Shop Etsy

Five Tips for Shop Success from Etsy Teams

Oct 7, 2013

by Susannah Bradley

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

This September, Teams all around Europe ran Mentor Month programs to improve their shops. Each Team paired up their members and then explored weekly topics like photography, SEO, and marketing. Here are five things we learned during the month to help you succeed in your own shop.

1. Set a goal that makes you smile!

We suggested to all the sellers that they set a few S.M.A.R.T. goals for the month. This would insure their goals would be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time bound. But two Etsy Italia team members took a different take.

Nuareve’s partner told her, “’Listen girl, before being Smart, our goals will make us SMILE.’ Mentor Month is a great opportunity to enter into the Etsy world and know craft workers from all over the world, learn, share enthusiasm and success techniques.” Nuareve and her partner loved creating SMART goals that would also increase their smiles, energy, and enthusiasm for their businesses. It wasn’t hard with all the great encouragement they got from each other and their Team.

avoiretc

 2. Define your strengths and weaknesses.

Each person brought their own strengths to the partnership and also their own questions. Working with a partner allowed each person to share what they were good at as well as to learn from their partner’s expertise. JoanneHawker of Etsy’s UK and Ireland Promo Team said “Myself and my partner have learnt a lot from each other. From the start, my partner mentioned my SEO which I didn’t really know much about. I’ve changed a few of my listings to test this out and have already been surprised with the results. I now get more hits in a day than I did in a week! This is the biggest achievement for me.”

Sea Urchin Ring Engagement Ring

3. Good photos are crucial for online selling.

The first week of the program was focused on improving item photography. Many sellers retook their item photography with live models and beautiful lighting.  When we asked the participants to tell us the two most important parts of having a successful Etsy shop, mygoddess from the Etsy Lithuania team said, “1. photography and 2. photography! Just kidding but, really, to sell on-line that is THE most important thing. Everything else is second.” We agree! Time spent thinking out a visual identity for your shop and planning a photo shoot is always time well spent.

4. Multiple your own success by working with your Team.

Working with a partner in your Team is what Mentor Month is all about. Since this program is only available through Teams, it was only possible because of the dedication and organization of the amazing Team captains and leaders. SiGiness from the Team Estonia echoed the same sentiments saying, “My team of wonderfully helpful and intriguingly colourful Estonian artists all shared their thoughts and experiences, taking time from their own busy schedules to help me improve my and my client’s experience in my shop. Thank you! I feel much more connected and cannot wait for the next event!”

Wedding decoration. Linen bird ornament handmade on the stick with cross stitch lavender picture

5. Keep working!

The Teams in Europe who ran Mentor Month are so excited about continuing to improve their shops. Keeping building on your own progress by signing up for the Holiday Boot Camp. This will send you twice weekly emails during the month of October to help you get prepared for the busy Christmas season. Get ready for Christmas with us!

1 Featured Comment

  • SusannahBanane Admin

    Susannah B from SusannahBananeShop said 6 years ago Featured

    It was a great month! Everyone did such great work on their shops. For anyone who would like to participate in the next Mentor Month program, join a Team now! You can find a Team by going to http://www.etsy.com/teams and then doing a search. You could look for a Team that is in your city or region or one that compliments your business or interests. Keep your eye out for an announcement about the next Mentor Month and be sure that your Team joins up!

40 comments

  • Hypetees

    Pistache Tees from PistacheArtists said 6 years ago

    thanks for the useful tips, we'll make sure we keep all this in mind, more posts about how to increase our businesses would be great, big up Etsy!

  • paulacarter101

    Paula Carter from RoseRedRoseWhite said 6 years ago

    I'm quite new to Etsy and have just joined a few teams. I'm looking forward to sharing and learning through them,So far I'm really liking the feeling of community there seems to be here on Etsy

  • 5erg

    5erg from 5erg said 6 years ago

    this was a really great and helpful project! can't wait for the next year!:) -Team Estonia

  • DinkyThings

    Alex Scoines from DinkyThings said 6 years ago

    I'm just building up my shop and trying to get involved in more teams - time spent reading pieces like this is never wasted :-) x

  • KatrinMdmB

    Katrin mdmB from mdmButiik said 6 years ago

    I'm so happy I joined this program! I got a lot of help and really felt the support of my team members. Thanks you Team Estonia and team captain 5erg (Silja) :D

  • sophiesknitstuff

    Sophie Le Cuiche from SophiesKnitStuff said 6 years ago

    Just finished being mentored by a member of Etsy Ireland Team for September Mentor Month and I learned so much! I recommend this programme to every Etsy seller.

