How to make money selling your crafts online: 6 tips for a successful handmade shop
You can watch the video, or read the post below.
There are SO many things I want to tell you, because starting a shop is super exciting and I am really passionate about helping you get it right. On the other hand, I don’t want to overwhelm you and some things are more important than others when it comes to making money online selling your crafts. That’s why I came up with the TOP 6 most important tips and things to keep in mind when getting started. Ready? Let’s dive in!
1 – Change your mindset
Tip number one is to change your mindset. This isn’t some sort of woo-woo advice. It’s actually really practical. Yes, it starts with a mindset shift that you have to make in your head, but it is really going to impact the number of sales that you might be making. The idea here is that you have to stop considering yourself as a hobbyist or a crafter and really embrace being a handmade business owner and product designer.
The reason this matters so much is it will help you realize that it’s not going to be just about creating products, but you’re also going to have to work on some business and marketing stuff (like 80% of the time). It will also help you enter the marketplace and position your shop and brand accordingly. We don’t want people to look at your shop and think: “oh, this is just a cute little crafty, DIY homemade shop”. We want them to look at your products and look at your shop thinking: “this is a handmade designer brand”. I honestly can’t emphasize enough how important this little mindset shift really is and the consequences it can have on your branding and your marketing strategy down the line.
2 – Niche down
Tip number two is: you need to niche down. That’s something I keep working on with members of my community. It’s really is hard at first because you might be multi-passionate and love to create a lot of different types of products. The reality is that when you start selling so many different items and most importantly styles of items in your shop, you confuse potential customers and they don’t understand what you’re all about, often leaving your shop without purchasing anything. To avoid that, you want to really niche down on the specific type of products that you’re selling and the specific customers that you’re selling it to so that you can have a cohesive shop and a cohesive brand.
3 – Follow trends
Tip number three is to follow trends and do some research. It’s something I covered in a previous blog post about what craft to sell online. The idea is that you can only sell what people want to buy. I know it sounds really obvious, too obvious almost for me to be writing it, but it’s true. You can’t just create an item and try to sell it online without making sure that people are actually looking for it to purchase online. To sell your crafts online successfully, you need to follow trends and do some research to make sure that you’re entering the market with something that people are actually wanting to buy. Again, to see how to study the trends, click the blog post about what craft to sell online.
4 – Try not to sell OOAK items
Tip number four is – and I’m not going to make many friends with this one – is to try to avoid selling only one of a kind items. Think about creating product collections instead. The reason I’m saying that is not because it’s impossible to sell one of a kind items online or to run a really successful business doing so. It’s because it’s so much harder. It’s harder because it takes longer to:
- create each product as each product is different;
- take pictures each time of this product;
- write the new listing and your product description;
- to find new tags that you’re going to add all these listings.
It’s a lot of work for just one sale and you’re going to have to do that over and over again. It’s fine to have a couple of one of a kind items so that you can test the waters and see what’s working and what’s not, but if you want to scale your handmade business, it’s best to have a product collection made of ready to ship items that you can have stock of.
Creating product collections also helps people buy more than one product when they make an order with you because you have matching items. If you are selling me this wallet for example and you have a matching bag, I might be tempted to buy the two together so that it looks really nice. Same with selling me a plate and a mug that make a cohesive set that I could have in my kitchen. It’s good also because it makes your brand and your shop more cohesive, which people really understand better than landing on a shop that sells all sorts of different things. It’s also easier to market, and lastly, it helps you cut down on your cost of supplies because you can buy things in bulk rather than each individual item needing different material and elements.
5 – Price for profit
Tip number five is: you need to price for profit. This is a big pain point for many makers who start a new business because it is not necessarily the most fun part to think about the numbers, money, and spreadsheets. You really need to take the time to understand how pricing works though. You cannot have a business if you don’t make money and we don’t want you crafting and creating products 80 hours a week for $20 profit at the end of the month. I am serious, I see so many makers undercharge their products and it really is a vicious circle spiraling down to complete overwhelm and your shop and your business never growing and it never working out. I’m not saying that to scare you and sound all dramatic, but you need to understand how pricing works and you need to price for profit. I have a blog post all about pricing your handmade products and a free calculator that you can download to help you with that.
6 – Invest in product photography
The last tip, tip number six, is to invest time, money or both in product photography. I can’t stress this enough. Product photography is literally what is going to make sales for your business or not. You can work as hard as you want to get people to visit your shop, but if your product photography isn’t professional enough, people aren’t going to buy. It used to be easier and “good enough” was truly good enough a few years back but now with the rise of Instagram, we’re just looking at beautiful pictures of stuff all day. Our expectations as customers are much higher than what we had 10 or 15 years ago and so your product photography really needs to look professional. That means then yes, you might need to lock yourself in your office for a couple of days and try to figure out how your camera works and learn about photography. Or you might need to invest into working with a professional photographer that will do that for you but do not settle for good enough with product photography because this is really the difference between people who make a few sales here and there and people who are killing it with their handmade shop. I have a blog post about the top 5 handmade product photography mistakes I see and how to avoid them if you want to start learning right now.
That’s it for today, I hope this helped. Make sure to leave a comment below and let me know which tip you found to be the most useful. I’d love to take the conversation in the comments just below!
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