Although having slower sales than usual can feel helpless, it's a completely normal (and treatable) rut to go through as a business owner! Follow the steps below to kickstart your sales and get back to feeling great about your business.
1. Update your SEO
If you're going to only do one thing from this article, I urge you to do this! Updating your SEO is the most important step to take when you notice your shop traffic and your sales have decreased. Check each and every one of your listings to make sure that your titles are up to date with current seasons, trends, holidays, and buzzwords. For example, if Father's Day is over then you're going to want to replace all of those "Father's Day" keywords with similar keywords such as "Gift for Dad", or "Grandpa Gift".
Even if there haven't been any holidays or season changes, it's still important to review your listings' SEO every 3-4 weeks and update a few keywords - the thesaurus is your best friend! Updating your keywords "refreshes" your listings in the Etsy search system and can help get your listings more easily found. Remaining active on Etsy can help you when you're looking to make consistent, cold sales.
Don't get left behind in the search system by continuing to use keywords that are no longer being searched on Etsy!
2. Get more active on social media
When you're not making consistent sales, it can feel really difficult to muster up another social media post. You have to push through those feelings and remain extremely consistent on sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Continuing to share your work through these platforms is a great way to remain seen by potential customers, show your current followers more of your work, and show yourself how great you are at your job.
If you're really having trouble with this one, I urge you to use planning apps such as Hootsuite, or Planoly. These apps both offer free plans, and can help you manage your time better so that you can focus on doing what you love - creating!
These stats from Hootsuite show you just how important instagram is for business:
- 1 billion + people use Instagram every month
- Users spend an average of 30 minutes on Instagram every day
- 81% of people use Instagram to research products or services
- 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month
- 50% of users have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service
- The average instagram business account posts at least once per day
3. Kickstart your creative process
The first part of yourself that takes a hit when you're not making as many sales is the creative part of you. You start to second guess your work, doubt yourself as a business owner, and feel helpless. I've been there, you've been there, every small business owner has been there! It's normal to not be perfect all of the time. However - don't let slow sales change who you are as a business owner and a creator.
Take 30 minutes of your day to sit alone, put on your favorite music, and sketch out some ideas for the future. Think of 5 new listings and clearly plan out step-by-step how to add them to your shop. Write out your Michael's shopping list, plan your listing budget and projected ROI, research keywords that you'll use in your titles and tags, and draw a picture of exactly what you want your new listing to look like. Creating a clear plan is a sure-fire way to make the whole process easier and more enjoyable, and help you stay on task!
4. Review your shop's stats
The good news about hitting a slump is that you have all of the answers right in front of you. Review your stats for the past few months and see what's been working the best for you. If you're noticing that listings A, B, and C are gaining a lot of views and favorites, but D, E, and F aren't, then it may be time to make more of what's getting attention and cut out what's not. It can feel really hard to de-activate listings from your shop, but it's important to listen to what your shoppers are telling you. That's exactly why large companies run dozens focus groups and pay exorbitant amounts of money on consumer research just for one particular product line!
5. Focus on the good
Remind yourself of 10 great things that you've done for your business, or your business has done for you. Re-connect with what makes you as a shop owner special! Did you make enough extra money in the past few months to buy a loved one that special gift? Do you feel proud of creating something that you initially weren't sure if you could? When things are going great, it's easy to forget that things were ever bad. And when things are going poorly, it's so hard to believe that times will ever be good again. The good new is - they WILL! It's going to get better. Focus on what you love about being a business owner, and things will get easier and feel more natural. Don't focus as much on exactly how money you're making every day, but rather the little steps that you're taking to get back on track. You've got this!
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