  • Greenika

    Greenika B. from Greenika said 6 years ago

    It was great experience for me to work with Team Estonia. Wonderful people and so, so, so helpful! Thanks for everybody in team Estonia and for Mentor Month project! I learned a lot!

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 6 years ago

    great and very supportive post. Thank you for sharing.

  • smistel

    Kristel from smistel said 6 years ago

    I really learned a lot about SEO, taking photos etc on this program, thanks Mentor Month and everybody in Team Estonia!

  • zenaida5161

    Tina Martinez from TaylorToFitGowns said 6 years ago

    I am very new to this kind of business so I need a lot of help and I don't have a team

  • daisyandjoy

    daisyandjoy from Daisyandjoy said 6 years ago

    Hi, I am totally new on Etsy! How can I join any of these teams and learn more about how to make my business do better on Etsy?

  • alupha

    Alupha Noble from OrchidsOrchard said 6 years ago

    I totally agree with the live model photo-shooting. However I would like more suggestions about other alternatives to getting a live model...

  • singingscarves

    Maria Jürimäe from singingscarves said 6 years ago

    This was really a wonderful and useful experience! We all learned A LOT from each ohte, but the most important thing is - we begun working as a real team - right now we have a joined discount in our shops and we created a common FB page and now are planning to print a joined catalogue. . . and it all begun from Etsy mentor month!!!

  • Belynea

    Tiia from UniqueLinen said 6 years ago

    The Mentor Month helped to build a stronger community of etsy sellers in estonia. I'm now so much more enthusiastic to be part of this wonderful etsy world!

  • Nafsika

    Nafsika from Nafsika said 6 years ago

    Mentor month was really an eye opener for all those who participated! Thank you for including my urchin ring as an example of good photography... I have spent a lot of time trying to see what works best for my jewelry.

  • SusannahBanane Admin

    Susannah B from SusannahBananeShop said 6 years ago Featured

    It was a great month! Everyone did such great work on their shops. For anyone who would like to participate in the next Mentor Month program, join a Team now! You can find a Team by going to http://www.etsy.com/teams and then doing a search. You could look for a Team that is in your city or region or one that compliments your business or interests. Keep your eye out for an announcement about the next Mentor Month and be sure that your Team joins up!

  • SiGiness

    Sigrid from VAIMU said 6 years ago

    Mentor Month truly was an amazing learning experience. I made some great friends in Team Estonia and gained knowledge like none other. No googling could ever challenge the wisdom of active innovated Etsians. I warmly recommend for anyone who'd like to learn more about managing oneself on Etsy (isn't that everyone?) to join a team! Your team mates will help you get situated, as well as feel welcome on the site. And again, I definitely cannot wait for the next Mentor Month challenges! I am so in. ^^

  • ganbayo

    Stella from ganbayo said 6 years ago

    It was such a great month!!! thank you for sharing my necklace here!! thank you for all!

  • abenakcreation

    Virpi Irene Bendandi from ABenakCreation said 6 years ago

    I had thought my photos were ok, but I learned I could improve a lot. After talking with my partner I started using white background to give my jewellery pages more cohesive look. I still need to improve my photo set up, and especially lighting. I also started rearranging my items to show similar items together, since besides jewellery I also have knitted and crocheted things. (For which I am considering opening a separate shop).

  • ssdejana

    S D from QooQooVintage said 6 years ago

    thank you! very helpful information *-*

  • inbetweenaccessories

    InBetweenAccessories from InBetweenAccessories said 6 years ago

    Life couching craft tips!!! Love it!!! I'm pretty new and struggling to find the best team for me! I could really use a experienced partner... So many things to do and so little time... xxx

  • snowie2

    sandra batten said 6 years ago

    I have joined etsy only the other day and don't even know what SEO means but I shall keep on trying to learn and list my pieces. I am in Kent. Mainly do pottery cards and jewellery to keep busy. Markets are a wash out so this is my hope now. Fingers crossed. x

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 6 years ago

    Great advice. Love the tip about setting goals 'that make you smile' - that's what working for yourself is all about in my opinion :)

  • Inklinks

    Lito Apostolakou from Inklinks said 6 years ago

    What does "goals that make you smile" even mean?

  • WildAuroraShop

    Wild Aurora from WildAuroraShop said 6 years ago

    Really great article. Think the first point about making goals really drives home the fact we should all be here because we actually enjoy what we do! And the best way is to just enjoy it. That way you're more likely to be successful too, as others will catch on to your love and passion.

