Maybe you discovered your fondness for handmade goods at the local fair. The quiet enjoyment of handicrafts made you value the simple things in life. But, these days, in our increasingly digital world, handmade goods have evolved into a thriving market sector. There are more than two and a half million sellers on Etsy alone.
But maybe you’re finding it difficult to shift from a creative mindset to a business-centric one. After all, digital marketing is drastically different from the local fair. So how can you use the internet to your advantage in this ever-expanding market?
Bigger, more established companies have the budget to hire marketing professionals. Maybe you’re just starting out, and you’re hoping that you can make enough money doing something you truly enjoy. The good news is that with enough patience and determination, you can learn everything you need. Let’s start with these five digital marketing strategies to promote your handmade goods online.
Be More Than a Hobbyist, Be an Entrepreneur
Maybe you love spending your time looking for the perfect satin ribbon for your next project and then sharing your work with others. Your favourite part is the creation process, and selling is secondary.
An entrepreneur, on the other hand, also enjoys turning their passion into a grand vision complete with a long-term marketing plan. They love to discover new opportunities to expand their handiwork into a full-fledged brand.
That’s what you need to really make the most of your love for handmade goods: to not be afraid to aim high and care about your business goals just as much as you care about the quality of your products. Find your customer base and figure out how to reach them and how you can nurture the relationship. That’s marketing.
Find Your Customer Base
As with any business, the key to success is to cultivate a loyal and enthusiastic customer base. So before you start honing in your brand voice and messaging, you need to think about what type of people would be interested in buying your products, why, and what is the best way to approach them.
The best place to start your research is on social media. Look at what strategies similar businesses are using on social media and what are their effects. You can get a good idea of the feedback from the number of likes, shares, comments and what is written in the comments.
Pay attention to what kind of emotions customers express in the feedback, their needs, wants, as well as their grievances. Facebooks is always a good option for any kind of business. Still, the most suitable platforms for businesses selling handmade goods are Instagram and Pinterest, where the algorithms reward visuals and users are looking for aesthetic inspiration.
You’ll Need Your Own Website
Even if potential customers find your products through social media or on platforms like Etsy, they’ll want to visit your website to get a sense of the quality of your products and business. That means that if you want to sell your handmade good online and be successful doing it, you’ll need a website.
Another advantage to having your own website is that you’ll have more control. If you rely only on third-party channels, you’re always subject to changes you have no say in, plus the buyers will be inundated with suggestions for similar companies. Every time shoppers will search for your products on these platforms, they’ll be presented with similar products from your competitors. By not investing in a website, you lose a valuable opportunity to increase your online presence as well as customers and business.
Moreover, there’s been a decline in the amount of traffic business get from social media, and paid ads are highly encouraged. As we mentioned in our previous marketing strategy, social media is great for researching your customer base, but you need to diversify.
Explore Different Selling Avenues
Thinking outside the box when it comes to how you market your handmade goods will help you stand out from the crowd and ensure your long-term success. You can accelerate your company’s growth by exploring different selling avenues and untapped markets.
Even though we stressed the importance of having your own website and not relying solely on third-party channels, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try different opportunities to give your products more exposure. Social media, Etsy, Amazon Handmade – try as many as you can manage.
You should also play with different tried-and-tested marketing strategies like paid ads, email marketing, content marketing through blogging and so on. Take it one at a time until you figure out how it works, and it won’t take long before you find the ones that give you the best results.
Make Use of a Sales Pipeline
A sales pipeline gives you a means of keeping track of what stage your customers are at in the sales process. Sales rarely happen on the first interaction. Customers need to go through different stages before they commit to making a purchase.
It’s important to understand these different stages and what you can do to encourage your customers to progress through them. Any successful salesperson will tell you that you shouldn’t fixate on the sale right away. Your goal is to build relationships. This adds value and builds loyalty.
Selling handmade goods requires a different approach than that used for mass-produced items. When you sell something handmade, you’re selling what it stands for – its story. That’s what you should emphasize in your marketing strategies.
You may use the same platforms, but you’re addressing a different customer base with different expectations. People buy these products exactly because they’re not mass-produced. They’re unique. They were made by someone who cares about the creative process and is emotionally invested in every piece. That’s your selling point. If you can show them you care, they’ll care as well.
What will get them from the first stage to making a purchase is that desire to feel special once they own the product, and this is also what will make them return and make more purchases.
In your research, you’ll often see that businesses selling handmade goods often advertise through post-purchase content. This elevates the appeal of the products. The customers connect with someone who is motivated by the same things and has the same admiration for the artisans that make these unique items.