Creatives are impulsive and impatient. Well, many creatives are. I know. I’m a creative. And you’re creative. You are a maker. You’re a maker who wants to jump into starting a crochet business right NOW, right? Okay! I feel you. I get it. I’m super impulsive too.
My Disastrous Quick Start
When I started selling crochet, I decided on a Wednesday that I’d start selling on the following Friday. Brilliant, right? I’m a get-er-done kind of girl and I was going to do it! Or so I thought.
That Friday (and very long Saturday and excruciating Sunday) craft fair actually totally bombed for me because I wasn’t prepared. I showed up to the fair as an artist. I had my paintings well branded and displayed in my booth and set up my crochet hats in a little corner on the side.
Hint: People want to buy crochet from a crocheter, not from an artist … unless she’s a crochet artist, but that’s a different blog post.
I started all wrong. My hasty setup showed my naivete, branded me as a hobbyist, and the sales showed it. I don’t want that to happen to you.
Let’s get you started off on the right foot so you can start selling your products quickly. And by “selling,” I don’t mean sitting in the corner of a craft fair and NOT selling. I mean actually making money from your products!
Side note: This is simply a “quick start” for those who cannot wait to have all the Is dotted and Ts crossed. This is not the firm foundation of your business. I just don’t want you to pass on the urge to start, then NOT start and wait another year or 5 to wish you had started today.
And don’t worry, I’m not leaving you in this process. This list is to help you with starting a crochet business now, but this is just the beginning and we’ll get the foundation firmed up in the days to come.
So, what are my tips for getting your products sold?
Here we go:
1: Figure out who you’re going to sell to.
Who is your target market? Now, you might say, “My target market is anyone who wants to buy crochet.” OK, well, yes. But is there really a large group of people out there that you can target who is typing “crochet” into their Google search bar, looking for crochet products?
Your target market will be much more specific.
A good start might be, “My target is female. Her name is Ashley and she is 34 years old and has two children. She is married and works full-time as an event coordinator. She loves to dress her children in coordinating accessories and is always looking to stay on top of the hottest fashion trends for kids. She loves buying brand name clothing and is willing to pay a little more for great quality.”
Again, this is a good start. We’ll delve into Ashley’s story more in the coming weeks.
Who is your Ashley? What is her story? What is she looking for? Where does she shop and how much is she willing to spend?
2. Determine what your buyer wants or needs.
What is your target market’s pain point? What motivates him/her? What does he/she need?
In the example above, Ashley wants her kids to be adorable. She’s looking for trends and will jump to purchase the next mermaid tail or fox hat or owl blanket as soon as it’s listed. Then, she’ll take a photo of her kids for her Instagram followers and tag you in it … which is a huge bonus for you!
3. Figure out where your customer is and how you will connect with her.
How will you connect with your target market? Where does he/she make purchases?
You might find your target at a craft fair, at a local mom’s group, hanging out in an online group, or someplace even more out of the box. Get inside the mind of your buyer. Where will you find her?
Ashley is busy with work and kids. But whenever she has a free moment, she’s on Facebook connecting with other moms and on Instagram sharing photos of her family’s latest adventure to the water park or ice cream parlor. You can connect with her there.
Join groups that your target market is in to find out what she’s looking for and like her posts on Instagram. Follow her and she may follow you back and will be ready for your next great product offering!
4. Create an AWESOME product.
This goes without saying.
We will definitely be talking more about product and pattern selection, tips to make the product your own, creating quality items that stand out from the rest, branding and more. But for now, creating a product that you believe is awesome is a perfect place to start.
5. Research pricing.
This is a tough one because pricing is tricky. I have a sort of revolutionary take on pricing strategy for crochet that I’ll share at a later date. But for now, research what others are doing and be sure that you’re paying yourself a fair wage. Consider the cost of the product, how long it takes you to make, incidental costs and embellishments, and your profit.
Please don’t price your product below the market. Please don’t underpay yourself in hopes that a lower price will bring in more sales. By doing this, you do a disservice to yourself and the marketplace.
If you are selling a hat, for instance, that some are selling for $12 and some better-established branded artisans are selling for $35, consider coming in somewhere in the middle. $25-$27 for a hat that takes one hour to make and costs $4 in yarn is definitely a fair price for an up-and-coming brand (which you are).
6. Take a great photo (or create a great display).
Whether you will be connecting with your buyer online or in person, put your best foot forward! Have your product modeled, if appropriate, for photos. And please find yourself a model who will speak to your target market.
I am 52 years old. I am not my target market. Therefore, I do not model my own products.
My market is a 26-year-old college grad who loves looking cute and is a bit of a hipster. So, I have a cute, young model who is my target market to model for me in exchange for products. It’s likely that you can find a local photographer who will take photos in exchange for product as well!
For in-person sales, be sure you have a display that says (without words), “I’m a professional.” Have a cloth-covered table, get a mannequin head from the local hobby store or make a display that is appropriate for your product. Nothing says, “I’m a hobbyist,” like a table with a small, disorganized pile of products on it.
Even if you have very few products, by creating levels beneath your tablecloth (use shoe boxes, bed lifts, or even cereal boxes) or on top of it (with wooden crates, stainless steel tubs, or cake stands), you will make your product stand out and get attention.
7. Have a way for them to contact you.
Yes, this means starting a Facebook page for online sales or placing a small order for business cards for in-person sales. Your customer needs to know how to find you and these are the very least you need in order to be found.
8. Go for it!
Just go for it. You can do this!
There is no time like the present to take one step closer to your dreams. If you’re ready to take that leap, subscribe to my weekly crochet business newsletter so you can stay on top of upcoming, more in-depth, and foundational ways to grow your business.
Subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my free Handmade Business Binder, which will help you organize everything you need for starting a crochet business off on the right foot!
I can’t wait to share more with you soon and to hear about your great, running start to Crochetpreneurship!
Until then, stay cozy and keep 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.