Want to sell more handmade products, increase your profits, and make a name for yourself? You need to be in the bridge-building business! Not a literal bridge, mind you. A figurative bridge — a connection between your brand and your customers.
If you sell products online, you already have a bridge that connects potential customers to your brand. It’s called the Internet. Customers might find your online shop by doing a Google search or might stumble upon it while reading a craft blog. They might even heart your shop and plan to visit again sometime.
Yes, customers can find your shop by doing a simple Internet search, but that bridge is, at best, pretty flimsy. Customers might land in your shop one moment and be gone the next. Those first-time visitors don’t know you, don’t trust you (yet), and might be a little nervous about buying handmade products online. Stay tuned for some tips to help handmade sellers build a stronger bridge that will bring customers back to your shop again and again.
1. Strengthen the bridge to your brand with an attractive online shop.
The destination on the other side of the “bridge” must entice customers to cross the bridge. Customers will want to cross the “bridge” faster (and more often) if your shop is attractive.
* attractive shop banner
* attractive shop avatar
* attractive product photos
* irresistible product descriptions that persuade customers to buy
2. Strengthen the bridge to your brand with communication.
Communication over a period of time builds trust. Customers who trust you are more likely to buy from you. Communicate via the following:
3. Strengthen the bridge to your brand with a personal connection to you, the artist.
Customers who buy handmade products love to feel a personal connection with the artist. Build this connection with the following ideas:
* video message on your blog (link to a short video of you introducing your business)
* your photo in sidebar
* make yourself the admin of your Facebook page (see point #2 on this post)
* attend craft fairs (meet customers in person)
4. Strengthen the bridge to your brand by hanging out where potential customers are.
Put yourself in front of as many potential customers as possible by being a regular contributor (just a few minutes a day) in places that customers frequent:
* post in forums (Etsy or otherwise)
* comment on Facebook pages that your business applies to
* place ads on Facebook (in moderation)
* write guest posts for handmade blogs
Tip: Don’t just promote yourself in these places — be a valuable, helpful resource.
5. Strengthen the bridge to your brand with samples of your product.
I love this idea, but I rarely see handmade sellers trying it. Depending on the type of product that you sell, think of a way to share a sample of your work with potential customers.
For example, a couple years ago, I considered using handmade laundry soap to wash my family’s clothes. I’d never tried it before, and I didn’t want to fork over money for a product that I wasn’t sure was going to work. I was excited to find that the Crunchy Clean Etsy shop offered samples (enough for 8 loads) of their handmade soap for only $2.50 each!
I ordered the sample and absolutely loved it! Not surprisingly, I ordered the full-size product when the sample ran out. Had the shop not offered a sample, I probably wouldn’t have made that purchase!
Here are some ways to send out samples of your products:
* create a video tutorial explaining how to use your product
* create an e-book (and give it away) explaining how to use your product
* free worksheet resource and include your graphic design (and URL) on it
* sell samples of your product (if applicable)
6. Strengthen the bridge to your brand with testimonials from previous customers.
Handmade sellers should actively seek feedback and testimonials from past customers. See my previous post on Handmade Success for some tips on gathering testimonials.
Display these testimonials:
* on your business blog
* on your Facebook fan page
* at the bottom of your product descriptions
Have you implemented any of these strategies for your brand? Which ones worked? Which ones flopped? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Share on Facebook