New business launch!

  • Pro

    Hey everyone! πŸ˜ƒ

    I'm really excited to share with you something I've been working on since the beginning of the year! Today I just opened my Etsy shop, where I will sell cliparts aimed primarily for use by crafters, for things like scrapbooking, planners, party decorations, etc. I just launched this morning!

    As artists yourselves, I don't think any of you would have use for any of those products haha but I still really want to show you the shop, which I'm really proud of! You can see the shop here:

    I've spent a good chunk of time in the last 5 months focusing on pre-launch marketing for this shop, hoping by doing so it would be more successful than my previous attempt on Etsy (a print shop that failed miserably!) I focused my efforts on building an Instagram following and trying to transfer these people over to my mailing list by offering freebies. I'm happy to share that these strategies seem to have worked quite well! The shop as been live for about 10 hours and so far it has gotten 80 sales and 1 review - numbers that blow out of the water any that I've EVER been able to accomplish on Etsy before! So if anyone is working on Etsy, pre-launch efforts are really really important and I can attest to how much they work!

    Anyone here have an Etsy shop? What are your best tips and tricks for a successful shop?

  • @NessIllustration oh good advice! This would be helpful to know.

  • SVS OG

    Wow! congrats @NessIllustration on the successful launch! Shop looks great! What sort of prelaunch strategies did you use? mostly through instagram posts? I tried Etsy a long time ago but got no joy - frankly had no clue what I was doing . Interested to hear your tips.

  • SVS OG

    That is so, so awesome. The shop looks really good!

  • @NessIllustration Good for you! Awesome to launch forward! Good luck on your shop.

  • I am also doing ETSY-Shop, since 7 years or so, you have already great pictures, so what can I say more, I am investing a lot to etsy-advertisment on etsy (under marketing, sponsorded products) with the best selling products I have, in my second "self-emp." job it is working great.
    Instagram and facebook, pinterest are great social platforms to share your products (links).

  • That's brilliant and they look amazing! I'd also be interested to know more about your prelaunch strategies as I'm looking into selling commissions on Etsy! Also, do you post all the orders out yourself? Or use a dropshipping company?

  • @NessIllustration Congrats! This is really inspiring, since I would also like to start one up within the next 2 years or so. It's great to know you've already made so many sales, too. All the best, and I hope it will get better and better for you!

  • Pro

    @MissMushy I've found out that the period before the launch of a shop when you are creating your products is the ideal time to start social media and start to engage with the community. I started by saying that my goal was to launch a clipart shop and I would draw and post one clipart every day until I had enough clipart packs to launch. This made people interested in my journey, since they've accompanied me on my goal they really started rooting for me. I was overwhelmed by the incredible support from the community, everyone went out of their way to give me advice and suggestions. Posting my clipart one by one like that also allowed me the gauge which ones interested people the most. Then I created a mailing list and promised a free clipart pack every month to people who signed up. I started sending a DM to everyone who followed me saying "Thanks so much for the follow! If you like my clipart, did you know that you can get monthly freebies by signing up to my free VIP club? Link in bio if you're interested!" That worked really well and a lot of people signed up for the mailing list. I discovered that the pre-launch was the ideal time to get to know the community specifically because I didn't have anything for sale yet. It kind of cleared up the air, and people felt free to engage with me without fearing I had ulterior motives or just trying to sell them products. I made some really good friends in that time!

    Offering free cliparts also meant that people started sharing their craft projects made with my clipart, and that also spread the word around and gave me nice examples to show. At that time I also learned about PR teams (also called design teams). Apparently on Instagram it's becoming a big thing in the crafting community for sellers to have a design team, meaning crafters that get products for free and in exchange create projects using those products and post them to their account. I thought this sounded too good to be true, but apparently being part of a design team is a sought after position and I actually had people DM me to ask me to be on my design team before I even knew what it was. For me who offers digital products, it cost me nothing. I set up a cloud account with my entire launching collection and asked 5 good crafter friends I'd made on Instagram if they'd like to join. They accepted and have helped me spread the word since!

