In today’s episode, we’re dishing out our best tips on how you can turn your shop into a winter wonderland. We’re covering everything from festive visuals and assets to nailing your policies and shipping deadlines. The key here is to plan ahead, so grab a cup of cocoa, and make your list (and check it twice! 😉
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START PREPARING — IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY!
So I always like to look at the trends and kind of think like, what direction do I want to go this year? And where do I want to take my product collection? That kind of thing? Or how can I maximize the products I already have to fit into this year’s trend? So I always start with looking at the trends.
Etsy does send out a really cool email that has their trend report. So you can look at that too, as well as looking at what influencers are kind of talking about already. Because we’re always ahead. Seeing what kind of sold last year? I mean, looking at Pinterest, there’s so many different ways to kind of see what’s starting to trend.
Now, let’s talk about specifics guys. So some of the upcoming trends this year for 2021 is that cottage core aesthetic. If you don’t know what that is, just think Taylor swift folklore, that’s kind of the vibe. Okay. So like dried flowers, mushrooms, anything that celebrates nature, like the trees like foggy trees.Like very getting back to nature, simple living that whole thing. Um, floral patterns that like vintage grandma’s curtains kind of looked. So that’s huge this year.
Also anything that can play up with owls and foxes are definitely making a comeback.Those were really big a few years ago and they’re totally coming back. So if you have products that has owls and foxes on them, it might be a good time to start reproducing that.
I also think traditional colors are going to be really big this year, just like traditional red and green holiday colors. But also I think there’s going to be lots of that, like peppy, colorful holiday colors with really cheerful brights and like neons, like neon colors for holiday, as well as pastels.
KEYWORDS FOR TIMING
you can look at like trending keywords and stuff. Um, and seeing like when things start to spike and like October is when everything like the little, the spike starts to head up for the holiday season.
So if you can have your stuff listed the sooner, the better you kind of get, well seeded into the SEO of everything. Um, this is more like an Etsy angle, but it just helps you get found. Cause I know a lot of us are like when it comes to the holidays, like you’re an Etsy shop sellers so it just helps to have those tips to get found by utilizing that tool.
Yes, absolutely. And I mean, I would say the earlier the better, like if you can have holiday things up this month in September, you will be doing yourself a favor. Like when I did my 2020 was a total bleep show ornament last year I was doing pre-sales in August and it was doing crazy, crazy well and continues to do very well through the end of the year.
KEYWORDS FOR PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS AND ETSY TAGS
Google search trends can give you ideas to for other keywords and other ways that you could tag your products with like different long tail and short tail keywords, which is basically just like a short phrase or a long phrase to categorize things on your website, SEO, and also keywords on the back half is thinking of it as like Etsy keywords.
So when it comes to Etsy keywords consider things like, how are you going to change your product listings to have things that shoppers are looking for? So maybe you have like a really cute Notepad, maybe during the Christmas season, you know, you go through all your Etsy listings and add stocking stuffer, Christmas gift for mom, Christmas gift for dog lover, you know, gift for husband, those types of things that are only relevant during the Christmas month that you probably want to have year round. So just looking at smart ways to tag things with keywords.
VISUALS AND ASSETS
HOLIDAY VIBE FOR YOUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA FEED
I want you to think of giving your shop a full Santa suit. I think this year those comforting holiday images are going to be more important than ever. Come up with ways to spruce up your shop and make it look holiday-esque! This can be your website or your Etsy shop.
Having those visuals, I think that was like also, I think that definitely helped me last year. It was just having like a really cohesive look to my collection with all this really awesome photos that weren’t just mock-ups, you know?
Yes, a mockup can only have so much personality unless you’re like really, really going all out. There’s people I think can still pick up on those visual cues and kind of tell the difference. And so then it’s harder for them to imagine a product in their own life. You know, like if it doesn’t evoke a certain feeling, I guess, so like shooting the actual physical product itself instead of mocking them.I think it helps for that reason from a psychology standpoint.
Yeah. Oh my gosh. There’s so much you go into with product photography.
Yes. We are going to do a whole episode on DIY product photography before the year’s over. So that’s coming down the pipeline.
Yes, so by then maybe you’ll have all of your holiday stuff ready, and then you can do your little fancy shoot and just like one or two days.because I do like to create my own mock-ups as well for like cards. I’ll just kind of make my own, that kind of match whatever the vibe is for the holiday season, but I’m doing, and so that is, that is helpful, but no one else it’s not, you’re not getting it from somewhere else. So it’s still your own big difference for sure.
Big difference for sure. And I think too now, obviously everything is pushing for video, Instagram fishing for video, Etsy’s pushing for video. If you can shoot a video while you’re doing it as well, like you’re just going to be a winner for sure.
