Do you create and sell handmade products? Whether you have your own website or want to earn recurring revenue by selling your products as a subscription on a site like Cratejoy, one of the challenges you might face is to get your products in front of your customers. There’s social media, trade shows, craft fairs, email marketing – and the list goes on! How do you know what to focus on to get the most return on your time?
We reached out to successful entrepreneurs who sell handmade products and asked them to share their best tips with us. Here are 30 of their best tips to sell handmade.
When handcrafting a product, consistency can be a challenge. It’s important to work out all of the potential kinks before marketing a product, this includes packaging and shipping. Your packaging should compliment your product, protect it and be durable enough. The reality is if you don’t do these things it can kill your product right out of the gate. – Thanks to Ellen Cagnassola of Sweet Soaps
Get your product in front of as many people as possible and offer a variety of options within your specific line of products. For example, I create custom portrait paintings for weddings, newborns, memorial services, pets, families, and business/organization founders (and more!) It is one product (portraits), but offering many types. – Thanks to Arlissa Vaughn of Special Event Painter
Find a team of people who love your product, offer them an attractive monetary incentive and have them sell at local events that relate to your product and target market. – Thanks to Lisa Riedel of Corky Kouture Collections, LLC
Many use Cratejoy or Etsy. I market through good old SEO with my website and word of mouth. Search engine optimization is tedious but necessary. The more photos you post the more you get indexed. – Thanks to Kevin Ellis of Tack Tux, LLC
My number one tip for selling unique, one of a kind products online is to take plenty of good, honest pictures. The pictures set the expectation that the customer has for the product that will show up in the mail. It’s important to set that expectation and then meet it. You know what your product is, what it looks like and how it is made. Try to look at the pictures of your product from your customers point of view with out all of that bias. When you think about it your customer is really buying the picture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. – Thanks to Jeremy Pellani of Adirondack Stone Works
My tip for selling your one of a kind product is to be passionate about your work and truly believe that you have a unique product (hopefully you do!), then go about getting it out to the public. I think my original artwork digitally printed on silk scarves fit the criteria. I explore every avenue to get it out in public, be it social networks, blogs, newspapers, or retail stores. Whatever you do, don’t give up! – Thanks to Chetna Singh of CHETNASINGH
My best tip for selling my handmade and one-of-a-kind products online is to make sure you take high-quality, hi-res photographs of the product so that your customer can get a sense of the quality of the product. Using social media to interact with people who have great influence or websites that focus on handmade or one of a kind products is essential. There is a growing focus on locally sourced and produced consumer goods which should be leveraged to your benefit. Using local media outlets, such a neighborhood print and online news sites, is a great place to start. Share your story and your passion for your product, your brand and your vision. – Thanks to RJ Diaz of Industry Portage Co.
Promote they are handmade, and one of a kind. Make sure to provide the buyer with information on how they an acquire more at another time, or if they want to refer a friend, how they can do that. Make sure to also ask for their email address or to friend you on Facebook so you can stay in front of them with new products as they come out. Social media is extremely important, and the cheapest way of keeping your brand in front of your customers.– Thanks to Hanh Tran of The Hanh Collection
Be extremely passionate about the problem you are trying to solve for your customers. This adds to the credibility of your product or service, and engages a potential customer on a personal level. The problem I want to solve is teaching Excel keyboard shortcuts for Mac users in the easiest way possible, and my solution is described on the website in full detail. A potential customer first needs to understand the problem, but showing your passion for your solution will turn a potential customer into a paying customer. My ultimate goal is to increase the productivity of individuals and businesses so that they can succeed in their own businesses, and your job as an individual is to get this goal or passion across to your customer in the easiest way possible. – Thanks to Al Chen of KeyCuts
Know what it is you are selling; who your customer is – and how you fill a need for that customer. Make it with the highest standards. It has your mark on it and needs to be honored.. Have passion for what you bring to the market. Stay true to your mission. And when things get tough and they will. ”Rest, but don’t quit.” Our products evolve along with the amazing women we serve. We are proud to have brought an idea to reality and to market. For women. By women. – Thanks to Marsha Bartenetti & Rachael Sudul of Just in Case, Inc
SafetyBunns donates samples for trials throughout the USA and Canada, making connections via LinkedIn networking groups dealing with seniors/handicap in all capacities. Word of mouth is our number one seller. SafetyBunns, non-slip pants is a win/win situation for everyone– keeping residents safe, warm and comfortable, families can rest assured, lessen caregiver injuries and decrease nursing facilities workman’s compensation claims and law suits. Keeping everyone healthy and wealthy!! – Thanks to Barb Przybylowicz of SafetyBunns®, LLC
We realized that before we launched RAINRAPS that to market our product we would need to have a PR person. We had limited funds but agreed that this was an expense we could afford. We were lucky to find a person who loved our product and has worked as hard as we have to help spread the RAINRAPS word. – Thanks to Rachel Teyssier and Stacy Struminger of RAINRAPS
Include a lengthy product description (at least 200 words) that has all the right product keywords. A detailed description gives our customers more confidence in the product (which, in our case, is a business document). I think it creates a perception of higher quality. Having product keywords ensures the document shows up in the site’s internal searches and helps with SEO. All this leads to higher sales. – Thanks to David Tang of Flevy
Tell your story! No one has a better story about how they got started, the process to manufacture their products and why they do what they do than handmade artisans. Is this a technique passed down from your grandmother? What tools do you use? Did this start as a hobby that grew and grew? What trials and tribulations did you go through in your journey and how did you overcome them? Remember that your story will be retold by your customers – whenever someone compliments your piece, or if it’s given as a gift, it will become a conversation starter. So spend time making sure it’s a good one, and tell it every chance you get. – Thanks to Alexandra Ferguson of Alexandra Ferguson