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.
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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:
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