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Last month, many crafters received Silhouettes and Cricuts under their Christmas trees. (If you didn’t go buy yourself one: Silhouette Cameo 3 or Cricut Maker!) Every January that I get tons of emails asking, “Christine, how do I start selling products made with my Silhouette or Cricut?” Today, I’m sharing my recommended path for new sellers of handmade goods. If you’ve ever gotten the chance to hear me speak in person – this will be a review. If not, this path is the same one I recommend to novice sellers who attend my speaking functions.
Recommended Path for New Craft Sellers
- Start with your family and friends. By starting with your family and friends, you’ll get a taste of deadlines, customer service, and product and pricing feedback. The best part? Friends and family will likely tell you the truth about your products. If your products or pricing aren’t up to par, they will let you know. Also, this is a great time to evaluate and find out if you even enjoy selling products. If you decide selling crafts online isn’t for you – it’s ok.
- Move to acquaintances. After you’ve mastered selling to friends and family, move out of your circle of friends and family to people like teachers, coworkers, hair dressers, and so on. Most of your sales so far will have been through work of mouth. Now is a good time to officially decide on a business name and start your social media accounts.
- Head to a marketplace. Now that you are feeling confident with selling to people you know – it’s time to sell your products to strangers. The best way to do this is through a marketplace like Etsy. Why Etsy? Etsy can provide you traffic that will get your listings seen. Unfortunately in the online world, it can be very difficult (and expensive!) to get enough traffic to a new website to sustain a business. After you’ve been selling to friends and family and acquaintances, it’s time to get yourself onto a marketplace like Etsy.
- Create your own website. As your business grows, I highly recommend switching from Etsy to your own website. Why? It’s cost effective. While having your own website is challenging and will constantly need work; it’s cheaper in the end because you aren’t paying selling or listing fees. Feel free to leave your Etsy shop in place to help bring traffic to your website.
Whatever path you choose, remember to take it one step at a time. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” -John Heywood
Hey, before you start a business – ask yourself these questions.
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