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Building an Etsy Store & Advertising - my experience

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

I just opened an Etsy store, as a side hustle - Fresh Eye Design Goods. I read so many articles. Studied store owners who have thousands of customers, and then took a dive, to start my own. Here's what I learned (or relearned!).

  • Watch & listen to your customers

Originally, I intended to only sell my art (a life-long dream). But I ran into a snag which created a delay.

So one night, as I was exploring what my new PoD supplier could print on, I discovered they print on shoes. My initial thought was, 'That's fabulous- let's try that.' So, with my daughters, and a friend- we created a handful of shoe & boot designs. I honestly didn't think much of it, and closed up for the weekend. Fast forward two days later, and learned those shoes generated over 1,000 views in 1 weekend. I had only spent $3 in Etsy advertising! Clearly people were in want or need of some fun shoes, and I had somehow stumbled into it.

My plan shifted. If I want to succeed on Etsy- I'm going to need to listen to what people are shopping for. I will try to implement this in my art- but art can come in lots of forms. Now I'm adding it to shoes.

  • Etsy's ad engine is so worth it, if you want traffic to your store

Before I started Etsy ads- I had a handful of customers who visited per day. I knew I needed to be where people where shopping - which meant I had to show up in search results. Etsy ads help get placement on the top search pages - so you don't have to be a mega seller, to be in front of the masses. I started advertising (at $1/day)- towards the end of January. Since then, those ads have created over 30,000 views of my product, and of those over 200 people visited my store from those ads. This is just from the Etsy ad engine. At my pace before advertising, it would have taken easily 6-mo. to get that volume of impressions and visits.

  • Figuring out what to advertise is a bit of science & gut

Etsy recommends you advertising everything for the first 30 days, to see what drives traffic the most. I did this- and they're right- you can see what is getting the most impressions and click-throughs. After 30 days- I knew I needed to streamline what I was advertising (I had over 50 products by this point). A couple days ago, I decided to only advertise my top 30% of products (in ad performance). I also decided to increase my ad budget to $5/day for the next week or so. In one day- here's what happened to my results: I went from 375 product views to 1,744 product views. Of those 1,744 views, 18 people clicked through. Also- in one day- my top 10 product mix changed pretty dramatically. I'm also noticing that my best performing ad-products aren't necessarily the items that get favorited the most. So I'll be using multiple approaches - 1. get my products in front of folks, where they're at, 2. optimize my advertising mix of products even further, and then 3. internally promote my most 'favorited' products within my store.

  • Don't underestimate your social networks

I decided to share my store creation journey with friends & family on social media. My network blew me away with their generosity. From forwarding my posts on to their networks, sharing ideas, and some even becoming customers- they've truly helped me and shown so much care. In just the last few weeks- those shares, and posts have brought almost 100 folks to my store.

  • Celebrate the wins - big and small!

Don't forget to celebrate. If you're starting a store- it takes guts to show the world what you created. Celebrate your first visitor to your store! Celebrate the start of your advertising! And celebrate that first order! I love that I get to share this with my girls, and I love that they reminded me to celebrate.

I have a soft spot for fellow Etsy Store Owners. If you want to chat about a marketing strategy for your store, and how to start Etsy ads for yourself- Connect with me!


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