So you have created your crafts or are thinking of doing so. Now, how should you be marketing your crafts online? We’ll give some ideas below:
1 – Market Research:
First and foremost, in every business when you are bringing a new product to the public you’ll want to do a Market Research. That means you will hunt around for businesses similar to yours and look at what they are selling, what is or isn’t selling, and at what price. You can do a search on online stores such as Amazon or Amazon.co.uk (for Europe), browse thru crafts-specific websites such as Etsy or Zibbet and to top it all just join some Facebook groups see what is happening in there too. The Main goal you want to take from this is to understand if your idea/product can add some value to the market place.
2 – Cost of Goods:
Nothing can be done without your starting material. Since you’ve already checked whats in the market now you’ll want to find a good balance. Good products at a good pricing is hard to find, it will be a constant fight until you find just the right supplier. You will not want to find just the cheapest product nor a product so expensive that nobody will buy it even it has great quality. Part of the planning starts here, depending on your target audience you will make purchase choices.
3 – Pricing:
This is always a tricky process with lots of tweaks. In general you will want to have everything you spent on the product returned plus your gain, so thats exactly what we’re going to do. Using simple math you will add the Cost of Goods (COG) for that product plus your hours plus margin:
Cost of Goods (COG) + Hours + Gain Margin = Pricing
Here comes the tweaking part. COG is a given number so there’s not much to it. How about your hourly rate? Whatever you do don’t make your hourly rate less than the minimum wage in your country. Although what i would recommend you to do is think of a monthly wage you’d be comfortable with, something that would be appropriate for this kind of work. Now see how much time takes you to make one product and subsequently how many products in a day. Then divide the monthly wage by the days that you work, then divide that value by the hours you work each day.
Monthly Wage / Working Days = Daily Wage
Daily Wage / Working Hours = Hourly Rate
For example if it takes you 4 hours to finish a product and you can make 2 products a day your monthly wage will be divided by 24 days (lets say you take the weekend off) that will give you a daily wage, if you work 8 a day just divide day wage by 8h and you’ll have good idea of an hourly rate. If for instance you are not working full time on your crafts used this method the same way. For more ideas about pricing check the book The Handmade Entrepreneur—How to Sell on Etsy, or Anywhere Else.
4 – Planning:
Projection/Planning plays an important role in marketing your crafts. Most of what we’ve covered so far will get optimized wen have a long term plan. Putting on paper what you have and where you want to be will help determine the steps needed to take to achieve it. Set goals for yourself and work hard to reach them.
5 – Marketing:
Good Product = Good Picture. This is so true, the only way for your online-customer to see your product is through photos and descriptions. No great product that is selling has a crappy photo. Make sure your product pictures are on point. Take some photo ideas from products at Pinterest or Etsy. If you are not comfortable using a camera, try talking a friend into it. Depending on the level of your business maybe think about hiring a professional. Descriptions are as vital as images. Be careful not to write a book about the product, just the essencials: colors, sizes, materials, and, in some cases, what’s used for. Be careful to use specific keyowords you want your product to be searched for by search engines (This is called SEO).
6 – Selling:
Now the interesting part. With everything done, Market Research, Pricing and Product finished, comes de selling part. As mentioned in the beggining Etsy or Zibbet are great options to sell you crafts online. Also Facebook, Ebay and Amazon althought this last one may be harder to get into. Many people shop in different store so you’ll want to be kind of an octopus here and open stores in many websites an see which ones work out for you. For furthermore research on online shops check this blog post 6 Ways to Sell Your Crafts Online and Make Money.
7 – Publicizing:
At this point you have your products online and ready to deliver. But no clicks and no sales. In order for you sell your crafts you must have an audience. Although family and friends can provide numbers, which is good, but generaly not enough sales. You want to target specific crowd for your crafts. With this in mind Social Media ads allow you to choose a niche you want to target. Publicize your crafts or website/facebook page/online shop to generate a buzz around your work. Guy Kawasaki explains how to promote your business in The Art Social Media.
8 – Optimization
Analyse, optimize and refresh. After you have successfully finished all the steps Analyse it! See what worked, what didn’t, see whats worth keepin in your routine and get rid of the rest. Optimize it by making some tweaks where it needs and start from the beggining. Keep doing this in a cycle and learn from your mistakes.