Do This One Thing Before Opening An Etsy Shop

Last Updated:

June 5, 2024


Starting Etsy Shop
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When it comes to the first thing to do when opening an Etsy shop, you may expect me to say, “learn Etsy SEO”, “have a consistent brand”, or “take clickable product photos”.

While all of those are important, they are not the most impactful steps you should take before launching your shop.

In this article, I'll guide you through the essential mindset and preparations you need as a new Etsy seller, with a primary focus on developing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), drawing from my experience of running multiple six-figure Etsy shops.

Let's get started.

Prerequisite: Adopt A Growth Mindset & Prioritise Actions

As cliche as it sounds, the most important thing you can do is to just start.

Many successful Etsy sellers follow a pattern: they launch their shop and get maybe one sale per week. As they add more products and optimise their offerings and listings, they grow to one sale per day, and eventually, several sales per day.

Learning as you go is the best approach in my opinion.

Just start. Start with imperfections. Over the years, I’ve changed my product photos, listing titles, product features and more countless times. Don’t try to start with something perfect; Start first and improve over time.

Too many people fall into the trap of planning for a 6-figure business from the first day. Instead, you should focus on getting your first sale and earning your first dollar. Focusing on a goal that’s too abstract and far away can lead to overthinking and inaction.

Embrace Flexibility - Be Ready To Adapt & Change Your Plan

Although planning is important, things are not likely to go exactly to plan no matter how thorough you are. Here are some reasons why you would have to adjust your initial plan:

The most important step is to start and launch your shop. Learn what works and what doesn’t along the way.

Develop & Highlight Your USP

Everyone knows you should create good quality products, but an important aspect that many people miss is developing that one extra unique thing.

That one unique thing is also known as unique selling preposition (USP) and can often be the key to finding success on Etsy.

Your USP could be a unique product design, an unexpected material choice, or an additional feature that solves a problem for your customers.

This luggage tag stands out by not using expected materials like leather (product by CreateGiftLove)

Having a USP gives shoppers a reason to buy from you and help you stand out on Etsy. If you are selling something similar to your competitors, shoppers are likely to buy from a shop with more reviews and sales. This is why identifying and emphasising your USP is crucial.

You don’t need to change everything. Sometimes, one small difference and highlighting that is enough to convince shoppers to buy from you, especially if it benefits them. For example, if most sellers offer plain leather wallets, a unique touch like personalised engraving or a special compartment for coins could set your product apart.

Start by researching your close competitors on Etsy if you already have a product idea. Analyse what they are doing and identify how you can stand out. Reading reviews is one of my preferred methods. If you see reviews that say: “I wish it had...” or “This product would be even better if...” Consider using those suggestions into your own product as USP.

Another example of unusual material as USP by the Etsy shop urbanrose

Make Sure Your Product Solves A Problem or Provides A Benefit

Your product should solve a problem or provide a benefit for your customer. For example, handmade soap with natural ingredients can solve the problem of sensitive skin. Many customers seek out natural, chemical-free products to avoid skin irritation and to promote overall skin health. By highlighting how your soap addresses these concerns, you can attract customers who are looking for gentle and effective skincare solutions.

For example, these soaps aim to solve customer problem of acne

But sometimes the benefit isn’t obvious or practical but more abstract, like a need for self-expression or connection. For example, this popular Lego heart keychain may not seem practical, but it serves as a symbol of affection and connection between loved ones, which makes it a great gift idea. This emotional benefit can be a powerful selling point.

Lego heart keychains have a unique design while providing emotional benefits

Even novelty items can be successful if they fulfil a need for connection or self-expression. For instance, a quirky mug with a funny slogan might not be practical, but it can bring joy to the customer and act as a conversation starter. Novelty items often provide a way for customers to express their personality or share a laugh with others, which can be just as valuable as practical benefits.

Learn The Basics Of These Areas

While the main focus should be on starting and learning as you go, there are a few basics that can help you get off to a strong start:

  1. Etsy SEO - Learn to use specific long-tail keywords to describe your product clearly. This will help your products get discovered in Etsy search.
  2. Taking good product photos - Clear, in-focus product with a background that doesn’t distract
  3. Basic market research - see what your direct competitors are doing, and how you can differentiate

What’s Next

If you want to speed up your process in starting and growing your Etsy shop, then consider joining GYC Etsy Academy 2.0 where you will find these resources that are specifically created for new Etsy sellers:

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