    I grew my email list to 160 people before the launch, so I was able to tell all those people about the shop launch and send them a special offer, a discount code just for them. I made a launch plan that lasted the whole month of May: It started with a live on Instagram revealing the launch date and telling them I had a survey going, then hosting a giveaway, revealing the special coupon code the day before launch and finally a live launch event on Instagram where I revealed the shop. By that point, I had already received many DMs and emails asked me where the hell they could buy my clipart... It kind of worked like a months long tease and by the time I launched, people were really ready to buy! Some people told me they were already making mental lists of which products they wanted.

    A lot of this I did kind of by accident and realized only later why it works so well. They say people have to like and trust you before they want to buy from you, and starting my social media early and asking people to join me on my journey to create a shop allowed them to get to know me and root for me. It's all been a really fun and great experience and I look forward to continue growing this business!

    @hannahmccaffery They're actually clipart, so digital products πŸ™‚ I'm using the instant download feature on Etsy so when people buy they can directly download the files and I don't have to do anything more at this point!

  • @hannahmccaffery I am shipping myself all my products on etsy, it is not easy, because of the many regulations, in EU it is easy and cheap, outside of EU is not always cheap, German Post ships out of EU under 1kg for 9€, if it is above 2kg or high in price, I can ship only with German DHL Post and than it costs 35€ to ship to US...
    And if You are shipping outside of EU, there are these custom authorithies and what You have to write on the package...tehre are regulations for it.

  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration thanks for sharing all of this! So much to learn from your experience. I have been toying with ideas for digital downloads on Etsy too , since shipping physical -products esp from Canada is such a pain. Sounds as if you put a lot of effort in all the right places so now you get to reap the rewards. Well done you!πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  • Pro

    @MissMushy Amen girl! I'm in Canada too, and after selling some prints in college I decided I never wanted to wrestle with Canada Post.. Ever again!

  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration congratulations! The store looks great! The unicorns are adorable. ☺️Best of luck to you.

  • Thank you for sharing, your detailed step by step has me thinking about how I could do something similar.

    I have a suggestion for you as well, you might want to consider selling on as well. It’s really popular for digital artists content (like tutorials etc.) and the fees are super low . I’m not sure what the fees are on Etsy these days but I remember them being pretty high for physical products.

    Is the digital only clip art market big?

  • Pro

    @Sean_H Hi Sean! Thank you so much for the suggestion! πŸ˜ƒ I definitely want to expand to other platforms in the following months. I'm eyeing Creative Market, but I didn't know about Gumroad so I'll definitely go check it out! Thanks!!

    The market for digital clip art is huuuuge! There are so many applications... Especially these days there are a lot of people trying to start their own businesses like T-shirt shops, sticker shops, template shops, home decor shops, ect. and a lot of those people can't draw so they depend on purchased graphics to create their products. Personally I'm targeting the crafters because that's what interests me most. I'm trying to reach people who like to print cliparts on cardstock or sticker paper for instance, for use in their crafts like scrapbooking, card making, planners, art journals, penpals, etc. Clipart is great for that because it's a much more affordable way to craft, and it's much less damaging for the planet. You only print what you need, and they don't need to be individually packaged in plastic. The eco-friendly aspect is very important to me and I talk about that a lot on my social medias. I'm trying to get crafters who don't yet use cliparts to see how it's a greener and cheaper way to do it. I also have a lot of people who are into digital scrapbooking and digital planning, those are great green hobbies too that require clipart!

  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration Thank you for sharing! This is what I needed to hear today! Great job!

  • Pro

    @juliepeelart I'm happy to hear it! Are you also trying your hand at an art business?

  • Wow that's awesome 🀩, congratulations!

  • Pro

    @Coley Thank you Coley ❀ I'm going to work on this shop hard to grow it larger and larger! I would really love it if one day this becomes my full-time job, with a couple books every year. That's my dream!

  • @NessIllustration I think you can do it 🀩

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