Today’s post is directly inspired by Create and Thrive’s wonderful blog. Jess shares her insights on the “10 Things You Must Do To Have A Successful Online Craft Business”. I wanted to see how Red Scorpio Handmade measured up. Here we go…
1. Create something people actually want to buy –
Hmmm, well I am pretty sure I make stuff people want to buy. I know that all of my customers have been extremely pleased with the jewelry I have made, both custom pieces and the statement jewelry available in my shop. Now if only I could find MORE people to love my work!
2. Work on it every day – but be patient –
I work on my business five days a week, and a little bit on Saturday, but I take Sunday off. Nobody should work seven days a week and I am not even sure that is the point Create and Thrive is trying to make. Being consistent but patient is awesome advice. I have been trying to develop a more focused daily routine so I can work smarter, not harder.
3. Be friendly but professional –
Over 20 years of customer service experience has been super helpful in running my own business. You need your customer to think of you as reliable and trustworthy. Part of the beauty of patronizing small, independent businesses is the personal connection. It gives me great joy to make meaningful, custom jewelry pieces.I want my customer’s experience to be joyful as well.
4. Have beautiful photos –
Retaking my shop photos is on my ‘To-Do’ list. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t that great either. I know I could do better.
5. Make reproducible items –
C&T advises against basing your business on ‘one of a kind’ items. Oops! Too late, my whole business is built around, and the majority of my marketing focus is on my OOAK custom art jewelry. Not at all reproducible. Even my fashion jewelry is pretty unique because I make each and every piece myself, based on whatever I am feeling that day. But I am totally cool with that.
6. Believe in yourself and your work – fiercely – but be open to change –
I believe in my work and my art 100%. I am absolutely convinced that my jewelry is the best of its kind. How I market it, however is open to change. I haven’t found the magic formula yet. Still working on it.
7. Get a Mailing List –
Yeah, don’t have this. I have an opt-in form, but not a lot of readers opting in. I am currently working on a free gift for opting in. I think I might try giving away a photo magnet as a bribe.
8. Price for Profit –
In the beginning, I was selling my stuff so cheaply that there was no profit. In fact, if I had to pay labor, I would actually lose money. It took a lot of convincing for me to realize that I needed to sell it for what it is truly worth. Artists and makers frequently undervalue their work and this hurts not only themselves, but other artists by driving down value. You deserve to get properly paid for your work.
9. Get your Own Website/Blog –
Yay! I DO have this. I even learned how to make it myself by watching Janine Warner’s awesome course on CreativeLive, “Creating Websites the Easy Way with WordPress“
10. Learn, Learn, Learn –
See above. I am a life-long knowledge junkie so that is no problem for me. One of my favorite places to go to learn is CreativeLive. They offer courses for creatives on a variety of subjects.
Well, going through this list I can see that I have to work on a few things. Thank you for the prompt, Create & Thrive! Being your own boss and running a business is challenging and rewarding, but if you think that having a successful crafts business will be fun and easy, please think again. There are fun parts, but there is also a lot of work involved. A lot. You have to enjoy sharing your gifts with the world as much as you enjoy creating. Just keep in mind that there is nothing like the feeling you get from making a customer truly happy. Worth it, for sure.