Top 40 Online Handmade Goods Promotion Tips

Online Handmade Goods Promotion : It can take you less than a day to build a storefront to showcase your work and connect with customers on platforms like Amazon and Etsy.

If you’re into crafts and DIY, it’s definitely a viable business option to consider.

Finding a product or service to sell is only half the story. Now you have to get out there and tell people about it.

In the days before the advent of the internet and social media, promoting your business meant spending a fortune on advertising or PR, a crippling cost for a small business trying to get off the ground.

Not anymore. Thanks to new technology, there are now lots of ways a small fledgeling business can tell prospective customers about their products or services – many of them free.

Here are some tips on how to promote your business for virtually no money.

Most entrepreneurs and small business owners who are more directly involved in marketing their businesses should find this to be a useful source of information and ideas.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion
Online Handmade Goods Promotion

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

There is a variety of online and offline mechanisms to market your business such as social networking, advertisements, word of mouth, commercial material etc, though some of these can be a bit expensive and/or overwhelming. Here are 34 ways you can promote whatever business, product or service you have, whether it’s offline or online.

1. Create a brand & logo

Don’t be fooled by how simplistic this first tip may see, widespread brand recognition is your ultimate goal, and your business needs to inspire credibility and persuade others to spread the word about your work. You need to create a brand you can build on from the start, hiring a designer may be costly, but there are many free logo and image creator tools on the web that suit all tastes and needs (you don’t need to have a perfect brand from the get go but you need do need something your can build your business’s reputation on).

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

2. Create a website

Setting up a website is relatively easy. Making sure it’s attractive, functional, accessible and mobile-friendly can make your business look professional. There are many affordable website services to get your business online fast and with little cost. These services offer ready-made website templates with lead-generation features, free logos etc. Additionally, before marketing your website through any online channels, make sure your metadata is accurate and follows Google Webmaster guidelines.

Also remember to put everything on your website. If you take a stand at a trade fair, for example, get your team to wear t-shirts with your logo and phone and website details on the back. You could even paint your car with your company logo and put your phone number and website on it.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

 3. Engage with Google

Google has some pretty cool tools to help promote your business. You can create an account on Google Business, Google+ Local and Google Places. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and company information to Google’s business directory can be helpful. Most importantly, it’s free and simple, so there’s really no reason not to. You can also manage your listing information including business description, product/service details, pictures, videos and offers. Being listed in local directories can also increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website.

4. Optimise! – Search engine optimisation

Your website will be of little use if nobody can find it with search engines. Simply optimising your website at the start is not enough. To get good coverage on search engines, you will need to work on your website regularly, monitoring your statistics closely and refining your website accordingly. You will also need to update your site frequently with keyword rich content and work on building quality backlinks to your site.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

5. Go Mobile and create an app

An effective online promotion involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. Firms with a mobile app are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level. Just to say, mobile apps increase visibility of your business to customers at all times, improve customer engagement, and turns them into the loyal lover of your product and/or service!

6. Socialise!

When setting up your business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure it includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Join groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

On Facebook, you can create a page for your business, on which you can post information, offers, photos, details of forthcoming events and so on. You can use Twitter to build up a following amongst potential and existing customers – the secret is to initiate conversations with potential customers rather than going on about how fantastic your product is. Linkedin is an online address book which you can use to connect to professionals in your industry. YouTube allows you to put videos about your venture for free so potential customers can see them. The best way to get your business noticed is to create a dedicated YouTube Channel for it – effectively a page on YouTube just for your business.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

7. Start building your email list from day one

Many small businesses aren’t aware of the benefits of email marketing and fail to leverage their website or blog to build their email list. Having a simple email signup form on your website can yield great results and should be done from the very beginning.

