I used to sell crochet. Well, I marketed crochet.
OK, I marketed my crochet a lot. My FB, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter accounts all proudly announced to the world – Pamela Grice, Made with a Twist, Crocheter…followed by my shop link.
When I was out and about and someone asked what I did, I would say, “I sell crochet.” Or “I have a little online crochet shop.” And I did sell some, but not as much as I would have liked.
Then, one day, I simply stopped selling crochet…and my sales went through the roof!
You see, the general public has no category for a product called “crochet.” In fact, most non-crocheters don’t even recognize crochet as a noun, they think of it as a verb. As in, “do you crochet?” “Yes, I crochet.”
According to this dictionary.com listing, the primary definition of crochet is a verb:
crochet /ˈkrəʊʃeɪ; -ʃɪ/ verb 1. to make (a piece of needlework, a garment, etc) by looping and intertwining thread with a hooked needle (crochet hook) noun 2. work made by crocheting
When we say, “I sell crochet,” or even, “I sell works made by crocheting,” it’s too abstract. Do you hear how non-specific that statement is?
And we would be confused if a carpenter said, “I sell building.”
Instead, we hear, “I sell handmade purses for women who love to accessorize.” Or “I sell handcrafted home furnishings, like tables and hallway benches, made of reclaimed lumber.”
Do you see how the more specific description pulls you in and helps you to determine if you are interested in their product?
When we promote our product as simply crochet we leave our potential customers confused and confusion does not sell.
It’s important, as crochet business owners, to recognize that very few people go to craft fairs in search of crochet, specifically. And even fewer search for crochet online. In fact, it’s likely that your buyer doesn’t know the difference between knit and crochet. So she may be searching out “knit” and missing YOU altogether.
In most instances, instead of looking for crochet, your potential buyer is seeking a handmade baby blanket, a slouch hat for a teen girl, a stuffed animal for a friend’s toddler, or beautiful fashion accessories as a special gift for herself. She is not simply typing “crochet” into the Google search bar.
Instead, she is searching for what she wants – a “slouchy winter hat.”
In order to succeed, you must speak your buyer’s language.
When I stopped telling the world that I was a crocheter who sold crochet and, instead, told them I was a designer and crochet artisan specializing in women’s accessories and home decor – my buyer started taking notice.
I changed the language I used to describe my business and everything else changed too. I went from a neglected shop to a bustling one. My social media following started growing – as did my sales!
So, what does this mean for you? Well, if you haven’t been speaking your buyer’s language, a whole new world just opened up for you.
How to Speak Your Buyer’s Language
- Develop a tagline for your business that tells buyers exactly what you sell. Some examples might be Handmade Home Decor, Women’s Designer Fashion, Whimsical Nursery Toys, or Heirloom Baby Blankets. Now, this presupposes that you have found your niche. If not, you may need to keep it more general, but still let them know what the products are – Handmade Fashion Accessories, Home Decor and Stuffed Toys – but you’ll want to pare that down to a specific niche in the future (we’ll get to that soon).
- Work on an elevator pitch that reels in your target customer. An example might be, “I sell crocheted fashion accessories for the woman who loves to accessorize and mix and match her outfits. While I do design all of my products, I also offer a customized option so my customers experience the joy of collaboration. In the end, it’s important to me that each customer walks away with a beautiful accessory that is perfect just for her.”Do you see how this is so much more enticing than “I sell crochet”?
- Use product descriptions that speak to the customer’s needs. She does not need a “crochet scarf.” She needs a “chunky, textured scarf that’s so soft you’ll love the feel of it against your skin. The length is perfect for wearing long on sunny days or wrapping multiple times to protect you from the wind. It’s warm enough to stave off winter’s deepest chill and comes in a variety of colors to coordinate with all your winter outfits. This scarf will be a perfect addition to your winter capsule wardrobe.”See? Take my money now, right?!
- Title your listings using language that your customer will use to search for it – like, chunky textured scarf, bulky knit scarf (yes, it’s ok to say knit, because crochet is a type of knit fabric), warm winter scarf, a textured scarf for women. Google Adwords and Marmalead.com are excellent resources for selecting great keywords.
- On social media, use hashtags that your buyer would use to search for your product. So often, I see crocheters using hashtags that other crocheters would use, not those that the buyer would use. Other crocheters are not your target market. Do some research on Instagram. Pretend that you’re a buyer and see what you find. Instead of #crochetscarf use #fashionaccessories. Instead of #crochetaccessories use #capsulewardrobe. If your customer is looking for a trendy winter hat, show her a #trendywinterhat!Hashtags.org and Hastagify.me are great resources here. If you need even more help and direction, my friend Lara Noelle offers affordable Target Market coaching as part of her life coaching business. Click here to see what she has to offer. She helped me greatly when I was figuring all of this out.
