Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, but you’re pretty sure you had a sewing needle. Not everyone has the craft gene, so good for you. If you spend a lot of time making things for others and have not learned how to monetize your craft business skills yet, it could be time up the ante.
Of course, you never want to rob yourself of the enjoyment of it but there’s nothing wrong with going the entrepreneurial route to bolster your income. Look at Martha Stewart! If you need some inspiration, read on for suggestions on how to take your craft business to the next level.
Change Your Mentality
If you’re the humble type, you’ve likely uttered the words, “Oh, it’s no big deal” when someone has praised your quilt, jewelry, handbag, insert-other-craft-here. If you’re getting a lot of compliments on what you’re making, you need to take it seriously. The courtesy compliments are transparent. You know when you’re on to the real thing, so get out of the “this is just a hobby” mentality. Think about the fact that this could be a real business and make it so.
Hone Your Marketing
You might be making something truly remarkable, but if you have no idea how to get others to see it, you’ll be dead in the water. Take a marketing class. Learn how to build a website without coding skills and get your social media accounts set up. Better yet, if you have the funds, outsource these items … at least the website. This is often the first impression of your business so you don’t want to phone this in. You want it to look as professional as possible.
As for social media, you can’t just set up your craft business Instagram and then rest on your laurels. You have to follow the social media best practices on how often to post and to strike that perfect balance on letting your clients know about your products without overwhelming them.
Get Your Business Ducks in a Row
You’ve got a great product. Now how do you sell it? Etsy.com is a great way to get started, but you might want to move beyond that one day. In order to so, you need to get your inventory management, time management, payment processing, and accounting systems in place. Again, not only will this help your business run more smoothly but it also projects a more professional client-facing exterior.
The last thing you want to do is to ask people to pay your craft business via PayPal, as that screams novice. This also means having the necessary equipment to make your product as best and efficiently as possible. Maybe that means buying a home 3D printer and learning how to harness the power of new technology in your crafting processes. Perhaps it requires you to shell out the money required for a new sewing machine. Whatever it is, consider the benefits your investment could have—and the profits it could mean down the road.
Know How to Sell Yourself and Your Craft Business
When buying presents for others, many will seek out something unique. No one really wants to get a loved one a sweater from a mega retailer that will be purchased by thousands of other people. You have a story to tell with your products, and people love that. Don’t forget to make that apparent to your customers.
As Sales and Outreach Director for Mata Traders, Jonit Bookheim, notes via this BusinessNewsDaily.com article,
“Handmade products have the full story and mass-produced items don’t necessarily. There is a natural transparency with handmade products, and it’s important to emphasize that to customers.”
It’s simply a matter of knowing where your advantages over the competition are, and putting an emphasis on these. Make sure your “About Me” section on your website is compelling, people are often buying into you as much as what you are selling.
You might not need to do this once your products take off, but it’s often a great idea to pair up with other like-minded operations at the beginning. Find a business that complements your products and make the connection. Whether you host an event together or simply get tips on upcoming craft conventions and the like, this could be a pairing made in craft heaven.
At one point, every business had a modest start. Don’t sell yourself short by assuming your crafts are just a hobby. Try out these tips on taking your business to the next level and watch your outfit soar!