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Published on: January 6th, 2023
Entering a new year is an exciting time…but it can also be a bit overwhelming as you try to plan it all out.
To make the most out of your year, here’s a 3-step process you can use to put important projects and launches into your calendar so you know what to do (and when!) to grow your sales in 2023.
Step 1 – Your Growth Projects
Let’s start with what I like to call your “growth projects”. They usually fall under 2 categories:
These are projects that don’t need to be done on a specific date but that are likely to have a positive impact on your sales. This list of things to “improve” might feel like it never truly ends (that’s the name of the game in business!). The goal is not to try and do everything but to focus on the 1-2 projects that are likely to have the biggest impact.
- Product photography. One the most important aspect of both getting sales and ranking higher in search. If your photos need work, make sure to work on them this year. Professional product photos mean more clicks in search results and a higher conversion rate which leads to better search ranking
- Etsy Search Engine Optimization (SEO): maybe you haven’t worked on your SEO in a while or never took the time to optimize your listings properly. Whatever the case might be, here’s a helpful 3-step process to help you find the best Etsy keywords using eRank.
Shop improvements can also include reviewing your pricing and shipping strategy, improving your branding and packaging, niching down to offer a more cohesive product range or anything else you know would benefit your business now and in the long run.
New Growth Projects
These are new things you’d like to start doing inside of your business. For example:
- Start using a new social media or marketing platform you haven’t used until now (Pinterest, TikTok, etc.)
- Start selling on another marketplace or your own website
It’s important not to overestimate what you can realistically take on. You’ll get much better results if you do less and do it well than if you try to be everywhere but don’t have enough time to do anything well.
For this reason, 2 to 3 growth projects maximum over the year is plenty!
Step 2 – Your launches and Promotions
This next step is about figuring out when you will be running marketing campaigns this year to boost your sales. There are 3 main types of campaigns to consider:
New Products and Collection Launches
Think about the new products you’d like to add to your Etsy shop this year. Will you add them one by one as you create them? Will you work and release them as collections? A bit of both?
For example, if you sell candles, you could decide to create a special Halloween candle collection with special colors and fragrances, and release one new candle scent a month in your shop outside of that. Or, you might decide to create a spring/summer collection and an autumn/winter collection with scents inspired by those seasons.
There is no right or wrong, but it’s helpful to have a rough idea of what your plan is for new products in 2023 so you can create a marketing campaign around their launch and get more sales.
Holidays and Sale Events
You also want to take a look at important dates and holidays and think about which ones would make the most sense for you to focus on as a promotional event, based on what makes sense for your products, who your customers are and where they are located.
I recommend using the eRank Calendar Tool to see all the main events from around the world month by month:
Finally, you might want to run promotions for no other reason than wanting to! Not all your marketing campaigns need to align with a holiday or special event. For example, if you sell jewelry, you could decide that for a week all your silver pieces will be offered at 15% off and call it “silver week”.
Step 3 – Filling Out Your Yearly Marketing Calendar
When it comes to marketing, planning is very important because most shopping events require you to have things ready fairly early.
For example, Halloween might be on October 31st, but the Halloween shopping season starts as early as August (for early shoppers) and keeps going all the way through October. This means that if you wanted to leverage Halloween as a sale event inside your business, you really would want to be ready for it by July.
This is just one example of course, but as a rule, you want to be working 3 to 6 months ahead. And yes…this means working on your end-of-year (Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, etc.) promotions over the summer months!
This way your shop and products are ready for early shoppers, and you have enough time to get your products ranked.
If you’re not sure when a particular shopping season starts, research the popularity of keywords across the year inside eRank. Simply go to Tools => Keyword Explorer. Type in (for example) “Halloween” and select which platform you’d like to see the data for.
Here, for example, is the search trend for the keyword “Halloween” on Etsy (USA):
Below is the search trend for the keyword “Halloween” on Google Shopping (USA):
You can also select “All” in the dropdown menu to get a look at even more platforms, then hover over the search trend graphs to see when the interest starts peaking.
With that in mind:
- Start by blocking out time as early as possible for your “shop improvements” projects (see step 1). They need to be done first as they are likely getting in the way of the success of your shop right now. You need to work on them as a priority.
- Take a look at the launches and promotions you decided on in step 2 and work backwards to block out time in your calendar for when you should be working on preparing for those promotions.
For example with Halloween:
To be ready by early August at the latest, you’d probably need to add “Halloween prep” as a project for June and July. Do your best to estimate how long you think it would take you. It will depend on things like whether you are marketing existing products under the Halloween theme or are planning to create a new collection for it entirely – which would be more time-consuming.
- Finally, look at the “new growth projects” you decided on in step 1 and fit them in on the remaining/slower months.
If too many projects overlap, then remove some or move things around so you can focus on one main project at a time.
The second part of the year is always busier with the holiday season in the last quarter for the year (Q4). However, this is a great exercise that will help ensure your workload over the year is not completely skewed and is doable.
Once you are done, you will have a clear plan for growing your business and boosting your sales this year.
Deborah Engelmajer is the founder of Tizzit.co. Tizzit is an online community with classes and workshops for makers and handmade business owners.
It’s completely free, and over 5 days I will guide you through each step in more detail so that by the end of the week, you have a clear month-by-month action plan, ready to be implemented.
Every day, you will get:
- a short video training (~ 5 mins)
- a PDF download with an activity (~ 15 mins to complete)
- a LIVE coaching call with me every day at 5 PM CST (recordings will be made available if you can’t attend live)
Here’s what we’ll cover:
💥 DAY 1 – I’ll introduce you to your 2023 Shop Success Framework
🧐 DAY 2 – We’ll do a full shop review so we know exactly where you’re at
🎯 DAY 3 – We’ll define your goals, priorities and projects for the year based on the results of your shop review
🗓 DAY 4 – We’ll craft an action plan for the whole year, month by month, quarter by quarter, ready to be implemented
🚀 DAY 5 – I’ll show you how to avoid the common traps I see makers fall into so you can follow through on your plan and get the results you want.