8. Get yourself a trusted email marketing platform

Once you’ve got your own email list of leads go ahead and start sending those sweet emails that will draw customers to your landing pages. The best way to do that is to get yourself a trustworthy email marketing service provider. SendPulse, for example, offers a reliable email service  along with other communication channels like web push or SMS to promote your business. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to afford their services as SendPulse offers a lifetime free plan with up to 15k emails per month.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

9. Ask for reviews

Most local and national sites and directories allow customer reviews. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your products or services. Whether good or bad, reviews make your business more credible to future customers, and can be lessons learned for you.

10. Set up a blog

Setting up your own blog costs little and, so long as it is easily maintained, is an excellent way to engage with your customers (both existing and prospective ones), provide them with updates and create content that is useful for your search engine presence. Interviewing other experts from your field is always useful and can help you build trust with your audience and create good content that can be shared. If you need free editorial images for your blog, check out our free stock photos post.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

11. Business directories

You can get free advertisement on various directories so you should use this offline source of promotion for your business. Yellow pages directories are updated and distributed to millions of households every year, but they also have online equivalents and offer small businesses discounts for buying advertising in both. There are also plenty of free and paid-for local directories.

12. Advertising

Sending out press releases about your business or advertising in local or national newspapers, magazines and radio stations gets you the best reach. If you’re just starting out, your local newspaper may have a section in the paper just for that. Also, try printing out the URL of your website on your business cards or letterhead as they play a major role in business advertisement.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

13. Google AdWords

Google’s paid advertising program is a very effective way to get your website listed on search engines for your desired search terms. It can be very useful particularly in the short term while you work on improving your organic rank in the free listings. Due to increasing competition, the cost per click can be high, but you can set a maximum monthly budget to keep your costs under control. You can also try free advertising vouchers and get some advertising for your business for free.

14. Learn to re-purpose content

Disseminating your marketing or blog content to promote your business is extremely important, but creating content takes a lot of time and effort. This is where repurposing may be useful. When you repurpose content, you use existing information and repackage it in a different format to distribute through new channels and increase your marketing reach. For example, a blog post can be converted into a podcast or a video.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

15. Take steps to boost conversions

Your website may get a lot of traffic, but if you fail to convert them into leads, then website traffic is of little use because your data is not being converted into customers. An example of how to do this would be to use a good call to action on your website and in all your marketing material and make sure call to actions are prominently displayed throughout your website.

16. Distribute promotional merchandise

Taking your business promotion offline can also reap rewards. Research from the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) has shown that over 79% of their survey respondents feel appreciated when they receive a promotional gift.

The usefulness of promotional products is one of the greatest factors customers consider when deciding to keep a product, so make sure to do some research on the best items for your brand and target audience. Keep in mind that single use plastics and other throwaway items have a negative impact on the environment, so items like travel mugs or reusable bags are a good start for your business.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

17. Outdoor promotion

Outdoor advertising like billboards are seen as expensive for small businesses, but hiring one out strategically placed – in close proximity to your firm – can cost about the same as an advert in a newspaper, will last much longer and be seen by your potential customers. Using your own vehicle as advertising space is also a very good idea, and is very cost effective.

18. Don’t ignore the power of videos

Videos are very popular with consumers today and offer an excellent way to market your business. Displaying videos showing your product or making instructional videos is a very effective way to increase customers.

There are many ways a small business can use videos as part of their marketing strategy and being active on YouTube is one of them. YouTube is the most widely used channel and building your company’s presence on the site can get extra coverage for your business and help to attract new customers. Commenting on videos relevant to your niche is another way to engage with users and increase your brand visibility.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

19. Use affiliates to promote your products

Affiliate marketing is a very effective form of online marketing where you essentially enlist several other people to help promote and sell your product in return for a commission on sales. It’s a performance-based system which means you only have to pay commissions when sales are made. There are many popular affiliate channels that your business can use, and these sites have tens of thousands of affiliates actively seeking products to promote, so it will save you the time of having to find affiliates yourself.

