Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's that time of year . . .

It is that time of year . . . when the craft shows are in every mall and church around.  As crafters, it is the time when we go to those craft shows to see what new ideas might be out there, but also a time when many of us start to think "Could I make money with my crafts?"

The answer is yes, you can make money with crafts or the crafting industry.  I have a full article that talks about MANY different ways you can do this.  To read that article, click HERE.

Now, I want to remind EVERYONE that I am in no way saying that this is easy . . . it does still take work.  If you want to sell at craft shows you might need to do some work to find the best ones.  Weighing out the dates, times, amount of traffic, booth fees, location and amount of advertising are all factors to thing about.  If a booth fee of $15 probably does not sound like a lot of money, but if there is not a lot of traffic and you end up sitting at a booth all day and sell $50 worth of product, therefore taking home $35 for the day, was it really "worth it"?  If you would have been in a larger show that is more established and paid $50 for a booth space and sold $200 worth of product wouldn't that have been a better use of your time?

What if you don't want to sit at a craft fair booth and you only want to sell online?  Did you know that you have LOTS of options for places where you can sell your products online?  When the topic of selling crafts online comes up, many people automatically think about selling on etsy.  While this might be a good idea for some, I can tell you that I personally have not had success with etsy and I know others that would agree with me.  Did you know that for each item you list on etsy you have to pay 20 cents per month even if you don't sell it?  So if you have 10 items listed and sell nothing, you owe etsy money for that month.  Sorry, I am crafting to make money, not spend it.  Yes, if I went to a craft show and paid a booth fee I could end up in the same boat (see example above) but that is one of the reasons I am choosing to sell online instead of at craft shows . . . online my products are out there for people to see 24/7 
(lots of people shop at 2am and I am there for those people)

Don't believe me that there are other places that you can sell online?  
Well, take it from the SmallBizTrends then.  I found this article
which lists 29 places you can sell your handmade items online.  I have accounts on several of these.

And I am not saying that selling online is simple and all you have to do is list your items and *poof* the sales will start rolling in.  You do have to advertise and promote.  There are free ways to do this also, but if you JUST want to craft and have no interest in learning how to operate a website, blog and promote it then selling online is probably not for you.  I found a page on Facebook that talks about this
One of the examples that I heard in her video was to think of your business as a tiered cake.  If you don't have a strong foundation, the top tier will cave into the one below it.  Your business plan and so much of the things people don't SEE are in that foundation.  If you jump right in with a website and Facebook pages before you have your foundation you are putting the icing on the cake before you have stacked the tiers of the cake.  The icing is the pretty part, but you need something for it to built on for your business to really develop and take shape.

Personally, I like selling online and the promoting part comes easy for me.  I am in several Facebook groups and I visit different message boards and post my projects there, and then I include links to my blog so people can see more information on the projects and this is where I include that they can order items from me.  Yes, I know that there are many people that come to my blog and see the project and then just go and make it themselves . . . but you get those people at craft shows too . . . the window shoppers.  But at least THIS way I don't have to sit at a booth all day to watch people walk by and then go and recreate my ideas at home.  If they are "just looking" at my online site they can do so while I am off doing other things.

So there is a little more info about two of the options and why you need to really think about what is right for YOU and YOUR CRAFTING!

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