Um, so shooting that video and then keeping in mind to, with whatever you’re doing.Photo wise or video wise, it’s all about showing that items, gift ability. So maybe if it’s even like unwrapping it or putting it under or wrapping it up and putting it under the tree or something like that, or just connecting that shopper to be like, oh, that’s a great gift. Like, or maybe you just show yourself like wrapping a bunch of things that go well together and like putting it under the tree, like that kind of thing you want to just play up gift-ability. like having that phrase in your head, like gift-ability.
Um, so like one of the things I’m thinking about free gift ability this year, it’s like, I’m like I have the wine tags. I had myself holding them last year. I need to show myself like, like hands, handing it off to someone else, like as a gift, you know what I mean? Like that would be such a great way to be like, look how easy this is to gift, you know?
And just like those, those visual cues are so, so important for the shopper and having great photos too, is also like a trust cue for your shop. It’s like, oh, she has really great photos. Everything looks really good. Like I trust the shop, you know, if everything’s janky looking. You just don’t trust it as much.
HOLIDAY MARKETING STRATEGY
ORGANIZE YOUR HOLIDAY EMAIL CAMPAIGN
Start organizing an email campaign now! Challenge yourself to send one email a week for six weeks, starting the beginning of October, to feature your Holiday collection or holiday items.
Obviously emails have to be part of your campaign. If you don’t have an email list, just start. Well, now you need to get five people on it.
It’s still good practice to start sending emails. Um, so obviously you don’t have to like, make all your emails right now, but you can start thinking about, oh, when do I want to send them, like, when do I want to launch by collections? So I’m going to send a holiday lunch and maybe I’ll send one a week before that’d be like, something is coming, blah, blah, blah.
Um, maybe I’ll send one, you know, and then like black Friday, that’s just the whole thing. So figuring out how to do that. But, um, I promise you, there’s like, unless you’re sending like 10 emails a day, you really cannot over email. Like I highly doubt we’re all gonna over email because it takes time to put those together.
So if you’re emailing someone every day, I mean, sometimes I do send emails every day and it’s been absolutely fine. So you have to stay at top of mind during the holidays and people are used to being bombarded. So you might as well just be part of the bombardment. That’s my little strategy.
TRY PAIRING UP WITH A BLOG OR INFLUENCER TO FEATURE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS
How did you decide on which blogs and influencers who were going to use? Are these people you are already aware of ? This makes sense for my brand. And then once you’ve made that decision, once you kind of determined that, how did you reach out to them? Is that something like Jacqueline sending a one-liner to be like, Hey, do you want to do this with us? Can you give a little more insight into that?
Yeah. I mean, for the Star-Spangled summer one, that was kind of like, not something I planned, it just kind of worked out like working with the gals from house effect. So they had all my stuff and they don’t, they’re basically influenced by their own personal. Instagram’s as well.
So they already have the stuff in there promoting. And I was like, wow, this is working out really well. And then people were actually just buying stuff and showing it, and influencers were like, I just found you from this and I love your stuff. Like, I want to work with you, whatever you do next. And so we just kind of connected over DMS and they were reaching out to me and being like, I want to, can I collaborate with you back to school?
Like with your first name pennant, I, you know, and I can see they have, you know, 40,000 followers or whatever, and I’m like, yeah, I’ll send you a first day of school pennant, like whatever. So most of them are actually reaching out to me, but it kind of came from working with like one or two in the beginning.
And there were a few that I was like, all their audience. I’m like, what they’re posting would really align with my brand. And I reached out to them and I was like, I’d love to send you, you know, this for your, for your two girls. Like, let me know if that would be okay. Yeah. So when we get their info, it’s really low key.
Like I’m not like sending emails to be like, let’s have an official thing. Like, yeah, it was more low key and I, you can be like super official with it. This is just like my experience with it has been, like, I feel like I’ve built a relationship with these influencers over the past, like a couple of months, um, them seeing all the stuff and commenting back on things and following them and actually interacting.
And, um, they’re reaching out and being like, I want to work with you on this. Like, do you have something coming up for Halloween? Like, I definitely want to be like one of the people who promote your stuff. And so I want to be proactive and be like, Hey, I’m doing holiday. Can I send you something? Like, instead of them asking me, me asking them, so kind of building that mutual relationship.
BE CONTACTING YOUR WHOLESALERS NOW TO PURCHASE ITEMS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND PITCH THEM YOUR NEW HOLIDAY PRODUCTS IF YOU HAVE THEM!
SETTING UP SALES FOR BLACK FRIDAY, ETC.
The thing I will say about black Friday is that it’s something you definitely want to be considering.
