Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Business Chat - How to Sell Your Work


Boy is my inbox full lately! Too bad they aren’t the “You’ve received a new order” emails, but hey, it is January so no one is really expecting those. No, most of the emails are “gee, it’s a new year and this year I really want to sell my sweaters/earrings/soap/pottery. I saw you at a show and thought you might be able to help me.”

The answer is yes, I can try to help. I can tell you about how I got to where I am, and I can outline some steps that you must take. What I can’t do is make the decisions for you, or give you a magic bullet. I got to where I am by persistence and hard work. Harder than it needed to be because when I started there weren’t all these resources online. Persistence because there is no overnight success, there is no quick and dirty way to sell $10,000 by next month. It takes time. It also takes a lot of work you probably didn’t realize or don’t want to do. Simply making your work is not enough. You need to market it in order to sell it. And selling it is why you are here isn’t it?

So, in a nutshell here is how to sell your work.

1.       Know what you sell.

a.       What do you sell? Not sweaters/earrings/soap/pottery, you sell you the artist,  you sell magic, you sell a story

b.      Brand your work, and your company. Branding is setting customer expectations. It’s about building trust. Branding is way more than a logo, it’s a feeling. Think Tiffanys. Think Nike. What do you see in your head? What do you feel?

2.       Know who you are trying to sell it to.

a.       Know your target market, exactly. You can’t be everything to everybody and you’re wasting your time trying. Find only those who LOVE you and talk to them.

3.       Find a place to connect with those people.

a.       Do your research and find where they hang out, where they buy.

b.      You can sell 3 different ways, wholesale, consignment or retail.

4.       Tell those people about what you sell.

a.       Great product descriptions. If I wanted “silver hoop earrings” I’d go to the mall. Sell me your item.

b.      Great photos. If you’re selling online I should feel like I’ve picked it up and played with it. If you want to get into a craft show you have to sell yourself to the organizer.

c.       Tell them about you. Tell me a story.

d.      How do you tell them? Where are they, your right people? Do they use facebook, read blogs, subscribe to your newsletter?

5.       Let them know how your product will make their lives so much better

a.       Benefits not features. No one cares what the item is, they care about how it will make their life better.

6.       Make it easy for them to give you money

a.       Once they think your work is going to change their lives, how do they get it? Do you have an online store with a nice clear shopping cart, a big screaming green “BUY NOW” button? Can they come to a craft show, are you in stores?

7.       Exchange their money for your work with a giant smile and a big thank you.

a.       Customer service is everything.  

8.       Let them know how they can come back and buy more.

a.       Repeat business is critical to your success.

9.       Keep in touch.

a.       A second sale is so much easier than the first. They’ve already told you they like you. Don’t ignore them. Say hi.

10.   Repeat. Over. And over. And over.

Each of these points is a whole story in itself. So sit back kiddies, over the next few weeks I’m going to tell you about all these things.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

And 9 3/4 (yes, I love Hary Potter) should be 'Be patient' :)

Great points, thank you expanding them in the weeks to come ;)