Monday, September 23, 2019

Create || Tips For Selling Arts & Crafts Online

Create || Collaborative Post

Having a creative outlet has without a doubt had a huge impact on my life, and if you're artsy too, you may well be looking at ways to turn your own creative hobby into a business. Making money from your own creations is hugely satisfying, but it's not without it's downsides. Quite often getting our prices right can be tricky, but marketing yourself and self motivating when things go quiet can be a struggle too. Since starting my Etsy store, I've learnt a lot about the things I need to do to get going, so I'll be putting everything I've picked up into my shop from now on to get the best out of my listings as well as getting my items out there to the people that need to see them. I thought I'd share five of the top tips I've learnt along the way that will help get your business off to the right start too.

Don't rush in - build your BRAND

Before you get cracking selling your items and setting up shops, it's important to slow down and think about your brand first. Coming up with a company name can be hard, but just think of something that reflects you and what you do, but gives you the opportunity to expand your product line in future. For example, don't call yourself 'Mary's knitted dogs' if at some point you may want to sell knitted clothing or paintings. Getting creative can open up all kinds of doors and inspire us for much more, so coming up with a brand that can grow with you is always a good idea. Make yourself a simple logo, some colours that you can use through your products and listings to build your brand and think about what you and your business are all about, such as Eco friendly goods, real wool, alternative fashion, graphic design etc and make sure this is clear in your branding.

Research BEFORE you list your products

Do a bit of research to see what other brands like yours are doing, how much they charge and how they market themselves, to give you an idea of how you'd like to move forward. As with most things, it's easier to take your time and get it right than change later on down the line. Look at some successful stores and note what they are doing differently that makes them stand out, how they list their products and what you first notice when you see their listings. Is it their stunning product photography? Their witty listing comments? Their colourful branding? You need to work out what you love, so you can create your perfect brand. SEO is very important when it comes to sales, so you need to carefully consider your words, using only terms people will search for that will lead them to your shop or product. 

Take GREAT product photos (or fake it!)

Without a doubt, having great photos of you products is the absolute key for success in selling arts & crafts. We need to think about lighting, backgrounds, close ups and anything that shows your products scale, as well as the true colours and maybe even what it could look like on if its clothing or in situ for things like sculptures. For my art work I use mock ups to show how my work would look in  a simple scene, such as framed on a desk or wall. I try and mix up my mock up images to reflect the image, such as a child's nursery or office, to give people an idea of how good my work will look in their homes. There are many services out there that will create your t-shirt mock up or scene for you, or you could create them yourself using your own home and camera.

T-Shirt Mock-Up example image 1

Utilise social media!

When it comes to selling arts & crafts, social media is the greatest asset we have for cheap or even free advertising reaching exactly those people we need to see our products - our potential customers. Instagram is by far my favourite when it comes to selling arts & crafts due to the visual emphasis of the app, but likewise Facebook and Twitter can be great too depending on what you sell. Twitter feeds change quickly, so you need to use those hashtags and post bold striking images that will grab people's attention as they scroll through. Facebook is pretty similar, though it has the added bonus of groups which guarantee that your post will be shared to those within it. You could set up a group relevant to your creations - for example if you make Eco friendly house wares, you could start an Eco friendly home group, posting to people that will be in the market to buy your products. Instagram is a great way to really show off the beauty of our products, as well as having brilliant aspects such as 'stories' where we can share the creative process as well as a little about us makers. People love to know about people and knowing the person behind the products can work really well in marketing your goods. It's free to start up accounts and you can add a logo, website link to your shop and as many pictures of your work as you wish. When uploading pictures, decide if you'd like to follow a theme or have any kind of pattern to your posts. There are lots of things that draw people in to following you, so perhaps think about what you like about your favourite brands and see what aspects you could use to represent you.

Value your products & time

The hardest thing when it comes to selling our own creations is getting the pricing right. We don't want to scare people away with high prices, but we do need to cover our costs and make some profit on top. Before pricing, you need to consider;

How much it costs to make
How much your listing/PayPal fees will be
How much profit you'd like to make
What you competitors are charging

Although we don't need to undercut our competitors, it's always good to know what similar products are going for. If your products look the same but are made better, are made of higher quality materials or will be longer lasting, you need to make this clear with your photography and listing details. You need to value the time your spending on your products as well as your talent, so don't be disheartened if sales are slow to start with as it can take a while to build a decent customer base with so much competition out there.

I hope this helps you with your arts & crafts business, feel free to leave a comment below with any further tips or questions!