icon-folder-black Print On Demand Etsy Entrepreneurship Mindset

Brittany Lewis - Print On Demand Expertise From A Top Etsy Seller

icon-calendar 2021-11-09 | icon-microphone 1h 6m 28s Listening Time | icon-user Joseph Ianni

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We've had a few print on demand experts on thus far, ranging from individual experts to the ones running a service, I'm delighted today to get the expertise of Brittany Lewis, among the top 1% sellers on Etsy. If you're interested in the platform this is the episode for you, but otherwise this is a good chance to really understand what Etsy is capable of in delivering you creative and financial freedom.



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Tags: #Debutify #printondemand #etsy

[00:00:00] Brittany Lewis: Your goal is, this shocks people by the way, is not to create sales. Your mindset should not be around creating a bunch of sales. It should be collecting data because in be a wolf biz like I'm trying to teach people how to build long term sustainable businesses. And if you don't have that foundation of collected data to begin with to make your decisions on your product offering, then you're not going to be a longterm business.

[00:00:27] Joseph: We've had a few print-on-demand experts on the show thus far, ranging from individuals who are experts on using the platform to those who are running a service to make the operation easier. Although we haven't talked to anybody who actually runs the websites, we should get on that. Anyways, I'm delighted today to get to the expertise of Brittany Lewis, who is among the top 1% of sellers on Etsy. If you're interested in the platform, this is the episode for you, but otherwise it's a good chance to really understand what Etsy is capable of in delivering you creative and financial freedom.

 Brittany Lewis. It is good to have you here in Ecomonics. How you doing today? How you feeling? 

[00:01:04] Brittany Lewis: I'm feeling good. Thank you so much for having me.

I'm excited to talk to you. 

[00:01:08] Joseph: I'm excited to talk to you as well. I'll be able to pick up on a recurring theme that I've touched on here and there throughout it. And also, I just want to get my obligatory commentary on the background, but out of the way, uh, it almost looks like monochromatic, like to the point where if you were to run a black, white filter on your background, I couldn't, I wouldn't be able to distinguish it.

We move it into an apartment as well. And like any apartment made past like 2015 is all just like a black and whites. So we have this one row table in the middle and makes us stick out. 

[00:01:39] Brittany Lewis: Actually, I didn't plan it this way, but once I found that it was kind of like all the same, I was like, oh, I'm going to record everything in front of this.

I actually really like it. So yeah. 

[00:01:46] Joseph: Yeah, yeah. It pops. So yeah, it checks out. All right. So got that one out of the way. Just wanted to, I mean, I'm a visual guy, right? Here we go. Opening question is, tell us what you do and what you're up to these days? 

[00:02:04] Brittany Lewis: Yes. So my name is Brittany Lewis.

I am the creator and owner of a be a wolf biz where I teach Etsy sellers, how to sell print on demand, clothing, home decor, products in general. Uh, I've been doing it since 2014. I've had my own Etsy shop since 2014. And I got into print on demand about five years ago. And it was like a saving grace because, uh, for those that aren't aware of and on demand has a, it's basically like a production partner who does all of your production for you, takes all of the creation off of your plate and prints and ships things directly to your customers.

So once I discovered, uh, I think I started with printful.com. Um, I had, prior to that, been doing all my own screen printing and like hand to hand painting and doing all this different stuff that would literally take like 12 hours a day. I love, I love to Etsy. I love selling, but at the same time it gets very tiring.

So when I discovered print on demand, it was game over. It was the best thing ever. And, uh, just last year I started be a wolf biz, um, I've been consulting for about four years, but I created be a wolf biz for course creation, uh, specifically, and it's been such a wild ride, so much fun. I love my be a wolf fam. Um, there's just so much demand around it right now because everybody wants to know, you know, especially with the pandemic happening and everybody looking for work.

Um, everybody wants to do stuff they love and that's fun and print on demand is such a great opportunity for people, um, in order to expand and, and quit their jobs and go full-time if they want. It does take work, but that's possible. 

[00:03:34] Joseph: Okay. Okay. So I think that stuck out to me, uh, and this is a silly question, but, um, w was, is be a wolf by any chance of reference to the literary figure.

[00:03:41] Brittany Lewis: It is not, I get, um, guesses like this all the time. It's so interesting to see what people get. So that's what I actually haven't heard before. 

[00:03:51] Joseph: Yeah, I did. Sorry, but I did have like a secondary one that said, okay, this is good. It was like, there it's the, it's a slang term bay. Uh, which by the way, I don't actually know what it refers to, but I thought like bae wolf.

So that was my, my, my, my backup guess. 

[00:04:03] Brittany Lewis: So be a wolf literally means be a wolf. Some people have, yeah, well for whatever, but it is be a wolf. And it actually came from a book that I would call women who run with wolves. And I have been really into just that whole paradigm of, of, you know, personal power and being able to come up against anything in your life.

That's, that's challenging with that Wolf mentality, just like whatever it takes, we're going to get there, we're going to do it. And, um, that was really something that when I first started teaching people how to sell on Etsy, um, my approach was very different than most people that teach Etsy. They're very, a little bit more delicate, a little bit more, um, centered around creating sales, um, in softer ways.

And I was always just like, I want to get it done. I want to help people get it done and have more of that, um, intensity behind it. I'm like, how can we get it done as fast as possible? So that's why, where that name comes from. Sorry for the background noise. I'm not sure what that is. 

[00:04:56] Joseph: No worries. Uh, it sounds like something like a Tupperware container full.

I dunno, sandbags. It's a fair trade we've got, we've got an hour of your highly valuable time. We have to put up with, we got the, I've got some construction going on the background, not a big deal. Uh, but I appreciate, uh, uh, acknowledging it. Uh, actually, you know, so I mean, this is, this is one of those times where, um, I I'm asking you something that I don't really plan to ask, but I do like the psychology of it.

See, like I had this, this realization somewhere on the lines that I really identified with spiders, um, because a, you know, they're, they're literally the only, uh, well, not the only creature, but one of the few creatures that are known to just like, hang out them in koalas, but they also have, they spend webs.

And so they're also literal networkers and they, and they let things come to them and, you know, being in the position that I am, I take great pride in being a networker and trying to connect people to one another, which so I know by the way, let me know if you want me to connect with anybody who's been on the show before.

Happy to do that. Um, that happened. Two things happen. Once I realized that two things happened. One, it made me reflect on my past and how there was such significance to it. And then going forward, it changed the way that I was viewing things. And I continued to, um, facilitate that more because it was a truth that I discovered about myself.

And I, and I'd like to hear about that with you in wolves. It's like at what point the, the, the Wolf mentality, uh, reached you. And what did you, uh, acknowledge about your past that, uh, had confirmed this truth that you now pursuing it to your future? 

[00:06:30] Brittany Lewis: That's super interesting because it's definitely something that I have been learning as I go. Um, from childhood, I have always been like really a go getter and super ambitious and very much so, um, like intense, like I want what I want and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get it. And I've been learning over the last few years that I've always known that about myself, but I've also been learning there's a big element of trust and self trust and trust in the way that your life is unfolding. That really matters a lot. And so, um, for me, like the be a wolf biz thing doesn't necessarily just mean always running through walls and like sacrificing your personal peace and, and every sacrificing everything in order to get what you want.

It's, it's more of a delicate balance between, um, being able to learn intuitively like when you should really go for things and push hard when you should rest, when you should follow your, um, follow your bliss. And, and when you should maybe go a little harder on things that you don't want to do, like it's such a balance and it's not always rambles and butterflies.

