Welcome everyone to the second episode of Etsy Jam!
First before we jump in to stuff too much, I’d like to make announcement that we’ve released the worksheets we talked about last week thru an email. If you didn’t receive the email, you can login to the Marmalead website and as soon as you get on to the Keyword Search page you’ll see a link to the videos describing what the worksheets are and a link to the worksheets themselves. You can download them and start using them!
Basically what we’re trying to do with those worksheets is help you guys measure when you’re making changes to your listings whether or not those changes are actually having a positive impact.
With us here today is our guest Jen Carrey whose Etsy shop is THEmodernBAZAAR!
How did Jen get started with Etsy?
Jen: “I started beading and bought buttons and make things out of it. When I started on Etsy I thought, “Oh I’m just gonna find a shop that is really successful and I’m gonna emulate that and duplicate what they do and I’m gonna make just as much money as they are”. That wasn’t working and I think once I’ve found my authentic self in designing, I kinda started to take off. It was really good.”
How did Jen achieved success?
Jen: “It’s just working hard, being diligent with it, great customer service, and photography. You have to work your butt off, and if you do, it can be great! We support our family on it [her shop].”
Did you try selling at Craft fairs or other places online before you opened a shop on Etsy?
Jen: “No we didn’t. I was a Chemical Security Expert before this, so no. I actually quit my job last March and it’s been a year since I’m doing this full time.”
I like selling on Etsy because…
Jen: “I love what I do, I love our customers, and I love being on Etsy. They provide us with a really great opportunity. It’s even gotten better when we started using your tool!”
How do you decide what listings to attack and which listings to do research for?
Jen: “Last night, I went on and I looked up ‘personalized ring’ and I know that’s a very broad keyword but I was wondering if I can rank on that. Then I noticed that the #1 and #2 listing under ‘personalized ring‘ was a coordinate ring – which we sell. So I was like, “Huh, that says something right there, cause we’re not even ranked on ‘personalized ring’“. We don’t rank in the top 500 at all, but our competition sells $18 rings and it’s cheaper than ours (since it’s plated).
What I did is I went in and I opened up their listing. I copied their tags; I took one of my listings, I took all of my tags, figured out which ones to keep and which ones to add. I took that listing and I copied it. Then I changed my title and tags with the same keywords as theirs. From a brand new listing, I automatically created a new listing that is ranking on page 3!”
"I don't usually try to rank for 'personalized ring'. I don't like to do it if it has a lot of competition. If I find a market with low competition and people are talking about it, then that's where I wanna rank usually."
How are you deciding which keywords to keep, and which ones to scrap or borrow something else they have?
Jen: “I take out generic ones. Like ‘gold rings’ etc. I took that out and replaced it with mine like ‘coordinates’, ‘stamped rings’ and ‘personalized jewelry’.”
How often do you renew?
Jen: “I don’t even know how much I renew per day. I renew almost hourly on all my targeted listings.”
Gordon's Pro tip: If you've used our worksheet, you can modify that and start tracking how many hours and see when you might fall off of that first page. That would give you a good sense of how frequently you might need to renew things on average.
Being fresh to Etsy, teaching yourself jewelry crafting and all that can be overwhelming. Where did you go for resources for all of that, how did you know all that stuff?
Jen: “Trial and error. I read a lot, learned stuff from them, learned stuff from you guys. I do not go to the forums, that’s the only thing I don’t do on Etsy. And I’m also part of a jewelry designer community. That helps me a lot too. It’s all trial and error. Hard work and kept studying things.”
What are you doing to promote your Etsy shop?
Jen: “I use Pinterest a lot. I used to have an ad running on FB. Im not really doing much on social media but luckily we have a decent following on Facebook and Pinterest. I also use Promoted Pins a lot.”
Do you still actively seek out press opportunities? Did they just call you up or email you one day? How did that happen?
Jen: “I’ve never actively searched for anybody. We’ve been in InStyle magazine last Mother’s day and that was just people that picked us up or saw our stuff on Etsy. I have not done anything, even blog outreach.”
How do you compete with cheap versions of your jewelry?
Jen: “That’s a great question. It’s happening with our ‘gold filled’ rings. We’re competing with Etsy shops that have $18 cheap gold plated rings that they buy overseas. What I’ve done recently is that I started adding more value to my listings. I educated my customers what the difference is between a gold filled jewelry and a gold plated one. That helped. We’ve been thanked a few times for giving that information and explaining the difference between a $18 ring and a $60 ring.”
You don’t go into the Etsy forums. What lead you to steer away from the Etsy forum?
Jen: “I think it’s easy to get caught up in what’s Etsy is doing and I try not to be a part of that only because it is nerve-wracking a little bit whenever they change their algorithms. I guess I just didn’t want to jump on in any negative bandwagons. I keep thinking that if I work hard, it’s good enough.”
"We're not ones to sit on forums and complain about things. If something is changing, we just change with it."
Can you talk a little bit how you price your jewelry?
Jen: “I have a formula. I take the cost of goods, plus labor if we have people to help us polish and things like that. Also we have multipliers for wholesale prices and a multiplier for retail pricing. As far as pricing goes, I do look at my competition and this is one of those things that you can go crazy over how you compare to everybody else. If you do your thing, and you’re confident what you’re putting out there, and the reason why you do this and if you can justify the money you’re asking for, then I think you’ll do well.”
You mentioned your customer base was changing. How would you tell other sellers to recognize when your customer base is changing and how to get to know your customer base?
Jen: “To be honest, there were younger people that bought $28 bracelets from us and were leaving negative reviews. We figured they are not the age group we were targeting. We’re targeting people in their 30’s primarily, people that have this experiences that they can put on our bracelets and necklaces. People that had gotten married, had babies, bought a house, all different coordinates, people that have had a lost in their lives. I want to work with people that are having these life experiences either happy or sad. We want to be there for every event in their life.”
Jen’s why: Why she do what she does.
Jen: “My Dad died 5 years ago and I wore a charm with his name on it. I wore it on my neck for about 2 years and found such comfort in that. It became important to me to help other people that are going through these similar things that I went through. I hear sad stories everyday from customers but knowing that we are helping these people get through tough times mean everything to us. I have to stay in tuned with that and if I keep that in the front of my mind then things go well for us.”
How do you do SEO for very similar items without finding yourself competing against yourself?
Jen: “I’ll compete against myself all day long! I don’t see a problem with that.”
"I'm a firm believer that the difference between people that succeed and people that don't is just the people that do it. It's only a matter of actually doing it."