20. Join associations and attend meetings of professional groups

Groups such as your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations are very useful and powerful networking opportunities to talk about your company. Meet-ups of local businesses and entrepreneurs have become common in most cities. Have business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable and don’t forget to ask what it is that the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They’ll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

21. Partner up

Network with other small businesses who are doing the same type of work you are and collaborate with them to offer a special deal to customers locally. The aim is that each business involved will make an offer which benefits the other partner’s customer and encourages them to take up both services. Between the businesses, you can save money on promotional costs and get valuable referrals.

22. Offer a free consultation

Offering non-obligational consultation to people you think could use your services is useful because it gives you the opportunity to offer some practical suggestions and ideas to the client, and possibly encourage them to request your services to implement those ideas.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

23. Word of mouth

92% of people trust the recommendation of friends and family, and this can work to your advantage, particularly in a local community-based setting. Getting your first customers is probably the hardest work you’ll ever do. When you’re working with your first customers, don’t forget that you’re already marketing to the people they will talk to. Go the extra mile for your customers, and they’re more likely to tell other people about it. Also, make it easy for them to recommend you through referral and rewards schemes.

24. Teach classes in your community

If your business area lends itself to a lot of special knowledge, offer to teach some free classes at local venues. Or sign up to be a teacher for Community Education classes through a local college.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

25. Donate a prize to a local fundraiser

If you make or sell hard goods, try donating some of your products, and if you have a service business donate a gift certificate for your services.

26. Offer to speak at a local event or meeting

This is much like the “Teach classes in your community” section but requires much less time and commitment. Not only does it showcase your knowledge and skills, but it can also be an invaluable place to network with people that may not generally attend actual “networking events”.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

27. List your business on online marketplaces

There are many online marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers. Listing your business on these platforms is a great way to improve the visibility of your brand and promote your services.

28. Distribute something for free

Giveaways, freebies, prize draws or sweepstakes will generate a buzz around the business and the business will benefit from the extra exposure of the brand. Try to ensure the prize is something that is related to your business as well as something that can get the attention of users.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

29. Corporate social responsibility

Make sure your business has a corporate social responsibility strategy integrated into your business model. Publicise your activities internally as well as externally to all stakeholders and encourage them to join you in your efforts.

30. Host events in your community

A few businesses have hosted scavenger hunts in their communities. All participants have to do is stop once at of the businesses involved, pick up a map and travel to other firms. The aim of the event is to make people realise what is available to them locally. Be sure to give the most zealous participants the chance to win prizes.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

31. Last but not least – Don’t spam!

We all dislike content that is not relevant or far worse – boring! The simple way to avoid doing this yourself is to make sure you send emails that include an authentic announcement for a new product, new feature, new event, contest, etc. The number of people unsubscribing from email list will likely be far fewer!

Online Handmade Goods Promotion
Online Handmade Goods Promotion

32. Wear and use your products in public

If you ever bump into Graham Milton at a party, the chances are high that he will be wearing a tuxedo shirt with a flamboyant design on the back. That’s because his business Fluxedo Shirts sells them. Milton seizes every opportunity to show off his shirts, wearing them to all kinds of unlikely places such as the Notting Hill Carnival and music festivals where as the only one in formal attire he has really stood out from the crowd. As a result, whenever he goes anywhere in his shirts he gets lots of people asking him about them and finding out where to buy them.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

33. Get talking

Every kind of occasion, whether planned or unexpected, represents an opportunity for an entrepreneur to promote their venture, so always carry samples of your products if practicable. Ali Wallace, who started up his own recruitment agency DNA, has found several new clients simply by getting chatting to his fellow travellers on the commuter train from his home in North Hertfordshire to London. Even if no immediate opportunity to do business presents itself, it is worth staying in touch with the people you have met, by sending them an email after the event and even introducing them to other people who may be useful to them, to keep the contact alive.  That way they are more likely to remember you when something comes along that would be relevant to your business.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

34. Get in touch with your local newspaper

See if they want to write about your business.  Not only is coverage like this free, but it will also give your business and product far greater credibility than a paid-for advert could ever achieve.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

35. Enter as many business awards as you can

There seems to be a new ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ competition popping up every week – someone has got to win them, and if you are creating something special, then it might as well be you. If you are shortlisted as a runner up, or even better, if you win, you will get lots of press coverage and recognition which is a truly fabulous way of promoting your business.