It sucks sometimes, you know, entrepreneur entrepreneurship in general is not always super fun, but I think just like anything in life, there's a balance. And so it's not always just about pushing, pushing, pushing, um, but it's, it's learning how to navigate wherever you're at in your life and play your cards to the best of your ability because everybody is given different gifts.

You're given different ability and you have to learn how to leverage those things in a very balanced way. 

[00:07:57] Joseph: And one association that, uh, I, uh, I I'm I'm considering too is, you know, we, we, when we think of the Wolf, we think of hunter archetype, uh, the person who goes for what they want, but wolves aren't hunting 24/7.

They do have their downtime. They do. I've never seen it. I don't know if this is true, but I assume there's times where they're even playing amongst each other within the pack. So I, there, like, like you're saying with balance, even for something that we associate with ferocity also has their own downtime.

[00:08:25] Brittany Lewis: Yeah, that's perfectly said, and it's always a balance, like I said, and, uh, wolves, especially, um, like with female wolves, the, the leader of the pack, and they're very intense when they need to be, but they're also loving and nurturing and understanding. And, um, I, I love that dichotomy and I think it's so true for everybody's lives as well.

You have to find the balance and you have to go with the flow sometimes, and sometimes you do have to push. And I think it's really interesting. It's super complex, but I think it's really interesting. And so, um, I love that that's such an integral part of my business. 

[00:08:57] Joseph: Here's the question that I wanted to pick up on throughout my, uh, so there's like, there's like the plots.

I was like, c plots and go on in this show and what a, and what are the, the, the secondary plots is, uh, in addition to, and we each figure out what to do with my own, um, uh, business prospects is also helping my girlfriend do the same. Um, she, she's an exceedingly talented artist, far more than me, at least like a 10 X, uh, equivalency and I want her to, to, to take that to the next level. I, interestingly, before I even joined e-commerce altogether, she was already doing some print on demand stuff on, on red bubble. And Zazzle, so she's already had a little bit of experience in this. Um, but what's great is that I get to talk to people and hear different strategies.

So we know that, uh, Etsy is your, is your bread and butter. You're one of the top sellers on the platform. Um, so congratulations and it's, it's great to, to, uh, to know that I can pick your brain for the, for the next 15 minutes, but we do get a lot of opinions on it. So for instance, one opinion that we've gotten prior is that.

Um, the best place to centralize your activity would be a website because you have your own platform, you have full control and you can then branch out into other areas if need be. So what I, I, but I, I, and I pondered that and, and there are limiting factors to it because now you have maintenance and there's a lot more costs involved in running a website.

Uh, and then you don't have the, uh, you don't have the same inherent marketing that a popular platform like Etsy has. So not to answer the entire question for you, but anyways, uh, can Etsy act as the central location for a seller? And if so, how you do it? 

[00:10:35] Brittany Lewis: So, this is something I talk about with people constantly because, um, my, I recently held a workshop called burning the old map, and it's like, let's get rid of the way that everybody else is teaching you how to do print on demand.

Let's wipe that paradigm clean and let's start from a different area because, um, since 2014, I built my shops entirely organically, no paid ads, no, nothing like I I've had paid ads, but they are a very negligible part of what I have done in revenue. And so I have leveraged organic, the organic Etsy traffic street, which is now 80 million people per year.

And so I think when people go into selling on Etsy, they don't realize the fact that that traffic stream is enough to sustain a full-time business. I don't recommend putting all of your eggs in one basket and just having an Etsy shop. Of course, you know, after a few months, it's probably a good idea to also build a website, um, because if anything were to happen to your shop on Etsy, you don't own that. Etsy has full control over that.

Um, but it's also not as scary as many people think it is. Um, but anyways, You know, been really adamant about people trusting in the fact that, uh, you can build a business, you just need to know the right information. So the reason why I push Etsy so much is because I know that traffic stream is there and I know how difficult it is to drive traffic to a free-standing website. I liken it to building a shop within a super busy mall or building a standalone brick and mortar shop that's miles away from them. All that you literally have to convince people and drive that traffic to it's the same thing on the web. Like why not create an Etsy shop, which is in a mall filled with 80,000 or 80 million people per year, uh, as opposed to building your own thing on a website.

And I think people are shocked most of the time. I don't think I know they're shocked when they opened their own website and they're like, whoa, no, one's buying anything. And it's like, right, because that's just not how it work. Um, unless you have a big ads budget or you have a big social media and of course people are doing it.

Of course people build amazing big retail websites. I'm not saying that it's not possible. Um, but for me, in my experience and the angle at which I just sort of come at with this is Etsy is the place at least to test your product offering. Why not use a platform that's in a very busy model as I, my metaphor is structured in order to easily be able to validate your own products. It's a really big part of my process and the way that I teach people how to sell on print on demand is you're not creating stuff, putting it on a website and then being like, okay, where is everybody? You have to put out products based on your research of not only what's currently trending and hot, but what customers are actively searching for on Etsy already.

You have to, um, create listings based on that research. I don't like to make any decisions, uh, that our guests, this, I always teach to make decisions based on data. And so, um, when you do that, then you will have maybe 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 products that are based on research. Then your next step is to test those products and to see, okay, what's getting attention?

What's working? What are even the messages that I'm getting from customers? Um, like I always tell the story. When I first started, I was selling high-waisted shorts. I was cutting them and making them myself. I was going to Goodwill finding them, measuring them for people's sizing and like painting them.

And I was getting a bunch of messages from my customers saying, can I, can I get this package by May 15th or April 30th cause that's when Coachella or Bonnaroo or certain raves were. And I was like, wait a minute, everybody's buying these products for a raver festival. So how can I incorporate different products into my shop to further appeal to that niche?

Cause they're already in my shop, how do I get them to spend more? And it turned out that worked wonderfully. I've never been to a river festival still in my life. And I've been selling like one of the top rave festival wear shops on Etsy for seven years. Um, because I listened to my customer, I did the research.

I was endlessly like following other shops that were already succeeding in that niche. And so, um, instead of being seller focused and guessing, like, what do I want to create? What do I want to put out there instead you're you're researching, you're collecting data and information and you're listening to your customers wherever they're communicating with you, whether it's over messages or over by purchases or favorites or views even like the things that are getting a lot of attention, how can you build those out? You're serving the customer and not trying to make something work that you have no evidence for that. Like, why would it work? You don't have any proof that people actually want this thing. And that's where most sellers fail.

And they quit very, very quickly is because they're like, well, I can't make it work. And it's like, well, of course you can make it work. We're trying to push something that you don't have any validation for. 

[00:15:05] Joseph: Yeah. And one thing, actually, not just one thing, but at least one thing that I picked up on that I'm touching on something that you had mentioned earlier, um, uh, in your first answer regarding that you were doing this know yourself before you started, um, uh, and turning this to others and there's a longstanding of it, of wisdom that I think is key here, which is when, you know, when you do something manually first, it allows you the insights into, okay, well, how does, how does this work? How much time does this take? What, how do I validate the quality of it? You know, Hey, if I, if I, if I tug on it, like this, will they split, I split in half.

So you get all a lot of that knowledge. And then it allows you to not only understand what it takes to automate it, but also, uh, to do that at scale. And, and I'm wondering if there's a parallel there between that, which is the product, and then that with the research. So, you know, from one moment it's, uh, people reaching out to on an individual level.

And I don't know just how far you can say extrapolate how one person's question can yield a thousand sales. But I would like to know is if you know, how does it go from that equivalency of like the manual research, where it's, you know, one, uh, one win at a time to the more. Uh, research at scale where you're now observing trends on a, on a larger basis?

