The sale of handmade products is very popular in the world, since ancient times. Just as rural craftsmen sell handmade products at trade fairs, you have the online environment at hand to promote your creations.
Do you like to create objects with your own hands? Whether it is holiday cards, jewelry, candles, soaps, ceramics, clothes or decorative objects, all these are and will always be in high demand.
In a previous article I talked about the culinary blog as a business model. If you are passionate about cooking and want to start an online business in this field, I recommend those tips.
If your artwork is from another field, such as those mentioned earlier, then our advice is to follow the steps below to validate your ideas and sell your creations, on a low budget. It is also a good opportunity to start a home business, as well as a new path in entrepreneurship.
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Why start a business based on selling handmade products online?
- You have the opportunity to earn money from your passions.
- The starting budget is relatively small: you need money to buy raw materials for your products and to promote them online, to get the first sales.
- You can practice this activity on your own, without outside help, in your free time.
- If you create objects specific to certain holidays (Christmas, Women’s Day, Easter, etc.), then you will definitely have customers in those periods.
- You have many options to sell your products, without necessarily creating your own site.
- Handmade products do not expire, so you do not risk being left with unsold stocks to throw away. You can also give a gift to your loved ones.
- You can hold creative workshops, online and offline, and you can involve children in your activities.
- It’s a creative way to put your ideas into practice and relax.
- You work whenever you want, even if you have a job that takes up more than 8 hours a day.
Why not start a business selling handmade products online?
- Creation takes time, and as the demand for your products increases, you need outside help if you want to grow your business.
- Creation requires a special space, which you will probably have to improvise at home. You have to be creative if you live in a small apartment and especially if you have small children or pets.
- You need to set up a legal form to sell legally (a PFA may be enough at first), and pay taxes to the state.
- You risk going overboard if you make the same objects, so you have to vary and come up with new ideas.
- There is fierce competition in this niche: both offline and online. You have to come up with something new and authentic if you want to get out of anonymity.
- If you want to create a brand in a professional way, you have to invest in a website, in branding materials and post constantly on social media.
Do you still want to start such a business? If you have overcome these impediments, then here is what you need to do.
How to start selling handmade products online effectively?
1. Start with an authentic brand
There are many small and large businesses selling handmade products. However, this should not be a deterrent, as it means that there is a high demand for such products.
In order to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you must first of all create a brand for your business.
Create a unique concept for that brand, based on which to make, together with a designer, a series of presentation materials: logo, profile pictures and cover photos for Facebook and other social media accounts but also how to present the products.
Your concept depends on the audience you are addressing and the products you create. For example, if you make earrings and other handmade jewelry dedicated to women, then you will definitely go for a feminine, playful or sensual brand, depending on the age category and the general condition that your products convey.
See also how to create a brand awareness campaign for your business.
Launch your brand based on a logo and some visual identity rules and, very importantly, with professional photos for your products. The visual sells the most in the handmade field.
2. Launch your brand on social media
Before investing in a website, you can validate your idea but also your products. You need to see if there is a demand for your products and get feedback from the public.
So, create a Facebook page, an Instagram account and one on Pinterest and start posting photos and general messages of interest to your audience. Observe their reactions and if there is interest and you receive orders, it means that your brand and concept have potential. So move on to the next step.
Don’t forget to have an editorial plan to follow, but also a strategy to link the activity on the site with the activity you carry out on social media channels. Of course, capitalize on a buyer persona profile to address yourself correctly and efficiently regardless of the messages you use.
3. Create a website
If you start generating orders, it means that the first money has appeared. At this stage, it is necessary to already have a legal form and start working on your online presence.
Buy a domain with your brand name and create a site selling handmade products.
If you plan to stay in the small business stage, then it is enough to create a presentation site. Here are the main advantages of a WordPress site and some tips for choosing the right WordPress theme.
For a simple presentation site, you need a set of basic pages, such as:
- About us (your business story),
- How to order (explaining how to order products),
- Products (a set of product presentation pages, with details on how to create and images with them, plus an order form for those interested),
- Portfolio (a photo gallery page with the most beautiful products created by you),
- Blog (a section of articles where you can write numerous articles about your products, how they are created, tips & tricks and even stories of satisfied buyers).
On the first page (homepage) we recommend you to list testimonials from customers, images with your most “successful” products and links to the products section, where those interested can order.
If you plan to grow your business and become a full-time job, then we recommend you go for the online store. Here’s what you need to know before you create an online store, as well as some tips on choosing WordPress for an online store.
Several useful things about organizing a site I told you in a separate article on the blog, when I mentioned the most important pages that a website should contain.
Keep in mind that an online store requires a larger investment, as well as collaboration with an agency or programmer, for constant maintenance. You will also need large stocks of products and a significant budget for paid online promotion (Facebook Ads, Google Ads), given the high competition in your niche.
Is the online store suitable as a business model for you? Here is what this model based on selling physical products online entails.
4. Distribute your products online and offline
Whether or not you choose to create your own website, it will not be enough for a brand at the beginning, like yours. Every website needs time to drive traffic and you don’t have to wait to get more sales.
In parallel with the growth of your site, you can choose many other methods of distributing your products:
Offline: participate in profile fairs in your city. Find out what handmade fairs take place and give you the opportunity to participate. Find out about them in advance and prepare your products. If they take place in winter, entice your buyers with a hot tea. Decorate your stand in a pleasant way and offer each buyer a business card or a flyer with your website.
5. Other ideas for selling handmade products
The online environment offers you many possibilities. Don’t just stick to Facebook, Instagram and your own site. Create an account on all social platforms, including Pinterest and Tumblr and especially YouTube.
Remember: the present and future of online means video content. Therefore, consider creating explanatory videos, tutorials or simply short presentation videos for your products and techniques from the very beginning.
Film your presence at profile fairs and post visual content on social media as often as possible. Set up your YouTube channel, be active on Instagram, write constantly on the blog, keep your customers close and be perseverant in everything you do.
I hope these tips have helped you lay the groundwork for a creative business selling handmade products.