This post today is dedicated to my fellow artsy, handcrafters out there who create nothing, but beautiful art pieces (in all forms), especially to the who’s “Art Work” is their bread and butter J
I’ve been an independent jewelry designer for some years and have been on Etsy for about 2 ½ years. I remember when I first started out, I thought OMG…trying to grow as an independent designer is a lot of work between designing and just the business aspect by itself. Fortunate enough to have a background in business, certain things came easier than others. I remember looking through the different shops on Etsy and thinking, “Why in the world don’t my pictures look like this?” I even began to blame my camera. Then I realized after doing my “photography” homework a few simple changes and much practice did some good!
Over the years I began to take note on the items that became popular and sold, whether they were on Etsy, at craft shows and/or custom request. Here were some things that I found really helped me out over the years, hopefully they can help you to.
Social Networking Sites
I know I know, you’ve probably heard this soooo many times. In fact, you may even wonder if the time spent actually helps improve your bottom line. Here’s my take on it, it’s a tool that if you use it the right way is a superb channel to brand yourself. Now, I’m not saying to go out there and sign up for every single social networking site available—that’s just plain ol crazy! Start with this, who’s your demographic, audience AND niche? There are many different social networking sites out there and you need to find out which ones your “audience” is hanging out on. And update is regularly!!!! Which brings me to my next section…
Some of you are probably saying what’s the difference between your niche and audience? Your niche is basically your focus and the audience is who you are trying to reach. Not sure who your niche is? Well let me help you. Take a look at your sales over the past few months, who were the types of customers that purchased from you? Based on what you know, where do they live (city, suburbs, rural—not sure google their zip code), what exactly did they purchase from you? If you need to drill deeper, use Survey Monkey to conduct a brief survey. Speaking of which leads into my next section…
Take a survey of what actually sells and what doesn’t. Have a product that has been sitting for a year, well is it because of price or does it just not appeal to your niche? Produce more of what actually sells. Now I know, you want to keep that “unique” creative appeal and not create too many replicas of one thing. Well, maybe you can tailor it slightly different. For example, below is a clutch that I posted on my Etsy site at the beginning of November and it sold on Cyber Monday after it sold I received 5 emails requesting that I create additional ones like this.
Brown and Cream Foldover Clutch
Craft Show 101
My husband can attest to how many craft shows I’ve done, to only come home frustrated, tired and only selling a couple items. My advice is to be selective in which shows you participate in. You want to participate in shows location wise that are directed to your target audience. Ask yourself this– how much promotion is being done by either the show promoter or the venue that’s planning the show? What’s the crowd type that will attend, are they artsy, conservatives, young, etc;
These are just tidbits to get the juices flowing and thought process rolling. After all, hard-work is must, but sometimes it’s about working smarter not harder.