Growing up and moving out from the comfort of somewhere familiar like home can be scary or it can be an awesome adventure that you are more than ready for, you just need a push, The same goes for your online home. The comfort and safety of an online marketplace like Etsy can be alluring, there is traffic, and security and all of the hard technical stuff is taken care of, however, if you are serious about building your own brand then you need to start thinking about the long term. How will things look in a year? Maybe two? Don’t get me wrong, I love platforms like Etsy, they are great for some types of businesses but not for all and I certainly don’t think they are a long term strategy for any business. Yes, there are several success stories that have come from Etsy but I also think there are so many people missing out on creating their own identities that I have put together a post on why you need to transition from Etsy to your own online store.
Etsy has a pretty simple interface, you get to add your logo and that’s about it. You don’t get to create a unique shopping experience for your customers that you know they will love. Your only real opportunity to show off your brand is via the copy you write (which doesn’t come naturally to some people so it makes it hard) Product images are restricted to a certain size (and no video) and there isn’t a meaningful way to integrate social media.
Build Your Own List
Building a list of customers who have already indicated that they are willing to receive information from you about your products and services is CRITICAL. You can’t build your own list on Etsy and for me, that’s a HUGE reason not to use a selling platform.
If you sell a particular product or service then you want to be “known” for selling it. Possibly even become the “authority” or expert in it. If you have your own online store you can create content that will allow you to be found online for that exact thing. Selling on Etsy essentially hides your expertise from the search engines. Not what we want at all! We want to shout it from the rooftops! Something like….Hey you, yes you looking for the thingamajig, come on over to thingamajig.com, we have all the thingamajigs you could ever want… (insert your product for thingamajig)
This is more than just your logo, this is your brand identity. Images, copy, colours, fonts, layouts, blog posts, social media, customer service are all considered part of your online brand identity and on Etsy you don’t get to showcase who you REALLY are. By creating a space on the web that is truly representative of your brand is a way to connect with potential customers…. You know the saying… a picture is worth a thousand words!
Rent Money Is Dead Money
Selling in an online marketplace like Etsy is like renting a house. You are at the mercy of the landlord. Granted they might be super awesome landlords who are fun and cool but at the end of the day they are still landlords and they hold all the power. Price increases, restrictions, and evictions are all possible. It’s fine to rent for a bit to build your confidence to get the business balls up to get your own place but I promise you, you won’t regret being in full control of your brand and the potential it brings.
So what are you waiting for? If you are reading this and are still selling on Etsy are you ready to get the business balls up to make the move?