The #1 Reason Your Handmade Shop Social Media Marketing Is Not Working

Aug 1, 2018 | Handmade Business Tips, Marketing Tactics

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I decided to do this video because I hear a lot of people saying they are spending tons of time each week on social media to market their products but not much to show for it. Then when I scroll handmade shop’s Facebook pages and Instagram feeds, I always see the same mistake being made again and again.

In this live stream, I am mostly talking about Facebook and Instagram because Pinterest works quite differently and honestly I am not a Twitter expert at all. Instagram and Facebook are also most likely the 2 platforms you’re all using the most soo… If you feel as if your social media efforts are not working for you or if you don’t even know how to get started with it, then this is for you.

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

Social media platforms are not sales platforms.

Facebook and Instagram were NOT created to sell your products. You simply can’t sell your products on social, because these platforms weren’t made for it.
Ask yourself:

  • why do I log in to Instagram? What accounts am I following and why?
  • what am I looking forward to seeing when I log in to Instagram or Facebook: a bunch of pages saying “free shipping today! Buy now!” or a cute picture or your nephew, your cousins, your grandkids, your best friend, and a couple of cute puppy videos?

If you try to sell when people are not ready for it, you have very little chances of succeeding. It’s like if you were at a BBQ with your friends and some random person you’ve never met before would show up and try to sell a bar of soap to you. No matter how awesome the soaps are, you’d probably be asking that person to leave because it’s so out of place: “excuse me, intruder, we’re having a nice time between friends here and we don’t know you so can you please leave us alone?”. When you try to sell your products on social media, you’re not fitting in – you’re disturbing. So people will ignore you. So if you can’t sell, then what should you do?

Social media platforms are where you build trust and community. Once you do that, people will naturally click to visit your store and you will find that it’s much easier to say “by the way we have a sale at the moment you should check it out” – because you’ve built that relationship and that trust before.


We have to remember this is called SOCIAL media for a reason. Facebook and Instagram were not created to sell products, but to socialize, to create communities and relationships.

Think about how you would address/meet someone in person, socialize with people in real life. You wouldn’t say: “Hello, my name is Beth and I have a sale on my Etsy shop at the moment, 15% off storewide”. No, you would try to find things you share, have in common and talk about that:

  • “Oh I love the Pyrenees, we spent the weekend there last summer with my family”
  • “Oh! I went to XYZ High School too, what year did you graduate?”

That’s what you need to do on social media – socialize. You need to find what you have in common and what you can share with your potential customers. That’s why your customer profile is SO important. Ask yourself:

  • How are your potential customers using this platform?
  • What do they aspire to see when they log onto it?
  • What do they talk about?
  • What would make they engage? You need to meet them where they’re at and create this sense of “I get you”.

You still want to go and sell something though, right? Instead of selling a product, sell a lifestyle in which your product fits perfectly. If you’re posting with “your shop/your products/sales/yourself” in mind first and foremost, you need to reverse the process because it’s about them not you.

In the video (starting at 22:00 mark) I show you examples of two brands and posts that understand it well.

Ecotan isn’t selling organic self-tanning oils. They’re selling a solution for women who are so busy raising kids and working a lot and want their skin to look good but don’t have time to spend 1 hour at a beauty salon or even in the bathroom applying some sort of lotion that’s going to stain their pillowcases. They feel understood, they feel like this is what’s going to fit in with their lifestyle.

Bannor toys isn’t selling wooden toys, they’re selling memories that parents and their babies will create together.



You have to show up and take the time to engage in conversations. I know it’s hard and time-consuming but conversation is two ways, so if you expect people to come and comment and engage on your account, take some time to find your audience on Instagram for example and go comments and like their pictures. Social media is a place to work on the relationships. That’s why it’s extremely hard and overwhelming to truly be active on many social media platforms. I recommend you to pick one and master it before adding other.

Finally: this is not a numbers game. I know it’s hard to compare yourself to those huge accounts with thousands or millions of followers, but it’s all about engagement, and not numbers. This is what this whole live stream was about. It is much more important to have 500 or 1000 followers that are highly engaged rather than having a million and not having that relationships and trust anymore.

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Welcome! Want to learn how to build a profitable and successful handmade business and sell your handmade products to the world? You're in the right place! Read more ...
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