A business podcast just for crochet business owners where we learn how to grow your crochet business and set it up for success!
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INSIDE THIS EPISODE
Below is a breakdown of each section in this episode. Feel free to skip ahead to the parts that interest you most. Each section has the timestamp beside it so you know exactly when the subject starts and ends.
Any tips for successfully selling wholesale? [0:45- 3:18]
Any Black Friday Sale tips? [3:19- 6:54]
Can you ship your Etsy products without going to the post office? [6:55- 8:01]
How do you find pattern testers? [8:02-12:12]
What do you do about bad reviews? [12:13- 19:46]
How to optimize your Etsy for random view and searches? [19:47- 22:58]
Do you ever do Etsy audits to help other makers have a better store? [22:59- 24:42]
How do you figure out what items will sell? Or rather how do you figure out what people want? [24:43- 30:08]
I want to set up an Etsy shop, but have been intimidated. How much time should I set aside to begin the process? [30:09- 31:00]
How to use PayPal to ship from home- Blog Post
Etsy Seller Handbook- Listing Shot List
How to deal with no so nice customers- blog post
Etsy Seller Handbook- SEO Articles
3 part Youtube Series on opening an Etsy Shop
Hi! Two lives in one day!! This is Tuesday Talks. Thank you for joining me! I am excited to dive right and and answer your business questions.
Any tips for successfully selling wholesale?
I have never sold wholesale specifically. I don’t know if you are wanting to sell online or a consignment situation at a local boutique. If you are wanting to set up in someone else’s shop my advise would be to make it as easy as possible for that person to say yes! The less work they have to do the more likely you will get a yes.
You want to sell things that you can really crank out kinda fast and at low cost. You don’t want to be working your fingers off for pennies when you can sell them full price on Etsy.
You want to work smarter not harder. The benefit of doing wholesale is you don’t have to worry if they sell or not. The person who buys your product is responsible for selling them, you are not. You don’t have to be very business-y, like you don’t have to stay up to date on your Etsy key tags.
Wholesale is a way different business model and way less entrepreneur-y I think because you will be selling to other businesses. I love the idea of selling crochet things to subscription box companies.
Usually the wholesale price is 50% of the retail price. So if it retails for $10 you would sell it for $5. Consignment can be different, sometimes it can be 20-30% commision.
Any Black Friday Sale tips?
Email your list! That would be my first tip.
Post it on social media.
Etsy is doing a big cyber week sale and Etsy is really promoting that. You can pick which listings you want to go on sale. I have a lot of mine on sale for this and I have already been getting sales on my ready to ship stuff!
You can send out a coupon code to your email list or your social media following if you don’t want to provide the sale to all of Etsy. I think participating in Etsy sale is a great way to get some new business and new customers that will hopefully turn into true fans of your brand. So that is something to think about, because yeah you are loosing a little money in the sale but think of the potential sales you can have down the road from that one sale is unlimited.
Another thing you can do is instead of having your prices cheaper you can throw in a freebie! You can promote every item bought on Black Friday will come with this free gift.
My best advice is try not to be spammy. Speak to your ideal customer. Lead with the benefits of your products.
Can you ship your Etsy products without going to the post office?
Yes you can! I do it every single day 🙂
I print my shipping labels, then I put the packages in my mailbox and raise the flag and my USPS carrier picks them up. If I have more packages that will not fit in my mailbox I usually put them in tote bin in front of my mailbox. I do live in a super safe neighborhood so I don’t have to worry about my packages being stolen.
Also it might depend on which county you live in. I live in America and ship with USPS.
You can also ship through paypal if you do not have any Etsy shop. I have a blog post showing you how to do that.
How do you find pattern testers?
I don’t use pattern testers anymore. My patterns are free so if there is a typo I can just fix it and send it out on the blog. I used to use them and my favorite place to find them was on Instagram.
I would say “hey who wants to test this for me?” post that on Instagram or in a Facebook group. The Ash & Tay Facebook Group is a great place to find testers.
Other designers who main focus is design, they have a whole process where they find testers and have a trail period I think. They have a stellar team of testers.
It depends on your business model. If you just need an extra set of eyes and it doesn’t matter who it is, I would do a shout out on social media. If you don’t have other crocheters following you, post it in a crochet Facebook group (just double check in the rules you are allowed to share those type of posts.).
If you are wanting to build a team of testers, you would want to get some kind of sign up or form so you can get their information and put them on the list. Then you can interview people to see who make awesome testers for you. If you go this route I would suggest looking for someone who takes killer pictures, so they can help you promote your new pattern when it drops. A large social media following would be nice, but not required. Someone who has the the same branding tone as you.
What do you do about bad reviews?
First thing you want to do is avoid it as much as you can. You want to have very good customer service. Have very clear listing descriptions on Etsy so people know exactly what they are getting and the customer has a clear expectation of what they will get. If you used a filter on your photo and it looks pink but it comes in the mail and it’s red they will not be happy and they will leave a bad review because you did not meet expectations.
Keep your listings as true to color as possible. Be very honest and transparent in your listing. Give all the measurements. Use up all the listing photos. If you go to Etsy Seller Handbook and look up listing photos there will be articles telling you what type of shots to include. There is the group shot, a detail shot, a proportion shot, a model shot, a studio shot, all of these shots set a clear expectation for what people will get in the mail.
In your description be clear about your item. Tell them how it feels. Describe the color.
