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Sarah Waggoner

What I outsource in my Etsy business

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Today we’re talking about outsourcing in your Etsy business. When to do it and what outsource first.

This is something that we work on a lot with my Six Figure Maker Mastermind students. I have an entire module in the bonus course that you get with that group coaching program that walks you through my methods for hiring and outsourcing. And I’m going to give you a little taste of that today.

For those of you who want more information about the Six Figure Maker Mastermind, applications open twice a year. If you’ve made over $20,000 in the last 12 months on Etsy, please join the waitlist here to get more information about the group when it opens next.

What not to outsource

I’m going to start with one thing that most sellers tell me that they want to outsource first, but it’s actually more often than not a big mistake. And that’s social media. This is super common when I talk to sellers about outsourcing or ask in my Facebook group a ton of sellers say social media. But I have a few warnings for those of you who are thinking along those lines.

Outsourcing social media is one of those things where you really get what you pay for. To find someone who will take over your social media and get you a return on investment, you’re actually going to be spending quite a bit of money.

And there’s a lot of reasons for this.  Social media is only getting more complicated as the algorithms are getting harder and harder to get found on organically. It also takes a lot of work for someone to learn your brand and your voice even better than you do. So social media managers who really go in and learn about your brand, your people, and how to convert them, are worth a lot of money because they’re spending a lot of time doing this for you.

Lots of times when I’m talking to Etsy sellers about outsourcing, they are not wanting to spend thousands of dollars a month that it takes to find somebody like this. It’s when you find someone who is less expensive, that they are not taking as much off of your plate as you think they will. Lots of time social media managers who are cheaper are still asking you to do the photos, write all the captions, and really come up with a strategy. So it doesn’t always save you as much time or get you as as many results as you think it will.

What to outsource first

There are 5 things that I outsourced first and recommend that you do to.

Making and Packaging:

The very first thing that I began outsourcing in my business, was making and packaging. I have hired employees and contractors who will either work from home and make products, or work from my house to make, package, and ship products.

I know that outsourcing this portion of your business can be a struggle for a lot of makers for a variety of reasons. Maybe your process is more complicated than mine and it might take longer to train somebody. Maybe you just really enjoy the making process. And both of those are OK, but if your goal is to really scale your business even beyond just a normal full-time salary for yourself, you’re eventually going to need help with at least parts of the making process. Even if that’s just having somebody that comes in to help you with shipping or to help prep products in your beginning stages of your making process. It’s definitely something to think about how you are going to eventually get the help that you need in the situation.

Accounting:

The next thing that I outsourced in my business was my accounting. I am someone who definitely can do my own accounting, but it takes me longer than it should. So investing in a bookkeeper has saved me so much time and stress. If you are not ready to do that yet, I recommend a software that helps you automate this. There is software is out there that integrates with Etsy and with other platforms so you don’t have to manually enter transactions. That’s a great place to start.

I am currently working with an accounting group that does even more than just a basic but keeping and it is going to be an even bigger to his asset to my business this year.

So no matter where your business is on the revenue scale, there’s an option for you at that I can make your accounting just a little bit easier.

Customer Service:

The third thing that I started outsourcing in my business is customer service.

I have a virtual assistant that answers my Etsy messages and emails. This is something that I really don’t enjoy doing which often meant that my responses were taking longer than I wanted them to because I would procrastinate on this task every day. So outsourcing this job virtual assistant has been so much better for my customers because they’re getting much more timely results. This is something that I will never go back to doing by myself because it saves me hours and hours of time every single week. 

Graphic Design:

The fourth thing that I have begun outsourcing in my Etsy business, is graphic design. I have a designer that I’ve worked with in the past that designs graphics for me for sales and marketing that I can post on social media or to my email list. I don’t work with her every single week, but for those busy times when they’re running a sale and don’t have time to prep, this is been a lifesaver for me.

Product Photography:

The last thing I want to talk about today is outsourcing photography. I don’t do this for every single one of my products yet, but it’s definitely one of my goals in this upcoming year. I have some background in photography and do an okay job, but it could be outstanding if I would consistently outsource this particular task. If you’re someone who doesn’t have the background in photography that I’ve had and you’re not wanting to invest in photography classes and really learning how to work your camera appropriately, this may be a lot higher on your list.

Remember that photos are really important on Etsy. You can have a perfect SEO, but if your photos aren’t something that buyers feel compelled to click on, none of that matters because you’re not going to get clicks even if you have good search placement. 

There are a lot of options for outsourcing. I have current students that found a local mom from a moms group on Facebook. There are professional photographers who only do product photography. So you have a lot of options and encourage you to think outside the box if you’re someone who needs to be outsourcing photography because it’s not something that’s really a strong skill for you.

What Next?

Those are the top five things that I outsourced in my business. That list really from start to end was that order that I personally outsourced. But everybody has different skills and will probably need to change that order depending on what is really holding you back the most in your business. What’s taking the most time for you that someone else could do so much more efficiently and quickly.

I want to give you a quick little bonus tip before we end of the episode for today as well. And that is to consider outsourcing personal tasks as well. When I started outsourcing in my business, I also started outsourcing in my personal life. We use a meal delivery service most weeks, get groceries delivered, outsource house cleaning, and even have a robot vacuum so I don’t have to spend time and vacuuming every few days since we have a dog that sheds. Those hours really add up each month into time that maybe I’m not spending working on my business, but I’m spending with my family and doing things that we enjoy so I don’t feel like I have to spend every non-working hour I’m catching up on some of these things and I am not able to do during the week.

My goal in the next year is to outsource even more personally. I want to get a personal assistant by the end of the year so I can be even more focused on the task that only I can do or the tasks that I actually enjoy.

So those are my top tips for outsourcing in your business on Etsy. If you have questions about outsourcing, II encourage you to join my Facebook group to ask there! Click here to join.

-Sarah

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2 Responses

  1. How do you outsource customer service? Do you have to share your Etsy login details with virtual assistant to be able to reply to Etsy messages?

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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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