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Sarah Waggoner

Nine surprising things I’ve learned from working with Etsy sellers

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I’ve been selling on Etsy for over 8 years now and coaching other sellers for 3 years. There are some lessons that I’ve learned over and over again. From my own shop and from sellers that I’ve coached. Here are the top 9 surprising things I’ve learned from working with Etsy sellers.

The biggest factor to your success

It’s not your products. It’s not your ability (or lack thereof) to stand out on social media or beat the algorithm. It’s you. Being yourself. Showing up consistently as you. Making products that you love. Because when you make products that you love, then you’re excited when you’re talking about them. You’re more likely to show up for you audience. You’re more creative with your content. And that creativity, excitement, and consistency is going to be contagious for your audience and your future buyers.

Everyone has excuses

Unpopular opinion here. But if you want to succeed on Etsy, then you can figure out how to do it no matter what gets thrown your way. I built my business with a full time job in healthcare (ugh, the paperwork) and a new baby. Was I busy? Yup. Did I let it stop me. No. I went from $0 to full time in my shop in less than 4 years. Could I have done it faster if I wasn’t so busy? Probably. But if this is your goal then you’ll find a way to make it work.

You don’t need a lot of time. You don’t need a lot of money. You have it in you to succeed no matter what your barriers are. Just get out there and start figuring it out.

The things you don’t want to do are most important

I wasted so much time in the first few years of my shop doing busy work. I was so tired at night after working, so I’d schedule another week of Pinterest pins or plan a new product line that sounded exciting. But were those my real priorities? No way.

I should have been focusing on SEO, making my current product lines even better, and experimenting on social media by doing new things that scared me (AKA video and lives, not just another random product post that people were going to scroll right past).

More connection. Less busy work.

Find a system that works for you

What works for me isn’t going to work for everyone. In general, every Etsy shop needs full product lines, good SEO, and a marketing plan they love. But just because one of your competitors when viral on TikTok, doesn’t mean that is what’s going to work for you too. Prioritize what you love, what excites you, and what’s already working for you.

Done is better than perfect

I have talked to so many sellers who haven’t started their shop yet, because it’s “not ready.” Or haven’t gone live on social media because they’re afraid they’ll mess up. For me at 17,000 sales on Etsy, I still look at my shop and make a mental list of what I need to change next. It will never be perfect. So take that action and just do the darn thing because that’s how you learn, grow, and improve.

You can’t sell what you don’t list

Photos aren’t perfect yet? Can’t figure out how to write that killer description? Waiting to research those perfect keywords that will for sure get you a million sales? In the meantime, you could have already had a few sales on that listing you’re waiting to perfect. So just hit publish.

Think of your customer first

It can be really tough as a creative to stick with the plan and think about what your customers really want. You get an idea for a new product, color, or design and it’s made and listed sometimes before you even have a second to think about what you’re doing.

But what happens is you end up with a shop full of random products and no target market. So before you create something new, think about what your current customers need from you. What complements your current product lines? What are your buyers are searching for? Then capitalize on that! You’ll have more success, much faster.

Be consistent

We’ve all done it. You post on social media for about 2.5 weeks then forget about your strategy and ghost everyone for 3 months. It happens. But as you grow your business, consistency is more and more important. If you’re ghosting your email list or social media followers more often then you aren’t, they aren’t going to remember you and they aren’t going to buy from you.

Have fun

Getting a business up and running isn’t always easy. There are going to be times that you want to give up. But if you’re focused on having fun every day, it makes it a lot easier!

Have fun with your products. Have fun on social media. Create a schedule that lets you do what you love!

I’m not going to tell you that the accounting gets more fun if it’s something you hate doing now. But you can outsource what you’re not good at as you grow. So focus on making it as fun as possible for now. Crank up the music and grab a cup of coffee and have an accounting party each month! Celebrate your success after you’re done!

Want to learn more about the mistakes I see Etsy sellers making and how I can help you get more sales on Etsy? Sign up for my free masterclass here. You’ll learn about the top mistakes I see sellers making every single day and how we can work together to get you daily sales on Etsy.



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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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