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When Etsy first launched, its primary focus was independent crafters. However, Etsy gradually changed its approach and allowed larger businesses to join.
Now, you’ll find suppliers of packaging, materials, and other business essentials on there.
If you’ve visited Etsy recently, you may also have noticed sellers specializing in antiques and collectibles. Printables are popular, too.
With all these changes, it’s fair to say Etsy has gone from strength to strength. In 2019, it had over 45 million buyers, a notable increase from 2018.
Although these figures are impressive, it still lacks Amazon or eBay’s audience share. However, it’s affordable and easy to use, and most importantly, Etsy is a niche site, placing sellers in front of their ideal customers.
Anyone new to Etsy is bound to have a multitude of questions. This article aims to answer many of them. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have all you need to get started.
How to Prepare for Selling on Etsy
Before you begin selling on Etsy, you’ve got some work to do. Like any sales platform, Etsy works best when you research the competition, understand your buyers, and focus on a niche.
Research also helps you discover selling strategies and potential areas where you can outperform your competitors.
Research the Competition
The quickest way to find the top sellers is Etsy’s bestsellers page. Here, you’ll learn plenty just by taking a glance. The page features a diverse list of items in a variety of categories.
For instance, the page might display sustainable and educational items marketed toward children, seasonal clothes or accessories, and personalized and bespoke jewelry.
Click on any one of these bestsellers, and you’ll learn even more. When you’re checking out your competitors, focus on:
- The kind of feedback they’re receiving
- How they brand their store
- Whether they’re offering free shipping or special discounts
- If the products are personalized
- The information included in descriptions
- The amount and type of images they use
- Their shipping and return policies
- How they integrate keywords
Delve Into Etsy Data
Now that you understand the basics of a good listing, you might want to go deeper. With some data to inform your decisions, you’ll have greater confidence you’re targeting the right products.
- Discover trends
- Analyze pricing
- Find keywords
- Optimize listings
Marmalead costs $19 a month, or $15.83 if you pay for an annual subscription upfront.
Identify Your Etsy Niche
One way of getting started is listing various items to see what sells. However, you’re likely to get off to a better start if you trade in a niche. Selling this way makes it easier to market to your ideal customers.
What should you look for in a niche? Ideally, you’ll want something that’s a popular seller and something you’re also passionate about. Further, when you’re selecting products for your niche, focus on profitability, ease of shipping, and items that have high demand but low competition.
There’s more to it than that, though. You’ll also want to focus on creating a unique style: something definitively yours that others will have a hard time copying.
Understand Your Buyers
Before you can sell to your customers, you need to understand them. Start by looking at Etsy from your customers’ perspective. If you were buying, what would you expect to see from a product? What search terms would you use? What instills confidence when you read a product listing?
Now refine this to more specific questions. Etsy has a great list of the top 20 questions buyers ask, which can help you get inside your buyer’s mind.
How to Create an Etsy Account
It’s free and easy to set up your Etsy account. Just follow these steps:
- Go to Etsy’s website and click Register at the top of the page.
- Fill out your email address, first name, and password.
- Click Register.
- Wait for the confirmation email to arrive (it’ll take a few minutes), and then click the confirmation link.
That’s it! You’ve created your Etsy account, and you’re almost ready to list your first item. However, before you can do that, Etsy will want some financial information.
Etsy wants two things from you: a PayPal account so you can receive payments and pay for your listings, plus your bank account details if you’re in a country that can receive Etsy payments.
How to Set Up a Listing on Etsy
Once you’ve submitted your financial details, your account should be ready to go, and it’s time to start listing items. To do this, look for the Shop Manager button at the top of the page.
- Scroll down to Listings. You’ll find it on the left side.
- Click on Add a Listing at the top on the right side.
- Start by adding a photo. Etsy allows up to 10 pictures.
- You also have the option to upload a video that shows the product in closer detail. Videos must be 5 to 15 seconds long and in high resolution.
