Thousands of crafters sell online. Hundreds of new ones start every day. But the ones that make a success out of their venture have got a few things going for them. Here are ten most important qualities that all successful online craft sellers have in common.
If you feel you are lacking on one of the points, take it as a step in the right direction. Most people do not even know what they need to work on to be successful. You can easily devote some time and effort and improve in the areas that need improvement.
- Comfortable being online and using a computer.
This one is a no brainer but really needs attention. I meet a lot of creative people who are superb at their craft, and just as intimidated by the use of a computer and other technology. If that’s you, you have no choice but to learn how to use the computer. You will need it to do dozens of different tasks, all of which are related to selling online.
This includes things like editing pictures, writing, posting items on various sites for sale, responding to emails and enquiries, using social media platforms and maybe even doing some book keeping!
Online entrepreneurs realise that their computers, tablets and even phones are a direct medium of selling online and are totally at ease using it. You will HAVE to be computer savvy if you hope to have success selling online.
- Know how to get maximum online visibility for their work.
Successful online entrepreneurs quickly realize that the more places their work gets seen, the better it is for business. So they quickly become experts at putting their crafts in limelight in all the right places. They not only explore several different platforms to sell such as Etsy, eBay, and ArtFire and self owned websites, but also learn to use other mediums for marketing and promotion such as Facebook, Pinterest, display search engine advertsing.
- Take great pictures.
Nothing speaks more about an online craft listing than the pictures. If you hope to sell your crafts you have to take great pictures of your work. They need to be well lit with true colors. Most of the time this warrants the use of a good SLR camera, although under very good conditions other kinds of cameras can also produce good results.
We have written a much lengthier post on this subject. You can read it here: How To Take Great Pictures of Your Crafts.
- Be Organized.
You really have no choice here. If you expect to get things done, you will have to organize a schedule. As an online entrepreneur there will be a great many things demanding you attention. You cannot do everything at the same time. At least if you wish to stay sane.
Your only recourse is to streamline your activities. For example, if you are blogging about your crafts or posting on social media, plan your posts in advance. Set aside time for writing. Similarly have a day put aside for taking pictures, taking stock and for the actual craftwork.
- Write Well.
Pictures and words. Those are the only 2 ways you have of “showing” any potential buyer your craft.
By the means of a good description let a person know what they are buying. But writing about your craft is not just about giving out factual information. It’s also about getting the buyer interested and convincing them to buy. Crafters often out up a story behind the creation of a craft. It gives it a special meaning. Read more about “how to write well” in more detail in this post.
Well here’s the thing. Unless you have someone else helping you, you are going to have to perform several tasks yourself. As we have already hinted in the ‘computer savvy’ and ‘being organized’ , many small startups require the artist to do most of their own work apart from the artwork, like write, click pictures, social media promotions, respond to queries and even packaging and shipping.
As your business grows it’s a good idea to solicit the help of an extra person, be it a family member, a friend who is keen on working for you or someone you hire otherwise.
- Are Truly Inspired.
You will need all the motivation and inspiration you can find. Very rarely do businesses become over night successes. No matter how wonderful your craft is, their will be a period in the initial life cycle of your craft business where your passion and belief is all you have to carry you forward. It’s not uncommon for people to give up at a point where just one more push would have made all the difference.
- Try New Things and Innovate.
It’s important to experiment. You may hit upon a formula for success early on or it may take a few hits and misses. However, a business that innovates and makes an effort to stay fresh is in for a big and long-term success. It’s also important to keep a good record of your activities so that the successful steps can be repeated all over again.
- Take care of people.
Successful online businesses take care of their customers. A good support system both pre-sale and after sale is essential to a good reputation. There is nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth publicity. And good reviews. You need those too because they are a strong and decisive message that tell future customers to buy from you.
- The Right Pricing.
Successful entrepreneurs sell their craft at the price they want to. They are not overly dictated to do what the competitors are doing. They are able to carve a niche for themselves and demand a price they deserve. People are just as willing to part with the money to buy that coveted piece of craft. You can read a lot more about creating and selling in a niche in this post.