If you’ve dreamed of turning your craft business into a fulltime enterprise you can enjoy the power that the internet has to connect you with a worldwide audience. It’s also possible to use the internet to find more face-to-face sales opportunities. If you’re good at what you do it’s never been easier to get started.
Step 1: Increase Your Ability to Find Shows FairsandFestivals.net allows you to sign up and receive full show descriptions, dates, times, locations, and fees. One of the more challenging parts of being a crafter is in locating places to sell your work.
Space at the flea market is possible but it can get cost-prohibitive. The greatest sales successes generally come from working the craft shows. Yes, you can crawl the internet to try to find these shows yourself. However, this takes time, and you’ll miss any shows that don’t have websites. Going to a place that will simply notify you when shows are coming up helps save you time.
That’s time you could be using to make extra crafts or to polish up your marketing strategy. Just because the internet is around does not mean that face-to-face contact won’t be important. A lot of craft enthusiasts want to touch and hold your craft. They want to have the opportunity to talk to the crafter, as well.
In this case, you’re simply going to use the internet to find shows. This can be a boon to the novice crafter who does not know where to start. See Part 2 here.
Btw.: Because I like the service, I am an affiliate of FairsandFestivals.com. The above link is traceable to me. Thank you.
Step 2: Create an Internet Storefront One of the easiest places to create an Internet storefront is Etsy.com. Etsy.com works a little like Ebay, but it is exclusively a crafter’s community. Thus, only people interested in buying handmade crafts and vintage clothing will shop there. This means you’ve got the ability to sell to a target market without getting lost in Ebay. There is another advantage to this, as well. You don’t have to go through all the technical specifications of launching a website, navigating e-commerce solutions, and fighting Google for a having chance of being found. Etsy.com already enjoys a high page rank. Once there, you just have to set about getting people to your specific “store.” Don’t get ahead of yourself, however—there are some steps you should take before you plunge into setting up the store. Just make an account and move on to the next step. Be sure to choose a memorable name so that people can find you again and again, like ….
Before you start selling on Etsy.com you should take a look at how others are selling items in your category. Study price ranges, photographs, and descriptions so you understand how the most successful sellers are doing it. Take note of the sales figures and also of the personal impact the overall presentation had on you. This will help you create a successful sales presence later. Next, you’ll want to buy a couple of items.
This will allow you to see the whole process from start to finish. It will also help you create a rating for yourself. Your rating translates to both buying and selling, so starting with a high rating will help increase trust. Since trust is the most difficult hurdle to overcome when it comes to selling anything it is important to have it, maintain it, and cultivate it.
This research also helps you because, while you want your crafts to stand out, you do not want your online storefront to do so because you’ve grossly deviated from the norm. Part 4 here Do not forget to sign up for my newsletter!
Step 4: Create Your Listings Use stellar photographs and power-packed descriptions to help customers make a positive decision in your favor. To do this you’ll have to understand the core principles of copywriting (writing to sell).
Talk about the customer more than you talk about yourself
Focus on that which makes the product unique, or on the benefits
Place a call to action in every listing
For example, “Beautiful handcrafted dollhouse” is a yawn. Everyone who makes a handcrafted dollhouse is going to tell us it is a beautiful handcrafted dollhouse. Try instead, “Your child will be able to enjoy battery powered electric lights in this handcrafted dollhouse. Pick yours up in red or blue today.” The former focuses on the child instead of on the dollhouse or the maker of the dollhouse. The latter creates a clear call to action.
Go for the resulting feeling! Never assume that people are going to be wise enough to pick up on what you want them to do in an ad or listing. There’s just something psychological about reading that traps people into a passive mindset until something like a call to action arrives to jolt them out of it. Photographs are extremely important. Go out and buy yourself a digital camera if you don’t have one already. Nobody will buy things off of the internet if there is not a photograph to support the listing. First, a photograph helps the buyer visualize the product.
Second, a photograph reassures the buyer that he or she is not about to get ripped off by an unscrupulous seller. A final component of your listing should be solid keyword research. This research will help you create listings that will “search” better. This will help make sure you get found more easily by buyers who are specifically interested in your sort of product.
To find great keywords for your listing you can use services on the internet, like the Google keyword research tool. You can find it under: https://adwords.google.de/select/KeywordToolExternal Here you enter some first keyword ideas of yours and let the most potent search engine on this world give you more keywords from its vast database.
Step 7: Sell to Existing Customers When customers buy from you give them an invitation to join an opt-in e-mail list. You can easily set up a list, an auto-responder, and beautiful html template e-mails on a service like Aweber (http://www.aweber.com), which is typically very affordable. It is far easier to sell to those you have already sold to than it is to try to sell to new people all of the time. The list will allow you to announce new products, announce new how-tos, and to become a trusted resource within the crafting community. You’ll be able to make a name for yourself with people who actually look forward to, and want to hear, what you have to say.
This is known as “permission marketing” and it is the most effective way to raise yourself above the sound and fury of millions of competitors on the internet (you can find out more about this at websites like www.homeofhomebusiness.com). Internet marketing doesn’t require you to find 40,000 people to buy your products. In order to enjoy success, what you need are 1,000 dedicated followers who would be willing to spend just $100 per year with you. If you get those followers, then you’ve just achieved a yearly income of $100,000. The list will help you gather your 1,000 and to keep you at the forefront of your mind.
Don’t forget to offer a list sign-up opt-in at your face-to-face shows, as well (this is automatic in professional systems like www.aweber.com). Make sure you give out business cards with your etsy.com store web address on it.