Etsy Listing Details
Listing the item is the most time-consuming part due to the multiple drop-down options.
- Start with your item title and remember to include keywords. There’s plenty of free tools you can use to get ideas, like Ubersuggest.
- Next, you’ll see a drop-down menu labeled “Who made it?” There are three options to choose from. Etsy just wants to know if you made the item yourself, a member of your team or shop made it, or it’s from a manufacturer.
- Now, you’ll move on to the “What is it?” drop-down menu. You’ll find two choices here: a finished product or a tool to make things.
- Finally, there’s the “When was it made?” drop-down menu. Etsy gives you a list of dates to choose from: Recently, Vintage, and Not Yet Made for made-to-order items.
- For the next step, fill out the Category box. Enter up to three words, and you’ll see a list of categories appear. Find the most suitable one by clicking on the drop-down menu that appears.
- Fill out your renewable options. Here, choose from Automatic or Manual. Etsy recommends the Automatic choice, which costs 20 cents per listing and lasts for 4 months.
- Complete the Type section. This indicates whether your listing is for a digital or physical product.
- Your next step is the Description. Now it’s time to get creative. Like a Google snippet, Etsy buyers will see just the first few lines. Make sure to include the item’s unique features and keywords. Etsy suggests including the process behind the product or your brand’s story too. However, if you want some more inspiration, Etsy has an article on writing great descriptions.
- You can now add these optional details:
- Sections: This allows you to group related items.
- Tags: Think of them as keywords to help shoppers find your items.
- Materials: Detail the materials or components.
Now it’s time for the inventory and pricing. You should have a good idea of pricing by now from looking at similar products. Fill out the boxes and remember to account for your labor, material costs, and shipping. Next:
- Quantity: Enter the amount you have for sale.
- SKU: You can also enter an SKU, but this is optional.
- Variations: Here’s where you’ll list different colors, designs, sizing.
- Personalization: Select the “On” option on the right side. You’ll then see a box labeled “Instructions for Buyers.” Add any personalization instructions.
You’re almost there! You’ve just got to select your shipping options.
The final step is shipping. There are four boxes for you to complete:
- shipping options
- processing times
- fixed shipping prices
At the bottom of the page on the right side, you have three choices: Preview, Save as Draft, and Publish. Publish will list your item live on Etsy. However, it’s always a good idea to preview it first.
Tips for Selling on Etsy
There’s more to a good Etsy listing than SEO keywords. It’s best to have clear descriptions, strong branding, good customer reviews, and an up-to-date bio. Let’s discuss these.
Write the Perfect Description
This article has already covered the essentials of writing strong product descriptions. However, as they are such an essential part of your Etsy business, there’s space for more. Aside from detailed, keyword-rich, honest descriptions, you should also use:
- your brand voice
- short, punchy paragraphs
- bullet points
Brand Your Etsy Shop
Branding builds confidence and loyalty. It gives you a unique voice that buyers recognize, helping you get noticed in a crowded market.
Begin branding by identifying your unique selling point. Then:
- Detail the story behind your business and integrate keywords.
- Use your understanding of your customer demographics to appeal to them.
- Create a tagline or statement. Make it something memorable.
When you’ve decided what you want your brand to look and sound like, start working on its cohesiveness. Ensure your Etsy shop, packaging materials, and everything in between has the same look, style, and tone. Most importantly, make sure it’s uniquely yours.
Keep Your Shop Bio Current
Don’t just use your bio to tell buyers who you are. Use it to make shop announcements, offer discounts, and highlight sales and new listings. If there’s anything else worthy of including in your bio that will differentiate you, include that too. For instance, if you’ve gained a further diploma in art or jewelry making, shout about it.
You could also add your latest or best reviews, any publicity you’re picking up, or any changes you’ve made to order processes, returns, and disclaimers.
Encourage Etsy Reviews
It’s no secret that getting reviews encourages customers to buy. However, getting your first bit of feedback isn’t always easy, even if the customer is happy.
