How to Start a Handmade Business
You’ve taken the plunge and launched your online handmade business. Congratulations! That was perhaps one of the hardest steps to take. Now, after you’ve drafted your business plan, wrote the mission statement, and set your goals, it’s time to devise a strategy that will enable you to turn your small business into a success. And that can feel like a gargantuan task.
So, here are the vital steps you need to take if you want to run a successful online shop and know How to Start a Handmade Craft Business off on the right foot.
1. Build Your Brand Story
Your brand story is your most powerful marketing tool. A genuine and compelling story can help you build an emotional connection with your target audience. It also enables you to show prospects what you believe in and why they should choose you over your competition.
2. Put the Focus on Your Audience
You know your handmade products are of superior quality, but how do you communicate that to your target audience? After all, they can’t touch, feel or smell the products before deciding. One simple way to compensate for this shortcoming is to create high-quality images and accurate descriptions.
As a rule of thumb, always use natural light when taking photos of your products; create a simple but consistent background and show the full item. Write simple and descriptive product names and list both the features and benefits of the item in the description.
3. Build Your Email List
Wait a minute? Isn’t email marketing a dying art?
Of course, not! In fact, consumers prefer email for communicating with brands. Not only that, but email marketing is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than social media. Not only that, but if your social accounts were to disappear tomorrow would you have a business? I hope so, because ultimately an email list is the only thing you own that connects you to your customers.
Give your visitors a reason to subscribe by offering them something in return for their email addresses, such as an exclusive discount or a tutorial on how to create their own handmade earrings.
4. Focus on Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to engage with your potential customers and build a lasting relationship. However, don’t waste time and energy by building your online presence on every social channel out there. Sure, LinkedIn may be a popular network, but is it relevant to your business profile? Focus on the platforms where your audience is the most active, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
5. Reach out to Bloggers and Influencers in Your Niche
Create a list of the most popular bloggers and thought leaders in your niche and try to build a relationship with them. Reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in partnering with you. Make sure to offer something in exchange, such as access to your latest handmade collection, an interview with them on your blog, and so on. Make sure there is something in it for them!
Be careful, though: don’t work with influencers just for the sake of checking another task on your marketing to-do list. In 2018, influencer marketing should be about authenticity, so look for someone who genuinely likes your products and is excited about your brand.
6. Attend Local Markets and Events
You may be selling your products online, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take your small business offline and promote it at local events, art and music festivals, or even local markets. Not only that, but your audience will get a chance to meet the person behind the brand and see and feel your craft. You could also build fruitful relationships with potential business partners.
7. Go Mobile
Nowadays, consumers use their mobile devices to browse, explore and shop for products. If you’re not building your small business with mobile in mind, then you may become irrelevant in just a few years. Ensure that your website is responsive and that prospects have a flawless experience regardless of the size of the screen.
In the end, what you need to remember is that growing a business is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to be patient and understand that you can’t achieve success overnight. Be diligent, experiment with new tactics and channels, and listen to your audience. Follow these steps and success will eventually come your way!
Wising you creativity and success!