Congratulations! You’ve just opened your own business. You’re excited, maybe a little nervous, and definitely motivated. But you’re going to need more than confidence and high spirits to succeed and there’s nothing better than learning from other people’s mistakes. Here are some mistakes that new Esty sellers often make:

1. Not maximizing effects of tags and titles. If your foundations are not solid, how can you build a successful product? Titles and tags help you appear in search results and you need to utilize these two fields fully. SEO evolves every year which means your tags and titles should also be evolving. Think of the different holidays throughout the year. If you don’t cater to the holiday, you’ll be missing opportunities for being found by buyers. And please, please, please use ALL the tags. If you can’t think of any, dig deeper and go into the nitty, gritty of your product. Perhaps there are multiple ways to spell or describe the product. A “soda” on the east coast is “pop” in the Midwest.

2. Not investing time in taking and editing quality product photos. It’s not enough to take pictures with good lighting and a white background anymore. Buyers expect more from sellers and seeing lifestyle images helps them see how the product looks when it’s utilized. Make sure you’re also giving as much time to technique as you are to the creative aspect. No amount of creativity will sell the product if it’s out of focus or grainy. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not the best photographer. Practice, time, and the numerous tools out there for photography beginners can help you sharpen your skills.

3. Keep expectations reasonable. You have a great product, the pricing is competitive, you’ve developed a working SEO strategy, you even have free shipping but no one’s biting. Don’t despair if you don’t get any sales in the first week or the first couple of months. It takes time for Etsy to index your store and listings. Check Etsy Stats and see what tags and listings are getting the most hits; adjust your listings accordingly. Running a business is a trial and error process. Stay motivated especially in the moments where victory seems unfeasible.

4. Don’t forget to promote your store and products on social media! It’s hard enough starting a brand new business but now you also have to handle multiple social media accounts and regularly post on them while you’re trying to learn SEO all on your own? Yes, it’s absolutely necessary and vital to the success of your business. If you want your products to get noticed, you need to start sharing your products, your story, your knowledge with your target audience. Etsy also has integrations with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to link your social media account to your shop.

5. Not investing in customer service. Again, you have an amazing product but your customer had a bad shopping experience. Most likely, that customer is going to think twice before shopping with you again because there’s no shortage of competitive products out there. And this doesn’t just mean answering customer questions. You must make sure your policies are clearly stated, anticipate possible questions your customer might have by filling out the FAQ section, and try to respond to inquiries within 24 hours. If you give the customer as much information about your shop and products as possible, it will be a faster shopping process for them because they won’t need to contact you and wait for your response.

Etsy is a great platform but you’ll have to put in the work to take advantage of it. All of this might seem daunting but don’t worry! If you stumble a little along the way, make sure to learn and grow from them. If you avoid these mistakes, you’re on stronger ground to create a successful business.