Updated: May 31, 2019
So, you’ve opened up your own online shop and you’re ready to start selling your handcrafted artwork to the world. Congratulations! You’ve overcome the hardest part: putting yourself out there and actually trying. But, the whole point of opening up your shop is to sell your stuff and make a profit. With nearly 400 five-star reviews, processed over 4,000 orders through Etsy and Amazon, I wanted to share some tips and advice on how you can achieve your online shop goals!
Probably the most important factor in selling your artwork is the price point. This is also the hardest variable to determine, in my opinion. Price your product too high and no one will buy it; price it too low and you won’t make a profit. A good rule of thumb is between 2-3x the cost it takes you to produce your items, but it helps to price your product similar to other vendors.
First and foremost, research your competition to see how your fellow shop owners are pricing similar products. In fact, a lot of the advice laid out in this article references the need to research your competition. I had a professor in college that said, “Don’t compromise, plagiarize!”. Basically, he meant, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel if someone else has perfected it. This isn’t to say that you should copy your competitor’s titles, descriptions, and price points word-for-word, but you should pay attention to formulas of success. Sure, the base of success is having a high-quality product that people want, but if you don’t have the right price point, people won’t be willing to purchase your product.
Another important factor for success is not only your available inventory but also, the variety of items you carry. The more variety, the better your chances will be of showing up in a search engine. You can easily turn digital imagery into prints and other forms of merchandise like coffee cups and t-shirts.
So, how many products should your shop have? Well, to start, I’d recommend at least 5-10 items, preferably, different types of items or different styles. Continue to add as many items and designs as you can. The more products you have, the more likely you are to reach someone who is interested in one of your designs. Consider your demographic and try catering to different audiences. Not everyone wants a sticker. Some people prefer patches or pins. Some people are looking for prints or merchandise like mugs or sweatshirts. Having a wide variety of products will ensure that someone out there will want to buy something.
SEO (titles, descriptions, and tags)
Probably the most overlooked aspect of a listing is the SEO or Search Engine Optimization. You can help your listing come up in search just by providing an accurate title, description and meta tags.
Your title is important, so take some time to brand yourself and your products. Start off with the title of your artwork and then try including the type of product it is. For example, “Mario Kart Item Box | Holographic Sticker“. I’ve included the name of the product “Item Box”, the game that inspired it, “Mario Kart”, and the type of product it is, “Holographic Sticker”.
Mario Kart Item Box from Pierce Pop Art
Next up is the description of your product. This is where you sell your product! Imagine giving someone a quick 15-second pitch on your product- How would you describe it? Was it lovingly hand-crafted? Was it made for a specific purpose or demographic in mind? How big is your product? These are things that buyers want to know AND it helps with SEO. The more descriptive words you can use organically, the better chances you have of showing up in a search engine. Also, you should use this space to plug your other social media sites and add a short description of your shop.
QUICK TIP: Reviews contribute to your SEO as well!
On Etsy, you’re given 13 tags to help describe your listing which isn’t a lot. Tags are keywords search engines use to help filter search results. These are arguably the most important factors in SEO. The title and description aid and reinforce your keywords. Therefore, you should always designate one of your tags to your shop name. I won’t go into detail on why this is necessary, but it will ensure that even the most basic of users can find your stuff just by searching for your shop name. You’ll also want to use keywords of what your product is. For the Mario Kart Item Box listing, I might use keywords like Mario Kart, Sticker, Decal, etc. These might sound basic, but when paired together, “Mario Kart Sticker”, will ensure your product shows up in the search results. All of these combined make for the perfect SEO recipe.
Marketing / Advertising
I could probably do an entire article on the importance of marketing and advertising, and I’m sure I will at some point but I’ll briefly touch on how and why a good marketing strategy that involves advertising is important. Marketing encompasses everything you do to promote your brand or products.
Promoting your products via social media is the easiest thing you can do to promote your business and it’s free! If you’re not posting often to promote your own products, you’re missing out on a huge stream of revenue. Instagram and Facebook are great places to promote your products and you can easily find relevant tags to help boost your posts to the right audience. Take some nice pictures of your product, perhaps customer shots, or you holding or using your product. Not only can you use these pictures for social media posts, but you can add them to your Etsy listing to give people a better idea of what your product looks like.
And lastly, don’t neglect the power of promoted posts and paid advertising. These are surefire ways to get your posts in front of an audience. Facebook and Instagram make it incredibly easy by recommending an audience and demographic to use for basic users. For more experienced users who know their demographic and their target audience, you can use the advanced settings to narrow down your preferences to fit your particular needs i.e. location, age, gender, etc.
Facebook ad overview with a $15 budget
All this can be quite daunting and you might not know where to start. Luckily, we can help with that. Send us a message and setup a consultation today!