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I love when people can take making what they love and turn it into a business. But many times, those makers sort of ‘fall backwards’ into their business. Here’s what I mean: It usually starts out as a hobby (maybe you make a necklace for yourself). Then you start giving your handmade jewelry away as gifts. Then people start asking if they can buy them, and it dawns on the you, maybe I can make some money selling these things! So you set up an Etsy shop in order to do just that…
Only soon you realize there’s a lot more that goes into selling what you make, besides just the making of the thing! So below are just some of the tools for Etsy sellers that will help you transform from a maker to an entrepreneur.
Marketing Tools for Etsy Sellers
Etsy has very specific rules about what you can and cannot do with your customer’s email addresses, but one thing you can (and should) be doing is inviting them to opt-in to your email list. (I’ve written about that here Email Lists for Online Businesses: the why, how and what.)
Seva (formerly ConvertKit) – This is the email marketing tool I use and recommend for serious business owners. It’s not only super easy to use, but it’s also filled with tools to help you better understand your audience, and much more.
MailChimp – Some Etsy sellers won’t want to pay for an email marketing tool like Seva when they only have a handful of people on their list. For these people, I recommend MailChimp, because it’s free for up to 2000 subscribers.
Miscellaneous Marketing & Listing Tools
Vela – I love and use Vela, especially when I want to edit multiple listings at once. You can put items on sale easily, as well as spruce up your photos. (It also works with Shopify, Amazon, and eBay listings!) Best of all, it’s free!
Whatify – Want to increase sales? Whatify basically figures out which photos help you sell more products in your shop(s) with automated A/B testing. It’s basically plug and play – set it up and it will do the work for you! Whatify works with both Etsy and Shopify (coming soon!), too!
Google Trends – If your business relies on trends, this is the (100% FREE) tool for you! See what people are searching for and cater to their wants.
Pricewoot – Have a heard time pricing your products for optimum sales? Pricewoot offers tools that help you in boosting your Etsy sales and analyzing your shop performance. Plus, they’re Etsy-approved!
Marmalead – Marmalead is kind of awesome. Okay, really awesome. They provide high tech software for non-techie Etsy sellers that help you improve your shop, your listings, your SEO and more! (They also have a very helpful YouTube channel!)
Social Media Tools for Etsy Sellers
I LOVE automating social media, especially because posting regularly on social media sites is so important. These are my personal favorite tools for Esty sellers that automate your social media:
Tailwind: I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Tailwind. I have three Pinterest accounts and use it to schedule posts (between 20-50 every day). There’s no way I could manually pin that many posts every single day in order to stay popular with Pinterest’s algorithm. With Tailwind I spend a couple hours every month scheduling pins and it’s helped me grow my followers, as well as bring as much as 70% of my traffic to my Etsy shops and blogs.
Tailwind also allows you to schedule and automatically post to Instagram, but for that I prefer…
Later: I like to use and recommend Later for a few reasons! One is that you can use it for free to start (up to 30 Instagram posts monthly.) But what I like even more is their LinkIn.bio feature, which is the next best thing to making your posts shoppable! When your followers click the link in your bio, it will take them directly to the item you’re selling (or a blog post, affiliate link, etc.) It’s really awesome!
Later will also automatically post to Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I haven’t really played around with these yet. In part because I love Tailwind so much for Pinterest, and for Twitter I paid for 1 year of the tool…
SocialPilot: Which posts to Twitter, Facebook (which is how I’m currently using it) as well as LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, a reminder workaround for Instagram, tumblr, VK and Xing.
I’m not terribly active on Twitter or my Facebook page, so Social Pilot works great for me — because it makes me look active on those platforms! I can schedule tweets and FB posts that repeat up to 10 times (which is particularly helpful on Twitter where your tweets get buried in the feed within minutes!)
Having said that, I am going to play around with Later’s scheduling for Twitter and Facebook, and if I like them as much as I do the Instagram schedule, I will likely not renew my SocialPilot subscription to save money and use one product for ease of use. But I like SocialPilot enough to leave it on this list as a recommendation.
Photography Tools for Etsy Sellers
One of the most important aspects of selling on Etsy is having really nice product photography. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although, if you have the skills and/or can hire a professional photographer, that will help!)
But for smaller product photography, a simple background and steady camera are a great starting point. I love my photo lightbox, and this LimoStudio Table Top Photo Photography Studio Lighting Light Tent Kit in a Box even comes with different colored backgrounds and a tripod for your phone.
I have a friend that has mastered iPhone photography for his Etsy shop. But if you want something a little more powerful but still affordable, I love my Canon EOS Rebel and this kit comes with just about everything you could need (and maybe more) for professional-looking photographs for your Etsy shop. As an example, I used my Canon Rebel (with natural light) to take this photo from when I had a vintage shop with my husband:
If you sell things that you design once and can produce over and over (think: art prints, t-shirts, mugs, posters, invitations, cards, phone cases, totes, and all the things you can have printed and fulfilled by companies like Printful) you can use mock-ups from sites like Creative Market (they even give away free goods every week!) to “insert” your design onto. Like this room mock-up that I used for one of my art prints:
I wrote more about this in Make Your Art (and other products!) Stand Out With Mockups.
Packaging for Etsy Sellers
One of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard about an Etsy fail was from my friend who ordered something handmade from Etsy and the person who sold it to her used plastic shopping bags as packing stuffing. Listen, I’m ALL FOR reuse reduce recycle! But these bags had bits of TRASH in them! So as my friend opened her package, trash and dirt literally fell all over her and her floor! That is NOT the kind of experience I want my buyers to have, and I doubt you do, either.
One of the obvious places to search for shipping supplies is Etsy itself! You can get things like shipping boxes, stickers and labels, trendy poly mailers, packing fillers, flat mailers, and so much more!
Some other places I like for packaging supplies:
So there you have it! All kinds of tools for Etsy sellers. Now, I don’t suggest that you try to implement these all at once. Just check out those that call to you first, and add them into your Etsy (or other online) business, one by one!
Additional Information and Tools for Etsy Sellers:
How to Write Etsy Product Listings That Get Seen and Convert
Selling Products Passively is Now Possible on Etsy!
These 15 Etsy Sellers’ Product Photos Will Make You Jealous
Get 40 Free Etsy Listings (for New Sellers)
Etsy: How to sell like the top 1%
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