Add a video to your listing. Etsy is doing short videos now!
Send a thank you note or piece of candy in your packages. Take little steps like that to ensure a positive experience for your customer.
Stick to your turnaround time. Don’t send a package out past your due date. All of this will help you avoid bad reviews.
If you do still get a bad review, the next step would be to reach out to the customer. Recently I had a 3 star review because her baby’s hat didn’t fit. So I reached out to her and was like hey I just saw your 3 star review that your hat didn’t fit. I would be happy to send you another one. The customer said back, oh no that’s okay I already bought another one in a different size and it fit perfectly. I haven’t checked to see if she went back and changed her review, but a lot of times they will.
Know that if you do end up sending out extra product or something like that, yeah you are loosing money on it right now but the return on that investment could be astronomical. What if that person got on their social media and had like 50,000 followers and told her followers that your business did right by her and shares how impressed she was with you! Then all of her followers which are probably just like her (which is your ideal customer) and you get 50 more sales in one day because she gave you a shout out because she had a good experience. If nothing else, sending out the extra product is a kind thing to do!
If you think the review is unfair. If they say it never showed up and you have proof that it did. Reach out to Etsy and say that you have this review but you have proof of delivery and see if they can take it down. I have seen Etsy take down reviews where the reviewer is just being hateful. There are instances where Etsy will take down those types of reviews.
The very best thing to do is try and avoid them at all cost by being clear and transparent in your listing photos and descriptions. Exceeding their expectations.
I have a blog post on how to handle hateful customers.
How to optimize your Etsy for random view and searches?
I call those people Etsy strangers. You want to optimize your Etsy listings so you can show up in search. First thing you are going to do is go to google and search Etsy Seller Handbook. Search the Handbook for “SEO”. These articles will show you how Etsy agorthium works and you can take that info and apply it to your shop. One of the things is having a filled out “about” section. Having that filled out and can you show up in search results. Having a seller photo and shop photo help you. There a whole bunch of these things that help you show up in search.
SEO looks at your titles. You get 120 characters for your title. It looks at the attributes. So when you say color blue, second color white- those are the attributes and they help you show up. Your tags at the very bottom of your Etsy listing, you get 13 tags each one can be 20 characters or less- use all 13 of them. Make sure they are applicable to your ideal customer and very relevant to the product you are trying to sell. All of this info is in the seller handbook, you just gotta dig around for it.
Do some research on your own. I recommend going directly to Etsy for your research.
Do you ever do Etsy audits to help other makers have a better store?
I do, inside my Crochet Boss Academy every Monday. I do Monday Shop Talks, where I go live with one of my bosses and we pull up their Etsy shop, and their Instagram and we spend time thinking of ways they can market to their ideal customer. We look over all the sections like about me section. We spent a whole month looking at each others “about me” sections. We had our masterclass with Carrie Shook who is a copywriter who helped us create killer about me sections that will help us show up in search results and help us speak to our ideal customer.
So all that fun stuffs happens within Crochet Boss Academy. I don’t offer this for the masses, just because I don’t think I would have enough time honestly. It would be something I would love to offer down the road, like once a week on Youtube.
How do you figure out what items will sell? Or rather how do you figure out what people want?
That is going to come down to your ideal customer. You can look at your top 3 favorite things to make and make up one perfect human that all 3 of those things would serve. Or find someone who you think you can serve really well because they are just like you and think of 3 products she would need in her life.
One of my bosses Lindsey from Sensory Joy and her ideal customer is a mom or care taker of a child with sensory disorders. So she shares a lot of different sensory toys in her shop for the child with sensory disorder, but she also offers “treat yourself pieces” for the caregiver- like earrings and crafty facial rounds. When she talks about those things, she talks about them in a way that lets her ideal customers know she knows who they are. Instead of saying “hey do you need to wipe all your makeup off?” she will say “hey I know you have probably had a lot of exhausting days focusing on the child in your life that has special needs, but its time to take a little bit of time for yourself! These super plush facial rounds are a great way to take off your makeup. All you need is warm water. It is quick, so you can get back to taking care of your family.” She would change her marketing to talk directly to her ideal customer. It will resonate with them when they read it.
You want all the products that you sell to serve one person in a specific way. You want to lead with the benefits when you are trying to market your products. With Wild Grace- that is my new Etsy Shop- I am selling boho baby girl accessories. My ideal customer is a girl mom, she is a millennial, and she cares very much about appearances, her house is decorated in farmhouse decor, she drives a mid-luxuary car, she cares very much about what people think about her. I know these things about her, so when I go to sell her my bitty boho bib I say “Not only is it really cute, it is also functional. Your kid is going to look adorable while getting spaghetti all over her face at Olive Garden.” This will speak to her because she doesn’t want to put an ugly bib over her girls cute outfit!
So find your ideal customer, speak to her directly and you will start getting more sales. First you have to spend time getting to know her, talking to her, gaining trust on social media to start getting sales. It is all happening at the same time! The most important thing is find your ideal customer and speak to her because if you are just speaking to everybody no one is going to hear you- they are not going to resonate with you.
I want to set up an Etsy shop, but have been intimidated. How much time should I set aside to begin the process?
I have a 3 part Youtube series where I walk you through step by step of setting up an Etsy shop. I show you how to set up your account. How to make your first listing. How to set up all your payment information. Definitely check the series out, it will be helpful!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me tonight!