Welcome everyone to episode 4 of Etsy Jam.
This week we have a special guest with us, it is Rachel from PaperBerryPress and she will be talking about the adventures of a mompreneur!
How did Rachel get started with Etsy?
To go back to 2013, I opened a shop and at the time, I had a full time job. I was a teacher and Etsy was just a way for me to start monetizing my hobby. So it started out as a hobby business. I made a few sales and really liked learning the side of business. It’s been 41 months since I opened my shop but I’ve only been an active shop for 25 months.
When people ask what I do, I always say “I’m now a stay-at-home mompreneur”. Of course my first priority has to be a ‘stay-at-home mom’ but the ‘preneur’ part is also very special to me.
Being a mompreneur, what kind of tricks do you use when you’re trying to find the time to work on the ‘preneur’ part when most of your time is probably consumed with ‘mom’ part?
That is such a good question especially with young kids. There’s so much good advice and content out there but I didn’t always fit the molds of that of a typical creative person that have this infinite amount of time and schedule. Add that to the internet telling you to be everywhere all at once. It was really hard. I’ll admit, I am a creative person but I’m not an organized person. It’s hard to fit in all the demands of running a household and also run a business.
So last year, August 2015 I made the decision and I said “I’m gonna take my business seriously.” When I did that, I said I needed to soften the noise of the internet and I really just need to look at what the Etsy platform has to offer me as an Etsy seller. Also, I need to understand the buyer experience – how the buyers find me; and if I can understand those things and focus on growth and sales – the rest can fall into place and I’ll still have time to spend with my beautiful precious babies.
What gave you that moment of figuring out to ignore the noise and start focusing on the core things?
I think I was being busy for being busy’s sake. I was trying to be on every single social media platform and doing what people are telling me to do. There’s a lot of pressure out there or so I thought. I was trying too many things and wasn’t going anywhere. Until I found something to really focus on, that equaled results. That is what changed it for me. I created a growth plan. That’s what I ended up doing and it’s all through Etsy search.
You said you’ve focused on the things that get the most results, could you elaborate more on that?
Everything changed when I learned about scaling a business. Like last week you talked about the fear of failure; but I have the fear of success. In my mind, success meant that it’s gonna take up more of my time. I’ll get more orders and do more things and I was afraid of that. When I learned about scaling, it brought to the forefront the ideas of systematizing and automating. I knew that there are things in place on the Etsy platform already. I knew that they would have things for their sellers and place for us that we can utilize to help us as sellers.
So really just stopping and looking at the buyer process, and we can go over that it all starts with search. Again, utilizing every piece of real estate that Etsy gives you.
When you’re talking about that fear of success, how did you overcome that?
Last August, I was pregnant when I decided this [to take my business seriously] and I knew the busiest season is coming. It was going to be a very busy season and here I am, pregnant. I knew I was gonna be 9 months pregnant in December. I really need to have a plan – and that’s kinda where the growth plan started. In January, I took a little hiatus in part of the new baby up ’till February. But jumping back in, it’s kind of ironic that now with 3 little ones, having less time has been my greatest asset because now – the time that I do have is “focus time” and it’s very specific on what I focus on.
How did you identify who your ideal customer was?
I think I resonate a lot with my ideal customers. I’m a 34 year old mom, when I design things, I design things I like. I have a younger sister as well – we’re 6 years apart – and so I can get her feedback on a lot of things. One of the ways I did it like I talked about was on Facebook. I knew who I wanted my target market to be but through Facebook I figured out that sometimes who I thought in my mind was my ideal customer; actually wasn’t.
I knew that I had a large women audience, I thought the range was gonna be 23y/o – 65y/o. But doing a few ads several times and A/B Testing I found that my ideal target market is women, they’re either from urban areas, or they are in the southern states. I also found that they’re normally between ages 23 – 34.
Could you tell us a bit about what your Growth plan is?
I really focus on 5 things. Part of it is having a growth plan and knowing when I do monetize enough and I need to put back into my shop to run this beautiful business I created. I also have processes in place and those are the two big ones. The third is Product development. Then Product management such as maintaining my listings and then Sales. Those are the things I focus on and systems are the biggest; because time is everything to me. Within Etsy, there are lots of things you can do. Here are the tools I use for my system in place:
How do you get people to join your mailing list?
I have two things in place. The first is in my listing. I am really big on repeat customers so I wanna get people on my mailing list. So I have a little coupon code within the listing that says “Hey before you buy, you can save 10%. Sign up here!”. I also hooked up AWeber. I use AWeber specifically because they integrate with Etsy. So if somebody purchases something, I have a second chance to get that email in front of them. If they didn’t catch it in my listing description, now AWeber would notice that they purchased and would send a little email saying “Hey, would you like to join our mailing list?”. I get a lot of people that way.
Rachel’s tips on how to look for trends:
Get on Instagram, or Facebook, or any social media channels that you prefer and look at trade shows. Look up these big shows because they happen months and months before the trend starts (because they’re selling to retailers). So look at things that they’re offering. For example, right now you’re gonna see lots of things in Instagram like marble backgrounds. I started noticing that trend on Instagram on trade shows last September 2015. So ask yourself, is this a trend that I could use in my product development? Could I stage my products using this trend and does it fit into my brand? Those are things you can definitely do that are easy to implement and it will give you a leg up.
If you find a trend that’s coming up, say ‘flamingo’ for example, all you need to do is get on Marmalead, start targeting your keywords now. Get on Keyword Comparison and start looking for how you can optimize your products that may have to do with flamingoes.
As far as using Marmalead, what does your work flow look like?
I use iOS and Mac. The first thing I do is to put Marmalead in the homescreen on each of my devices. You may have to log in each time you use Marmalead but at least it’s there within a click of a button.
My next workflow is that I got a Dropbox account and I have that on all my devices as well. So what I do is I go to Marmalead, go to Keyword Comparison, and I would search for some keywords first. Then I take a screenshot. The great thing about screenshots is that it’s going to timestamp that screenshot. So I know the date in which I did those searches and put it in my Dropbox. I have a little folder there that says ‘Marmalead’ and a folder of each of my products. Then I drop that screenshot into the folder of the listing related to my search. So that when I have time, I can look at all the keywords I targeted and then when I’m ready to get on my listing, I have them all right there.
I also use your fabulous worksheets. Those of you that are already on Marmalead, this is a great opportunity to use this worksheets. It is so systemized and step by step. It’s a no-brainer and you don’t have to be good at this stuff. You just follow the steps.
The best thing about Marmalead is the Keyword Search. You can search for a targeted keyword that you want and say you’re on page 1. You can look at the views that you have and what other people have too! You can also see their pictures! You can click over and see what they’re doing so you can really compare yourself to the people that are also ranking.
I also love your Trending Tags. I can see how people might not use the Trending tags but guys, take a screenshot of the Trending. Think of this as the “long game” of marketing. You wanna see what’s trending now because a lot of things are seasonal. See what’s trending at this very moment so that next year you have an idea what the hottest keywords were. When did they start popping up? How early did it start trending? You can really start to curate a collection of information that is going to be really powerful for you.
Thank you for being here with us, folks. If you prefer live video, we invite you to see us in Etsy Jam! Every Thursday 12PM EST / 9AM PST!