Join us for part 2 of our 2 part Jam with Dave from WoodlandZen. Dave talks about how making a huge change in his mindset made selling online much easier. He shares some tips for cultivating positive thoughts and as a bonus, some tips he’s learned about promoted listings on Etsy as well. Read on to know more about what Dave recommends to putting you on the path to Etsy shop success!
Jumping right in
Dave: Just like any other seller, I used to get really negative and blame Etsy. I used to participate in what I call “Etsy Conspiracies” or “Etsy Rumors” and would get mad at customers. It was all more negative than positive. I came to a point where I realized that this negative mindset was actually really affecting me, my girlfriend and my business. So, I made a conscious effort to flip that attitude and move forward.
Tip #1: Staying Positive
Dave: I actually talk about this in one of my videos on YouTube. This is super broad and obvious. I’m sure you could predict that I was gonna say this. But, staying positive is one of the best things you can do. In terms of staying positive, a great thing to do is to identify thoughts. Identify thoughts that are no longer going to serve you. If you have a negative thought ask yourself, “I wonder if these multi-millionaire CEO’s and super successful business owners have these types of thoughts that I’m having every single day?” If the thoughts are negative, the answer is probably no. Successful people don’t think like that. They don’t think about what is hurting them. They think about what’s helping them and they’ve learned to identify these negative thoughts and weed them out of their minds.
Don’t give in
Identify those negative thoughts and don’t give into them. Each negative thought is like a slippery slope. Once you subscribe to it, once you jump into it, it’s like a slip and slide. You’ll slide down it and then there will be plenty of other negative routes you can take. There are tons of other negative thoughts you can think of. And then, everyone knows that being a negative person, in general, is just not good for your life.
Easy on Etsy
It can be especially easy to be negative on Etsy because, like I said in the previous Jam, your Etsy shop is more connected to yourself personally and your ego compared to a drop shipping business or an Amazon business. Your shop is you personally. The best thing you can do is remove your ego from your shop. Always ask yourself what a successful person would think right now that would help them move forward.
Tip # 2: Always learn more
If you’re sitting stagnate by just going into forums and participating in “Etsy rumors” and negative Etsy thoughts, then each minute you spend doing this is wasted. You’re taking your shop downhill instead of uphill. Always be learning more. I mentioned this in the first Jam, but if you want to make a full-time income on Etsy you have to act like it’s a full-time income on Etsy right now. Some people go to college and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars in order to make a full-time income. With Etsy, you’re able to do that with little or no investment.
So, if you’re serious about it, I suggest getting some coaching from me or from someone else who will help you move forward and buy some eBooks! A little investment in terms of an eBook or coaching is nothing compared to what other people spend attempting to make a full-time income. Again, always learn more and always continue to learn more! Continue watching Etsy Jams and reading the blogs or whatever your favorite source of information is, just don’t stop utilizing it.
Think about it
The example I made above about thinking like a multi-millionaire applies here as well. Most of them have research and development teams and they spend tons of money on learning more and advancing their company. So, the best thing you can do is create a little research and development team inside of your head.
Tip # 3: Understand that you do not own etsy.com
This one can really be a tough pill to swallow. It is their website, it is their platform, they’re going to do whatever they want with it. They’re gonna change the algorithm, they’re gonna up the fees, they’re gonna do a lot of different things. The best thing you can do IF you want to become successful on Etsy is to accept that, move forward, and continue selling on Etsy if that’s your desire. It’s the same thing with an Instagram algorithm change or Facebook algorithm change. I had to realize that I don’t own these websites. I just have a profile, I just have a shop, I don’t own them.
Sometimes, you start thinking it’s yours, but in the end, it’s their website and they’re gonna do whatever they want. So, if you want to move forward, learn more, and play the game. Most of the algorithm changes on any platform are to make it better. Sure, the change in that short little amount of time is gonna ruffle your feathers, but it’s actually to make the platform better and it’s a good thing. Again, I understand this can be a tough pill to swallow.
We agree completely!
Gordon: I think that’s fantastic! It’s a good thing to remember! You’ve gotta keep in mind too as an Etsy seller your customers are Etsy’s customers. You guys have a very symbiotic relationship with one another. Etsy needs sellers to survive and you need Etsy if that’s where you’ve chosen to sell. Also, Etsy brings a huge audience to the table as far as buyers go.
Richie: Right! In this relationship, Etsy has this vested interest where they’re looking at millions of shoppers and their behavior. So, you’re benefiting from the research they’re doing and how they’re designing these tools. If you’re on a different platform or your own website, you don’t have the benefit of someone actually analyzing the behavior of shoppers and how they work on the website and all the different tools they have to really bring people back.
One of the cool things is if you had your own website and someone comes to it that one time they then have to remember to come back to it. But if someone comes to Etsy and they see your stuff and they don’t buy it and then they come back to Etsy for some other reason, they still have the opportunity to see your stuff that they saw before and may have forgotten about. Maybe they favorited it or favorited your shop, maybe it’ll pop back up in their recently viewed items, whatever it is, they still have the chance to see your item and are reminded they were interested in buying it.
But there’s more!