[00:16:23] Brittany Lewis: Yeah, I would say it's everything all at once. I'd say that it's not an either or it's an, and, um, I teach my clients to literally extrapolate that data from wherever possible, if it's in messages. Great. If it's in research, great. I have a, um, an ebook called blink to bank and it is my tried and tested research method that I teach people how to go through certain resources in order to find what's currently trending.

So you should be knee deep in research, if not neck deep in research, when you're first beginning, over everything else. And it, at the same time, once you start going into these different phases of you're actually making sales and you're getting these messages from people asking for a certain product or asking to get it by a certain time, like was the case for me.

Um, then you start using that information and you start, uh, getting any, any data that you can from anywhere you can, it's all gold. And especially like once you start actually getting sales, a lot of times people have, we'll have a t-shirt that has a certain design on it, and it becomes a bestseller on Etsy.

You can get like a best seller badge onto your listings that sell very well. And they won't put that design on anything else. Like, they'll just keep the t-shirt and they'll be like, well, I have this bestseller and nothing else is really selling. And I'm like, get that on a hoodie, get that on a mug. It's not like build it out.

Um, you have to go general at first, uh, based on your research in order to, um, get the general sense of what people want from you. And then. Kind of naturally can narrow things down based on purchases and what's actually happening. So it's database decisions, every single step of the way and something I've been, excuse me, telling sellers most recently is at the beginning of your business, when you first opened your Etsy, shop your goal, this, the shocks people by the way, is not to create sales.

Your mindset should not be around creating a bunch of sales. It should be collecting data because, in be a wolf biz like I'm trying to teach people how to build long-term sustainable businesses. And if you don't have that foundation of collected data to begin with to make your decisions on your product offering, then you're not going to be a longterm business.

You're going to always be chasing, chasing the next thing and like trying to figure stuff out. And like my way of teaching things is, is saying, you know, take a whole mindset shift in the beginning. Take the pressure off completely. If you don't create sales in the first two, three weeks, fine. Two, three months.

Fine. You're collecting data and there's nothing more valuable than that. Even stuff that doesn't work, you don't have to try it again because it didn't work. So it's all about getting that information in and being patient and removing the pressure and the stress from that situation, because that's what, what makes people quit is that pressure and feeling like they can't figure it out.

And their only measuring stick is sales. And I don't think that should be the case at all. 

[00:19:01] Joseph: Like that approach a lot and it doesn't remind me to draw a parallel where say like the people get into, um, uh, competitive games or competitive sports and it's like, they want to use their wins or yeah, like winning the game to quantify the value and what happened.

You can take several routes to win and you can play a really dirty, you can bend the rules, you can cheat and maybe the ref is looking the other way and you get your wins and say, yeah, see, I'm a winner now that's great. But that doesn't sustain a person long-term because everybody else who knows better is growing, they're working on their skills.

They're, they're practicing their training, their understanding of the fundamentals. And, and, and it's amazing because it's not, it's pretty much. In, in any pursuit, if you focus on that end result too quickly, even if you get it, everything suffers for it. 

[00:19:47] Brittany Lewis: I love that you said that cause that's exactly what I've been talking about.

And that's what I have been, um, focusing many of my workshops around a lot of my free content is on my Instagram, but that's where I usually go live and talk about this sort of stuff when, when it comes to me. Um, but I talk about the learning curve a lot, and people for some reason, expect print on demand to be different, but when you're creating any sort of new skill within your mind and, and creating new wiring, there's always going to be a learning curve.

You know, people don't expect to start playing basketball and be perfect at it. Right. They know when they start to play piano, it's going to be frustrating. It's going to be a learning curve, but then they start on demand and it's like, why isn't it working in the first week? And it's like, this is no different, if not harder than piano or basketball, but for some reason, people expect for it to be a super simple, easy, streamlined process.

And there is a giant learning curve and it, it can be very frustrating if you're focused on the end results and not on the process. So I try to lessen that learning curve as much as possible for people. And my goal in the beginning, working with brand new sellers is helping them realize that it's there no matter what, and that things will feel a little frustrating.

And of course that sales are always the end goal. Of course, I want you to be in sales, but I want you to make sales over a long period. I want you to make six figures a year. And the way we do that is by rewinding and saying, okay, to begin with, we're going to shift our mental paradigm into, um, you know, understanding the value of data first and understanding the process and understanding there is a learning curve.

Um, and I always compare it to basketball. So it's funny, you said that about sports. It's going to be a process. And I think I have succeeded really well in almost all of the business ventures that I've done, including be a wolf is, is because I pivot very quickly. I gathered data and I pivot lightning fast.

If I see another opportunity, like in the beginning last year I created my Etsy shop master course, and I was going to create courses for Etsy sellers in general. And then I got on YouTube and I started creating videos and I saw a lot of print on demand, people in my comments, asking questions about my print on demand side of my Etsy shops.

And I was like, you know what? This is where I want to teach. This is where I want to focus. This is where I want to niche down. I never would have known that had I just gone for it. Right. So you have to start somewhere, but when you find more better information, that's going to lead you to be more potent in your efforts.

Pivot extremely quickly. And don't worry about whether or not it's going to work. If you feel that nudge, if you're collecting that data, if you know that, uh, it's, uh, it feels like it could be potentially a good idea, go for it. If it doesn't work out, pivot to something else, but you're learning all the way, um, all along that journey.

And it was the same way building my Etsy shops. I pivoted a thousand times with my branding, with my product offering. Uh, there were so many things that I tried before I really felt super solid in where I was, but the whole time I was making tons of money, right? Like I've been making six figures consistently on Etsy for a long time, but I started really messy and I was really messy the whole time.

And I was okay with being messy because that's how I learned the best and the fastest. And I think that's where people get really afraid is they're like, what are my friends and family going to think of? It looks messy or not cohesive or whatever. So I really try to lessen that pressure. It's just like, who cares?

Go for it. And you'll figure it out along the way.

[00:22:54] Joseph: I chambered a, a side comment, which is, um, the karate kid. If there's any movie that people should really be showing in schools is the karate kid, because that, that is such a huge takeaway from that. I still remember that lesson from, from way back when I was a kid.

And I think that's a really good way for people. One thing that just like, uh, I S uh, stick out to me, cause you were saying that people were asking you for advice more on your print on demand side. So my understanding that you have other products that you're selling to there aren't print on demand or is it a different? 

[00:23:28] Brittany Lewis: Yeah, no, I have two Etsy shops.

They're both in different niches, but both are print on demands. Um, I, I had to, uh, sort of slowly get myself out of production because I like many people didn't believe I could make as much money with print on demand as I could just make the stuff myself. So in order to make sure I could maintain my full-time status and, and still, um, make that same amount of money I, for a long time was just like slowly transitioning.

And so I had thought just like, let me just teach people in general. If as an Etsy shop making Teddy bears wants to learn from me, fine, I'll teach them. Um, but then when I saw the print on demand sellers coming up and being like, Let's learn. We want to know. I was like, okay, I got to niche down because this is really where the people are.

This is where my customers want me to be. And so that's why I'm going to go.

[00:24:21] Joseph: I've made this mistake in the past and different communities I've been to where I try to come across as like, you know, know it all, or at least a know some I, so I'm doing my best to avoid that. But there there's one, a through line that I do tend to want a question, um, which is the efficacy of being able to do more, uh, one-to-one manufacturing, like how you, you would transition out of that because it wasn't, it wasn't leading to growth.

And, and, and, and I, and I think of what that is, but I come from my own perspective, which is, you know, being, being in media, You know, I, I was able to find a position that was able to pay me more than previous positions. In fact, all of them put together. And, and so you do find, it's almost like the boutique strategy where, although you can't have the quantity, the quality is so pristine and it's just a matter of are as long as you're, you're charging people for your time.

