In this article, you’ll learn 3 ways to spread the word and grow your handmade business. These techniques can help grow your audience and increase your traffic and sales. I hope you like it!
You’ve put all the hard work, stress, love, creativity, and heart into your handmade products. Now how do you market them? Marketing your handmade business can feel overwhelming. With so much advice and never-ending to-do lists, how do you decide where to start?
When I was first starting my creative journey ten years ago, I was in the same boat. I spent weeks and months creating the perfect fashion accessories and then didn’t know how to sell them. Once I learned a few little marketing tips, I went on to ship over 1,000 packages on Etsy alone and have my products picked up in boutiques across the US and in Australia. I had created a small business where I could stay home with my baby and still produce an income. You can read more about that HERE.
I’m not telling you this to brag, but to show you that I’ve been there. I’ve also learned a few things along the way. The most important among them is the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule (or the Pareto Principle) is one of the most helpful tools in time management, business marketing, productivity, and sales. It was named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, who discovered the rule in 1895. Since then, it has been successfully applied to parenting, business, and everything in between. Basically, the 80/20 rule means that twenty percent of your efforts will give you 80 percent of your results.
If you take a close look at almost anything, you’ll find that the 80/20 rule applies.
Twenty percent of your products will make up eighty percent of your sales.
Twenty percent of your customers will continue to come back to make up eighty percent of your profits.
Eighty percent of your sales will come from twenty percent of your marketing efforts.
Eighty Percent of your orders will come from twenty percent of your sales channels.
By using the 80/20 rule when you are first starting out, you can help eliminate overwhelm and streamline your handmade business from the start.
In streamlining your business, I’ve narrowed down just 3 items you’ll want to have on hand to successfully market your products and start making some sales! By keeping it simple and using only the 3 most versatile, high-impact marketing strategies, you’ll be able to make a bigger impact in your business without drowning in your to-do list.
That way, you can free up more time to do the things you actually like to do… like making things for your handmade business.
#1 A Personalized Business Card
Having a professional-looking business card comes in handy in more situations than I can count. Also, when I say “professional” I don’t mean disingenuine. Use your business card to show your personality, your personal style, or even include a photo of your products.
Here are 5 ways business cards will be extra helpful in growing your handmade business.
- At craft fairs, markets, and trade shows. Make it easy for your customers to find you later!
- Include your business card in your packages while you’re filling orders. Extra points if you glue a small magnet to the back!
- Have them on you at all times so whenever anybody….. and I mean anybody compliments your handmade clothes/ jewelry/ bag/ etc. you can give them one.
- Leave a small stack of business cards at your local coffee shop on the community wall.
- Use your business card as a hangtag when selling any of your items in boutiques so they can easily access your website.
#2 The Customer Profile
A Customer Profile is a key element in your handmade business marketing that most creatives skip. They spend so much time creating the perfect product, only for it to never sell because they were trying to sell it to the wrong audience.
By creating a customer profile, you eliminate all of the stress of deciding what colors, website design, and where to advertise your handmade business in one swoop because you have the clarity of knowing who you are attracting.
Before you ever create your website, have business cards printed, or package an order, go through the following steps to decide who you are creating these products for. Answering these questions will help you create a Customer Profile that will create clarity in your business as a whole.
Close your eyes and imagine your perfect, dream customer.
- How does he/ she dress?
- Where else does he/ she shop?
- Where do they live?
- How much money do they make?
- What does their family look like?
- What is their education level?
- What hobbies does he /she have?
- What keeps him/ her up at night?
- How is her/ his home decorated?
- What is his/ her favorite color?
By answering all of these questions, you start to create a vision of who your ideal customer really is on a personal level. This can be hugely Impactful when it comes to forming your business.
For example, maybe you can collaborate with an art studio that attracts your ideal customers (remember when you dreamed up her other hobbies) to get more exposure to your brand.
Once you know how your ideal customer talks, you can speak to her specifically in your product descriptions and use phrases, words, and lingo that makes her feel immediately at home.
After you identify what her favorite color is, you can start to use it in your branding. Use it as the backdrop in your product photography, as the color of your fonts on your website, etc.
These ideas are really just the tipping point and are meant to get your own creative juices flowing so you can connect to your future customers and truly stand out from the crowd.
#3 The Keyword-Rich Elevator Pitch
Does just the idea of creating an elevator pitch scare you? I get it. I can help make it easier.
Back in the old days, an elevator pitch was meant to sell your products or services to a new customer. How the hell are you supposed to do that in 15 seconds? Talk about pressure.
Thankfully, today the modern elevator pitch is meant solely to give the person you are talking to a basic idea of what you do, create some interest, and open a new conversation where they are eager to ask you more about your business. It’s a conversation starter- not the whole enchilada.
By viewing an elevator pitch this way, it took so much of the pressure off and I was able to relax and think about who I help and why instead of the scary idea of selling.
So without further ado, let’s break down your elevator pitch so the next time you meet a fellow maker or neighbor asks what you’re up to, you have something easy to say.
“I help/make/teach _______ by/with ____________. “
It’s really as simple as that!
This simple formula breaks down who you serve, what you make, and what makes it special. Now that we have a basic idea of our elevator pitch. Let’s expand on it.
How do you make your product? What materials do you use? How do you help your customers? Are your designs or aesthetic unique?
I recommend taking out a sheet of paper and jotting your answers down over and over again until one stands out to you. This is the sentence you add to the end of the current elevator pitch.
For example, your new elevator pitch could sound something like this,
“I make ceramic tea sets with intricate, handcrafted stencils and high-quality clay. They are a modern take on an old classic that makes a functional family heirloom.”
“I help moms entertain their kids quietly so they can work or attend Zoom calls with multi-page, sewn books. Each book includes several activities, moving parts, and accessories that can be thrown in the washing machine when they get dirty.”
“I teach teenagers to watercolor online through a series of self-paced video classes. As a class, we work on a project together so they master basic skills and are able to grow a lifelong love of art and painting.”
You see, you aren’t “selling” your products or services just yet. You’re building a relationship and starting a conversation. It takes the pressure off and allows for more open communication where the person you are talking to has a chance to engage and ask you follow-up questions.
Now that you have 3 new (and impactful) marketing skills for your handmade business, I hope you feel just a little bit more excited to share your creations with the world.
It can be so rewarding to create beautiful handmade pieces with your hands and to be able to create a supplemental income from your skills and talents.
Sharing your handmade creations, creating things you love, and sharing your talents with the world can be the most rewarding adventure.
If you are just getting started or having a hard time getting your business off the ground, I created a free workshop for you.
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