're putting in more effort in their shop. It largely depends on how much time you can dedicate to your Etsy shop, what your niche is, who your target market are, and whether or not you built hype before launching. There are so many variables involved in this so please do not compare your journey with someone else's.

1. Make sure to get reviews

These have to be genuine customers. Do not get your mum or another family member to buy from your shop just to leave you a review. If you ever go onto their wifi, Etsy will know that this person has bought from you and there may be an issue.

Try to get reviews from every single one of your first 50 customers, this will help to be trusted and to be shown more in the Etsy algorithm. But how do you get those Etsy reviews? Be really over the top open and communicative when you are going through the sales process.

If someone places an order with you, you need to immediately message them and say 'thank you so much for your order, I'm going to start working on that now for you'. This will reassure them and make them feel special. 

When you ship that item, make sure to message them again and say 'hey, I've shipped your item for you, you should receive it in X time frame, please leave a review when you receive it as it really helps small businesses to be shown to more people'. Explaining WHY a review is so important will help the customer to understand how their review can impact your shop, and they'll be more likely to leave you one.

Then, follow up a week later if they haven't left a review and say 'hey, I just wanted to check in and make sure everything was ok with your order. Just a quick reminder, here is how you leave a review (insert simple steps they need to take to leave a review), thank you, I really appreciate it'.

80% of people after those 3 or 4 messages will leave you a review, but if they don't then that's fine, move onto the next person. When you get a review, make sure to respond to it and say 'thank you so much for leaving this wonderful review, I really appreciate your order'.

2. Launch your shop

Don't just set your shop to 'live' and think that that's it, your open. Create a big launch event behind it. If your shop has been open for a couple of months and you think it's too late, it's absolutely not. Build hype NOW, run a sale, offer a discount code and make it a big deal. Do 3 or 4 emails if you have an active email list, do social media stories, boost your social media posts, and spend money on ads. Just get people hyped to come to your shop. 

It's a bit like when there's a new shop that opens in town and they do a launch night or party evening, they tell the whole community about it and word of mouth spreads. By doing this event, you end up with lots of people coming into the shop. You want to be doing the same thing with your Etsy shop online. Don't just press 'live' on your shop and hope for the best. When you're first starting out, you do need to push your shop a little bit harder, but it does get easier. 

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»

Click the button below and save your seat!


3. List as many items as you can in the first 60 days 

I don't mean that you have to make something completely new and list it every single day for 60 days (although, that could be easier for some of you than others). Instead, I'd like you to duplicate your listings and use different occasions, attributes, keywords and photographs. This will fill your shop without having to make new products. 

Let's say for example that you have a gold heart locket necklace. That could be a Valentine's Day gift, a birthday gift, an anniversary gift, or just described as a gold heart locket necklace. That's 4 different listings for the exact same product. 

The reason why we want to list something new for 60 days is because every time you do, Etsy will boost that listing in the algorithm. Now imagine getting that boost every single day for 60 days. This will set your shop up SO well. 

4. Start to build your social media or email list

Pick one way that you want to keep in contact, and make a list of your customers. It is important that you do this straight away, as soon as you start because you're building that momentum.

Etsy is great and it will bring you customers as long as you follow the steps, and as long as your shop is set up to convert those people coming in. What you don't want to do is to sit back on your laurels and think 'ok, I'm just going to wait and see what Etsy brings me'. It always helps to have some sort of social media platform set up so that 1) you're keeping in touch with your customers, 2) you're building that know, like and trust factor, and 3) you have a list of people that you know are interested in your products who you can call upon when things are slow on Etsy.

5. See your Etsy shop as a brand and not just an Etsy shop

I've been working with Etsy shop owners for a number of years now, and well over 400 have been through my Handmade Bosses Success Academy, and the biggest shift in their business has happened when they don't just view their shop as a 'little Etsy shop' or 'side business', but when they start to see their handmade business as a brand that they are building. 

You start to think about your business in a completely different way, and you stop playing small. This is what kills so many amazing ideas and leads to people giving up, because they just see it as a small little thing that isn't worthwhile, or worth putting the time and energy into.  

You're building a brand that is going to support your financial future. THINK BIG!

6. Bundle items together

This has helped so many businesses to skyrocket their growth. Think about how you can bundle your items together, for example, start packs, gift sets, gallery wall sets etc. 

If you sell wall art prints, then you could bundle 3 prints together and call it a gallery wall pack. This will make people spend more money with you because they can just buy the set and it's done, rather than having to scroll through your shop to see which prints work well together. 

By bundling items together, this will also provide you with another listing to fill your shop with. Make sure to keyword it differently to your other listings, for example a birthday gift, graduation gift, Valentine's Day gift, new baby gift, Christmas gift etc. 

7. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

SEO marries up you, your product, and your Etsy shop with your customer who wants your product but they don't know how to search for it online. That's all you're doing. You're closing the gap between the two. 

How that works on Etsy is that you're using an algorithm which is like a listing ranking system. If someone types in 'raw citrine crystal' my listing will come up, but lots of other factors will rank you as to how high up the search ranking you will be based on your shop reviews, your conversion rate of this listing, and based on what words they've used to search for that item.

The words that you're using really does impact whether your shop is going to get the customer or not. You need to make sure you know who your target market are and how they search for your items because if you're using 'raw crystal' as your keywords on your listing, but your customer uses 'orange crystal' to search for your item, they're not going to marry up. 

The more listing that you have, the more you will fall into your SEO groove. It's hard in the beginning, but it is the number one way to gain traction on Etsy.


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


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

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> 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.