  • annecorr1

    anne corr from modestly said 6 years ago

    I think I need to go back and do more photography lessons. Back to the drawing board for me then. I joined Etsy for an online presence because my items don't suit being thumbed at craft fairs. Sales have been very slow, and I don't understand SEO at all, I have tried, honest!! I I like making things, but I don't like selling and I don't think I ever will. From what I can see, the successful shops create a brand, and that runs counter to who I am. I actively don't want to be stuck in one thing. Mentoring sounds a great idea for most people. It just scares me, I am in teams, and some are a help. Others I can live without.

  • LuluFrances

    Lulu from LuluFrances said 6 years ago

    A massive help! I never thought I'd see a sale, I felt like there were too many fish in the sea but its posts like this are completely worth a read. There is always room for improvement..and hope!

  • karenwetherall

    Karen said 6 years ago

    SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. Just googled it as I was unfamiliar with it. I did my Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma way back in 1993. Guess Etsy is a bit "highfalutin" for me now, I had thought I could sell a few of my creations here, but maybe not.

  • noboringjewels

    Jane Elizabeth from wolftigerjewellery said 6 years ago

    Awesome tips! Thanks ladies x

  • tripathismriti

    Smriti from DesiFabrics said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the S M A R T tips!

  • carolemcmullan1

    Carole McMullan from MYGOOSEWIGWAMS said 6 years ago

    Great smart tips . Thank you

  • pulsejewellery

    Pulse Jewellery Accessories from PulseJewellery said 6 years ago

    Great tips and advice, thank you for sharing. We have 20% OFF and free develivery for this weekend only.

  • gatticool

    Gatti Matras from GattiShop said 6 years ago

    Let me go out and find a Team then :) thank you for great tips! I look forward to some more!

  • celiareid

    Celia Reid from CeliaReid said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. I've just joined a few more teams in the last few minutes. Will join some more :-)

  • urbanplumstudio

    Zahra Zainab from UrbanPlumStudio said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed reading this article, thanks for the tips was very useful. We are always willing to learn more and gain more knowledge to expand our business. I have been invited to join a community which I am a part of and happy to have joined up, I will start joining more teams. Thank you for your tips Urban Plum Studio

  • melissaconnor3

    Melissa Connor said 6 years ago

    A random question to all you friendly sellers- I purchased two flower girl dresses from an Etsy seller on 6 Oct. We had regular messages back and forth on details etc up until the 23 Oct. I logged on 30 Oct to ask a quick follow up question, only to find that the seller has closed their account, and I have no way of contacting them!! My wedding is in 6 weeks, so I need to arrange new dresses if I have been duped... Can sellers do this easily with no recourse? What is also annoying, is that I searched Etsy for similar dresses, and found some that are almost identical.... I thought they look WAY to similar to not be from the same seller (under a different name)... same style of photos, almost identical dress, exactly the same little wooden coat hanger with the teddy bear print on it... and exactly the same wording in the sales description!! So I contacted them and explained my story, and asked if they were somehow connected to my seller... they said no. I smell a rat... I say they have set up a new account and are ripping people off. Thoughts?

  • melissaconnor3

    Melissa Connor said 6 years ago

    Question to all you friendly sellers- I purchased two flower girl dresses from an Etsy seller on 6 Oct. We had regular messages back and forth on details etc up until the 23 Oct. I logged on 30 Oct to ask a quick follow up question, only to find that the seller has closed their account, and I have no way of contacting them!! My wedding is in 6 weeks, so I need to arrange new dresses if I have been duped... Can sellers do this easily with no recourse? What is also annoying, is that I searched Etsy for similar dresses, and found some that are almost identical.... I thought they look WAY to similar to not be from the same seller (under a different name)... same style of photos, almost identical dress, exactly the same little wooden coat hanger with the teddy bear print on it... and exactly the same wording in the sales description!! So I contacted them and explained my story, and asked if they were somehow connected to my seller... they said no. I smell a rat... I say they have set up a new account and are ripping people off. Thoughts?

  • goodiegawker

    Robbie Griffin from iDeclareVintage said 6 years ago

    This is a wonderful article! I definitely need to work on improving my photographs and learn more about the SEO. Thanks again for the insight!

  • Craftelina

    vik and ig from Craftelina said 6 years ago

    Thank you!

  • LFCcollectables

    John from LFCcollectables said 5 years ago

    I think its worth investing in some better photographic equipment and learning how to set up a picture scene, but its a process of trial and error.

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