So often I hear Crafters say that the reason they started their business is because they gave a friend or family member a gift that they had made and the recipient said “This is so beautiful, you should sell these!” And hence their craft business begins.
So why is it then that once we start to sell our items, so often we stop giving them away? Is it that we don’t want to appear pushy? Or like we are self promoting? After all, us crafters are a humble bunch! This is where we miss a big opportunity to promote our business, not to mention save a lot of money on store bought gifts.
As Christmas approaches, and we busily prepare our gift giving lists, I encourage all Craftpreneurs to take this as an opportunity to promote your business. Just because you sell something, doesn’t make it any less valuable in the receivers eyes. Consider your list that you will be giving a gift to, and categorise it in three ways.
1. Give a gift you make and sell.
The first category is those people that would appreciate something that you make and sell. You don’t need to be overtly ‘sales’ simple wrap the gift beautifully and wait for the comments. If the recipient is particularly taken with the gift they will probably initiate the conversation to say “You should sell these” or “Where did you get this, my friend would love one of these”. This then provides your opening to say well, I made it, and if you know anyone who wants one here is my blog/etsy store/handcrafted store etc details. Simple. You didn’t do any hard sell or self promotion, you merely created an opportunity for people to see and appreciate your work. This is a great way to promote your Craft Business over the holiday season.
2. Give a gift you make, but don’t sell.
If you run a craft business, chances are that you are passionate about the creative process. And even though you may make items to sell, there is also a part of you that enjoys making ‘just because’. The holiday gift giving season is a great time to experiment making new items. First to stimulate your creativity, and second because you may just discover you next product line. Identify those people on your list that you will make something for, not necessarily something you already sell. Once you give the gift, this may also open up a dialogue with the recipient about how talented you are, or how much they love the item. Now if everyone loves it so much, you may decide to add it to your product line in which case you can direct them to your online store of choice. Or you can say I don’t sell these, but I do have a range of other items I make which are available in my online store, here are the details. Once again, you weren’t pushy, but you raised the awareness of your business.
3. Give a gift someone else made.
As a creative person, I think it is important to support other creatives. Loving Handmade is a core value to anyone with a craft business, and therefore if you find there are some people on your list that you can’t think of anything to make, then before you hit the department stores, head online to your favourite handmade store and see what you can find. Often you will find items that are more personalised, better value for money and much better quality than those found in the local department store. And you will be supporting a fellow craft business owner. Imagine if we all did this, this holidays. Imagine how sales would explode for the industry overall and how much we would all benefit. Supporting other crafters is just as important as promoting our own businesses and creates a stronger industry overall.
So don’t miss out this Holiday period on the opportunity to promote your business and the businesses of other craftspeople. It will strengthen your business and the industry overall, which will lead to a Merry Christmas for all craft business owners!