So were you finding that there was a limitation to how much people were willing to pay for the product that were manufacturing on your own? Or was it just a matter of like, no matter how you square it, you're just not going to make the same kind of mind that you were to do where you to scale outwards? 

[00:25:28] Brittany Lewis: So the problem with self production was just the ceiling. How much I was able to produce every day.

There is a bigger profit margin, but there's also 10 times more work. So you're losing that money with your effort anyways, if you're to think of it in terms of paying yourself. Um, but no, in terms of pricing, like with print on demand, um, I focused on t-shirts sweatshirts, hoodies. You can still get 50, 60% profit margin.

It's a lot more than people assume. Um, especially I use printify.com, especially with their premium, because you get 20% off of their, uh, their, their offering. Uh, but yeah, when you do production yourself, it's, it's a ton of effort. It's a, it's a ceiling of what you're able to create. And with print on demand, there is no limit to what you're able to produce and you can charge pretty high prices, uh, relatively high prices for t-shirts and sweatshirts and things of that, that nature. If people want the designs, that's the kicker is like, people are like, is it too much to sell a t-shirt for $28? And I'm like, how in demand is it? Cause if people want it, they'll buy it for 30. Uh, I usually recommend like $22 pricing just to give you a little bit of context, but, um, the higher end t-shirts sell for 2016.

It's what, 30 whatever. Um, but it's all about demand. It's about how much people want things. And that's why they go to Etsy to find super unique things that are like hyper trending that nobody else has yet that aren't in forever 21. And that's why my high-waisted shorts did so well in the beginning is because they weren't being sold in anywhere yet.

They hadn't blown up. But I knew that they would because I've always been kind of a master of trendspotting. Um, and so I, it totally blew up. They were paying $30 for a pair of shorts that I got at Goodwill for $3 and was cutting myself. Um, so that was kind of a good lesson for me. And like, people will pay whatever, if you've got a unique product, but that's also the kicker, right?

You got to be super creative. You have to know trends. You have to put in the full-time work. If you want the full-time job. It's not, it's not a thing where you can just put in a little bit of effort and reap a giant reward. I've had a full-time business because I've worked full time on it. That's just kind of how it goes. 

[00:27:29] Joseph: Another thing that's sticking out to me is, uh, the, so you're talking about, um, you know, identifying trends and I think one misconception that somebody might have. Uh, trend is only going to be viable for like, I don't know, a week or something like that. When an actuality, they actually lasts a lot longer, which ties more into your, your, your, your positioning for a long-term strategy.

So, uh, how is it that these trends, you know, being able to identify them right away, do notice how, what there's inherent qualities that make something last uh, long-term when you're picking up on it? 

[00:28:00] Brittany Lewis: There are so few trends that aren't long-term, I will say that straight away. So with trends, um, when I talk about transporting people are like, well, I want evergreen products.

I want to build a sustainable business. I don't want to do trends. And I've tried to be more clear about this. Recently, I did like a whole thing on an Instagram talking about, um, when I'm stating trends and trend spotting, I'm re I really need in demand, spotting and stuff. That's in demand. I'll give you a few examples.

It usually lasts a few years sometimes. 5 10, 15 years. Tie dye, I've been selling since 2014, like crazy. I've been selling tie dye. 2020, it took off it at a rate that I'd never even seen before. And now maybe it's a little less popular than in 2020, but it's still booming and it's been going and going and going since I started selling in 2014, it was probably going even before that.

So it's one of those trends that is evergreen, but it's a trend. Um, and, uh, there's a botanical trend, which is like the outline kind of like, um, very organic. It looks hand drawn and it's about like leaves and flowers and all this sort of stuff. That was a trend in 2019, it was big in 2020, it's still a trend.

Um, there's so many things like this, that carry on. And people think like, oh, trends means it's going up and it's coming down. It truly doesn't mean that it means it's in demand. It's kind of the aesthetic that people are going for. I think trends more in terms of like the overarching aesthetic that people are, are wild for.

And that's been things like Thai in botanical and nature and hiking and all these sorts of things that are in demand right now and will more than likely be in demand for quite some time. So this is something I'm so glad you brought up because many people are like, well, if I'm chasing trends, I'm going to have this temporary niche in my shop.

It's just not true. Um, many of these products will continue to sell for years. I've had very trendy products that are just in demand and they've, they've sold well for three, four or five years. 

[00:29:54] Joseph: I can't help a wonder if it has to do with just the syntax of the term trend. Has, has any other term cross your mind?

I think actually, sorry, you might've said it, but I dropped it. It's like another term that might be able to switch out. 

[00:30:05] Brittany Lewis: It's in demand, um, in demand products, trend is something I use because I mean like it's trendy, like people are wearing it because it's hip it's cool. It's like, what's trending, but it doesn't mean that it's going away.

It just means that that's what's cool right now that people aren't aware. It's in demand. Definitely. 

[00:30:25] Joseph: Yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm a big proponent for like, um, correct naming, like even, even podcasting to get meta. Cause I can't help it, which is like, if I tell somebody that I do radio, which technically I am, it's like, oh, you're, you're ready to guy.

I say, I do a podcast like, oh, you're cute. And then they pat me on the head, like, thanks, thanks. So one thing that I talked to, um, with other people in their show is that, uh, Etsy does attract, you know, attracts a lot of Craftsy bone and a lot of artists. Uh it's it's there is there a nexus? And so, and I do talk to guests and what they do is they will actually, um, use are those, they'll speak to them and they'll work them out, work out a deal where they will sell the products on behalf of the, uh, of the artists, because maybe the artist isn't a great marketer.

And so far, I, I don't see any clues indicating that you've done this, but I'm wondering if you have had any experience in this area of maybe even some of the people that you've talked to where, you know, they're making the product and somebody else's marketing on your behalf, or if you've been in that field in any way?

[00:31:21] Brittany Lewis: I have not, I've always done things on my own, but I have heard of that. The only thing I don't, I don't recommend like my clients hire even virtual assistants, because if you're having multiple people log into a shop, it puts your shop at risk of being shut down. Because that seems like, oh, this is risky where there's so many different location, logins and stuff happening.

And they're very touchy about that sort of stuff. So if you are an artist and you do hire someone to create your Etsy shop, they'll be the only ones they should be the only ones to connect that's it. So if you trust somebody enough and you just want to hand it off entirely, I don't see why that would be a problem.

If there's somebody that knows what they're doing. But if there's somebody that has prior run like websites and they don't have any SEO experience, that would be a little bit risky for me. I would, I would want to hire somebody who has built and maintained their own really successful Etsy shops. Cause that's a whole different beast than anything else.

The search engine optimization, um, the way that they weigh different things in order to rank you, like, if you're trying to take advantage of the organic traffic stream, there's a lot of specific things that you need to know. So, yeah, that's kind of my take on that.

[00:32:25] Joseph: I did want to touch on that too, about some of the, um, Etsy risks, but, uh, just to, uh, just to make sure my, um, uh, my previous question was, uh, uh, was annunciated clearly.

So what I'm, what I'm describing is more like the drop-shipping strategy. If that's crossed your radar where like, oh, I'm going to se I see an artist, he's got products, I'm going to set up my website, trying to market this person's product for them. Um, and again, I don't know how much experience you've had on that side of it, but again, same thing.

If any opinions on I'd love to hear it. 

[00:32:52] Brittany Lewis: I think it's fine if they're, if they're drop-shipping from their website, um, I don't really have any qualms against that. I think I did it with a couple of shops. It's pretty common for somebody to reach out, to like a successful Etsy shop and, and ask for that. Um, and it's, it's just more sales for you. So I think why not. 

