Photo of someone turning a pot on a potter's wheel

Marketing Mini Guide: Makers

Promoting your crafting or maker business is often all about growing the lifestyle around your brand, and the online experience gives you some really exciting ways to do this. It’s a combination of helping people find you, getting to their website, and making them want it enough to buy your  products, especially over the mass produced items at the big box stores.

Your Website

My recommendation for the maker specific business type is to implement the following on your website:

  • Share your story and your why on your website, people like to know the person who is making the product, as they partially want to support you, the person behind the business
  • Make sure there is either always something for sale, or you have a regular restock day of the week or month, so people know when to get back and can sign up for an email to let them know when its available. While it might sound fun to sell out all the time, try to keep up with the demand as best you can so that you don’t lose out on sales
  • Pre-orders, made to order and custom requests are another way to make sales, without the risk of making product that maybe people aren’t as into as others
  • Show off the you behind the business to allow people to know that you will ship their product out, so use social media to allow some proof, and include an address, even if it’s a post box.
  • Make sure it’s easy for people to make contact by including an email, and a form. If a phone number isn’t right for you, just include the email, that’s ok. 
  • If you have stockists where people can buy your product from a store local to them, include these on their own page with a link in the navigation. If you attend local markets, show these off to, with all the information about the market they need to attend, so they don’t have to research it to attend.
  • Include lots of pictures so people know what they are getting, and if your item is jewellery, show it off being worn by someone, if its art show it styled in a room, and if you can show off the size

You should also make sure you take photos and video of the following:

  1. You
  2. Your studio or making space
  3. Your products
  4. How you ship your products, or sell them in local stores

When you take photos, not only show your product, but also show it paired with other elements that show off the lifestyle. If it’s a print, frame it and hang it on the wall above a dresser with a plant, or something like that. If you sell earrings, show them in a jewellery box or a makeup table with other items which align with your price point and add the aspirational part of your items.

You can also run small giveaways for those who post online, so you can encourage people to do this on a regular basis, and they will take their own photos. One way to make sure people take great photos is to have great photos yourself that they can get ideas from.

For best search engine optimisation, you should also do the following:

  • Make sure to set out a list of keywords you want to show up on, and use those in your product descriptions and content pages, these might be about your products, or they might be broader terms, such as fashion related or home decor related
  • Set up a Google My Business account. At first you will need to put your address or phone number to verify it. You’re best to include an address but if you don’t want to share your home address, you can remove it after you have finished the verification
  • Write blog content helping people to care for, use or pair your items with their lifestyle, not only is this helpful, but this is the kind of content people look for

Social Media Content

The platforms you use will always change dependant on who your target market is, but chances are Instagram and Pinterest should be big for you, and you can be set up on Facebook to have a presence. 

  • Post often and engage with all comments within a couple days
  • Set up Facebook and Instagram Shopping, and link your Pinterest pins to the right products, so people can find the product and purchase without having to hunt through your site, as they will quickly assume the product is no longer available and move on
  • Setup the Facebook Pixel and Pinterest Tag so you can track people who visit for future ads
  • Share people’s Instagram Stories when they tag you, and repost their photos into your feeds
  • Tell your story, how you got into making what you want, and the story of how you grew your business, people want to know the behind the scenes
  • Collaborate with other small businesses and makers

You can also run a Facebook group, or a community on a platform such as Mighty Networks, to grow a group of people around you, either who share their love of something that intersects with your product, or just to find out about what you have to offer and when. The key is to keep the content engaging, share things you don’t share elsewhere and 

Social Media Advertising

This is where you can show off your products to the right types of people, based on gender, age and interests. You’ll want to get people to your website, and then you can create a reminder type series, where you show off your products until they buy, or they ultimately lapse. 

You can show up in front of people in your area, who are the right age for your style with a reach ad and go from there, dependant on how your conversion rate goes.

Google Ads

If there’s enough people searching for your products within specific locations you can try running search ads to get in front of people.

You can specifically use the shopping ads, which include a price and an image, and show above the text based ads.

If search is good, the cost per click, if you can then convert people to a sale can be very worth it.

Influencer Marketing

If you can send your products to or collaborate with influencers, this will give you some additional exposure. You may not have to pay for the exposure, if they want the product, or you create a piece together and they receive a cut of the sales, but often this type of marketing does still have a cost.

Email Marketing

You’ll likely need to pay to play in this arena, only because the best email marketing softwares are paid. My personal favourite, especially for maker businesses is Flodesk. Their templates and platform make it super easy to set up. They don’t yet integrate with many platforms at the click of a button but you are able to embed the forms on your website, or link to a landing page if you don’t have a website yet.

You’ll set this up on your website, so people opt in for some sort of lead magnet, this might be a discount, a styling guide, and care manual or something like that, which they will be willing to share their email to receive for free. Then so that they stay subscribed and start to grow more of an appreciation for you business, you should continue to share content with them, behind the scenes, announcements or helpful content, plus let them know when and how they can get your products on a regular basis, for example, promoting a market you’ll be at soon.

Photo of someone trimming a pot on a potter's wheel

Disclaimer: This blog post is a small guide to some platforms this business type could use to expand their marketing. It is not a marketing plan or marketing strategy and is not tailored completely for your business. If you are looking for a marketing strategy, let’s chat.

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