Owning a handicraft business can be extremely difficult, especially for solo creators/brand owners. Perhaps the most troublesome thing nowadays is breaking into the online market. Even when your online shop is hosted on a website, good traffic is never guaranteed. Advertising and promotion are all in the hands of the creator, and neither of them is easy. Even more, if you have little to no experience in it. With every strategy come possible pitfalls, which is why we’ve composed a list of useful advice. They explain what you gain from a specific strategy, and mistakes to avoid.
Through Social Media
Social media is the greatest tool in your toolbox, and you need to learn to use it with caution and skill. For example, numerous artists on Instagram have found the niche market for comics concerning daily life. Not only do they gather a large following by drawing relatable everyday comics, but they’re also able to create merchandise that will sell. Make a profile page for your handicraft on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even YouTube.
How it helps: People spend enormous amounts of time online, especially on their phones. By introducing your merchandise to their feed on social media, they’ll be aware of it, and might be interested in buying it.
Look out for: Choosing the wrong platform and building the wrong image. Familiarise yourself with each platform, and plan out how you can use it before taking any action. Observe other businesses/brands.
Work on Your Online Presence
Simply putting your work out there is not enough to guarantee it will be seen. If you commit to it, you’ll need to frequently post content relating to your merchandise in order to draw people in. Working on your SEO is one of the best ways to start attracting some attention, and making sure the right eyes take notice.
How it helps: Artists who post content frequently have a higher chance of building a following. Which, in turn, results in more exposure and potential financial benefits.
Look out for: Obsessing over the algorithm and your online presence. Determine a set posting schedule, because spamming user’s feed with poor, repetitive content is even worse than having weak online presence.
Have you noticed how cooking blogs form their content? You’ll find very few of them that just write down recipes and the cooking process. Usually, the recipe of that day revolves around an event in the author’s life, or an everyday anecdote. That is what the huge advantage smaller business and brand owners have over big companies. Making a tie-in between your product and something from your daily life (or theirs!) makes a world of difference.
How it helps: While industry giants try to sell a lifestyle, you live it. It’s easier for users (and potential customers) to identify with someone who lives, talks, and faces the same issues as them. Showing yourself through your product is bound to make them more interested in purchasing and sharing your work.
Look out for: Making the brand too personal. While it is your goal to be more relatable to people, you still need to appeal to a large audience. Be careful what you say and do online, especially if it could hurt the product or alienate some people.
Vary Your Content
When it comes to the content you could post, there are really no limits. It can range from process shots of the next thing you’re working on, asking for people’s feedback, showing off your equipment and a lot more. However, there are a few sure-fire ways to promote your handicraft business without actually spending a lot of money (if any!).
- Offer coupons
Plenty of online stores like Etsy, Redbubble, Storenvy and CafePress let creators offer their own discounts and coupon codes. These are well-known ways to gain traffic for your online shop page.
Similarly, support those who buy from you! Ask them to send you photos of when their merchandise arrives, or using your products, so you can post them publicly. Alternatively, they can post the same photos on their social media.
Collaborate with other artists as they’re a great way of expanding your audience. You can also do cross promotions and boost each other up. Plus, process videos or shots of the collaboration are a great way to engage with people on social media as well.
People love free things. It’s simple as that. If you’re able, hosting a giveaway is highly beneficial for your brand. Usually, giveaways feature rules such as participants having to follow your page and like that specific post, as well as linking your page to their friends and family. This can ensure you get a lot of traffic.
Nowadays, influencers can boost a business without much effort. See if you can send your product to an influencer that will be able to review it properly and knowledgeably. Nowadays, influencers are like unofficial spokespeople for brands that they believe in, and whose products they personally use.
What is the next step?
All that’s left is to draft a plan of action and see what kind of content you want to use to represent your business. Hopefully, you’ve found one or more advice on our list you haven’t considered before. While we all know setting up a handicraft business page online is easy, maintaining it is the difficult part. Nowadays, online visibility and presence are what makes or breaks a business. But, the good news is that once you’ve found the most comfortable way to promote your brand, the one that truly reflects you and your product, you’ve made it. People are naturally drawn to businesses whose owners are transparent, honest and true to themselves.