36. Mailing Lists

Look for opportunities to ask your customers if they would like to receive a regular newsletter from you. This gives you a great opportunity for repeat sales – especially around holiday periods such as Christmas and Valentines Day. If your mailing list isn’t large, you should be able to send your emails directly – when you get to a stage where you have a large list to send then use a specialised email newsletter app such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, which will handle the email templating and sending for you as well as provide you with indepth stats to see who is reading your mailshots.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

37. StumbleUpon Ads

This is another form of paid advertising that is worth experimenting with. The key to this form of advertising is to make sure the page you are linking to is very engaging so that they stick around – StumbleUpon’s users are notoriously fickle, so you’ll need something attention grabbing for this to work!

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

38. Friends & Family

This is often the best place to start as it allows you to work on how you are going to present your products, without risking too much in the way of time or money. Ask your friends, family and co-workers what they think about your products.

Concentrate on the wording of how you describe your products and make note if anyone isn’t clear on what your products do – this will help you to refine the words you use in your listings or shopfront. Ask them about how they feel about the packaging and photos – ensure you are asking for positive criticism so you don’t just end up with praise (however nice that may be!). With this in mind, be prepared to hear some things you may not want to hear about your products – remember to take this as positive points to improve on, rather than something that means you will never sell anything. A positive attitude in this part of the process goes a long way!

You don’t have to use your contacts only as market research – these are sometimes where your best customers come from. Friends of friends are often a great source of customers to expand your business, so try to get people talking about your products to others. Facebook in particular is a great online place to do this – the only thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you keep things in moderation!

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

While handmade and mass-produced products can use the same platforms for selling, they target different customers and, therefore, the marketing strategies will be different.

“For businesses that specialize in handmade products, I love seeing them showcase those products after the purchase, in customers’ home and care,” said Zaiger. “Mass-produced products tend to look the same, so their advertising strategies usually end at the point of sale, but handcrafted products were likely purchased for their unique style in a customer’s home or wardrobe, so be sure to follow up with them.”

Zaiger added that not only does post-purchase content look great on social media and in blog posts, it makes the customer feel special, which makes them more likely to return to your store or website for their next purchase.

What it really comes down to is realizing that handmade products and the artisans who craft them have a unique skill that others admire and go out of their way to support.

“Don’t be afraid to elevate your brand,” Bookheim suggested. “Just because your make products in your home doesn’t mean you can’t photograph them like they’re the highest-selling items on the market, and just because you’re only producing 50 a month doesn’t mean you can’t pitch to customers who would order ten times that. Don’t just step out of your comfort zone, step ahead of it.

A sales pipeline is a way of tracking what stage your customer is in leading up to a sale. Peacock said to think of it as a funnel. A sale often doesn’t happen on the first interaction, as there are generally several stages the customer goes through before committing to a purchase. The funnel usually goes from awareness to consideration to a purchase decision over time, according to Flynn Zaiger, CEO of digital marketing agency Online Optimism.

“It’s worth mapping out what the stages in the funnel are and how you can help the customer progress through each stage. When marketing, you don’t have to go in for the sale right away. Seek to add value and build relationships first as you progress them down your funnel toward a sale,” Peacock said.

Online Handmade Goods Promotion

Marketing handmade goods is a unique experience and drastically differs from marketing mass-produced goods.

“Handmade products have the full story and mass-produced items don’t necessarily. There is a natural transparency with handmade products, and it’s important to emphasize that to customers,” said Jonit Bookheim, sales and outreach director for Mata Trader

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