How Gamesnightpros got started
Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?
Hi, I’m Steve from Gamesnightpros! I started my Esty business in late 2019, having spent the previous 15 years as a professional dog trainer! I needed a change in my life! My wife and I had just taken over a dog home boarding company, so I wanted a new income source that allowed me to work from home whilst minding the dogs in our care.
I have always loved creating games and always hosted a self made quiz and games day for my family at Christmas time. I had also made and released a game on Apple & Android called Formidable so I had a little experience of creating digital games. Unfortunately, the games market on these platforms is saturated and hard to break into so I decided to see if I could sell games on Etsy instead.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
My favorite items to sell are Virtual games and Escape rooms. As we are all too aware, the world changed in 2020 with humanity fighting the pandemic. This brought digital games that can be played over screen share to the forefront. People had to discover new ways to connect and have fun.
We are so very fortunate that we have the technology available to us that allows these types of experiences to take place. My virtual games hopefully provide a little light in these otherwise darker times and that’s why they are my favorites. If I can bring families together and provide some hard-to-find laughter, then I can feel good.
Getting sales on Etsy
How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?
I made my first sell in around 3 days, I used Etsy ads as I was well aware that new products need exposure. I used Alura to refine my listings, make sure my Keywords and Title were searchable to give them the best chance in the Marketplace.
I also started my own website www.gamesnightpro.com so I could start collecting subscribers.
I’m terrible at social media so I stick away from those platforms. I understand lots of people swear by them but for me I would rather spend time on quality products than that. I played around with spending advertising on these platforms but to no real success.
I currently spend £10 a day on Etsy ads but 80% of my sales come from direct search through Etsy. This is why tools like Alura are so important, to get the listings right, in the longer term it pays for itself.
How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?
I manage the shop by myself. I only sell digital products so I don't have to worry about packaging and shipping. Once a game is made it can sell thousands of times without any effort from myself.
I use Alura, Canva, Vimeo & Construct 3 for all my creation needs.
The future of Gamesnightpros
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
My future goals are to keep expanding my range of games and online experiences. My wife and I are due our first child this year, so having an online business which allows me free time is my absolute priority. Creating unique games & bringing people together is always the main mission for my business. With this firmly in my head, the future will be based around that ideology.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Believe. Believe you can do it, make the change and take the chance. Find something you actually enjoy doing. This is truly the key to success, if you enjoy it, it will never feel like work and you will approach everyday with a fire in your belly.
Success can be found fast or slow but either way it has to be looked at as a long term project. When I first started, I said to myself “It’s a 3-year project”. It’s important not to be hard on yourself. In the early days when you are only making the odd sale, I remind myself of the project - 3 years from now, not today.
Work hard, make the time, nurture it. Every successful business weather in Etsy or elsewhere has been built on hard work. In the early days I was working 10 hour days but now I can work as little as a couple of hours if I wish.
Go above and beyond. Etsy is a community as much as a marketplace. Buyers expect a personal experience so make sure your customer service is top notch. You will have to make sacrifices. Whether it be staying up late to fix a particular product or making the 30th change the customer is demanding.
No failures, just learning experiences. This is the hardest lesson to learn but probably the most important. Everybody makes mistakes, no-one is immune from it. We beat ourselves up when it goes wrong or we are not making the sales we had hoped. It’s in these times you have to remain resolute. Keep the faith that things will be okay and will improve. Every failure teaches us a lesson. Maybe we rushed it, got excited and released it a bit early (definitely one i've made) or your sales have taken a dive. No matter what it is, take a step back and come up with a plan to not make the same mistakes or develop a new strategy.