Attracting the RIGHT customers, bloggers, dropshiping and wholesaling opportunities to your creative shop.
Written by Jennifer L Ledgerwood
Oh man. Selling your handmade products online can be challenging when you first start out.
My name is Jennifer. Co-Owner of Hello Bride, graphic designer, mommy, wife, small business owner and LOVER of new creative businesses. There are a few points that I never see mentioned on those other blogs. People just seem to skim past the getting started phase and other key items. Today I am going to talk about how to make customers, bloggers, dropshiping and wholesaling shops fall in love with your online shop.
I started out wedding planning 10 years ago. I switched over to the product side about 8 years ago when that part of our business started to take off. I have learned a ton along the way. Some of the items you find below you can find on any generic how to start your handmade business blog. Does that mean they are any less important. Of course not! If everyone is saying you need great photos. It just might be more true.
The Look And Feel Of Your Shop And Images
A consistent and uncluttered shop site is just as important as consistent and uncluttered product images. Your shop site should have plenty of empty space for your products to breath. Your home page is a great spot to show amazing style photos on a plain background.
Styled behind the scenes photos are great for social media and home pages. I mean take a peek at A Gilded Leaf’s home page. It is bold but clearly they sell beautiful jewelry. If you added this image with 3 pieces of jewelry to a product listing it would be confusing to customers. They might think they are buying all 3 pieces.
Keep in mind a little styling goes a long way.
All over social media you will see styled product photos. Your product with lots of extras all around it. This isn’t always the best choice for your product image though. It can be confusing to buyers. Which thing in the photo is for sale. You may think will it states right in the title “Gold Infinity Bracelet.” They can just read the title to figure it out. Remember it is not the customers job to figure it out. It is your job to show them.
Ocean & Sea’s product photos really stand out on their site. The uncluttered background, consistent style and simple images really allow their products to shine. You know exactly what you are getting.
It’s not enough to say you have a certain item. You can’t post some text and expect people to buy something. You have to show them what you can do. Show them a finished product as an example. Many people are visual learners and they will want to see the quality of what you have to offer.
In a sea of text show them what you can do like DGarden does on Etsy.
A lack of reviews is not a deal breaker. Keep in ming your audience loves to know what others are thinking about your products though. Real feedback from buyers can help them make that final decision. Start emailing those customers. Don’t go overboard. Get some new reviews today!
Otherwise you might leave your audience wanting more and finding it on a different website.
The Value of Experimentation
When you are first starting out creating your handmade or creative shop people will tell you things like just get started. Put up something/anything. Find your niche. What they don’t tell you is how. Experimentation is invaluable to shops new and old. It can help to find your niche or help you decide were to expand to next. Without wasting extra time and money on products or ideas that do not work.
Keep you eyes peeled. I will have some ideas about this up on the blog soon.
Logo by Ampers Andrew.
What Do You Sell?
While there is value in experimentation you want to find your niche. Eventually testing and experimentation should stop. You do not want to have 5 completely unrelated ideas on one website. If you advertise dog walking, custom artwork, wedding planning and photography on your site you will only confuse your audience. A confused audience is a lost opportunity.
Dog walking and wedding planning do not usually belong in the same sentence. Unless you are Lacie Hansen photographer extraordinare.
Make Sure It’s A Good Fit
At some point you may want to invest in advertising to reach your customers. You might apply to be featured on a blog. You may even want to apply to be a wholesaler or dropshipper on someone else’s website. Before you spend time and money on these endeavors make sure it’s a good fit. Here are a few tips.
- Do their customers or readers fit your niche?
- Do your items fit their niche?
- Do you love what they stand for?
- Do your photos match their style? Some websites will take their own photos of your products.
- Is it within your budget?
Spend time learning about your customers. If you have a predominantly male audience advertising or applying to be on a shop like Milk Handmade is probably not the route to go. The same goes for applying to be featured on a blog. Make sure your products fit the site and readers.
We want you! Calling all wedding makers, artisans and craftsmen. We are expanding the Hello Bride marketplace. Apply today for the chance to become a Hello Bride vendor and dropshipper. Click below to apply. We can’t wait to hear from you!