Monday, 14 October 2013

You Voted: How do you Promote Your Online Handmade Business?

You've made your products and created your shop online - now how do you tell the world about it?

We conducted a poll to see which way is the most efficient for you to promote your beautiful crafts to the people who are most likely to become paying customers. And the winner is ... Social Media & Blogging!

In this article, we are going to give you some tips on how to promote your shop online with 5 different ways:

1. Word of Mouth

This is often the best place to start as it allows you to work on how you are going to present your products, without risking too much in the way of time or money. Ask your friends, family and co-workers what they think about your products.
Concentrate on the wording of how you describe your products and make note if anyone isn't clear on what your products do - this will help you to refine the words you use in your listings or shopfront.

2. Social Media & Blogging

  • Create a Facebook page for your shop.
  • Create a blog. Blogging is not for everyone, of course, and I’m sure this deserves an entirely separate post in itself, but if you have a creative mind and have lots to share with the community, this can be a great way to build a network and market your craft.
  • Create a Youtube video to promote your art – it can be a series of photo slides, a tutorial, or a video of you in the process of making something.
  • Use Pinterest. Start 'pinning' pictures of your products. Have a board (or several boards) for your products and keep adding new pins, even if it is just alternate views of the same product.

3. Photo Sharing Sites

If you are taking photos of your products for your online shop anyway, why not post them on a range of photo sites too? A couple of good ones are Instagram and Flickr - there are sizeable communities there that could possibly be interested in your handmade goods, so it's worth considering as part of your marketing strategy. Remember to clearly title and describe your photos - and always add a direct link to your product pages!

4. MISI Forum and other Craft Forums

Another good way to attract targeted leads is through online forums. Forums are great because most of them focus on single topics. For instance, if you sell art, it would be a good idea to look for a forum about art. Once you’ve found the forum, you can contribute to the discussion and include your store’s link in the signature of your posts. Just remember to contribute valuable information to the forum because no one likes a spammer. 
MISI has also a great forum with a friendly community that is always willing to help you and chat about interesting topics. Feel free to take part in discussions and of course to show off your products and attract new customers.

5. Mailing Lists 

Look for opportunities to ask your customers if they would like to receive a regular newsletter from you. This gives you a great opportunity for repeat sales - especially around holiday periods such as Christmas and Valentines Day. If your mailing list isn't large, you should be able to send your emails directly - when you get to a stage where you have a large list to send then use a specialised email newsletter app such as MadMimi or Campaign Monitor, which will handle the email templating and sending for you.



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