[00:33:08] Joseph: It's something that I know my audience will be wondering about, cause this is drop shipping country. So, uh, with that out of the way. So Etsy risks, one thing I picked up on when I was looking into some of your other, um, you talks on Instagram, I read transcript for another podcast you did is, uh, Etsy was not happy with people selling masks on the, uh, on the website.

They said, no, we won't be able to think about that here. So tying that into the broader questions, what are some of the risks and some of the, uh, things to watch out for, for people operating on the platform? 

[00:33:38] Brittany Lewis: So the mask thing was funny actually. Um, Etsy had really strict. But at first they were like, no, we don't want you to.

And then they realized how large that market was like at one point in the pandemic, like for a month, as he was making more money on masks than anywhere else. Um, and they at first were like, we don't want you to use the word Covid, pandemic. You can't use any of these keywords. We'll shut you down if you do.

And then they were, they were, um, shutting certain shops down that we're getting an influx of orders of masks because a lot of shops were opening just to sell masks. And then they were getting a huge amount of orders, not able to fulfill them and then shutting down and not sending anybody anything. So Etsy really paid quite dearly, uh, for the fact that they weren't prepared for this.

But then, um, they started and the fact that they weren't able to guarantee that this is like a certified safety mask. That was another issue. They came up with solutions for everything. They sort that they started kind of titrating sales for people. If they had a large influx, they would stop showing their listings in search results until they were caught up.

That's kind of how they were, were validating that people were legit. Um, and then they started adding a little blurb to mask saying sellers cannot guarantee safety or whatever. These are not medical masks. So that kind of covered that. Um, and then they realized how much money they could make. And they were like, we need more people selling masks.

Like the CEO of Etsy went on good morning America and were like, if you can make masks and sell on Etsy, please get on and sell them. And everybody prior was that had been selling on Etsy prior. That was like being punished for selling masks. What? So it was a wild ride last year, around this time. Um, but in terms of Etsy risks, um, you know, a lot of people are worried about getting their shop shut down and they think it happens super often and they're, they're afraid of losing all their work.

And, um, I'm not going to say that that does not happen. It just does not happen half as often as people think it happens. Um, and the shops that have got shut down that were really successful. Typically they have a copyright infringement, they weren't fulfilling orders. They were super late on orders. Like there's usually a reason and you can get a lot of evidence on Reddit to the contrary, but you have to understand that these sellers are telling their story from their perspective.

There's a lot of things that are left out. Most of the time I've known behind the scene stuff that I'm like, Hmm. That sounds like not the exact story of how it actually went. So you have to take everything with a grain of salt. I've been on a team for seven years, never got a shop shut down. Cause I play by the rules and I'm very cognizant of being careful with copyright and trademark sort of stuff.

Uh, and it's been fine and, and most Etsy sellers are just fine. So in terms of risks, if you're playing by the rules, you're fine. Most of the time, um, Etsy does have, uh, like a weird bug that they started. Last year, where there is a bot that crawls new shops, and it'll typically shut suspend your shop within like the first or second week, even if you're doing nothing wrong and then you have to email Etsy and they just open it back up within like 24 to 48 hours.

And that really scares people in my Facebook group. That's always like once a week, there's somebody that's like my shop got shut down and I just opened it last week. I haven't done anything wrong. I don't know what to do. And a lot of the sellers who have already been through it are like, congratulations, this is your rite of passage.

This is just what happens. So this is not really a risk, but just so everybody listening to this knows that does happen. It happens to me when I opened a test shop at the beginning of the year. Um, it just, it just happened to one of my older shops even. And I just messaged them and was like, why did this happen?

And they were like, oh, sorry. And then they just reopened it. So that does happen. But it doesn't affect you in any specific way. That's, that's going to tank your business. Um, it's just something that you have to get taken care of right away. 

[00:37:09] Joseph: Yeah, it almost sounds like the, the purpose of it and the other, forgive me if you literally said this and I'm just, I'm delaying my own processing of it.

Whereas like, they're just checking to see if the person is a person and so they shut it down just to see what the person will try to set it back up. I think that's probably why. Okay. That's clever. I do respect the, the sidewinding nature of it. So, uh, I'll give him props for that one. So I did mention to my girlfriend, by the way that I was going to talk to an expert.

Um, and so she did want to ask a question, how many designs do you need to start making a lot of money? I, the way, I guess I would frame it as more like a minimum maximum. Like if you've seen, say, if somebody was able to actually do, you know, something, start getting the ball rolling, um, with a, with a limited array.

Um, and conversely, if somebody had gone like way off and they split test one product, 82 different ways, and it says, you know what, maybe you might want to calm this down a little bit. So where have you found the, the, the answer is. 

[00:38:08] Brittany Lewis: Yep. And I apologize again for the background noise, it seems to be ramping up, but I want to definitely answer this. 

[00:38:14] Joseph: You know, it's funny, it's drilling season here, uh, as well.

So I, once in a while I look out my window and the, um, well, I don't know what they'd call it, but those window washers, they have those trolleys to put that window washers as drillers. And I'm just, and I started sweating buckets because I'm, I'm worried that it's going to be me. 

[00:38:32] Brittany Lewis: I know this type of noise, but of course the second I get on a podcast, they're like, let's start drilling.

But anyways, I've been trying to mute myself while you're talking, but, um, it's just please excuse it. But this is a super important question. It has to do with the paradigm shift again, because, uh, it's about demand. It's not about quantity, it's about quality and I don't mean the quality of your design, meaning you have a really high quality design.

I mean, design is in demand, whether it's one single word without any design element whatsoever, but it's super in demand or it's a really intricate design that a high level high level designer created. It's not about how many you have, it's about how in demand it is. So I've seen shops sales that have three products, and I've seen shops with 3000 products that have three sales.

So it's always about demand. And that's why my foundation of everything I teach in that what I'm so passionate about is like, stop trying to do the shortcuts and use the tactics and strategies to like, get your shop to be more popular when you should be focusing on being the expert on knowing the trends on developing, based on your customer's feedback and where they're actually purchasing.

That's how you scale. But for some reason like that, the, the old map that I call it, that's not the way that people learn. That's not, what's being taught on YouTube currently. Um, and so it's very hard for people to understand completely that that really is where the longterm sustainability comes from knowing your audience.

If you go to any successful Etsy shop right now, that's that hundreds of thousands of sales, they've got one common quality. They have what people. Or as demand, some of them have 3000 products. Some of them have 30 products. All of them have stuff that people are actually actively searching for. So in general, I say within your first month on Etsy, you should have at least 50 listings, not necessarily even 50 different designs, you can have 25 designs on two different products, but 50, the number 50 gives you enough wiggle room to test different keywords, to be in different areas, to give your, your shop different opportunities to be found in search results.

That's the only reason it's not because once the algorithm sees you have 50 listings, it's like, oh, this shop has 50 listings. Let's start showing it to more people. Now it's just because it gets you enough opportunity to be found, but people focus on quantity over how in demand their products are. And then they have a shop full of crap that nobody wants.

That is such a waste of time. That's when people get burnt out, because they're like, why did I do by myself? Nobody wants your stuff. You've just created 60 products that nobody wants. So overall, if you create 10 products that are super high demand, it's going to be a million times more worth your time than creating a hundred products that don't have demand. That's why trend research, understanding what's in demand is so freaking important. 

[00:41:09] Joseph: And then to, just to add onto to your point about having, you know, a 50 listings is that is, uh, I understand this correctly, that is the data collection right there. So you have your listing, the different SEO key words, um, at different imagery and just to see how it can, uh, end up in different niches and what niches are taken to it.

