How to Build a Presence and Sell Your Art on Etsy , with Jenni Waldrop

 Savvy Painter podcast guest Jenni Waldrop from Fuzzy and Birch - photo


What does it take to branch out from traditional practices and sell your art on Etsy? Can you make a living off of an Etsy business? What should you look out for? Good news! I put all these questions and more to my returning guest, Jenni Waldrop.

In our conversation, Jenni opens up about realistic expectations, why it’s not enough to just build a shop on Etsy, how to plan for seasonal changes, and much more. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to build a presence on a platform like Etsy – this is the episode for you!

Addressing Criticism

The last time I had Jenni on as a guest, we had an excellent discussion that resonated with a lot of Savvy Painter listeners. Just recently, I received a message that had some pointed criticism for Jenni and the numbers she shared regarding her Etsy earnings. In our conversation, Jenni breaks down why she shared the numbers that she shared and why she had to split up her shops to increase her earning potential. After our conversation, I’m confident that you’ll have a greater understanding of what to expect when it comes to building a presence on Etsy.

Don’t be afraid to test

What is the best product to sell on Etsy? For each artist and seller, the answer to this question will change – especially depending on the season! While small prints will sell well for one artist – large prints will sell better for another. The key is to give yourself permission to test the market and find out what works. When it comes to selling your art – there is no one size fits all solution you’ve got to be willing to make adjustments and learn as you go. Jenni encourages artists to look around at what is selling, especially given the season.

If you build it – will they come?

Remember that old Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams?” Wouldn’t it be nice if your business were as simple as setting it up and waiting for the customers to flock to your doorstep? Unfortunately – as many of you know – selling your art isn’t easy. Just like nurturing relationships with a gallery – you’ve got to nurture a relationship with your audience on platforms like Etsy. Consider sharing part of your story or starting a blog to feature artwork and projects you’ve worked on in the past.

One step at a time

How do you feel about starting your Etsy store? Does it sound daunting and overwhelming? If so – you aren’t alone. There are so many artists out there who want to begin selling on Etsy and other platforms, but they don’t know where to start. I get it – I’ve been there! Don’t think that you need to have everything up and running right away – you don’t! Listen to Jenni’s advice and start one step at a time – break it down into manageable steps that you can accomplish at your own pace. For more information on how to start an Etsy shop – make sure to check out Jenni’s website!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] I introduce my returning guest, Jenni Waldrop.
  • [5:00] Jenni addresses some criticism from our first episode together.
  • [12:30] Setting realistic expectations. Jenni shares some helpful examples.
  • [19:50] Testing what works and learning from what doesn’t.
  • [27:00] Should you be worried about people ripping off your artwork on Etsy?
  • [35:30] What is going on with Etsy’s shipping promotions?
  • [38:30] If you build it – they will come – right?
  • [42:30] Jenni explains how to break down your priorities.
  • [45:00] How do you deal with audience burnout?
  • [50:20] Preparing for seasonal trends.
  • [53:30] Building a presence and making a connection.
  • [56:45] Tips for building up your business and planning out your month.

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Resources Mentioned on this episode

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How To Build A Presence And Sell Your Art on Etsy - Jenni Waldrop

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  • 333 days.

    I listened to the first podcast with Jenni in early 2019. It was overwhelming, so I let it sit for a while.

    When this second episode was released, I listened to it about ten times altogether, twice on a business road trip for a career I left shortly after to pursue my art business. This 2nd episode was the catalyst.

    I started my Etsy shop on September 23, 2019, after a couple weeks of writing and planning.

    333 days later (ten months!) after 60+ listings, many revisions, three separate photo shoots with countless hours of editing, daily, incremental steps and consistent chipping away, I made my first sale.

    That was today, July 29, 2020.

    • This is an update on 11/20/2020, not to belabor the point but to provide a breakdown of an artist coming at this as a skeptic but giving it a focused, prolonged effort.

      I currently have four completed sales on Etsy.

      1. 333 days from shop opening. Custom 3×5 pen and ink landscape drawing. Organic Etsy traffic sale.

      2. 31 days later. Sold one of my originals to relative – unsolicited.

      3. 26 days later. 3×5 custom pet portrait for relative – unsolicited.

      4. 17 days later. Original cityscape sold. Organic Etsy traffic sale.

      For anyone interested but skeptical, hope this is helpful. It’s been a ton of work and payoff took nearly a full year.

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