It doesn’t matter if you’ve been selling your handmade creations for 5 days or 5 years – we could all do with a little more customer traffic, right?
Whether you’ve just started marketing your handmade shop or you’re looking to refine your strategy, here are the 15 craftiest marketing platforms to promote your DIY goods.
- Promoted Listings
- Contests and Giveaways
- Email Marketing
- Press and Blogger Outreach
- Influencer Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- In-Person Events
- Traditional Marketing
Let’s look a little deeper…
Instagram dominates all things visual. As a handmade seller, you can benefit from Instagram’s love affair for beautiful imagery and community engagement. Instagram is a place where you can show off your creations, share your process and let your customers into your life. The best way to drive traffic to your shop from your Instagram is by building up a loyal following.
How to promote your products on Instagram
- Post photos, videos and Stories consistently
- Engage with your followers and fans by liking and commenting on their images
- Collaborate with other handmade business owners by sharing each others crafts
- Promote and bump up your posts to be seen by more people (paid)
- Add Product Tags to your items so followers can purchase your items straight off Instagram
At the end of the day, Facebook is the social media channel that has the most users. No matter who your customer is, they’re probably on Facebook. The beauty of Facebook lies in it’s powerful audience targeting options. If you’re going to spend money, you can put your product in front of a targeted audience that you know would be likely customers.
How to drive traffic to your shop with Facebook
- Promote your products with Facebook Ads (paid)
- Engage with your fans by building a Facebook Page
- Build a community around your business, brand or industry by creating a Facebook Group
- Create a Facebook Shop so more people can find your items
For makers and artisans, Pinterest is often one of the most under-rated platforms to get your work out there. Like Instagram, it celebrates visual products and it has a high number of users who have lifestyle related interests. Despite Pinterest being considered a social media channel, you’re much better off viewing it as a search engine. Pinners use Pinterest as a way to collect and share ideas, inspiration and things they love.
How to use Pinterest to market your shop
- Focus on optimizing your product images to be findable and searchable. This means crafting keyword rich captions and using images that stand out in Pinterest’s grid of images.
- Re-pin and schedule pins
- Add buyable pins to your images so Pinners can purchase your products straight off Pinterest
- Experiment with promoted pins (paid)
Just Google it.
How many times does this phrase pop up in your day-to-day life? Optimizing and advertising your products for Google is the most direct way to find customers who are actively searching for items like yours. Being pro at Google is understanding which keywords are popular with your target audience.
How to use Google to promote your store
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – optimize your product listings and website pages
- List your products on Google Shopping (paid)
- Target keywords and promote your page with Google Adwords (paid)
5. Promoted Listings
If you sell on marketplaces like Etsy, these platforms offer additional features where you can push your listing to the top of search results by paying for promoted listings. This is a great way to increase your visibility on an individual website or marketplace.
How to use promoted listings to get more shop visitors
- Research appropriate keywords for your titles and tags
- Pick which product listings you want to promote (paid)
- Add captivating cover images and descriptive descriptions to help turn more of your paid visitors into customers
Blogging is your gateway to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your space and helps build trust between you and your potential customers. The more you blog, the more traffic your blogs will pick up from search engines like Google and Pinterest. Stick at it. It’s a long term game.
How to attract more customers with blogs
- Create a content strategy and plan out topics that would appeal to your audience
- Start a blog on your website and create a consistent schedule
- Capture loyal readers by setting up an email list
7. Contests and Giveaways
Who doesn’t love free stuff? If you want to build up hype about your products in an affordable way, giveaways are a simple way to build your traffic and community at the same time. A downside to running a contest is the possibility of attracting the wrong customer. You might find that some entrants have only used your contest as a way to get free stuff and might not genuinely care about your brand.
How to run a successful contest
- Choose a product to give away and design a campaign around it
- Share the giveaway with your community and encourage them to spread the word
- Pick a winner!
8. Email marketing
Email remains one of the most personal ways to promote your creations. With email, you can help educate and nurture your readers into superfans. Email can also be as hands-on or as hands-off as you want it to be. You can set up automated emails where your readers can collect a freebie or a coupon after they subscribe, or you can maintain a regular email schedule with fresh content.
