Here are the long awaited 10 Top Tips that were shared by our fabulous guest speakers, Esther from Toggle.co.nz and Elliot from endemicworld.com.
It’s important to know who your target market is. Ask yourself questions like:
*How old are they?
*Are they male or female?
*Are they a student, working full time or a stay at home parent?
*What do they do for fun?
Ultimately it comes down to – Who is your perfect customer?
(Tip: It’s NOT other crafters. You don’t need to preach to the converted!)
Selling online isn’t easy. It takes time and effort — so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s FREE!
When selling online, remember that you’re selling your products to people that can’t touch/see your product so it’s very important to have crisp clear pictures that give the shoppers a true idea of what the product looks like in the flesh. Try to take a few different photos of the same product that emphasise various aspects. For example if you are selling a handbag you might take a full photo so you can see the whole bag, a photo showing the inside of the bag, one of someone holding the bag (so you can gauge its size) and perhaps a close up to show the fabric or some detailing. But most importantly your photos must be FABULOUS — Clear, in focus, and without a busy background. You want your item to be the absolute main focus in the image.
When social networking it is not about quantity, it’s about quality. You don’t need to be tweeting and blogging all the time, it’s more important to be consistent (ie blog at the same time each week) and interesting — people don’t necessarily want to know what you had for breakfast!
Treat your blog as a visual diary and remember that pictures speak a thousand words. People love to get a sense of who you are and what you love, but don’t want to be drowned in big long paragraphs of text. Liven up your posts with photos and images.
Spending hours on Facebook, Twitter and Blogging may be fun, but is it actually helping you reach your goal? Think about how much time you are spending on each and decide whether or not that time is converting to sales. Keep a clear focus on your goal of turning your craft into a sustainable business and don’t waste too much time on things that aren’t going to help your business. If you update your Facebook page once every 3 days, as opposed to once a day, you will have more time to focus on your craft while still letting your Facebook fans know you are still alive and crafting!
DON’T be afraid to re-brand! Sometimes an image overhaul is the best thing for your business, so think about whether or not your current “look” fits with your products and if it suits your target market. While you may lose some immediate brand recognition, don’t be discouraged because if you re-brand well then you will be bringing in lots more interest and potential customers.
Brand Identity is a HUGE part of a craft business, as people aren’t just buying a product, they are buying into the story behind the product. Make sure your brand represents YOU as well as your products. It’s a nice idea to create a personality for your business. As Esther pointed out, Trixie Delicious and Ferrit are excellent examples of this.
Fine tuning your products is really important and it’s a good idea to work on this first and foremost. A wonderful brand isn’t going to help average products! Focus on getting things right before trying to build up a brand. You don’t want your brand to be associated with products that you aren’t 100% happy with.
And last but definitely not least – If something isn’t working, stop doing it! Whilst building a brand and image does take time, you will know straight away if something just isn’t working. Don’t be afraid to change things or even stop them all together. There is no point wasting time, energy and money! Often moving on and starting again is the best solution.
We hope this tips help guide you in your own crafty business — they sure have helped me make some decisions.
Here are a few pics from the evening that we promised we'd put up (yes, the cake was so yummy it deserves to be posted first ;) )
Our next evening is Book-Keeping and we have a representative from the IRD and an accounting/book keeping specialist to help you work out what you need to be doing for your business.
Check out our website for more info and to register :)
Kylie and Jess