There’s something about a fresh, new year that inspires us all to step up and dream big. If you already have an Indiemade store, then you’ve already accomplished the “step up” part. Now, it’s time for the “dream big”.
What are your goals for 2017. Start practical then let your imagination run wild.
- I want to sell enough to make this my full-time job.
- I want to see a celebrity wearing my jewelry.
- I want to see my work in a magazine.
- I want a major chain to pick up my line.
- I want to become a known brand.
- I want to sell my first piece to my first customer. (Sometimes the dreams don’t have to be so big to be exciting. )
What it all boils down to is that you want to grow your business in 2017. Whether you’re looking for your first individual sale or your first wholesale purchase order, we’re here to help.
To get you on the right road, we’ve gathered together this list of links to previously published content that can help you achieve your goals big or small.
These pieces, written by experts in the fields of marketing, social media, ecommerce, running a handmade biz and more, are as relevant and useful today as they were when we published them. It’s our hope that these bits will inspire you and help you achieve everything you’re hoping for by the time the clock hits midnight on December 31, 2017.
Driving More Traffic
If you’re on the freeway trying to get to an appointment by noon, traffic is a terrible thing. But in the ecommerce world, traffic is wonderful. The more traffic, the better; imagine hearing someone say that in the real world!
When you write copy that is SEO friendly, it helps to tell search engines that you are writing something that your reader wants to find. So, for instance, when someone searches for “handmade vintage style aprons” you would want to rank high for that search term if that is what you are selling. While SEO is constantly changing and the rules seem to be as abstract as a Jackson Pollock painting, you can learn some basic ways to make sure your content fits the bill and gets found. Below are four important things you need to know when it comes to having SEO friendly product pages.
Promotion and Social Media
The exciting social media application Instagram is a free and easy way to market your handmade company. With your smartphone or other device, upload and filter pics that reflect your brand, show off new products, and announce a sale. There are a variety of ways to promote your items and inspiration through Instagram- let's look at a few specifically for crafty business owners!
Video allows you to make a personal connection with both current and potential customers. It’s excellent for building a community and it allows you to demonstrate your products or services in a way that is so much more dynamic than a series of photographs
Online advertising is often confusing and expensive, but a Facebook boost is a different animal. It's a low risk way to reach a large pool of potential customers and it's extremely easy to implement once you get past that initial pop of newness.
Adding tutorials to your blog or sharing them on social media is a great way to promote your indie business. By sharing a how-to process with your readers, you not only establish yourself as an expert in your field, but you're passing along great how-to information for folks who love to DIY, and driving more traffic to your site.
You already know that there's power in an email list. It's your direct connection to your customers and potential customers. It's your non-intrusive way of marketing your business because the people who signed up asked you to let them know when you have new items in your store or you're running a sale or if you'll be at a show.
Branding Yourself and Your Business
If you are selling something - your words, your works or your service - it’s a business, even if you do it part time. And if it’s a business you need to brand it. In many cases, you’re the brand. Branding creative work is easier than branding large consumer products. You don’t have the constraints of a large target audience, you can be really specific and target an uber tiny niche. But branding your work and you the artist, can be a challenge. Even while writing this, I remember how tough it is to gain a clear perspective with your own stuff.
When you open an ecommerce store, branding is important. The site design, the logo, the colors, must all work together to create a cohesive and enticing presentation. But there’s one area of branding owners often forget about – themselves.
Branding yourself is as important, if not more important than branding your business. Why? Because people want to buy from people they like and trust.
Improving The Store Experience
Your website content is all about you and your products. But it’s important to remove yourself from the equation and consider your audience when you are writing, photographing, tagging and describing everything on your site.
If you are an indie business owner, pricing your products often will be on your mind. Pricing is something that every small business owner struggles with, no matter the product or discipline. When researching formulas to help determine your pricing, there is no shortage of theories on how to price your goods and services.
You have probably heard the saying that it is easier to get more business out of an existing customer than it is to get a new customer, and this is definitely true! But how do you get your customers to fall in love with your brand and become repeat buyers? Well the good news is it doesn’t take Cupid’s arrow to make them swoon over your business and come back for more. Just adding a couple changes to the way you handle client relations should be enough to bring you some repeat business from your existing customer base! Here are a few ideas to get you started!
When you sell your product to stores, you open up a whole new income stream to complement your online shop and in-person art shows. Approaching brick-and-mortar venues can feel intimidating when you're just starting out. Our tips on wholesale and consignment will help you find stores that fit your niche, learn the best way to approach store buyers, and understand the contracts and paperwork involved when you sell your product to stores.
Finally, set aside those resolutions and check out our five New Year’s Absolutions!
Look around the internet and you’ll see hundreds of posts dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions. List after list of promises to get fit, quit bad habits, spend more time doing X and less time doing Y. We write it all down with the best of intentions but almost all of those grand ideas fizzle before the end of spring.
Then the guilt rolls in. This year was going to be different! And to assuage the guilt you turn to one or more of the bad habits that got you in this mess in the first place. The diet’s already blown so why not treat yourself to that double fudge brownie? Then the guilt starts all over again.
Get off the merry-go-round right now. This year, instead of crafting a list of unattainable New Year’s Resolutions, set yourself up with these New Year’s Absolutions.