Business Tips — The Handmade Entrepreneur

A series of Business Tips from the book:The Handmade Entrepreneur

The Handmade Entrepreneur-How to Sell on Etsy, or Anywhere Else: Easy Steps for Building a Real Business Around Your Crafts

By Dani Marie

I want you to remember one fact about online marketing; you have less than two seconds to pique a person’s interest when they visit your shop page.
— Dani Marie

Two seconds …. did you catch that!

During that two seconds, they are scanning your page, checking out your photos and seeing if anything interested them.

Two seconds!

In the first couple seconds, your product needs to stand out enough for potential buyers to spend more time on your page.  And the more time they spend looking at your pictures and scanning your copy, the more likely they are to buy.

Dani has some great marketing advice for Etsy sellers and for handmade entrepreneur in creating their own online marketing machine.

Tune in over the next days for more marketing tips ….

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The goal is to have plenty for sale, but all the items should fall within the same product category.
— Dani Marie

I know that creative people can be all over the place with what types of products they create, but I agree with Dani:  If you set up a website, Etsy store, or sell wholesale, your products should fall into the same category.

When I was repping full time, I talked to some producers who wanted to sell candles, their favorite jam and maybe a souvenir item.  I told them this would not work for several reasons:

  1. They look very unprofessional featuring so many unrelated products
  2. Their products will get lost on the shelves as they only have one item to display together
  3. They will loss the ability to scale their business because they are not focusing on one category.

If you want to be taken seriously as a professionally business, feature at least three items in one product category, such as candles is several scents or sizes; jams in different flavors or sizes; and a line of souvenirs.

Believe me, it does make a big difference when showcasing your products!

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Pictures are everything! If you only do one thing, take nice pictures! … The number one way to skyrocket your sales with images alone is by branding your products with tags or attractive packaging.
— Dani Marie

Good pictures, as you know, are critical when selling online.  They are also important when selling wholesale as often the only sample a store owner may see of your product is the pictures!

Likewise, packaging is one of the most important part of marketing your products.  Once again, from my experience as a sales rep, I know that packaging selling your first product off the shelf (or internet).  Second sale is based on the quality of your product!

There are plenty of ways to create eye catching packaging using tags, bags, molded plastic coverings, boxes …. you name it!  Color and design will help your products stand out on a shelf.  One piece of advice:  Your product should stand out on the shelf from ten feet away.

Check out your competition for some inspiration when designing your packaging and feature excellent photos of your completed product.

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Make buyers feel like they really know you by telling them about yourself, how you make your products, and why you make your products.
— Dani Marie

Selling online is a bit more involved than throwing a bunch of products up on a website.  People want to know who you are before they hand over their money to you.

So how can you let people know more about you?  Develop a complete “About Your” page.  Believe it or not, the About pages are typically the more read pages on your website, yet so many websites don’t include this page, don’t fully complete the page, or make it all about how wonderful the website owner is!

Rather than go into all the ins and outs of an About page, you can read about it here:

Another really effective way to let your customers know more about you is to send emails to your lists and tell them about you and your business.

I recommend setting up an account with either Mail Chimp or AWeber and send regular emails to your subscribers.  I have lots of posts on this topic as well.  Check them out here:  Email Lists

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When trying to pick your price points, find at least four shops with items similar to yours that are making sales. … The shops you use for reference should be generating 50 sales or more a month.
— Dani Marie

Checking out your competition can be very helpful in so many ways.  They can give you ideas about packaging, colors, design and, of course, price points.

In my Complete eGuide for Selling to Gift Shops, we talk at length about competitive pricing and market price analysis.  The same principles work for an Etsy shop or any online website.

Pricing, in particular, can be very tricky.  If you price your products too low, customers will think your products are not high quality or that there is something else ‘cheap’ about them.  On the other hand, if you price them too high, you will possible reduce your sales and knock your products right out of the marketplace.

For more information on pricing your products, you might want to subscribe to my email course on Pricing Your Products.  You can sign up for it here.

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