Small scale crafters and DIY-ers now have more resources at their disposal than ever before. Handmade goods are a hot commodity, everyone loves items that have a unique touch. There is no limit what a small scale artisan can accomplish with a little creativity, talent, and lots of hard work.
Sites like Etsy and Big Cartel have given these small shops their very own place on the web to sell to the masses. With so many shops, (Etsy has over 900,000 registered merchants,) it can be hard to draw in an audience. It’s important to brand and promote your shop in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Here are some tips to help promote your small shop, without breaking the bank:
- Be social media friendly: While some online marketplaces have features which allow you to message shop owners, most don’t let you connect with consumers on a more personal level. Social media is a great way to gauge and connect with your audiences! Use Instagram to post pictures of new items before they are added to the shop to make followers feel special, like they get to see behind the scenes. Facebook pages are also a great way to make announcements and let users contact you easily.
- Look into blog sponsorships and partnerships: Having your shop featured on a blog these days could really help a small shop thrive. Blog sponsorships are usually very affordable, around $5-$20 a month depending on what the sponsorship offers. Many bloggers also participate in giveaways, which help to build awareness and increase traffic to your online shop and social media profiles. Major magazines and publications often check blogs for the next best thing, so a 30 day ad running on a blog could easily turn into a feature in a magazine!
- Create a brand identity: As a shop owner, no one knows the ends and outs of your brand better than you do. Create a description that includes the history of your shop, and tells what makes it stand out from all the others. This will be important when your looking into expansion opportunities.
- Don’t be afraid to cross promote: Small shops are always competing with other shops in their category, and understandably so. But it competition doesn’t mean you can’t help each other out! Reaching out to other small shops could be a great opportunity for giveaways, online contests, and features!
- Stay consistent and professional: Every element of your shop should have a consistent and professional look and feel to it. Have a logo created, and be sure that have that logo on any photos you post to social media, and on your shop. Make sure your profile images are the same on every site so that consumers can familiarize yourself with your brand.