Wow, they come out some new layout templates right now! And I just love this layout compared to the previous one :) Just a little bit of shadow and it has made a big difference on the view!
Now back to the topic of the day...
Today marks the 11 days since I have opened my shop. The most exciting news for the second week is that I have finally make 2 sales! Trust me! You can't imagine the feeling of waiting for the first sale is so nerve-breaking - minute by minute, hour by hour, night by night just to hope that when you check your email, you can finally see some wordings like 'Etsy Transaction' in your inbox. And Yes, I'm very very happy with the first sales *wipe tears* Hope there're many more to come soon, lolz!
As I remember (well it was not that long ago) for the first week, all I have been doing was reading guides, responding to success seller threads, getting into promotions like facebook fanpage or blogging, evaluating my pricing and also trying to get more great photos of my items. However the first week just passed by without anything but upset and frustration. Yes, it was only been a week but I felt like a month!
Then the second week, the frustration in me has accumulated until a point I began to question myself: is that how market response to my illustrations? Do I have any market value at all in this world (oh that sounds serious)? But then again, I'm still doing the usual routine: getting more and more tips from the success etsy sellers. Etsy is actually a highly competitive yet supporting community. The community are willing to share their success stories and tips for any newbie to succeed as well, which is very good. Whenever you have questions and problems, strangers out of this world will show up and pass you the answer ticket. How nice is that :)
However, all I can conclude are only few Golden Rules: renew renew renew and promote promote promote! hahaha.. not to mention lucky as well.
Renew your item(s) once or several times a day, best at the hours when most people visit your shop.
Promote inside and outside etsy. You wouldn't want to limit your sales in etsy community. And I know you do hope the whole world craving for your products.
#3 Great photos
Great photos are your sales executives! Treat them professionally!
#4 Product options
Get more products. You wouldn't want to go into a shop with only 5 items on the shelf. You will spend hours in a shop with surprises and hundred choices!
#5 Great customer service
Treat your customers like VIPs: polite and friendly responses, follow up emails and convos, thoughtful packaging (if you have the budget). Make someone happy and you'll be happy too! I once read an article about the difference of packing with newspaper and another with china silk cloth and tie with a unicorn hair... totally get the picture!
#6 Market demand
This is what I learnt the most in my second week when I kept questioning ‘‘why wouldn't people buy my stuff?'' There is one response that my illustrations are good, but they don't suit the style in her house. Okay, she gave me a hard moment to think deeply. The saturated market that I have just thrown myself into is mostly Europe based. On the other hand, my illustration style is more towards Asian. It's not that my illustrations are bad, just that they don't go along with their breakfast coffee. So how do I create a demand for my illustrations? Starting the second week, I cut down so much less on promotions. I would rather spend some money on renewing items so that I can have more time to create. And by creating more artworks -> customers have more options -> more sales (hopefully). Aside creating my usual illustrations, I'm starting to have another products with slight changes. As you noted, they are the mini notecards :) They are cute and the product functionality is more universal. They can be wedding/party invitations, thank you notes, bookmarks, and small gifts... up to one's imagination. That also creates another market for people who like cute little illustrations.
To make a business, I have to think like a business.
Nonetheless, I still love my illustrations!