So in a way, that's how you're figuring out where the demand is. Uh, is, is there a step prior to that, um, to figure out the demand as well, like you're going on and you're seeing like, what are the popular searches? What are the top sellers right now? Stuff like that. 

[00:41:39] Brittany Lewis: That's my blank to bank process. So you're reaching best-sellers. You're going on google trends, Pinterest trends, Etsy, Pinterest, and Ali express. I take you through that in my ebook. And that's your, your research that's going to allow you to create informed decisions about what your beginning products are. If you just shoot in the dark with your beginning products, you're going to have a bad time.

So researching prior to that, and then to put it to terms, I call it my scientist, detective, gymnast phase. So when your scientist phase, that's, when you're putting stuff out to test, you're literally being a scientist and saying on my research that I've done, I'm going to make informed decisions, forum, hypotheses, with my listings that I'm putting out there.

And I'm just going to get. I'm going to see what happens. That's your scientist phase when you're, when you're testing, testing, testing, and 50 listings, you're right, is enough to allow you to test accurately and effectively. Then you kind of move into the detective phase. And by the way, you're moving through all these phases constantly throughout the lifetime of your shop.

It's not something you just do once the detective is when you're literally holding a magnifying glass to your listings and saying, okay, what's worked what hasn't worked. What are my customers saying in messages, what am I seeing happen in general? Where's the attention? And then when you gather that information, you're able to move into the gymnast phase, which is your flexibility.

That's when you're like, okay, I have this information instead of saying like, Hmm, that's working, but I don't really want to sell it. So let me try all this stuff. You're saying this worked. So I'm going to be flexible and, and follow what my customers are telling me that they want through their purchases and through their attention.

So it's not about you as a seller. It's about what your customers are telling you. They want what's in demand. I sound like a broken record, but I can't repeat it enough times. It's so important that you build your shop this way as your own personal preferences. Okay. That's how you scale. 

[00:43:16] Joseph: By all means. If it needs to be reiterated by all means reiterated as much as possible.

I've noticed this, this is off topic, but like, uh, I worry about like, I'm being too patronizing sometimes if I'm really repeating a mantra and then there's times where I don't say it enough times, then it just goes forgotten. So I'm like, all right, guess I'm going to be patronizing because actually before I even asked the one, I just wanted to point out too.

Cause I was looking at the, um, uh, the products that you have for. So if you book's pretty reasonably priced too, it's just like 20 bucks and it can, it can go a long way for helping somebody get the ball. Rolling. Sorry, say it again. No. 995. Oh, I might've signed it. I don't know. I guess I hallucinated an extra one there.

[00:43:54] Brittany Lewis: I have an order bump. You can add on like one of my listing photos masterclasses. That's like 27. Maybe that's what you saw. But the book itself is 995. 

[00:44:02] Joseph: Okay. Currently I do hallucinations from time to time so.

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So here's the one that I was curious about. Just like your take on this. I have to say, I don't know. My stereotypical viewpoint of Etsy is that Etsy is a, is a popular platform, but it didn't occur to me just how popular it really is. From your point of view, what have you seen about it that, that doesn't, that has made us so successful?

Is it their marketing? Is it word of mouth? Is it just they're organically growing because they have such a rich, um, selection of, of quality? 

[00:44:57] Brittany Lewis: Yeah. Um, I think it's a collection of things. It's a great question. Uh, the first thing that sticks out into my mind is the fact that it has a direct integration with Google.

So if you type in butterfly shirt, you're going to see a hell of a lot of Etsy listings that come up first and foremost. And that's why it's so valuable from my perspective is people don't have to be shopping on Etsy to buy from Etsy. Right? Like they don't have to be in Etsy typing in butterfly shirt to find an Etsy butterfly shirt.

They simply have to type it into Google. And that's why people say like, should I even sell men's stuff? Like men, men are on Etsy and I'm like, yes they are through Google. Even if they don't know that they're on Etsy when they're purchasing it, if they want it, they're going to click on that listing and buy it.

Uh, so that's, that's one of the ways, I don't know how, as he pulled that off, they really made an agreement with Google, um, many, many years ago that has stuck around. And now it's kind of integrated with their offsite ads, which is a whole different beast. Um, so you do have to pay if you get a Google click, but it's so worth it from the traffic that it brings in.

So that's how I think they've stayed relevant in a broader perspective. That's how they continue to grow. Especially with the mask thing, like Etsy jumped from 60 million per year to 80 million plus probably way more at this point over the pandemic. Um, so I also think it's popular because people know that's where you can customize things.

If you want to go to get, go somewhere, to get something customized. Yeah. You can go on Amazon, but Etsy is really that's their bread and butter is like customization. The third thing is it's trend based like it's Pinterest culture, girls and guys, and anybody that wants stuff. That's unique. That's trendy that they're not going to see everybody else wearing.

They can find it on Etsy. So I think they've done a really great job of positioning themselves and pivoting when they need to, and really taking advantage of opportunities. Like even with the mask thing, we have to kind of sellers have to pivot with Etsy, but they are really good at what they do at the end of the day.

And I think they're going to just continue growing. I don't see it going down anytime soon. 

[00:46:50] Joseph: I did not know about that, um, that Google integration, uh, that, that, that definitely, um, can I get a few synopsis in my, in my brain. So, uh, that, that even the other answers to, uh, also significant, but I did not, that did not occur to me one bit.

Oh, so here's another, a bit of insight. Uh, I found, um, cause you mentioned, so you're doing a multiple stores and mind you, you know, again, you have one of the top sellers here on the program today. So, uh, I, I certainly, uh, uh, see that, but I have also seen the argument for sticking to one store. And that sounds to me like second to when a store is ideal for starting out.

So the, the, the counter argument, I suppose, for multiple ones, even at a starting point is an extension of that split testing is, you know, trying different branding, different writing styles, different motifs. So have you seen just cause for starting multiple brands at an early level, or at what point did you recommend it's worth doing?

You're nodding your head. 

[00:47:44] Brittany Lewis: Oh, my gosh, I love this question. I've been talking about it, constantly. Everything you're asking, I'm like, yes, yes, yes. So with this I tell my students do, as I say, not as I do, because there's nothing I recommend against more than opening multiple shops. Um, I did it because I didn't know better.

And I made all the mistakes that my current students are making. Right. Like, I've been there. That's why I'm so adamant of telling people like, please don't do this. I did it, it didn't work. Right. Like. 

[00:48:10] Joseph: Just so you know, I, I really try my best to be like counter gotcha. I'm like, this looks like a gotcha question.

I'm going to make sure it does not sound like a gotcha no matter what I do. 

[00:48:16] Brittany Lewis: No, not at all. Um, I, you hit the nail on the head. It's not the right strategy in the beginning. Um, my, I think most famous tagline that, that sticks out to people a lot is, is when you think in the beginning, or even not in the beginning, when you're creating a second shop, you are assuming that you're doubling your potential.

You're actually cutting it in half because the energy and time it takes to scale one Etsy shop. So big that when you're trying to do too, you're going to get lost in the sauce. It's not going to happen very easily. And so I opened a second, got to kind of got stuck in this very specific niche where I was like, well, it's working.

I don't really want to shut it down. So I'm just going to let it run. Um, but there's nothing I suggest against more. Well, I guess running ads, something I suggest either in the beginning. Um, we can talk more about that, but opening a second shop, I'm so adamant against, because people think they're missing out, there's the FOMO happening?

