If you are one of those people who is always coming up with cool jewelry, innovative clothing designs, or similar handmade masterpieces, you have probably considered selling your DIY art by now. Marketing handcrafted items online is a far more cost-efficient option than renting out a brick-and-mortar store, but it does require a bit of research and planning. Here are a few simple tips to help get you started as an online handicraft entrepreneur within weeks.
1. Do Your Homework
When looking to market handmade products, you first need to establish your target audience. Clues about age, gender, interests and favorite internet platforms will point you to communities which you should advertise your web shop on, and they will also help you devise an efficient marketing strategy regarding visual and verbal content. For instance, if you are selling $5-10 imitation jewelry, you will be aiming for a wider audience, including high school and university students. However, when selling expensive goods made from premium materials such as silk, gold, cashmere, and gemstones, you will probably want to target employed people with an income that allows an occasional splurge. Also, many web marketplaces charge membership fees, so learn the basics of the price range, featured stock, payment and shipping options, and return policies before you cash out for an account.
2. Tap Into Social Media + Web-based Marketplaces
Once you have defined your audience, tap into social media your potential clients frequent. Facebook is used daily by millions of people across the globe, and you can advertise your web shop there as a page or branded profile. Twitter is another social community where major international brands post updates about new releases, upcoming sales, and limited-time discounts. And while your friends, relatives, and existing customers are probably the only ones who will share your offers with others on Facebook and Twitter, online marketplaces such as Etsy, e-Bay, Bonanza, DaWanda, and Zibbet can help get your goods the exposure they deserve. You can also join online communities such as EyeEm where you may get a chance to sell your pictures and not just handcraft – the extra buck is always welcome!
3. Promote Your Business on Google
You can also use search engine options to sell your handcraft. Pay-per-click ads (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) can increase your web store traffic and conversion by improving your exposure online. PPC comes at a fixed price charged for every click on the ad (you are aiming to get exposure on the first page of Google’s results, based on your pre-defined keywords), whereas SEO also tries to get you as high up in Google’s results as possible, exposing you to more eyes, and more potential consumers. Both options are a convenient marketing tool for handcraft vendors looking to increase online ranking and conversions, but the choice will depend on your budget and audience profile.
4. Get Active on Forums + Online Communities
Handcraft forums, fan pages, and specialized blogs are useful resources for newbie internet vendors looking to attract fresh audiences and future clients. Use forums and communities such as Crafster, Makezine, Switchboard, Craftzine, Pinterest, and GetCrafty to get connected with potential buyers. Handcraft blogs are also a good place to submit unique content and possibly get some purchase-minded heads to check out your website, granted they find your post engaging. You can also start your own blog, connect it to your Facebook page, and update it regularly with creative pictures and witty posts: you never know who might be watching, so it is best to keep all your bases covered and your fingers crossed for a high ROI.
All set? With a bit of research, basic writing and photography skills, and a clever marketing strategy, your web store may just make it to the shortlist of this year’s best handmade sellers. Roll up your sleeves and get down to your webwork ASAP!
Norah has been timidly exploring the world of marketing for years, finally taking the plunge and becoming a small business owner herself. She is now devoted more than ever to the exploration of the latest trends, and has become quite addicted – she spends way too much time reading up on the latest social media crazes. She blogs over at Bizzmark Blog.