Dave: Exactly! And the alternative to that exact situation with a standalone website is installing a Google pixel on your website and then having to pay for retargeting ads. If someone is listening and they don’t know what retargeting ads are, it’s when you see an ad on the side of your browser for a website that you were at recently. The person who owns that site is paying for you to see that ad. On Etsy, it’s free and is just part of the platform. This is another powerful thing to keep in mind! Etsy has a massive audience coming every single day. You don’t have to pay for ads, you don’t have to develop customer data, this is a whole HUGE process that you can cut out by selling on Etsy if you’re not super tech savvy or if you don’t wanna even get into that.
In your first tip, you mentioned identifying your thoughts. Was that something that came naturally to you? It’s easy to have thoughts and kind of just let them happen, not even realizing the type of thoughts you’re having. Did you have to train yourself to be aware of your negative thoughts?
Dave: Absolutely yes! Like I mentioned before, it was a slippery slope. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re on that slope until you suddenly realize you’re on a forum making a nasty post about some kind of Etsy conspiracy that you have! What I did to recognize those thoughts was to take a step back and say, “Ok, this thought is actually causing me to suffer in one way or another.” You have to have a happy mind in order to have a happy shop. It got to a point where I was like, ok this isn’t working and decided I wasn’t going to be negative anymore. I was determined to do my best and move forward in a positive way.
Giving thoughts attention
Richie: I really like your take on thoughts. I don’t think thoughts get enough attention. When you think about something for a long time, you become physically tired. That means your thoughts ARE taking energy. When thoughts come and go quickly, I don’t think we realize the toll they’ve taken on us. As you pointed out, Dave, a thought is going to have an impact whether or not you recognize it right then or not. Negative thoughts like you said are only going to hurt you. Positive thoughts can help you. But if you’re wasting your time thinking about things that aren’t helping then, it is hurting. I think the way to tell if a thought is positive or negative is to ask yourself if it’s hurting you.
Dave: Absolutely. Many people have heard this analogy but your mind is like a garden. When you’re a gardener, you’re pulling out the weeds that you don’t want to grow so the good plants can grow. You have to do the same thing with your mind. If you don’t tend to it, it’s going to grow weeds and inhibit what you do want to grow. Another analogy I like to mention is to not let your mind go on autopilot. You need to manually drive it in the right direction.
Negative thoughts are extremely easy to focus on. I don’t why, maybe it’s the society we grew up in or the way we grew up, but negative thoughts are super easy to just run with. Positive thoughts are a different story. When I was growing up, nobody taught me how to be positive. Mental health was not really a big topic growing up in society period. So, we’re all mad and our gardens are really full of weeds;)
Your business partner and promoted listings
I’ll use this to connect to the next thing I want to say which is this: if you’re not staying positive and you’re being really negative and thinking that Etsy only wants to suck away your money, then there’s no way that you’re ever going to give promoted listings a chance. The thought instead will be that you’re absolutely not giving Etsy anymore of your money. This is a bad relationship to have with what is essentially your business partner. etsy.com is essentially your business partner. If you have bad views about your business partner and you don’t trust them, you can’t advance your business with them. If you’re in a negative mindset about this, it’s going to be really hard to trust them with the email retargeting, with the favorite retargeting, and with promoted listings.
Giving it a shot
Once I got positive about Etsy, I gave promoted listings a try. Over the past few months, I actually got really good at promoted listings. It’s really amazing what promoted listings can do! They’re not the same, in my opinion, as regular listings. The promoted listings have their own algorithm too, not a completely separate one, but there are some factors playing into promoted listings. But, like I said, if you’re negative, you’re never gonna give it a chance. If you do end up paying for them (and this is a tactic I talk about in my promoted listings eBook) you are receiving a ton of data about your shop.
When you enter into it, it’ll give you X amount of searched terms and it shows you exactly why your listing showed up and for what tags. The normal stats in your shop don’t do that. If you pay for the promoted listings it’ll tell you, because Etsy wants you to optimize those listings. If you optimize those listings based around those tags, you’ll definitely see a lot more traction and a lot more results.
All the factors
There are so many different factors in terms of promoted listings that not a lot of people know about, like the auto versus manual setting. It even says this right on Etsy when you click on how bidding works in the promoted listings dashboard. You click on it and it says “auto bid” which is based on listing history and it says this! What does that translate to? Listing history translates to the amount of sales, maybe amount of organic favorites, and amount of reviews. So, auto bid would be a really good choice for listings that have a ton of sales and are really popular already. Then, manual bid would be the ones that you wanna grab promoted listings by the horns and say here’s my money. But none of this is going to be possible at all if you are having a negative mindset and not giving it a chance.
In the beginning
When I first tried promoted listings, I would look at my dashboard and I’d be like, “Dang it! There’s more money down the drain!” Because all I did was turn it on and hope for the best. When I turned to a positive outlook, I was able to look at these other tools that Etsy provides me with and open a whole other realm of possibilities. It’s not just about the positivity aspect in terms of being happier, you can also make more possibilities come true in terms of the tools Etsy can give you. You’re going to be much more reluctant to give those tools a chance if you’re an Etsy conspiracist.
Richie: Right. You can always find a way to make it not work if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a way to make the tool worthwhile, that’s what you’re going to find. Which is true for any tool out there!
Be sure to check out Dave and Emily’s shop where you can use JAM20 for 20% off your purchase! You can also find Dave on his YouTube channel. If you’re interested in purchasing Dave’s eBooks or coaching, you can do that as well. As always, listen to his week’s Jam for even more details!
Happy selling, everyone!