That said, there are some ways you can actively encourage your customers to leave a review. You could:
- Put a note in with orders: Include a polite message with each order you send out asking your buyer to leave feedback. Remember to invite your buyer to contact you directly if they’re unhappy in any way.
- Use your listings: In your listings, explain the importance of feedback to your business and ask customers to leave feedback once they receive their items or to contact you directly if they have any questions.
- Get friends and family to buy an item: OK, so it’s cheating a little bit, but one way of kicking off your feedback is to ask people you know to purchase an item and give an honest opinion.
Advertise Your Etsy Shop
One way to advertise your shop is Etsy Ads. Etsy’s PPC feature works pretty much like any other PPC advertising campaign. Once started, these ads give you better visibility on Etsy’s search engines, and Etsy will show your ads through a mix of its properties.
To sign up:
- Sign in and choose Shop Manager.
- Choose the Marketing option.
- Click Advertising and select your budget. The default amount is $1 daily.
- Check your advert and then choose Advertise.
In addition, don’t forget to make the most of free advertising opportunities. Consider posting on social media, encouraging word of mouth, or joining an Etsy Team.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Regardless of your seller status, you can always offer stellar customer service, such as emailing customers to confirm orders and shipping. They will get notifications from Etsy, but customers always appreciate a personal touch.
Remember, excellent customer service starts before the customer orders. You can achieve this by writing detailed item descriptions, having clear shopping policies, and using quality images.
You could also focus on building customer relationships by inviting customers to sign up for your newsletters, following up with customers post-sale, and encouraging future purchases through special offers and discounts.
If you sell in the arts and crafts niche, Etsy could be a solid option. It provides a ready audience of millions of customers every year, and it’s easy and affordable to get started.
However, with so many sellers on Etsy, it’s hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. That’s why it’s vital to do your research and find out what other sellers are doing before setting up shop.
Once you understand the fundamentals of branding, establishing a loyal audience, and creating a unique proposition, you have every chance of success.
Do you sell on Etsy? Tell us about your experiences.
It’s no secret that the field of marketing is constantly evolving, and SaaS brands are not immune from the challenges that arise due to the fast-paced nature of the field. One great way SaaS companies can keep up is through brand advocacy.
2021 SaaS Trends that Affect Brand Advocacy
For starters, consider the overwhelming push toward personalization.
According to a Forbes article, 71% of consumers “feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal.” 74% are displeased with websites that aren’t personalized.
This signals the need for SaaS brands to segment their content assets and interfaces to hone in on messages that speak directly to specific customers. Personalization will continue to be expected in the years to come, and brands will have to figure out how to deliver it.
In the SaaS industry, where every interaction is ideally tracked, the opportunities for personalization are enormous.
Changes to Facebook’s algorithm a few years ago have also caused organic reach for pages to remain in decline, though you may still be able to find some success in organic if you get creative.
There’s also the rise of automation to think about.
New and existing SaaS companies are investing heavily in AI and machine learning to reduce churn and win more new customers simultaneously. From services that provide A/B testing to conversational bots that capture leads on-site, brands are rapidly experimenting with new ways to optimize their content.
Why Brand Advocacy is Such a Big Deal for SaaS
Simply put, your content marketing strategy is at the core of your capacity to adapt as a SaaS brand. Beyond the basic benefits of driving traffic and raising brand awareness, an effective content strategy is essential to consistently nurture and onboard leads.
Conventional wisdom says that we should shell out piles of money for paid media or sponsoring influencer posts to grab people’s attention. However, is this sort of “pay-to-play” strategy really the best way to go?
In an era where social proof is such a powerful currency for marketers, it’s more important than ever for SaaS marketers to seek out brand advocates wherever they possibly can.
Who could possibly be better brand advocates than your own customers and employees? These people are already emotionally invested in your product’s success, and they know your brand better than anyone else.