Or they're like, what if anyone tried this or they say like, I don't want to try multiple niches in one shop because that'll look messy. There's so much behind that too. Like people aren't going to your shop home page. Most of the time, they're finding your individual listings in search results. So it doesn't matter if your shop's a little bit scattered and the top Etsy shops usually have generally.

With a lot of different niches within them. It just doesn't matter at the end of the day. So in terms of branding and testing, all of that sort of stuff out your aesthetic and the way that your shop looks and feels my shop the very first year that I had it opened probably went through 50 different iterations of branding because I was tweaking it as I went, I was pivoting.

I was like, oh, let's go here. Let's try this. Let's go here. And as I went up the ladder of figuring out what my customers want and was more stable in what my shop was through testing and research, then I was able to make more informed decisions on what my branding should look like. Most people will jump into it.

A lot of people will spend like a few months planning out their listings and what their branding is like. And then they'll launch and it's crickets. They've got perfect everything right. But perfect. Isn't effective on Etsy. It's gotta be messy in order to collect that information. So I always say like with your branding, start as simple and basic as possible if placeholders for your banner, for your logo, whatever.

And even for your shopping, not that important, you can change it twice. So get a placeholder for a shop name, focus on collecting data first and foremost, and focus on creating listings that are in demand and all that other stuff will come later. But it is the fun stuff at the beginning. People want to focus on like, let me get business cards and let me create, let me hire someone to create a brand.

You don't know anything yet. Yeah. Bill business, without knowing anything, you don't even know what your shop is and you shouldn't. Um, so when you do know what your shop is before you even open that's when people run into problems, because what they want their shop to be is not necessarily what their shops should be or what people are wanting from them.

Like if I had stuck to my high-waisted shorts shop, I would not be speaking to you right here today. If I had been like, no, I want to sell high-waisted shorts. I'm just going to stick here and try to make this work. I would not be here. And I would not be teaching other people how to scale an Etsy. Cause I would probably not, would have not made it to six figures.

Um, and it was because I pivoted so easily and quickly and followed my customers. Little nuggets of, of hints, of where, what they were wanting for me, it was because I was so flexible in that gymnast phase that I was able to scale very quickly. And that's probably the most challenging part of my job working with clients is convincing them to be more flexible because people are so set in making what they want to work, work. 

[00:51:26] Joseph: Right. And one thing I picked up on, cause I did look through your Instagram too, is that people will say like, why is it not working? But because of. No, wait, what's your Instagram.

I was on other podcasts you did was like, why is this not working? I said, well, did you, did you follow what I just said to, to the T? No. So, and that, and that's, and that's, what's it like they have to, they really have to follow the steps and, and, and, and again, you know, this is, this is Etsy and there's a, there's a creative, um, um, motif to all of this.

And in a way, I, I appreciate the idea that, you know, in keeping with the artistic, um, uh, theme is, you know, are, can be messy. The creative process can be messy. So, um, I'm assay homepage. Isn't the worst thing. So I that's just like, that's just like a side comment, but yeah, like I, I think what happens is people really want to go about their own way.

And especially being in the creative space, that creative drive is very difficult to attain. Um, but it sounds like this is okay. If you're going to veer off you do that later, once things are established and then you get more into a fun phase. And I think people get impatient and they just want that sooner. 

[00:52:24] Brittany Lewis: 100%. The fun comes after you've collected the data right after your, your set.

And like, once I got onto the festival and raved trail, I was like, perfect. Now I know where I can focus down and then have fun with it. But in the beginning, you know, like it's not to say it's not fun. You can absolutely have fun, but the fun stuff in terms of like the branding and the colors and the, and feeling like a real business that comes when you have foundations in place. Um, and I think a lot of people too, they want the branding and the business cards and all of that because they launch and the launch in Instagram, which I also highly recommend against. And then they invite all their friends and family. And they're like, if I don't have the branding and the colors and the business cards, I'm going to feel stupid.

Cause they're just going to make me think I have some silly little business. So I tell people, we friends and family out of it entirely like don't even tell them. You're on your laptop a lot more. That's all they're going to think. You don't have to tell them anything. And so then that takes that pressure off of being like appearing like a real business because who cares what other people think anyways? Um, so I just tell people the mindset going into it is absolutely 100% the most important part. You're collecting data. You're not caring what anybody else thinks. You're not focusing on branding. All you care about is your customer and how you can best serve them. And as you get through this learning curve, it's a ladder.

You have to go through each rung, you cannot take any shortcuts. You have to go to each rung of the ladder and people want to do the quantum leaps. And it's just not something that will get you there. And you can't quantum leap in basketball either. Like some people are naturally good at basketball and that's cool.

Some people are naturally good at knowing what's in demand. Like me. That's why I scaled very quickly is because I, I had a really natural sense and I already was doing my scientist detective gymnast phase before I even had put terms to it. Um, so some people are going to be naturally better at it than.

With anything, most people will have to work the processes and love the processes over the outcome before they hit the same result. 

[00:54:14] Joseph: That's all fantastic. I have nothing to add to that. I'm just, I just think that's great. I wanted to make sure I asked you about the paid ads briefly. Was it the same thing as the multiple stores where you were just running the ads and you just felt like doing it or are these some, or is there a way that you're able to effectively deploy them now? 

[00:54:29] Brittany Lewis: Talk about ads. Again, most people's structure for creating their shop is they come up with a bunch of listings. They don't do any research. They come up with a bunch of stuff that they want to sell, and then they launched their shop and then they turn ads on and they say, okay, why isn't. No one's coming.

I have ads on. I'm doing everything right? And I'm like, you're actually not doing anything. Right. You're doing everything right in regards to like how you think it works, but it doesn't work that way. Ads are icing on the cake, ads work. They totally work once you have organic traffic and sales already. So I make a lot of money from Etsy ads.

I especially make a lot of money from Etsy offsite ads, which is the Google, the Facebook ads, all of that sort of stuff. Um, Promoted listings, which are St. Etsy listings. And then there are, um, offsite as which are when, uh, they're, they're pushing it to other platforms. And you're paying for each click with promoted listings or offsite ads.

They're only effective once you already have an established shop organically. So I always tell people, just focus on the process. Now don't worry about the ads, focus on getting to a place where you're comfortable with, where you're at consistently, and by the way, totally possible to get there. There's 80 million people.

I always have to throw that in. Like I promise it's possible. Um, and then once you're at that place, you turn your ads on which, by the way, the ads use the same, um, algorithm to rank you as organic search engine optimization. So if your organic stuff isn't really working your ad stuff, isn't really going to be working.

So it doesn't make logical sense to think that you can just start a shop that's so-so and then drive traffic with ads. And even if your ads are effective driving these people to listings that nobody really wants, because you haven't done any research on what's in demand. So it's the circle of like all this stuff that like, you just started the way that you should from the beginning, with the right mindset and the right, uh, uh, determination to collect information, instead of create sales, you could save yourself a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of frustration. 

[00:56:22] Joseph: And one macro takeaway that I would summarize is how, um, freeing and even relieving it is to hear that a person doesn't need to do these certain things right away. You don't need to run ads right away. You don't need Instagram. You don't need your. No, none of those things yet you don't need any in multiple stores.

Uh, you just need to figure out what it is people want to buy and to do that. And then, and then the ball starts rolling. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I actually feel a palpable sense of relief. Just, just hearing those answers really. 

[00:56:52] Brittany Lewis: And, you know, I work with a lot of people. Like I do private coaching and when I tell people this, I see it in their face, just like I can see it in yours.

They're just like, oh, that feels so nice. Like I get to have fun. I get to take the pressure off. I get to know from somebody that's already been there, done that, that all of this stuff that I'm supposed to be making work, isn't going to work no matter how hard I try. And so I always love being the bearer of that good news.

