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As I mentioned in my last post, 2020 Etsy Shop: A Year in Review, two 3D printers were plenty to handle the volume of sales for the year. Even the Christmas/holiday spike in November and December. Yet growing the printer farm is one of my primary goals. I need more 3D printers. That means I need to continue growing the Etsy shop to justify purchasing more printers.
Goal 1: Purchase 2 Prusa Printers
Prusa recently came out with a smaller, less expensive version of their 3D printer. They call it the “Mini” since it has a smaller build plate at 7″ x 7″ x 7″. Still, it is large enough to handle 75% of my orders. The majority of my Etsy sales are models that are smaller than 6.5 inches. There is significant value for me in this size of a printer. I want to purchase at least one in 2021.
The larger Prusa printers, the MK3 series, are reliable and have proven to be perfect printers to continue building out my farm with. I want to purchase an additional Prusa i3 MK3 in 2021.
You can check out the difference in the printers here on Prusa’s website: http://shop.prusa3d.com.
Purchasing two more printers would bring the farm to four printers total. This allows me to better handle larger orders and better handle the Christmas/holiday gift spike.
This leads me to my next goal – increasing sales on Etsy.
Goal 2: Increase Etsy Shop Sales
My Etsy shop has been in existence for 2 years now and reviewing the sales data shows me that the vast majority of sales occur in November and December. My monthly average for 2020 is exactly 10 sales a month (it was 3 sales per month in 2019 – my first full year).
I would like to increase this to 20 sales a month on average with a manageable holiday sales spike above 100 sales.
This would justify two additional printers at least for the holiday months and would also pay off the cost of purchasing the printers within the year. The more products (with the right tags, descriptions, photos, and videos) on the shop the more chances of driving organic Etsy search traffic.
Strategy / Actions to Accomplish Goals
Increase product listings on the Etsy shop to over 100 products. Currently there are 46 listings. This will take a lot of invested time, effort, and printer filament. Ultimately I believe this is what will drive organic Etsy traffic to the shop.
Social Media Marketing
This one is going to be the most difficult for me. Every blog and video on growing an Etsy shop says that I need to build my social media presence. It isn’t my forte but I get it – it is how I am going to ease into marketing for my shop.
I decided that Instagram is going to be my primary channel. I actually created the Instagram account/profile a long time ago and only recently started adding content to it. The focus is going to be on highlighting the products on the Etsy shop and adding inspiring wilderness photos. Maybe a little behind the scenes of me creating the digital models and working with the printers.
Getting better organized
Currently I work out of my garage and am competing for space with cars, bicycles, storage… basically the rest of my life. This year I am going to carve out a corner of the garage and dedicate solely to the printer farm and managing the Etsy shop.
To motivate and inspire myself I plan to renovate the area to optimize it for processing orders and working on the printers. I want to transform it from being a space where everything is to being an inspiring little workshop that motivates me to continuing building.
Update My Etsy Shop Profile
There are a few more things I can do to improve my profile on my shop. Etsy allow you to add a video and images to the “About the Shop” section. I have been dragging my feet on this but am committing to creating a simple 1-2 minute video about the shop and my process of creating the models.
You can check out my progress on JoySpark (my Etsy Shop).