Just because you have an Etsy Shop does not mean you have a business. As a matter of fact to prove my point, since I've probably ruffled at least a few feathers with that statement, let's do a quick assessment...
If Etsy shut down (or shut down your shop) tomorrow, what would you have? Where would your next sale come from?
Exactly. You don't have a business. Etsy does.
And I'm not here to show you how to succeed on Etsy. There are a million places, including Etsy, with plenty of tips for you.
I'm here to show you how to have a successful online business owned by YOU. No, having an Etsy Shop is NOT the same thing!
Quick and Easy for Beginners
There are many people who will tell you that you can easily start an online business by opening an Etsy shop.
- Is setting up an Etsy shop easy? Yes, it is. I won't dispute that.
- Is it a bad idea? No, not at all. I'm not telling you to shut down your shop and run for the hills.
- Is it a bad idea to only have an Etsy Shop? YES!! YES!! YES!!
If you're serious about having an online business, the most important thing you need to do is own your traffic. If you don't own your traffic, you're risking your entire "business" on another company's every change and whim.
With an Etsy shop, essentially you're working for Etsy while your own "business" fails to build up any equity. You're dependent on them.
Etsy opened it's virtual doors in 2005. If you've been with them since around that time, you've seen and quite likely felt, the results of Etsy's evolution into what it is today. As it becomes flooded with resellers, actual handcraft artisans like yourself are having a much harder time getting their items seen. It's almost impossible to stay on the first page of results for more than a few seconds. And sellers' sales volumes are decreasing... rapidly.
Spend Your Time and Effort Building YOUR Business, Not Theirs
Whether you have your own website or an Etsy Shop, you still need to promote and market your business and drive traffic to it YOURSELF. So, since you still need to do all the work to drive business, shouldn't you drive it to a website whose traffic YOU own?
There are many successful shops on Etsy, but every single one of them drives their own traffic. They bring people to their shop. Anyone with a shop who doesn't do anything to promote their business and drive people to it is not going to be successful on Etsy or anywhere else.
With all the options available to you today, there's no reason for you to rely on Etsy alone (or at all). You can get a hosted e-commerce site for a very reasonable monthly fee. You don't need to pay to renew items and you don't need to pay a percentage of each sale to them. You make the rules.
Another problem with Etsy... when you do drive traffic to Etsy, you're also giving your customer the opportunity to get distracted by other sellers' products! You're driving traffic to the site as a whole. There's nothing you can do to prevent others from catching the attention of the customer you just worked so hard to get into your shop.
No Longer Dedicated to Handmade, But Dedicated to Their Investors
"Etsy sees eBay and Amazon as it's two biggest competitors" and neither of those sites are dedicated to handmade. That should tell you something right there.
Chad Dickerson, Etsy CEO, wants tens of millions of sellers using the site (compared to the current 800,000). What's that going to mean for YOU... for YOUR traffic??
Investors have poured $92 million into Etsy and they need to satisfy those investors. So they're looking to grow, in part, by opening Etsy to sellers whose goods are NOT handmade.
So much for "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." Oh yeah, in case you haven't noticed, that's gone...
|Etsy Home Page 2 May 2006|
|Etsy Home Page 2 November 2008|
|Etsy Home Page 14 July 2012|
|Etsy Home Page 3 March 2013 (just so you know it's not a fluke ;)|
But they are selling Etsy ads to help those who are willing to pay to keep their products in the top spot of search results. How nice of them to help you out like that. Sound familiar? That's the kind of things that happen when a company has investors to please (hello Facebook).
Don't believe me, watch this video and you can hear it all straight from the CEO's mouth...
Wow, huh? Feeling sold out yet?
It's ok, scoop your jaw up off your keyboard and continue reading. You'll feel the panic subside. And let me give you a nice virtual (((hug)))
Want a Better Solution?
Look, honestly, Etsy is a nice, cheap way to get started in business and it has done great things for many people. It's also a great tool to have in your toolbox, but if you're serious about having a business, it shouldn't be anything more than that.
Are you ready to have more than just an Etsy shop? Are you ready to have a real business?
Registration is now open for my Create Your Artisan Business Success Plan.
It's a 7 week, 6 module, information packed online program designed to get you confidence and clarity about your online business as you work through putting all the plans in place that you need to succeed.
You can find out more at http:// www.CreateYourArtisanBusinessSuccessPlan.com
I'd also like to invite you to a webinar I'm hosting via Livestream this Wednesday, March 20th at 8pm EDT called "7 Critical Mistakes Artisans Make When Starting an Online Business" during which I'll talk to you about those mistakes and how to avoid them; while also giving you an idea what results you'll get from the program.
Watch the aWAEHQn dreams Facebook page for the invitation link. Make sure you like the page and add it to your newsfeed so you don't miss it!)
Hope to see you there!