Encouraging your own network to promote your content and product from their personal social accounts is a potential game-changer for SaaS brands. Rather than spend the resources to chase paid outlets and influencers, brands should focus on advocacy, which can produce better results in a shorter amount of time.
“By creating a product that solved a problem that a lot of people faced, it meant there were already millions of people looking for us when we launched,” Canva CEO Melanie Perkins told Forbes, “so when they found us, they told their colleagues, friends and families.”
Here are some of the biggest benefits associated with brand advocacy, along with some ways that SaaS marketers can get started with realizing them.
1. Overcome Content Overload
In an era where people are on their phones nearly 4 hours or more per day, your customers obviously have a lot to sift through.
While the concept of “quality content” might be cliché at this point, consider how a higher volume of shares highlights a piece of content as buzzworthy. This is social proof at its best.
Content shares and product recommendations work because people trust peers and thought leaders more than they trust brands and institutions.
Bear in mind that employees who serve as active advocates on social media can quickly emerge as influencers on your behalf. Indeed, transforming your own employees into thought leaders is a desirable byproduct of brand advocacy.
2. Expand Your Organic Reach through Brand Advocacy
No matter how you slice it, competition in the SaaS space is fierce.
Considering that there are approximately 8,000 brands in the martech space alone, SaaS companies must fight tooth and nail for the attention of potential customers.
Think of advocacy as a sort of numbers game. The more people promoting your content, paid or otherwise, the more likely you are to break through the noise and reach the people who need your product most.
When you encourage employees to regularly promote your content with their own social media audiences, you essentially amass a small army of promoters you can call on time and time again. Through social brand advocacy, you exponentially increase your social reach and potential to be seen by leads.
Keep in mind – in many cases, all it takes is for the right person to see a link and opt-in for a free trial to pave the way to the sale.
TOPO CEO Scott Albro notes that the smaller the company your prospect works for, the more likely he or she will be to stick with your product once the trial period expires:
“SaaS buyers won’t engage in more than one trial. Our data shows that this is particularly true in the small and medium size business market where buyers tend to comparison-shop less. You need to make sure that buyers find your trial first. You also need to make sure that you don’t squander that opportunity when you get it.”
3. Engage Your Employees to Help Grow Brand Awareness
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of encouraging brand advocates among employees is the actual task of asking them to do so.
While most workers would be glad to promote your content, keep in mind that brands should treat advocacy like any other sort of campaign. That means having a defined strategy and measuring performance.
However, SaaS teams often have highly specialized skill sets. You can’t expect everyone to be a seasoned content marketer and social seller, too.
Instead of having employees post content haphazardly, consider some of the tools out there that help streamline the process of internal brand advocacy. You can also help them with the content of their post.
One such tool is Smarp, which aggregates company news and industry-relevant content to categorized feeds. Team members can pick up the content that speaks to them most and schedule posts for their own profiles with just a few clicks.
This cuts down on potential wastes of time on social media and streamlines the process of sharing new content amongst your workers.
Features such as gamification signal the most active advocates within any given company, providing additional incentives for employees to become eager advocates. In addition to content aggregation, Smarp provides analytics on both a company-wide and personal level to identify top advocates.
This type of system works because it makes employees from all departments into partners in your SaaS product’s exponential sales growth success, a process which Roketto Co-founder Ulf Lonegren compares to the growth of a tree that spawns more trees:
“Make your employees proud of the work they do, make them feel like an important part of the process by reminding them how the software provides value and informing them of the successes, listen to their ideas, and provide a sales chart in the engine room that tracks the progress. Set sales goals and provide rewards for reaching those goals. Provide incentives for team members to make sales. In this world of mass marketing, word of mouth often provides the authenticity that buyers want when seeking a product, so remember that every member of your team could be that one oak tree, and from one tree many nuts can fall.”
4. Supercharge Your Social Selling
SaaS customers are heavily influenced by what they see on social media when it comes time to make purchases.
