On our podcast this week, I’m sharing the story of how we were able to scale our etsy shop, take in HUGE numbers of orders, and become one of the best-selling shops on Etsy.
Before we jump into that story, I want to say that this is not an I-Dream-of-Jeannie kind of thing.
We didn’t just cross our arms and snap our fingers.
Instead, we worked so hard - harder than we’ve ever worked on anything before - to get into that top 1%.
There’s not one tiny secret that, if you know it, you can be a best seller on Etsy. It’s a lot of little things that you need to dial in so that everything’s working together perfectly.
Ok so here we go.
So, 2020 is where this starts. What a year. Everything was looking great and then BAM! A global pandemic. It was a crazy year.
On a whim, I started making some face masks for my friends and myself in late March and everyone I knew was asking for them.
So, on March 31, I turned to my mom and sister Katie, and I said, “I think we ought to start an Etsy shop.” And they were like, “sure.” I thought maybe we’d sell a few handmade items and then maybe we’d make a few hundred dollars.
On the first night, we got 11 orders. We were so shocked! We also thought, this will last a couple of weeks, right? Can’t be longer than that.
The next day was, April 1, our first real day on Etsy.
At 7:30 that morning, two orders came in and then nothing for a while. At noon, we got four more orders. Throughout that afternoon, orders kept coming in! We were excited. All evening, we all spoke on the phone about how many masks we would have to sew the next day. Etsy notifications just kept coming in on my phone. I couldn’t believe it. I abandoned all of my regular evening activities and just sat and watched the Etsy shop all night long. When I woke up in the morning, my jaw dropped. We had grossed more in one day than I was making in 2 weeks as a teacher.
We dove in, sewing for hours and hours, saying to ourselves, “This won’t last more than a few days, so let’s just make the most of it while we can.”
So, just like everyone else in the quarantine, we thought we’d be catching up on projects, learning a new skill, or baking bread.
Instead, we were working an Etsy shop that was blowing up.
Could we have stopped at any time? Yes. Did we think about it? Yes. But we didn’t do that because we’re a little crazy but also because this new success on etsy changed our lives.
Within just a few months, we added different products like mask chains and DIY kits, and then we made a pivot towards our sticker shop. We combined this etsy shop with Katie’s existing sticker shop.
4 months later, I quit my day job as a teacher and we’ve created and scaled an incredible brand of hand-designed stickers with an Instagram community that we LOVE.
Having a product with high demand was a huge learning curve. The time before and during our early days of being in the top 1% of shops on etsy was overwhelming. We were totally stressed out, we considered quitting, and we were just overall really tired. Our studio was a disorganized mess. Every day we would reset and by the end of the day, it looked like a bomb went off.
We knew there had to be a better way.
We quickly realized we had to scale. *This* is how we got to the top 1% of sellers on Etsy. We learned to scale!
Here are our best tips for scaling your Etsy shop!
You learn to batch work
You need to streamline everything. Don’t make one handmade item from beginning to end. You make 10 or 100 at one time. Do not make one product at a time! If you are doing this, you cannot scale your business.
You adjust shipping settings & production times in real time, based on your current workload.
Analyze how fast you can ship out not one product but 50 or 100 at a time. If you want to scale, you need to adjust your shipping policies to reflect this. How long will it take you to process and ship out 50 orders that all came in on one day?
Think about that from a customer perspective. What do you love as a buyer? What do I love? I LOVE when I get something fast. So, that’s really key.
You pause or stop or adjust other parts of your work/business to make more and more of your product
This is really important if you want to scale and rapidly grow your business when the sales start coming in. You need to be willing to adjust other things in your life to accommodate the rush of popular shopping times.
Once we successfully scaled and we had built a system of producing and shipping face masks, we really dialed in our SEO and started to offer more listings. Most successful shops on Etsy have a lot of listings. There’s some back and forth about how many is the right number, but at least 100 listings should be your goal.
Learning SEO has also been key to maintaining our top 1% status on etsy. (Want to learn? Start here!)
Taking gorgeous, bright and clean photos of your product that make it easy to understand what you sell is important.
Optimizing your listings to convert with descriptive content and clear measurements and shop policies is also necessary.
Have an organized system makes everything faster and, as a result, we have the time to put out more orders because our system is efficient. Keep your workspace clean and organized
Working every day in the back end of your Etsy shop is 100% necessary. Etsy favors what it considers “active” shops, so you need to be doing something every day. Want a list of ideas of things you can do every day in your Etsy shop to increase your traffic? We share a long list in the podcast episode!
All of these small things add up in your Etsy shop. These are the regular and consistent things that we do as a top 1% Etsy seller.
There are more than 2 million sellers on Etsy and what most of your competitors don’t do is consistency. One reason many sellers aren’t successful on Etsy is because they start a shop, they get really excited about a few products they list and then they don’t touch it again. If this is you, and you’re wondering why you don’t have more sales when you feel like you did everything right, remember that you can’t set it and forget it and just wait for it to work its magic. One of the most important reasons some shops have consistent sales is because they’re active in their shops day after day.
I’d love to talk with you about your Etsy shop & how to scale what you’re currently doing! Send me a DM @shopstudiosisters.
Let’s chat again soon!
xx Taylor xx