Like just relax and have fun, be open and let it take the time that it needs to take this. Isn't a race, there's a learning curve and you have to accept it before you take off and you will take off if you can love the process and learn the 

[00:57:27] Joseph: process. 

We've done an hour. And I, my, one of my philosophies is I always want to run out of time before I run out of questions.

And, uh, I'm, I'm, I'm, we're closing it. If I can steal you from your like another five or so minutes, uh, this is off, this is like a whole other thing that I wanted to ask you about, because I was curious about this. So, um, one thing I'm aware about is that you were homeschooled at once in a while. We get to talk to people in the education field, like they're on like you, to me now, teachable, they have prior teaching experience.

And what insight about education that I had attained earlier on their show is one of the most important things for people growing up is the, is the structure of school. Even if like lessons, you know, this lesson might stick this lesson might. I barely remember anything from going through elementary school except how to, so for some reason that came through, um, but a lot of what I'm good at now, um, I was all was all self-taught really on my own time and I, and I'll get to the question, but, you know, I'm kind of letting some things out of my system.

And one thing I actually found kind of funny, I realized this like a couple of weeks ago, people like, man, you know what sucks is growing up and having to get more responsibilities. I'm like, I never had more responsibility than when I was in school. Okay. It's a nine to five position plus homework. Okay.

That's like a 60 hour commitment per week and we weren't being paid like, like that's a commitment is actually like eased up over time. So, so all of that. In your experience, I'm wondering about how was the structural component of homeschooling? Um, was it still like, okay, Hey, it's eight o'clock time to learn.

All right. Three o'clock is still done. Um, so, but I also understand it's a, more of a freeing experience as well, and more of like encourages you to be more independent. So with that frame of mind, I really like to hear about your experience being homeschooled. 

[00:59:07] Brittany Lewis: I was homeschooled until I was 15, and then I did a program called start where you go, you go to college extremely early.

Uh, was able to graduate with my bachelor's at 19. So like lightning fast educational experience. Um, but in terms of homeschooling, there really wasn't a ton of structure. Usually wake up around 10, you know, it's a breakfast, do whatever. My mom was not super strict about structure. Um, but she also trusted us.

She knew like me and my siblings were always very smart. We were always very like on top of things, very self-reliant and we understood how important it was to do what we needed to do. And we always got it done. Um, and we're, we've always been very like self motivated as well. And I think being homeschooled really helps that.

Um, but there wasn't a whole lot of structure. And I can barely even remember how it used to be. Um, once I got into college, it was a real shock. I didn't like it. I hated it actually, because it was, there was so much structure. I was like, what? I have to be there by 7:00 AM. That's I was awful. Um, so I, the whole time I, you know, I did even college really early.

I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to do it. If I had it my way, I wouldn't have done it at all, just because, um, I knew I always wanted to own my own business. And I'm like, if I need to know something, I want to learn stuff that I know will be applicable to my future. So I did it because my parents wanted me to, um, looking back, it's like, it's whatever I got it done quickly.

So that's fine. And my mom's like, you'll always have your bachelor's to rely on. And I'm like, I don't care about my bachelor's degree and I'm not doing education. I'm just saying for me specifically, I learned best by researching myself. And when I'm motivated to learn something, because I know it's going to apply directly to my life and what my goals are.

I'm 10 times more likely to retain in. I understand that. Uh, but when it's forced upon me, I have a hard time. So does that answer your question? 

[01:00:56] Joseph: Yeah, it does. And, and I, and I, yeah, I'm, I, I'm not trying to like attack the education either, at least not anymore, but you know, for me, like I'm, I'm independently minded as well.

And so like, you know, I was in elementary school, I was in high school, did to college incidentally. I graduated at 19 as well. So, you know, I got out of my system as quickly as I could. Uh, but nonetheless, I still had eight years of structure, four years of structure where people had knives and then, you know, two years of structure where everybody was high and this is a through line. This is not the end of the, of my, uh, my, my analysis on it. But my, my, my position is, you know, now is okay. You do have people who do need this. But you will have people such as yourself for instance, who are going to thrive in their own way. And I think some of that has to do with your ability to really provide your structure for yourself. 

[01:01:48] Brittany Lewis: One hundred percent. And I really, um, I don't really require structure at all because like you said, it's like a non-structure structure that I've got going on. I want to be able to do what I want to do every day and like structured for the day. And then I want the next day to be different. Like, I really liked that free flowing type of freedom really.

And that's what works best for me and not some people's worst nightmare and I get that. Um, but for me, it's like, there's nothing better than just being able to decide what I want to do and what I want to learn when I want to do it. 

[01:02:18] Joseph: I appreciate your take on that. Um, and it, and it is an inspiration. Uh, I'm, I'm privileged to be in a position where I get to really be inspired on a, on a week to week basis.

Um, it's uh, uh, I wouldn't, I wouldn't say I'm drunk off of it or anything like that, but if anybody is OD-ing on inspiration, I'm going to be the burden. So with we'll wrap this one up. I'm exceedingly grateful for your time. Like, again, you've relieved me of certain, um, uh, anxieties in my mind now, not that they're not like hygiene where you cut one down, two more pop up in its place, but I'll deal with that on my own.

So my wrap up question to you is same wrap of question. I will, once in a while, I throw her off at whatever is if you have any, actually I am veering off this time because we wanted your take on something. So this is summarizing a lot of what we talked about, which is it's market first, right? It's it is about figuring out what it is.

So in a way we actually kind of basic answer the question. So off a counter veer. So let's just, again, Joseph. So if there's any other bits of wisdom or just like a Chinese proverb, we really like, you're more than welcome to share it with us and then let the audience know how they can see more of what you do and learn from you. Maybe even get in touch. 

[01:03:26] Brittany Lewis: So my favorite Chinese proverb is your ego is not your amigo. And that's absolutely what gets in people's way. The most often that I see like you're and you don't, you might not even be aware that it's your ego, but the decisions that you're making based on what you think you know, are leading you to trouble, they're leading you to your ultimate demise.

So I always tell people, it just get super flexible, get open, create space in your own mind for possibilities that maybe you haven't even considered collect data. Like. Uh, mofo and always put that ahead of everything else. Like the more you can continue learning and gathering data from your audience, the faster, higher, better you will scale.

So set everything else aside. It just, it doesn't matter. And you don't know what you don't know as soon as you can accep that. 

That's when you're going to take off. 

[01:04:13] Joseph: And then the other side of it is how can the audience find you? 

[01:04:16] Brittany Lewis: Yes. So @beawolfbiz on Instagram. That's really where I'm most active, where most of my free content is.

Um, I'm be a wolf biz on YouTube as well. I've got a lot of good stuff going on there. Um, I actually have a free, quick start program if somebody is like brand new and they want the answers to the most frequently asked questions. I have a five video series that I always suggest people start with. So, or my ebook blink to bank.

So you can get all of these links on my Instagram is really where I, I suggest most people start connecting with me. You can always see them either as well. If you have questions, I have a Facebook mastermind group as well. Um, that link is in Instagram too, but it's, it's, uh, just be a wolf biz on Facebook.

You can find me everywhere, be able to visit, uh, and yeah. That's kinda what I got going on right now. 

[01:04:57] Joseph: Okay. Terrific. And with that one more, thank you for the road. And then to my audience, uh, as always, it is an honor and a privilege to collect this information and share it with all of you. And so take it, run with it.

And, um, let me know how things go. Who knows. I might be able to interview you guys next. So with that take care and we will check in soon.

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Joseph Ianni

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