Does that mean that you’re adding free shipping for your shop? Does it mean that you’re doing some sort of 20% off deal? Does it mean that for the three days, you know, cause there’s black Friday, small business, Saturday giving Tuesday. I don’t know. There’s like all these things now, cyber Monday, you know, so it’s really like five days of sales.
Like, do you do a different sale every single day to get people’s attention? Um, do you do special bundles? Do you do that? They get more percent off. The more they spend in your shop, like literally infinite ways to approach. The point is that just sit down now to start thinking about what works for your shop, if your profit margins for your products are pretty small, maybe it’ll be better for you just to do something along the lines of like a 20% off on black Friday for five days.
You know, maybe you’re just keeping it super, super simple, but if you feel like you really know your numbers super well, I think that gives you a little more leniency to play around with things and make them extra fun,
ETSY PAID ADS
I do not remember which episode it was, where I talked a lot about my experiment with Etsy ads last year on the holiday season.
And it was like bananas, the amount of growth I saw from those and the amount of sales. And I was just like blown away by the fact that they do actually work. I will also put this disclaimer that whatever you throw money at and used to already be working. So if you have a jenky listing and you turn on, see ads for it, it’s not going to like fix it.
It’s not magical fairy dust. It’s only going to enhance what’s already happening. So if you have a listing that’s doing really well, this would be a good one that to put onto your SEO. One of my strategies right now is that I, I turned off my holiday at T ads, all my holiday listings, um, over the summer after the holidays, because I was like, there’s no point in putting any of my advertising budget towards those holiday things, but I am going to turn all the ads on now, August 12th, as we’re recording this, I’m turning on all my holiday.
Okay. At the ad. So I can start getting while seated on those and getting them forefront too, on the, any pages on Etsy. So they show up, um, and with Etsy ads too, just another quick thing is you don’t have to have a super, super huge budget, but you also can’t do $1 a day and expect to see results. It’s just not going to work.
Um, because the cost per click on Etsy is like 25 cents 33 cents. So that’s like, if you do a dollar a day, that’s three clicks on a listing, that’s on data. So, I mean, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t have to put like $10,000 into it every month. Um, but you do have to. You do have to throw some money at it.
I’m going to be completely honest. I mean, you just cannot get any traction with three clicks that you’re paying for. That’s literally just wasting money that point. Yes. And I wanted to mention really quick that the episode is episode 86. Does your empty strategy include Etsy ads when to use them and when to not.
So that’s what you’d want to search for. If you go to biz birthday, bash.com/podcast, and you want all the deets on that episode, that is what it was titled. It came out in February this year, which is crazy to think of. So, um, my SEI ads, like I just played around with how much money I was putting in a day to see, okay, am I making my money back on this?
Like, not just covering my ads, but making money, actual profit wise on it and seeing where like the sweet spot was and around the holidays, I’m upping my budget by like 10 times. Like it just, I just keep incrementally pushing it. And I was like experimenting so much where I was like doing like 500, $600 a day as cause I was like, Uh, making the money back from everything I spend.
So let’s put more, I mean, literally it’s like gambling. It’s crazy. Right. Um, so you, but you have to monitor it. Like those are the episode. It has a lot of tips on there, but I do think it’s a really good strategy to utilize around the holidays. Again, if you have your listing set up correctly, it is going to work for you.
Get prepared for shipping your packages now so you’re not scrambling for supplies later.
Let’s talk about, um, ordering supplies and your inventory, because this is just, this is a doozy and I telling you all, this gets me literally every single year.
Yeah. Yes. Every single year, no matter what you think you do to, to do it, right. It always something else comes back and bites you. So just like not a perfect is not a perfect science by any means. Perfect science. You do the best you can. And I I’m always, like, I consider myself like a risk taker in my business, or not necessarily like a very calculated risk taker.
Like I’m like I will spend money because I know I will use this thing or I’m going to make, like, I’m not afraid to spend money, but somehow I still never spend enough on like the things I know. Like for instance boxes, I’ll be like, okay, I’ll just order like $5,000 worth of boxes and that’ll be enough then I’m like, okay.
And then I still am ordering boxes throughout the year. And I’m like, how did I not just already have enough? I do not understand. So what about looking at how many orders you sent out last year and then like tripling the amount of boxes you used around the holidays? What I do, which even then is still, this is just an estimate of your growth.
So I would look at like, this is where you gotta be like coming with your analytics and look at stuff and see like, what was your year over year growth from this year to date? Um, over last year. So you can see like, how many orders have you grown by then? So mine is up like 300%. So I can estimate we’re going to be up 300% over last holiday season.