Ultimately, all of this means getting to know your target market. Figure out what she is looking for and how she is looking for it. Then, use that same language to let you know that you have what she needs.
Remember, when you tell the world you sell crochet, you leave them ignorant of the true treasures you have to offer.
If you want to turn that casual conversation into a sale, you have to let them know, truly know, what it is that you do.
By simply changing the language you use with regard to your business, you could change everything….for the better. Go on, give it a try and let me know how it goes by commenting below. I love to hear your stories!
Until then, stay cozy and keep on yarning, Pam
Price Your Products Like the Pros
Includes: the exact formula I use to price my products for maximum sales and profit while attracting my ideal customer.
This is genius!
We’re surrounded by other artisans all the time so this doesn’t even occurs to us. Thank you so much for the lightbulb moment!
Pam Grice says
You’re so welcome, Crystal! I’m so glad you found the post helpful!
Jamie Walker says
This was a great read! It gave me insight into what I was doing…well saying wrong. Thank you!
Genius! Totally different way to think of my ‘little crochet shop.’ Can’t wait to make your asymetrical hat pattern 🙂
Donna Maynard says
I will now correct my listings on Etsy and watch my sales increase.
Thanks again for the great tip.
Jo Holmes says
Thank you for this, in will inline your advice. 😊😊
This is great advice, I think I will take my time and re hashtag my posts and write the caption a little better! Thanks again
Dear Pam, Thank you! <3
Pam Grice says
Oh, you’re so welcome. I hope you found the article helpful!
Lisa Taylor says
🤯 Sooooooo glad I read this! I feel like 🤦🏻♀️ duh, of course! Thank you so much for this article…informative, entertaining and is about to make me money I wouldn’t have had! 😃
Pam Grice says
You can only know what you know…and when you know different, you do different. 🙂 I’m glad you found the article helpful!
Phu vo says
Thank a lot for your sharing. I’m Vietnamese. I love crochet.
Pam Grice says
Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m so happy to have visitors from all over the world! Happy crocheting to you!
This is such an AHA moment for me! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I can’t wait to change my approach and use more of a “buyer’s language”.
Pam Grice says
Great, I’m so glad to hear it! It’s so true that the buyer typically doesn’t know the difference between knit and crochet so using the word “crochet” as if it were a selling point is a kind of a wasted opportunity. Looking forward to hearing how this shift in language helps with your product sales!
So I think this is great and it makes a lot of sense! BUT what if your main products are crochet patterns?
Pam Grice says
Yes, that’s a different situation. If you are selling patterns and are targeting crocheters, you should mention “crochet” everywhere. 🙂
This is so helpful! Thank you so much Pam, I’m just starting back after a long break and remembering all of the things i’d Forgotten about selling!
This post show me the light at the end of the tunnel!!! You are amazing!😍😍😍
Pam Grice says
Thank you, Mila!
I’m sitting here at my iPad, goal planning for 2020 and plan to open my etsy shop back up. I was browsing to see how I can make my shop stand out from other artisans. Then I ran into this post! This is an absolute lightbulb moment and blessing of business wisdom. Thank you so much for your nuggets of information! It is so appreciated!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Hi I’m making crochet many stuff
But I can’t sell it can you better advise and better way to tell me
I’ll lots of money wasted
Pam Grice says
The best way for you to find help is to read through the posts on this blog and then, be sure to join us in our crochet business owners Facebook group called, Crochetpreneurs. You can find it here. After that, when you’re ready, I’d love to have you join us in the Crochetpreneur Business Academy!
Never thought of it like that, but makes more than total sense! Just like your article, your wording drew me in, and I’m glad it did! Thank you!
WOW!!!! I was not expecting this when I read your tittle! I was kinda ready to give up when I came across your article! Know I’m ready to revamp my social media, Etsy and website! Thank you
Sarah Skilton says
I cannot tell you how much I love this post and am so glad I found it when I googled ways to promote my online crochet shop. I have happy with points 1,2 and 3 but your advice for 4, and 5 are perfectly explained and I will work on them now, thank you.
Bobbie Lapre says
Hi my name is Bobbie I am so thankful for your blog its been really helpful in my research as I am preparing to open my own little business with some crochet, knitted, and baked items. 🙂 Again thank you. I have not yet my own website but I am researching in preparation to do so.
Thank you Pam, this I great advice, will have to change my hashtags and stop selling crochet😅😅
Very thought-provoking, particularly since the Summit just ended and the time has come for change in my business. Thank you Pam, after all these years this post is still invaluable.