‘Marketing handmade products’ – what on earth does that really mean?
At A Handcrafted Business we know marketing, and we want to make sure you do too! So this is our guide to break it down for you.
‘Marketing handmade products’ is really about everything your customer sees and knows about you. It is the essence of everything you do.
Marketing your handmade business is about getting your pricing right, positioning yourself in the marketplace, it is knowing and understanding your customers and being able to have conversations with them, it is being proud about and showing off your products with amazing product photographs, it is describing your products in an appealing, truthful way, as well as the everyday promotional activities you use, and where you are seen.
Lets take a closer look.
Get this wrong and you don’t make any money. Instead of a business you have an expensive and time consuming hobby. You need to know your numbers!
Direct Costs’ – the materials and supplies you need to make an item.
‘Indirect Costs’ or expenses – everything from travel costs to get to post office or a craft fair, to insurances, to electricity, PayPal, website/marketplace platform, broadband and advertising.
You need to know how much you will earn off each piece, and be able to cover any other potential costs. And a profit would be nice too.
Profit isn’t and shouldn’t be a dirty word. You need to make a profit to be able to invest back into your business!
This is how you are viewed by your ideal customer. You
create this image through your branding, PR and pricing.
Are you a high end luxury product? OR do you compete with mass produced, cheap disposable items?
How do your customers see you?
What is it you do that means this is how they see you?
How should your customers see you?
Handmade is a luxury, so I know where I think you should be positioned! You need to position yourself in front of your own ideal customer – get out there and find them!
Who are they? Do you know?
You need to know so you are being seen in the right places.
You need to know so you are sending out the right messages.
You need to know because you need to understand them. You need to know what makes them tick, what concerns and worries they have.
And most importantly you need to know so you can make sure that everything you are saying, showing and sharing with them makes them go ‘WOW!’
When you sell online you customer can’t pick up or touch your makes. So, if you don’t employ a professional photographer, you need to learn a few tips and tricks to be able to get the most out of your camera.
You need to show multiple photographs – close ups, wide shots, lifestyle shots.
You need to make sure your photos are pin sharp.
You only get a split second to make a first impression. If your photos aren’t spot on you won’t get a second chance.
Practice and test and refine.
For lighting use daylight bulbs, mirrors and white sheets to bounce back light. If you are using a window as your main light source avoid a day where the sun is bright and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. You’ll get hard shadows. A soft natural light is best.
You can easily use a smart phone to get amazing photographs. (Tip: If you are using an iPhone you can tell your camera where to focus by touching the screen. If you want advanced controls on your iPhone camera, take a look at some of the camera apps available.)
Once your photograph has hooked your potential customer, they want to read your description.
Bring your own flair and personality to this, it will help you stand out from the crowd.
Use colourful, appealing language to bring your product to life. First focus on the benefits to your customer and not just the features of your handmade product.
Your description needs to inspire your audience and instill them with confidence in you and your handmade business.
Don’t bamboozle them with words they won’t understand – you know those technical terms which only others who understand your craft really know the meaning of.
Promotion is everything you do from blogging, giveaways, Social Media, Advertising – all those tools and tactics that you use, including discounts.
It is every form of communication you use, to connect and talk with your customers and potential customers.
This is the fun side of marketing. (In Nicola’s opinion!)
You get to talk and listen to your customers.
You get to engage with them, and learn even more about them, and you get to let your business personality shine through.
Knowing and understanding your ideal customer, really helps you chose the platforms for your promotional work, and also helps you ensure you are having the right conversations! remember your ideal customers are bombarded everyday with thousands of marketing messages, so you need to work on standing out from the crowd!
‘Marketing handmade products’ needs your hard work, dedication and persistence and a confidence and self belief to keep you going! It won’t happen over night, but it WILL happen!
I’d love to know about your handmade products – drop me a comment below and tell me!