Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So you want to sell handmade

You've been making stuff for a while and friends and family tell you your stuff is really good and people would buy it and you decided it's time you're going try. This blog is all about that getting started selling online. The concept seems simple enough and lots of other people are selling, so why can't I? You make the leap and decide to sell online.

Your first step is where you are going to set up shop. Since this blog is Artfire based, I'm going to focus on that. You may be selling on other venues too or on your own web site but now you're finding you just aren't making enough says that make you satisfied. That level can be different for everyone and change as you go along. As you get more successful, you'll probably expect more sales or at least more views. But how to get to that goal is the trick. You need to get people to find, want your product and be able to buy it. Sounds simple enough but there are lots of steps along the way and different ways to do it.

I'll start at the very beginning: your product. That's what got it all started in the first place. Most of us had a product that we made and were looking to go further. We are all selling different things and in different ways but that's where it starts. You'll probably start with what's in stock already.
 Your next question has to be - who is market? Try to figure who you think will actually be buying this item and if this is the way to reach them.

For example, one of my best sellers has been niche item- customized game pieces for role playing games- it's not a big market but there also isn't anyone selling custom pieces out there either, except now and then on Ebay. When I first started making them I was selling on Etsy. Now I knew gamers wouldn't sign up and buy from a craft site and wouldn't find them anyway. I had to go to a different venue; I sold a few on Ebay before I discovered Artfire. Artfire gives you the luxury of both having a selling place, geting it listed in Google Shopping and no- account buying.
 So even if your clientele might not be traditionally looking for handmade or not know where to you sell, you are given a chance to have them find you. you just need to take that opportunity.

So take a good look at what you sell. Try to focus on who you really think will buy this. Male or female; age; money; special interests. That last one can be tough. This will be the group you will want to target in your descriptions, titles, and then ads. For example, if you are selling jewelry supplies, your target is obviously jewelry makers, so you need to know the terms, measurements, names of stones,types of metal etc. I don't know the terms it's not my field of expertise but you also wouldn't want to lose casual buyers who don't know the terms.

It's a lot to take in but it's just the first step. Don't get too scared - doing it one step at a time makes it easier. And by the by, if you have been selling a while, take stock and rethink your audience. If you are like me, you may find yourself having more than just one group. By that I mean, you have products that will appeal to one set and others that others will like but they don't seem to overlap. Also, are the people buying your items actually who you thought they'd be- if not maybe you need to rethink your plan.

Till next time...


Michelle said...

Very helpful post :-) Thanks for sharing! I know I have some very different groups I sell too, and I'm learning to market to them more effectively.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Vitta said...

Thank you so much for all the great info. I posted on the You Can Sell it forum on Artfire. I was "hired" for Blog Promotions way at the beginning of the Guild, but since I am not very computer savvy it took me a loooooong time to figure out what I was supposed to do. Hopefully, I did your blog justice. LOL

Anonymous said...

Thanks for promoting this- I'm going to try to make it worthy of promotions

About Me said...

Thanks for sharing! I am still in the learning process for Google Analytics, blogging, promoting, etc. Great tips.