Selling Advice – A Resource for Makers by Makers

A sustainable income is crucial for makers and just now it is impossible to predict the impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on sales. At times of uncertainty people support and help each other and we want to assist makers to build their income by sharing advice and knowledge within our maker community.

AAS is an organisation run by makers for makers and we ask you to help us develop a resource providing practical advice on selling which is created by makers to help all makers.

Please get in touch using our contact form with any tips or advice you have from your experiences of selling in recent months, what you recommend to do, and what to avoid. You may have something to add to the following tips. We will then add new advice to the blog. Rather like chatting at a selling event.

Of course, there are things that work for some makers and not for others, so we are simply sharing individual’s views and cannot take responsibility for others’ recommendations.

Here are a few examples of tips makers have shared at our Members Zoom Coffee Mornings.

Selling Online

Some makers mentioned the Artists Pledge was driving more traffic to their website, particularly with an integrated and focused instagram campaign. The Crafts Council’s Makers Support Pledge with a slightly lower upper limit on sales prices also came up. If you do both, keep your prices consistent.

Tips on using Facebook Shop
– show the price and a clear link to where you can purchase them.
– it’s really important if you’re doing the automatic post to FB from Instagram to go in and edit the links.

Good images are crucial for selling online. Try and find inventive ways to photograph products when models are not available due to social distancing, such as image below of PHI design long scarf by Olive Pearson.

Running Your Own Online Shop

Squarespace, Shopify and big cartel were mentioned as good online web shops, with Squarespace having great ‘how to’ guides, such as how to sell on instagram.
Wix has lots of additional apps/add ons for basic website and online shop.
Etsy is good because it generates a lot of traffic to your website. They take 3% of sales however now they deal with the money transactions they take transaction fees from sales and postage and tax so it ends up being around 12%.

Methods mentioned for accepting payments online include Stripe and Paypal Micropayments accounts take smaller fees on smaller transactions. For sending money abroad Transferwise.

If you want to ensure customers are comfortable shopping via your online shop you need to ensure your website has an SSL certificate and is therefore secure. This will show as a little padlock preceding your website name/URL rather than a blatant ‘Not Secure’ in the URL that tends to scare people off. It’s surprising how many websites are not secure.

Top Tips for Selling Online

At our Members Zoom Coffee Morning on selling we welcomed Kaye Symington of Paved with Gold, and here are her top tips.

Know what you are trying to do
Know who your customers are and who you are trying to reach
Start small and build slowly
Follow other likeminded people and interact with them online
Don’t worry about hashtags!
Be clear which bits of your story you are happy to share
Give them something uplifting!
What prices do people pay online? What else can you offer to make the experience personal and rich?
Research the places where similar products are being sold
How to convey what is unique about your work?
Follow and include people in your chat that might be interested in what you are doing
Look outwith your existing circle to connect with new audiences
Humour adds a buzz

Please share your tips using our online contact form – we hope to hear from you soon.

This blog is the first stage of a series of free resources for makers to help support their craft businesses which AAS will launch later this month.

Top image: New designs for 2020-21, Olive Pearson, showing her range of 41 colours

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