This rings true in terms of how often they see content and the sharers of that content. If social posts from sales pros, marketers, and brands themselves are deemed less worthy of people’s attention than social posts from peers and laymen, then your prospects are more likely to respond favorably to content shared by a high volume of people.
Research from Sana, published in 2018, indicates that social media is the number two driver of digital sales in the B2B sector, ranking just behind onsite buying. This is how the brand advocacy strategy can really boost your sales. The more people who share your content across social channels, the more customers you attract to your business.
According to LinkedIn, 87% of social customers have a favorable view of products that were introduced to them through their own network. By promoting products via employees, you have access to personal networks that you might not otherwise reach exclusively through a brand channel.
A greater number of brand advocates translates into more brand equity in the minds of potential customers, which makes it easier for sales reps to build relationships on social channels and to close more deals in shorter sales cycles.
This is fortunate, as sales cycles need as much shortening as they can get, in order to remain scalable. The Bridge Group’s Matt Bertuzzi notes that the total contract value for a SaaS conversion correlates with the number of days it takes sales reps to seal the deal. According to his firm’s data, B2B SaaS sales cycles can last anywhere from five weeks to five months.
“I predict that the usage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator by Sales Teams will increase considerably, enabling them both to zero in on their target prospects with extreme precision and also to delve deeper into Social Selling. The key here is to focus on providing value, build trust and develop solid professional relationships with target prospects that will ultimately improve sales figures. Great emphasis will also be placed on the way we present ourselves as Sales Professionals on the LinkedIn platform since with such fierce competition, now more than ever, we need to not only stand out in our professional field but also to engage in actions that will significantly increase our visibility on the LinkedIn platform.”
Prospecting platforms are major game-changers in this regard. Social selling teams can use them to scale operations, thanks to smart libraries of content assets that reps can append to posts on the fly, as well as sophisticated contact intelligence data that can be used for qualifying leads mid-discussion and enriching CRM entries.
5. Keep Your Content Budget Under Control
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 46% of brands spent less than $1000,000 on digital marketing budget in 2020. Given the emphasis on automation and other tools that could potentially cut into any given SaaS company’s budget, a leaner content marketing strategy just plain makes sense.
When your employees and customers are doing the legwork of promoting your brand, you cut out any sort of middleman when it comes to promotion. While there might be a time and place for paid media or influencers, SaaS brands should focus on an organic promotion strategy that keeps costs down.
Encouraging brand advocacy costs next to nothing compared to paid media. Additionally, popping up more and more via social media could actually score you earned media mentions as an added bonus.
Rather than paying for promotion and distribution, creating your own advocates represents a more financially sensible strategy.
As competition continues to emerge in the SaaS space, having voices on deck to promote your content becomes a critical piece of standing out from the crowd.
Not only does advocacy keep content marketing costs down, but allows SaaS brands to seamlessly signal their authority. Rather than pay for that same credibility, why not generate it yourself?
While marketing strategies at large never stay the same for long, brand advocacy is here to stay. If you want help growing your brand awareness or with any other content marketing needs, let us know!
The post Why SaaS Brand Advocacy is More Important than Ever in 2021 appeared first on Neil Patel.
Bonus Bill (Originally aired 1/29/16)
SEEKING WORK | Indonesia (UTC+7) | Remote Only ― ― ― ― ― Technologies: HTML, CSS, JS, Hugo, Git, Figma, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. Résumé/CV: Available via email. Email: [email protected] ― ― ― ― ― I’m the creator of Uisual (https://uisual.com/). A collection of free & open source (https://github.com/uisual/freebies) plain HTML/CSS landing page templates …
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When it comes to getting funding to start and run a business, it can seem that everything depends on credit. If you have bad credit, you may feel like you have no options. That’s not the case. There is a secret sauce, so to speak, that can allow you to get a business credit card with bad credit. From there, you simply have to handle your credit responsibly so you can build good credit. That will open up all the business funding options you could ever need.
