Pssst. This is the 4th and final post in the Etsy Entrepreneur series. If you haven't read the first 3 posts, start here.
Okay, so by now you should have a whole slew of templates created and some awesome pictures to show off your wares, yes?
Good, then open up a tab on your browser and head on over to Etsy.
Setting Up Your Etsy Account
If you’re not already registered, set up an account by clicking on the link that says Sell on Etsy > Open Your Etsy Shop. A registration screen will pop up and ask you to input your information.
Next you’ll land on a Shop Preferences screen. Select your language, country, currency, and selling frequency, and hit Save and Continue.
You’ll come to the page that asks you to name your shop. The name you choose is almost like your Username, except it will get displayed in your shop as well as on your listings in the Etsy search, so choose wisely! Etsy will let you change this down the road, but they limit it to a single change only. After that you’re stuck with it, so pick a name you can live with for a while, even if your product changes over time.
Stock Your Shop
Here’s where you’re going to create your listings and upload your photos. Click the ‘+ Add a Listing’ button. This screen is the standard Etsy listing screen – every time you go to add a new product you’ll have to fill one of these out.
Upload Your Images
Click the button that says ‘Add a Photo’ and drill down to find the images you created for your listings. It’s best to use all 5 available slots here, so if you have some slots left over, go back and try to create some more interesting images to give your customers a better idea of what you’re selling.
The first slot is the leading image - this is what’s shown in the search results and on the front page of your shop. Make this your best image.
Also, be sure to click the button that says Adjust Thumbnail and move the image so it’s centered and highlighting the most important feature of the image.
Create Your Listing Details
This is where you’re going to sell the crap out of your templates.
Title – Tell your customers exactly what you’re selling. Think of how a customer might search for your product and come up with a short list of all the keywords they might type into the Etsy search field. Use these keywords in your title but try to make it sound somewhat conversational. Don’t just throw a bunch of keywords into the title.
About the Listing – This just says who made the item and when.
Category – This section helps customers find your items by looking through categories rather than searching directly. Most digital download templates will fall somewhere under Paper & Party Supplies > Paper > Stationery > Design & Templates.
Price – Look around Etsy for similar listings and make note of how much their products are going for.
Quantity – Unfortunately you can’t the quantity so that your product never runs out, but you can select a high number like 50. Then every time your item sells, the quantity available will decrease by 1 and Etsy will automatically relist your item for you.
Renewal Options – If an item doesn’t sell, it will expire 120 days after the listing date. If you select the option to have Etsy automatically renew the listing, they will charge you $0.20 and automatically renew the item without alerting you.
Type – In order to upload your electronic file, you must select ‘Digital’.
Description – You’re customers have a ton of questions (What is a digital listing? What am I actually receiving? Can I use this in (fill in the blank) software? Can I return it if I hate it?) and here’s where you need to answer them. I like to divide this section into several parts:
1. About the product
2. An itemized list of what’s included in the download
3. Answers to frequently asked questions
4. Links to other products in my shop (Yep! Forward customers to other listings that may be of interest to them. Who knows, they might end up buying more than one template)
Be succinct, but thorough. Use bullets, capital letters, and whatever else you need to create visually separate sections that will let your customers jump right to the information they need. And if you continually get a question or complaint popping up again and again, make note of it at the top of your description so your customers will see it. Answering FAQs up front will cut down on a lot of pain and confusion for both of you.
Digital Files – Drill down to your computer and upload the zipped file your customer is going to receive. Etsy will automatically send this file to them once their payment clears.
Search Terms – Etsy uses these to help figure out what kind of product you’re actually selling. Make sure you match these to the keywords you used in your title in order to rank in Etsy’s search.
Materials, Occasion, Style, Recipient – These are optional and I tend to ignore them when listing digital items, but you can fill them out if you think they will help your item be found.
Once you’re done, hit Publish. You’ve just published your first listing!
Well, sort of.
Etsy adds this listing to your shop but it’s not quite live yet. They recommend that you have at least 10 listings prepped and ready to go before opening your shop, but I like to have at least 4 because that’s the number of listings displayed above the fold on your shop’s home page.
But either way, continue adding a listing for each of your products, then hit ‘Save and Continue'.
Set Up Payment and Billing Accounts
Here’s where you enter your bank information so Etsy can pay you. Etsy automatically deposits your revenue made the prior week on Monday of the following week.
Enter a credit card so Etsy can automatically deduct fees you owe them.
Once you fill out your billing information, your shop is ready to go live. Follow the prompts to open your Etsy shop.
Hooray! Now your shop is live!
Fill Out All The About Sections
But you're still not quite done yet...
Your customers want to know a little bit about the person behind the business and why you decided to open a shop, so it’s important to fill out all the details. Trust me, you’ll get a lot more sales if you’re able to connect with your customers and let them know who they’re buying from.
You can find all the About sections under Your Shop > Shop Settings. Then select either ‘Info & appearance’ or ‘About your shop’ and start telling customers about your shop.
Every shop should have the following sections filled out:
Info & Appearance
Shop Title – Tell what you sell and who your product is for
Shop Icon – If you can, make a quick 500 x 500 px image in Canva with your shop name. This will be displayed on the side bar of your shop.
Shop Banner – Make another quick image in Canva, this time measuring 760 x 100 px.
Shop Announcement – Here’s where I like to put a little blurb about the grand opening of my shop and a coupon code to get the ball rolling and my first customers coming in.
Message to Buyers of Digital Items – This gets displayed on the Etsy download page. I like to include a thank you message to my buyers and some quick instructions for how to download their item and what to do with the documents once they open them.
Policies (Under the 'Info & Appearance' section)
Welcome Message – Tell your customers what your shop is all about.
Payment Policy – How will your customers pay and when will they get their templates?
Refund Policy – If your customer doesn’t like their download, can they get their money back? How else will you try to resolve their complaints if a refund is off the table? Make sure you cover all your bases.
Additional Information – I like to include a statement telling customers that templates are copyrighted and cannot be distributed or resold.
Shop Members (Under the 'About Your Shop' section) – Add yourself as a shop member and include a short bio.
Story (Under the 'About Your Shop' section) – Tell your customers how you started to designing your templates and why you went into business in the first place.
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Now your shop is complete and you’re ready to start watching the sales roll in! From here on out you should focus your time and energy on updating your listings, creating new templates, and testing your search terms to see what brings in the most customers. The more you test and hone your listings, the better you’ll rank in Etsy search and the more passive income you’ll make.