How to promote your shop through your email list
- Set up an incentive, offer, free download or something valuable for new subscribers
- Send out regular emails that are educational, informative or delightful. Always give more before you take.
- Promote your email list on your shop, share it with your community and encourage people to subscribe
Sometimes a product description and some words can only do so much. If you want to quickly show your customers how to use your product, why not film tutorials and upload the videos to YouTube? Video has proven to be one of the most engaging mediums online. Combine that with YouTube, and you’re on your way to building a community of viewers and subscribers.
How to use YouTube to sell your creations
- Film, edit and upload useful or interesting videos for your audience
- Optimize the films so that people can easily find them when searching YouTube and Google
- Collaborate with other YouTube creators
Like YouTube, recording audio podcasts allows you to engage and talk directly to your tribe. Many people are listening to podcasts while going about their daily lives – you’ll be talking to people while they drive to work, clean their home or work on a hobby of theirs. Podcasts are a great way to draw attention to your product. It may not suit all products, but if you’re selling to a certain audience or your products are more service oriented, podcasts are a creative channel to consider.
How to promote your brand on podcasts
- Plan the format, topic and theme of your podcast
- Record your first episode and publish it to a podcast directory like iTunes
11. Press and Blogger Outreach
Do you have a business that’s newsworthy? Do you have a product that people can’t stop raving about? There are channels, blogs and news outlets out there who’s mission is to share interesting businesses, products and stories with their audiences. Imagine being published in your favorite magazine, or getting your product included in a popular gift guide or shopping round-up?
Get your products featured in press
- Research blogs, magazines, newspapers and other media platforms you’d like to be featured in
- Send your pitch and press kit to places you’d like to be published
- Offer to write guest posts for other websites
12. Influencer Marketing
For many shop owners, it might be the scariest thing on earth to reach out to someone you admire and ask them to help promote your goods. When you’re first starting out, it often feels so difficult to generate your own traffic. But right next to you could be an influencer who can drive thousands of visitors to your DIY shop. All you need is the Kardashian of your niche to wear your jewelry on Instagram, or your favorite chef to pair their recipes with your ceramic plates to skyrocket your sales.
How to get your products seen by collaborating with influencers
- Reach out to suitable influencers and offer to send them free products in exchange for exposure
- Sponsor ambassadors to talk about your products (paid)
- Collaborate with complimentary businesses and swap your products for photo shoots
13. Affiliate Marketing
It’s easy to focus on trying to collaborate with an Instagrammer with a million followers or reach out to a well known blog for press. But, you can also leverage people with a smaller audience and pay them a small commission for every customer they bring you. An affiliate is simply someone who shares your product with their audience. If someone in their audience purchases your product, your affiliate will receive a cut from the price of the item(s) sold.
How to drive traffic with affiliate marketing
- Set up your shop on an affiliate marketing network like Share A Sale
- Build up your community of affiliates and make it easier for them to share your products to their own followers
- Create unique discount codes for your influencers to track how many customers are using their coupons
14. In-Person Events
When you run your own creative business, you’ve got to live and breathe your passion. Everywhere you go, don’t be afraid to share what you’re doing, inject your passion into every individual you meet and inspire the people you speak to. Be creative – you could sell your jewelry to your Uber customers, like this guy.
Where to promote your shop in real life
- Sell at a craft show
- Attend community meet ups and talk about your work
- Speak in panels, talks and presentations
- Submit your work to a pop-up shop
15. Traditional Marketing
If your product is more sought after by people in your local area, it’s worth going back to basics and hitting the town with traditional marketing tactics.
Ideas to promote your product the traditional way
- Hand out flyers and brochures on the street
- Send snail mail!
What’s the best marketing channel?
Spoiler alert: there’s no “best” marketing channel for any one business. This is your opportunity to pick a few channels, experiment with what brings more sales and find what works for you. Start planning content for your next marketing experiment with the free Marketing Channels Planner you can download below. .
What marketing channels do you use? Which ones are the most effective? I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments below.