So you would go to like how much you sold during then and do 300% up from that. And that’s how many you would be again, they still don’t know how many. Products are within each order or what size box or whatever anyway, the whole thing. Um, so that’s like the best way to do it. It’s just like looking over year, over year, percentage wise and guesstimating based off that again, the holidays still could have like major, major growth because you just don’t know what it’s going to do.
Um, but that’s the best way to do it is looking at your, what your percentages as well as looking at last year and the year before, like how much did you grow per holiday quarter basically. Yeah. Yes. I was going to ask you if you spent $5,000 on boxes at the beginning of the year, and you’re like, this’ll be enough for the whole year.
NAIL YOUR POLICIES
SHIPPING DEADLINE FOR CHRISTMAS, RETURN POLICIES, AND MORE
So number five, let’s talk about your policies and returns and all that jazz with you going to be in the nitty gritty because customers are crazy sometimes. So what I’m talking about here with this, you guys is you got to come up with your shipping cutoff.
Um, I haven’t looked up this year for when the shipping cutoff is because they mightn’t even announced it yet. Um, cause it’s still August when the ordering cutoff is for priority mail and first class mail. Um, I, yeah, like, I don’t know those things. I don’t think they’ve mentioned it because it’s usually on like their Instagram and stuff with USP.
I think we’re ahead of the game on that one, but USBs will let you know, like, Hey, this is our order cutoff for first class mail and priority mail. Last year, they did that. And it was literally alive because we all remember the great mail. Um, I dunno, the mail problem of 2020. It’s just, it was so bad last year, there was just so many packages going back and forth and it was just, it was just chaotic, not enough workers.
I mean, COVID like crushed the mail industry and we were in, people were online shopping and it was just bananas. So this year I’m preparing the. Everything’s going to take like a million years to get there. So my order off is definitely going to be. Earlier this year than last year. Um, another mistake I tend to make is when I make an order cutoff, I forget like, oh, I’m still going to have to like package up those orders after that order cutoff.
So if I say my order cutoff December 14th, they might not actually ship till like December 20th, because it takes me a while to prep the orders that came in December 14th. Um, so keep that in mind, like your order cutoff should be like a week earlier than when you want to actually stop. Yep. Absolutely.
Yeah. Still be totally tiring yourself out. Um, so know your dates for shipping. That’s just the biggest thing. Look, when those dates are, if you ship FedEx ups, I mean, you can have all those listed somewhere in your website, post them on your stories, posts on Instagram, put them in emails, have like I did, um, something I did last year.
I had a holiday shipping page on my website that listed like, Hey, here’s what’s going on with the mail? Here’s the dates. Here’s what first class means. Here’s a priority means like if you upgrade to this, this is what this means. Um, and also I have like a little gift certificate. Do like a free download that stuff like your order or like your gift was late and had like a cute little poem.
It was adorable. Had a sloth on it. So just ways to serve your customers, what things don’t get there in time, because that is the reality of what’s going to happen during the holiday season. It can be very stressful on you and you have no control as the seller, but the customer is going to come to you because you’re their point of contact for that order.
So having something prepared, you can be like, Hey, go look at the holiday shipping update here. Like I have everything listed here as well as that gift certificate too. Like, you can still get the recipient and everything will be okay. Um, they just want to feel like you’re doing something. So that’s going to make it really, really easy for you instead of having to write an email and getting stressed out every single time.
So highly recommend doing that, adding that holiday shipping. Update over page on your website to send out to people. And then you also, you just have to like, let those take a deep collective breath here and realize like shipping is out of our hands. So we’re all just going to relax and not freak out when it comes to customers, emailing us over the holidays because it can get so stressful.
SHOW UP AND SELL
Yeah, I guess the last point is just to get you a little booty out there.Talk about yourself until you’re sick of yourself and just show up and sell the crap out of it. It’s going to be a super profitable season. It always is. It’s always so much fun around the holidays, which means chaotic is the Superbowl of sales, but we love it. So just show up, you know, get in the game, show on Instagram, show your face, share your products, post every day, send those emails.
Just don’t be afraid to be annoying in this season because this really is. You’re still serving your client or your customer by showing them be like, I have this thing. It’s the perfect gift. Like even if you feel annoying, everyone is looking for the perfect gift. Are we not all scrambling to find something for the last minute?
So if you frame it that way, maybe you’ll feel a little less icky about showing up and selling all the time, because I know it gets exhausting to talk about your product all the time, but I promise you from your customer’s perspective, they appreciate it. And they’re looking for. Unique things to give unique ways to use things, unique things, to bring to their life, the next cool thing that they can share with their friends.
So just get up and do what you do best. Go create something amazing. Use those trends, be the trendsetter, whatever you want to do.