[Affiliate disclaimer: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. BUT THESE ARE ALL PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND AND USE MYSELF.]
If you are new to the handmade business world, you may feel a little overwhelmed and not quite sure where to focus your attention. A quick search on Google or Pinterest will leave you with a long list of things to-do. This post is not meant to be an in-depth training. It’s purpose is to serve as a starting point for your shop and a way to help you focus on the core fundamentals that you will find in most thriving shops. It’s a list of the three things you MUST have if you want to build a successful shop. Once you establish the base, the other strategies help to further build your success.
So, let’s get started…
1. Quality Photography
The first thing you must have is high quality photos. You do not have to spend a ton of money on a big fancy camera to take nice clear photos for your customers. Most smart phones take great pictures. If you are just getting started, here’s my best advice: buy a white piece of poster board and set it next to a window so that you get natural light. If you need a little extra light for smaller products, a Selfie Light Right (Affiliate Link) does a great job for less than $15. I especially love it for snapping quick social media posts. Then, just adjust the brightness and saturation a tad – and, voila! You’re ready to post a magazine worthy photo.
I do want to take a minute to mention a few things to avoid. Please do not take photos on the ground, floor, grass, bathroom sink, etc. I understand the artistic thoughts behind these pictures, but customers do not. So, stick to a clean white background. Or, if you are feeling extra fancy, you can go to a craft store and have a background specifically made for you.
If you want to take artistic photos or lifestyles, which are great for your customers to visualizes your products in use, save those for the second photo in your listing. But, still skip the photo on the floor.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is how customers find your products. It’s a bit complex and will require more of an in-depth discussion at a later time. So, for now, let’s cover the basics. The most important thing to understand is that you need to include words or phrases that customers will use to search for your products. Think: what would a customer type in the search bar to find me? For example, if you sell coffee mugs, you would want to include “funny coffee mugs for women” or “christmas coffee mug for grandma”.
3. Complete Listing Descriptions
Selling online adds a layer of difficulty in that the customer is relying on you to use words and pictures to describe the item rather than being able to see it in real life. This is where you must be sure to include as much detail as possible in the listing description. Remember learning who, what, when, where, why, and how in grade school? Get in the habit of answering these questions about your product in the listing so that potential customers are able to have a full understanding of what you are trying to sell.
Take a look at your shop and evaluate which area or areas need improvement. Monitor for changes in traffic and sales to determine the need for future changes. Once you have these three core principles mastered, the sky’s the limit!