When I opened my Etsy shop in April 2016, my experience was minimal and my innocence enormous.
After all my word-of-mouth sales for my handmade greeting cards and before diving into the e-commerce sphere at pipacrafts.com, giving a try to a successful platform with a vast and diverse base of handmade craft sellers and buyers sounded the sensible path to follow.
After a year, we - as PipaCrafts - have reached 40 sales on Etsy - Etsy only.
Judge however you please.
I sold my first Personalised Wedding Card through Etsy at the end of April and almost wanted to do a back flip - but because I do not know how to do one, I let myself be embraced by the euphoria and got back flips behind my back.
I did little to promote my chances of selling; thinking about it. Actually, when we open an online shop on such popular platform, you almost believe all you have to do is to sit around, waiting for orders to drop like raindrops on a terrible rainy day.
Until we wake up to reality.
For any other super successful shop, 40 sales may be expected to reach on a day of sales. For me, who did not care about statistics and just filled the essential descriptions boxes in order to be able to publish each item, leaving a lot to the imagination and way too many questions from potential customer, all I played at the time was with photography and accepted the numbers from that.
The encouragement comes with order after order and the willingness to win more and more admirers / followers / interested and interesting people so our work begins to speak louder.
That's when we start looking at terms such as SEO, Keywords, Descriptions, Rankings, Google Analytics, Social Media presence, Etsy Tags, Etsy Promotions, Etsy Ads, Categories, Materials, Shipping profiles, etc... The list has not yet reached a quarter of its lenght and it already feels like we've been around the neighborhood for an hour!
The truth is: The bigger our will to understand the market and try our luck in a world of successful sales - bear in mind that quantity does not always mean quality - more and better we have to understand the platform we are in. Is it a world way more vastly, deeper and denser in concept than it appears at the surface.
Will orders fall from the sky?
Unless we have spot-on keywords and SEO... no.
Review, review, review. Improve. Update. Repeat.
Is it essential?
Without a doubt!
After all, 40 sales are more powerful than 0 and if that does not serve as a motivation, then it's because we need to do more and more!
I would say that following our 'gut' is essential.
Embrace your craziness a bit and hear the inner voice that confirms that it is difficult, it requires work, it requires effort, research and requires us to look more and more to understand and integrate.
We - who always dreamt about doing something truly important for ourselves as creatives - need a voice that pulls us by our audacity not to give up; It is necessary that a conscience, a frankness and an outburst fall on us and tell us: Do not give up. There will always be doors to open if your mind is open to accept them and the following challenges, there are still ways to explore.
And if will power does not motivate us to wake up earlier (or lie down later) to invest in a dream... Then maybe the voice of silence is wiser and that means giving up will be the best if we do not want to learn...
Until then... Do not give up!