Four Tips For Making a Living With a Crafts Business

The Wall Street Journal (of all places) recently featured an article with four crucial tips for crafters who want to sell their wares online. So, what does the WSJ advise?

  • Be true to your vision. If you simply try to follow trends, you’re likely to find yourself behind the curve as often as not, either totally out of fashion or facing a ton of competition. It’s tough being an also-ran. You’ll have more luck if you have the courage and vision to stand out from the crowd.
  • Don’t skip marketing opportunities. Sign up for craft fairs. Tell your friends about your business. If your creations are wearable, wear them yourself. Engage people in conversation about your crafts. Always have your business cards on hand and don’t be afraid to spread them around.
  • Socialize. Sure, you don’t want to ignore traditional publicity (press releases, an online catalog, printed brochures, etc.), but nowadays you can also get attention for your craft business through social media — blogging, Twitter and bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Mixx or del.icio.us. Blogs and Twitter allow you to maintain personal contact with your loyal customers, and all these resources can help get your name out in front of folks you might not otherwise reach.
  • Charge what your crafts are worth. This is one of the toughest items for almost any small businessperson, not just crafters. The tendency is to price your products too cheap. You need to take into account overhead, labor and the cost of marketing — and allow yourself a profit margin. People tend to judge the quality of a product or service at least partly on the price. It takes guts, but if you want others to consider your work high quality, you need to price accordingly.

I hope these tips were helpful to you. Now, get out there and get creative!

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Copyright © Diane M. Aull, an online consultant for small and mid-sized businesses. For more information about her services, visit NineYards.com or BootstrapSEO. For resources and tools for home based workers, visit Torka's Home for Wayward Girls.

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