Your Etsy shop has really started to take off. People like what you’re selling and you’ve even seen a number of repeat customers come back for more.
For a lot of Etsy sellers, it’s precisely this moment – when things on Etsy are going great – when your best move is actually to leave the website altogether.
Etsy gave you an easy way to start and a low-risk means of seeing that your business idea works. That’s what Etsy’s great for – you can start making money without making much of an upfront investment.
If your business idea is successful though, you don’t have to keep piggybacking on their brand forever. In fact, it may be bad for your brand to do so for a few key reasons:
- Etsy charges several different levels of fees. That either cuts into your profits or means you have to charge more to your customers to make the same amount.
- The site puts limitations on how you can organize your inventory, how many characters you can use you in your titles, and what categories you can choose.
- While it’s not common, Etsy has occasionally shut down a shop on their site without warning.
- Your shop looks like everyone else’s, which means you don’t have many options for differentiating your brand.
Using Etsy when you’re just starting out makes sense. Moving beyond Etsy to create a distinct brand and business is the natural next step.
How to Get Started
Building your own online business is work, but by developing a brand name, creating inventory, and gaining customers through your Etsy store, you’re several steps ahead of anyone starting from scratch. That’s the good news, but there are a few important steps you need to take to get your business website off the ground now.
- Purchase webhosting.
All websites have to be hosted somewhere, so your first step is finding a web hosting platform to go with. Web hosting usually starts at a few bucks a month, with plans available that offer more benefits for a higher cost.
One thing you should definitely look for is a plan that includes an SSL certificate. The people that buy from you need to know their personal information will be safe and an SSL certificate is how you ensure that security and provide them with peace of mind.
- Build your website.
Building a website used to be a lot more difficult, but now you have a wealth of options that make it easier. Website templates and drag-and-drop website builders make it possible for pretty much anyone to design a website without much difficulty.
- Set up your online store.
Getting an online store set up requires taking a few extra steps beyond those required to build a website. Your customers need to be able to select the products they want and go through a check out process. That requires ecommerce software. Once you choose and purchase an ecommerce solution, you can get your products and pricing into place so your customers can start making purchases.
One of the biggest benefits of having your own website is that you have the space to describe and present your products however you’d like. Make use of it.
Make your product pages attractive and work up some persuasive copy that will entice visitors to buy. Your website is your main selling tool now, make it good.
Having your own business website opens the door for you to do more marketing for your business. Take some time to learn the basics of SEO, so you can start optimizing your website to be found by new customers. Create branded social media accounts to connect with your fans and potential customers. Start building an email list so you can stay in touch with customers and alert them to promotions.
One of the big services Etsy provides to shop owners is that it makes you easy to find. Once you have your own website, getting people to your site becomes a bigger part of your job.
You don’t have to close your Etsy website right away. In fact, the customers that find you on Etsy are some of the best
people to nudge toward your new website. In your shipments, include branded content that mentions your website and urges customers to sign up for your list. As the following you gain on your own website grows, eventually you can choose to leave Etsy behind for good.
Etsy’s easy in a lot of ways, but turning the business you’ve started on Etsy into a true business that can stand on its own is rewarding. A little extra work and you’ll have an independent brand that people come to directly, without needing to pay another website to be the intermediary.