Setting up a business is tough in the current climate, and you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort if you are to market your goods effectively. That means spending time developing the business side of your venture, as well as making items to sell.
Of course, you could spend all of your free time playing Candy Crush, like many commuters, but the life of a self-employed freelancer isn’t quite that simple. Besides, investing time in selling your goods could turn a hobby into a lucrative career. Marketing might not be as fun as playing games to wind down, but a little investment of time could pay off in spades.
So how do you start your craft business?
1. Set Up an Online Store
The best way to experiment with marketing is to set up your own store. Not only will you have a revenue stream, but you’ll also be given tools to help you promote your goods online.
The most famous online store for crafts is probably Etsy, and English newcomer Doozey is a site purely for craft products that are ‘one of a kind’, so it’s a good marketplace for British crafters and designers. Doozey includes a wishlist function and a way to pin products directly to a Pinterest board.
Online stores allow you to try out selling without committing to an expensive website, and you could develop a loyal following who will watch closely for new products. Consider diversifying with personalised goods; they make great gifts, and people will pay a healthy price for them on marketplace sites.
2. Curate a Following on Social Media
Social media is time consuming, but it’s a fantastic way to find your audience if you work in crafts. The trick is to choose the more visual social networks, such as Pinterest and Facebook, so you can show off your wares with big, beautiful images.
Consider a few niche networks too; Google+ is well worth it if you’re looking to build social media traffic. As you move into content marketing, Google+ will form an essential part of your campaign.
Beware of the tendency to get distracted on social media. Try to segment your personal and business pages. If social media starts to eat into your creativity, consider paying a virtual assistant to curate your social media pages on your behalf.
3. Promote Real-Life Markets
Most crafting and arts professionals start off selling at fairs, so it makes sense to promote your fairs online and look for new events to exhibit at. Consider the Fashion Embroidery & Stitch show or the Hobby Crafts exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham; it’s easy to get to via train, and the potentil audience is massive.
Making a Living From Craft
Thousands of profitable businessss started as tiny cottage industries, so the potential is there if you’re prepared to work hard. You’ll need a little persistence, a willingness to learn about marketing and some basic technical know how, but if you dedicate the time, the result could be a very profitable business.
Featured images: Photo provided by: smartphotostock.com
By Sam Wright
Sam Wright is a British SEO consultant. When not working with clients, he’s interested in design and technology. Sam recommends you find marketing jobs at Brand Republic.