February 2018 Reading List: Best of the Web

Articles we recommend reading this month.

In this first article, Business News Daily suggests you shouldn’t rely completely on an Etsy shop. Here are highlights; read the entire article here.

Smart Marketing Strategies for Handmade Businesses

By Jennifer Post, Business News Daily

Handmade and artisan goods are some of the most sought after products. Shopping small has even become an event in itself, with one day a year dedicated to purchasing items from small and local businesses. Because there’s so much competition, those who start their own business of handmade goods may not know how to market their products to consumers. Here are some smart marketing strategies for handmade businesses.

1. Build your own website

Competition is fierce these days for handmade crafts, which can make selling difficult. Jonathan Peacock, founder and CEO of Zibbet, said a seller’s individual brand can easily get diluted by the marketplace’s branding. For instance, most people will tell their friends they bought an item “on Etsy,” as opposed to saying they bought it from a specific Etsy seller. Another issue, Peacock noted, is that marketplaces are built for discovery. People who land at your shop page are encouraged to click around and discover what your competition is selling, which can ultimately end up losing you the sale. Peacock emphasized the importance of having your own standalone website in addition to a marketplace shop.

2. Explore new avenues for selling

Being established on one marketplace is great, but that doesn’t mean that should be your only selling place. Craig Weiss, CEO of marketplace platform ArtYah, said strategically choosing another avenue or selling tool could expose you to a wider audience and generate more interest, traffic, brand recognition and ultimately sales. Besides opening up a version of your shop on an additional marketplace, you can look into social commerce tools on sites like Facebook and Pinterest to help you sell directly to your social media followers.

3. Use a sales pipeline

For larger or more expensive handmade goods like furniture, jewelry, or art, sales are frequently lost by failing to follow up with prospects or responding to changing needs, according to Richard Stevenson, head of global communications at sales CRM platform Pipedrive.

4. Use the marketplace community to your advantage

Third-party marketplace branding efforts sometimes overshadow the individual brands of sellers, as Peacock noted. This can also work to your advantage, though. For example, in addition to its Editors’ Picks and Community Tastemakers roundups, Etsy hosts annual Small Business Saturday trunk shows to help its wholesale sellers get their products in front of retail customers.

5. Tell a story

6. Keep experimenting

These were highlights; read the entire article here.

In our second recommended article this month, the Golden Age Beads blog and community gives advice on how to market your business for cheap or free.

How to Promote Your Craft Business for Cheap or Free

By Golden Age Beads

Developing a promotional strategy for your craft business is vital if you want it to be successful. At the same time, keeping your overhead down is important if you want to return a good profit — and let’s face it, advertising can be expensive!

Luckily, there some ways you can spread the word about your business without breaking the bank. In this post, we’ve put together some promotional methods that you can use that won’t need much of your money —  but may need quite a bit of your time to carry out.

Start your own blog

Embrace the power of social networking

Social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are the perfect platforms for spreading the word about your products for free. Each one has the potential for helping your posts go “viral,” which means getting your products in front of a great number of people interested in your work.

You’ll no doubt already know what these platforms are, but let’s consider how they can help you promote your business in detail. This part of the article gives detail on how to get started with these networks.

Create videos on YouTube

Ask a magazine to feature you

Promote your business locally

Advertise your business in craft forums

List your craft business in online directories

Read this entire article here.

Handmade Business

Articles by the editors of Handmade Business.

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