The Handmade Entrepreneur book has launched!
My goal when writing this book was to free you from having to rely on any third-party website for your sales. Yes, you can take advantage of platforms like Etsy, and you should, but websites come and go, and if all your sales come only from that website, you run into trouble every time there are algorithm changes, a saturation of sellers, or overseas products to compete with (tune in the Darth Vader Star Wars theme of doom). The fact is that you are trying to generate sales, which means that you are trying to run a business, which in-turn means that you need a real business plan. Brick and motor stores don’t just buy a bunch of goods, throw them in a building, and hope people will come. They PLAN! They study their target market, pick a perfect store location, and invest in logos, signs, ads, and more. Just because you sell online does not mean that you can skip all of these things. Selling online is even harder than selling locally because you have billions of products to compete with and a crowd of shoppers with an overwhelming number of options before them. You need to prepare your storefront, get your products ready, know your audience, and then know how to market to them.
Preparing your Shop and Products
My book starts out showing you how to prepare your products with photos that attract clicks and sales. I don’t just tell you how to do it, though. I SHOW you. Thanks to the help of many carefully selected Etsy sellers, I included lots of example photos for each point. In addition to this, I only show you DIY photos to prove that you can do it on your own.
Next, I discuss how to optimize your shop. We go through every aspect such as banners, profiles, descriptions, tags, and titles. You will learn how to optimize your pages so that people stay there instead of leaving instantly (the average viewer stays on a page for less than 2 seconds). You do this by creating an inviting environment with images and content that buyers can skim through in less than 2 seconds. If they can determine that your page is worth staying on in less than two seconds, you have won the battle.
Finding Your Target Audience
The trouble with selling anything online is that you have to find the people who would be interested in your products. You wouldn’t walk into a shoe store and try to get the people there to buy a shelf, would you? No! Those people want SHOES, not shelves. The book gives you several ways to locate your target audience. This part does take some brainstorming and effort on your part. Much of marketing is just testing the waters to see which audiences respond best to your products. However, it is glorious once you finally find that group that appreciates what you make and buys your stuff!
Marketing to Your Audience
You finally have a group of people to market to, but now what? The book goes over ways to build up a list of fans, followers, and subscribers, how to stay engaged with them, and how to sell to them without selling. Just spamming your links all over the place does not generate sales and makes people inwardly promise to never buy from you. There is an art to selling without actually selling.
The Action Plan
The last section of the book gives you a four-week Action Plan to follow. Each week you complete a list of steps that build up your accounts and get you familiar with the basics of marketing. I kept these steps basic because it is easy for people to get overwhelmed by all of the information in the book. Once you have completed these steps, you will be much more comfortable with the process of marketing and then you can take on the more advanced steps such as making yourself an authority figure or creating a “buzz” about your product.
Throughout the book I list numerous extra places to sell your product, show you how to build a website for free, teach you the basics of SEO, give you lots of DIY tricks to save money, teach you how to brand yourself, and much more. Everything I know, you know!
The Handmade Entrepreneur is a culmination of 11 years in the marketing industry, and I hope that the information in it will help free you from ever relying on anyone but yourself for success again. I won’t just leave you hanging, either. After you read the book, feel free to join my Facebook group and ask additional questions!