While the slit is narrow indeed, there is a place to slide through credit card approval with bad credit. It takes knowledge however. You have to know the secrets of where to look, and how to use that small foothold to build up strong business credit so you can qualify for more options.
Brex Card for Startups
The Brex card for startups is one of the few true options for a small business credit card with bad credit. Even a FICO as low as 300 may qualify. There is no annual fee, and you can apply with your EIN rather than your SSN. There is no personal guarantee requirement.
The only catch is, not all industries qualify, and some industries require more paperwork than others.
Wondering how they are able to verify creditworthiness if a business has bad credit? They look at the business’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.
Not only can you get this card with bad credit, but they even offer rewards. For example you can get 7x points on rideshare and 4x on travel. Likewise, get triple points on restaurants and double points on recurring software costs. Get 1x points on everything else.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business
If you don’t have stellar credit, but still hold your own with average credit, you may be able to get the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It also has no annual fee, but there is no introductory APR deal. The regular APR is a variable 26.99%. In addition, you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, with no minimum to redeem.
While this card is available if you have average credit scores, you do need to be aware of the APR. If you can pay on time however, and in full, then it’s a deal.
What if a Small Business Credit Card with Bad Credit Isn’t Enough?
What if you have bad credit, and that Brex card isn’t enough? Say you need more. Are there other options? A business credit expert can help you find all the options you qualify to get, but here are a few to give you an idea.
Credit Line Hybrid
A credit line hybrid is unsecured business financing. It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.
It is not as hard to qualify as you may think. You do need good personal credit. That is, your personal credit score should be at least 680. In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.
Now you are wondering how on earth this relates to getting a small business credit card with bad credit. However, there’s more. Here’s the key. If you do not meet all of the requirements, you can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding.
There are Many Benefits
There are many benefits to using a credit line hybrid. First, it is unsecured, meaning you do not have to have any collateral to put up. Next, the funding is “no-doc.” This means you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.
Not only that, but typically approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Additionally, often you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business.
The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it. The lenders report to your business credit report, even if you have a credit partner. This means your business credit only gets stronger as long as you make payments on time, consistently.
Also, with the approval for multiple credit cards, competition is created. This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
Business Revenue Lending
Another option is business revenue lending. You can get this type of funding with a credit score as low as 500. Your business must earn annual revenue of $120,000 or more, and it must do more than 5 small transactions each month. If your business brings in at least $15,000 monthly, then 6 months in business is acceptable. You will have to fill out an application and provide 6 months worth of bank statements.
Merchant Cash Advance
If you accept credit cards as payment, you may qualify for a merchant cash advance. You only need a credit score of at least 500. To qualify, your business must bring in $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales. Typical approval amounts equal one months’ credit processing volume. In addition to the application, you’ll need 3-6 months bank and merchant statements.
Account Receivable Financing
Accounts receivable financing is another option. You need to have open receivables from another business or government agency, not individuals. In addition, you need to have been in business for at least one year. The minimum credit score is just 500.
You can get up to 80% of receivables advanced in as little as 24 hours.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
It Is Possible to Get a Small Business Credit Card with Bad Credit
There is such a thing as a small business credit card with bad credit, but there aren’t many. It’s unlikely you will be able to get enough funding with business credit cards alone if your credit isn’t good. These other options are available however. The business credit experts at Credit Suite are trained to help you find the best options for your business. They can also help you use them to build business credit, so you have access to more funding in the future.
This is important, because even if funding requires a personal guarantee, strong business credit can only help you. If you have really good personal credit, strong business credit can help you get better rates and terms. If your personal credit is lacking, strong business credit can help you gain approval anyway by showing lenders that your business, itself, is creditworthy. Either way, these options for funding with bad credit can help you get started.
The post Can You Get a Small Business Credit Card with Bad Credit? appeared first on Credit Suite.