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Is your craft business struggling with sales? It may be a result of these 5 common ways handmade business owners sabatoge their success. Read on to learn what to do instead.


Hello fellow craft business owners!

A lot of you have reached out that you’ve worked so hard to create amazing handmade products and spent weeks perfecting your craft, yet they’re not selling. So, in this article, I’m going to walk through five different ways that craft business owners shoot themselves in the foot and sabotage themselves, and what to do instead.

craft business mistakes to avoid

#1 They Sell Themselves Short

The first and most important thing that a lot of craft business owners do that sabotages themselves is they sell themselves short. They do this whenever they under-price their items or give things away for free too often. Really when it comes down to it, if you don’t value your handmade creations, why should your future customers?

If you aren’t charging what you know they’re worth, then no one else is going to see the value in them either. It’s hard but true that when it comes down to it, if you aren’t charging what your products are worth, you are doing a disservice to your future customers. Because really, let’s even relate this to something that we experience every day:

If we go to the dollar store, what quality of products and how much are we going to value the items that we buy there, versus if you buy something at Nordstrom’s. You’re really going to appreciate and love the things that you spent a little bit more money on. I’m not saying that you have to be the most expensive, but I’m saying just value all of your time. Be able to pay yourself because your customers are then going to see the value in your work, and they’ll take you more seriously, and you’ll be able to create an income for yourself. If you need more help with this, I invite you to reserve a spot in one of my upcoming free workshops.

I have a totally free printable that you can print out and work through by clicking here. In this pricing worksheet, you’ll be able to cover all of your materials, your expenses, be sure that you’re paying yourself.

#2 They Build A Handmade Brand Around Items They Don’t Enjoy Making

The second way I see most craft business owners sabotage themselves is they make items to sell that they don’t even like. When it comes down to it, if you make something and a friend sees it and says, “Wow, this is really great, you should sell this.” If you don’t enjoy making it, don’t build a business around it because it’s going to burn you out.

You’re going to resent your craft and it’s not going to be successful because you’re going to hate filling orders instead being excited by them.

I cannot stress enough that if you don’t like the thing that you are making, if you don’t see value in it yourself, please stop and make something that you are excited about! Spend your time making something that you’re pumped to share with the world and that lights you up to create.

Selling handmade items for success

#3 They Don’t Track Their Time

The third mistake a lot of craft business owners make is they forget how long an item took to make. Now, this can be really, really common if you work on it for 20 minutes in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and then you finish things up late into the night and it takes a couple of days. It can be really hard to track your time. And so, when it comes to pricing your products, it can be really easy to then undervalue them. Then, when your business starts to be successful and you start selling more of them, you’re unable to pay yourself because you haven’t priced them correctly from the start.

Now, I’ve seen this happen time and time again. And the way to avoid this is to make sure that if you are working on projects in this way, if this resonated with you at all, then be sure that you round your prices up.

Give yourself a little bit of cushion room so you’ll always be able to pay yourself for all your hard work.

#4 They Skimp On Product Photography

The fourth way that craft business owners sabotage themselves is they spent so long creating these beautiful, amazing products that they’re ready and excited to share with the world, only to skimp on product photography. In my private membership community Creative Entrepreneur 101, I cover everything you need to create really beautiful product photos. When it comes to selling handmade items online, product photography is literally the only way your future customers will be able to see the detail and craftsmanship you have put into your products.

Just to give you some really quick pointers, make sure that you have bright lighting and make sure your photos are crisp and clear. Also, make sure that in your listings, you have a variety of photos that are lifestyle, photos that show your product being used, photos against a white backdrop that really show the details of it, and photos that show it to scale. So, that way you have a really good representation of exactly what your customers are buying because when it comes down to it, especially in running an online handmade business, your photography is the only way for your customers to really see what it is that they’re buying.

Your product photography is crucial. It’s something not to skimp on. For my resource on handmade product photography, click here.

Make sure that whatever platform you decide to sell your handmade crafts on, you’re using multiple images and showing your product in different ways so that your customers can really get excited and know what it is they’re spending their money on.

#5 They Don’t Write Great Product Descriptions

The fifth way that craft business owners will often sabotage themselves is in their product descriptions. They’ll often focus on the features of an item or how it was made, but they really don’t go into the benefits. Now, the difference between benefits and features is that a benefit is an emotional response to a product. It is going to really paint a picture of how your customer is going to use the product in their life. It’s going to go over a felt need, which is something that your customer is struggling with, or would really like help with.

We can make this really creative and paint a picture of an emotional response that your customer is going to experience having bought your product.

For example, if you are selling a tea set, you can talk about how amazing it is that your customer is going to be able to sit down and have this beautiful tea set for Saturday morning tea as they read a good book and snuggle in. You can really paint a picture about how that product is going to improve their life and make them happier, healthier, more productive, or just streamline their day a little bit. (Bonus if you also add some flat-lay images of your tea set in a beautifully-lit lifestyle setting!) You can get creative, but make sure that in your product descriptions, you’re taking the time to really think about what that product is going to do to improve your customer’s day and how it’s going to be an emotional benefit to them.

Now, underneath your benefits, you can include features or even I recommend reviews and testimonials beneath that.

For example, you can paint a beautiful picture with words as to what it’s going to be like to have that product, how your customer can use it, how it’s going to be beneficial. Then beneath, have a bullet-pointed list if your product is washable, is reversible, etc. Then beneath, have testimonials from your past customers.

Including each of these touchpoints makes your product descriptions more skimmable, they create more value, and they create more sales and conversions.

5 Mistakes Craft Business Owners Make Video:

I really, really hope that this article was helpful and offered you a little bit of insight so that you can see more traffic and sales to your craft business. You may also want to check out my resource on product photography here or download my free printable craft pricing worksheet here.

If you are a new maker or have less than 1,000 sales, I also recommend reserving a spot in one of my upcoming free workshops.

In this totally free workshop, you’ll learn:

  • The top 3 best-selling handmade items you can start making this weekend
  • The formula top-selling business owners use to price their handmade creations
  • How to do market research and decide if a project is worth selling
  • The myths that hold most creative entrepreneurs back

Click here to join me for the next workshop!

Lisa Mecham