This article is part of my “How to Make Planner Stickers to Sell on Etsy” guide.
Five months and fourteen articles later, we have finally reached the last installment of the series! I am so happy to have been able to interact with so many of you in the community, and sincerely wish you the best of luck in your Etsy journey!
Psst... If any new shop owners are looking to do a collaboration or sponsorship, message me! ;)
I'd like to finish up this series with a list of miscellaneous tips and tricks that do not fit in any particular article, or that I've only learned recently. If you have anything you'd like to share with others, leave a comment below!
Tips and Tricks
1. Take advantage of referral programs.
I was so excited to sign up for Etsy and create my own shop that I did not stop for long enough to realize that referral programs were a thing; let alone actually take the time to use one. Etsy's referral program offers 40 free listings to both the referrer and to the new shop owner. Since each listing is worth 20 cents, both users end up with a savings of $8. It's a win-win situation, so there's really no reason not to use it.
This tip extends further than Etsy too. Referral programs exist on many sites nowadays, so I'd recommend taking a few minutes to investigate the special rewards and offers for new users on any website, service provider, or app that you might want to use. It could end up saving you money!
2. Keep your eye out for coupons.
I have come to realize the importance of checking your email and social media accounts for coupons.
After my initial shipment of sticker paper, I hadn't realized that the company was sending me coupons on an almost monthly basis. My email provider had been filtering them out into my untouched, unmanaged "Promotions" folder. Hence, when it came time to order my second batch of supplies, I ended up paying full price. It was only a few days later that I realized I could have used that perfectly good 15% off coupon sitting in my inbox.
In fact, as an Etsy shop owner, I have learned that most people do not realize that my coupons exist. It's honestly baffling to see how few people actually use them. My promotions are listed in my shop's announcement section as well as posted on my social media accounts, yet only a small percentage of orders actually take advantage of them.
Most small businesses today have a social media account that is always the first to post about upcoming deals, available coupons, and offers. I am trying to make a habit of checking the social media accounts of retailers before placing an order to make sure I don't miss out on any discounts.
3. Use a shoe organizer to hold your stickers.
This is a silly little "hack", but it works beautifully. At some point, you'll probably need to find an organizational solution for your stickers. For me, this was a few months into running my shop as I began accumulating stacks of misprint stickers, pre-stocked kits, freebies, and pending orders.
I was shocked when I couldn't find any suitable paper try system online, at least not for several hundreds of dollars! All I wanted was something similar to the iconic IKEA cubes, but smaller.
After a long day of searching, I finally found my solution while wandering the aisles of Kmart. It was a shoe organizer, that when turned on its side, provided the perfect sized cubes for my sticker sheets. Most department stores offer their own similar version of a shoe rack, so I would highly recommend taking a trip to your local Walmart or Target and picking yourself up one.
There's a clip of it in my latest YouTube video, if you'd like to see it in action!
4. Listen to your customers.
There's a good chance that at some point in your Etsy journey, one of your customers will provide feedback, ideas, or suggestions for stickers they'd like to see in your shop. It took 3 customers on separate occasions all requesting the same type of custom sheet before I realized I should probably just start offering that type of sheet standard.
Even blatant suggestions like offering digital downloads, or selling planner inserts that are already designed and able-to-be-produced, sometimes never get introduced! Obviously you don't need to bring every idea your customers suggest to fruition, but just try to keep an open mind and recognize that someone might be willing to buy!
5. Enjoy the process.
Your shop will always be a work in progress, and I believe that's something you should embrace early-on.
It's easy to get in the mindset of "Oh, if I just had a few more products my shop would be complete", or "If I could just finish these orders, I'd be able to relax for the next 3 days". However, the reality is that even once your shop is beautifully stocked, there will always be new designs to be made; and after spending all evening fulfilling orders, new orders will take their place. There is no final end state where you can just sit back and watch the shop run itself. There will always be something that you will want or need to do.
You will most likely be spending a lot of your personal time maintaining your Etsy shop, so you might as well make sure you're having fun doing it! If not, you might end up burning yourself out!
6. Join a Community.
There is a whole world out there full of planner people.
Not only is it more fun to participate in hobbies when other people are involved, it's also a great way to build a network of peers, friends, and customers. Until recently, most planner communities lived mostly on other social media sites, such as YouTube or Facebook. However, a new forum and news site dedicated specifically to planners has just opened: PlannerPeace.org.
The site offers a space to talk and connect with others about planners, and even allows advertising of planner shops in specified areas!
...and with that, I wish you a good luck and farewell! It's been a pleasure writing this guide and I'm looking forward to finally writing about some new topics! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for extra content! Leave a comment below if you have anything you'd like to share!
P.S: I'm working on getting an RSS feed and subscription list setup on my site, as well as expanding my freebies archive!
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