(fancy this in video format? click here to watch)
“I make jewellery for women 18-65 years old”
“I make kid’s clothing so my target market is mums”
“My ideal customers are people who like smelly candles for their home”
Oh lovely talented crafter, if you’ve said any of the above, I want you to seriously put down the needle, pack away the sewing machine and stop.
Because this is not understanding your ideal customer and by believing that you have is probably the reason why you are not making serious cash with your craft.
So, it’s time for a bit of marketing 101.
First of all I want to tell you about Rosemary. She runs “Faerie Wings Shop”, as the title suggests, she sells handmade fairy wings for adults to wear.
Rosemary has done something pretty special. She only makes these wings and a couple of fairy related accessories like headdresses and wands. Her shop currently has 26 items ranging in price from £4 to £35.
Why am I telling you about Rosemary?
Well because she is 100% sure of her target market. It’s written all over her Etsy page in her branding, the fact she uses the word “Faerie” not “Fairy” in her description, the design of the wings, even the models she uses. I am not her target market but I can make a pretty educated guess into the type of person who would buy her fairy wings.
She has only been on Etsy since 2016, so at time of writing that is 6 months, and she has made 189 sales…..which taking her range of prices and making an average is £2,835 in sales.
So going by that figure and gaining popularity and expanding her product range….where do you think she’ll be at the end of 2016?
She is proof that finding a niche and understanding your target market, no matter how small or individual that might be, and ensuring your branding and products are totally aligned with that is where the money is.
There is power in niches.
Just to reiterate my point, the top sellers on Etsy are
1. Dollypriss – newborn head bands (597 sales per day)
2. Once more with love – cartoon hand drawn stickers for planners (421 sales per day)
3. Mod Party –bridal and baby shower decorations (361 sales per day)
How do I find my niche and ideal customers?
Firstly start by thinking about your product range as it currently stands.
Do you make a range of products and do they align with each other? Making baby clothes and adult earrings whilst amazing, might not be the best business approach.
Really look at your products from an outsider’s point of view. Does your kid’s clothes range have a similar feel or look? Would someone who came across your item on a blog post know it was yours?
It’s more savvy to focus your efforts on a product or small range of products that you can become known for in a niche area, that all are synchronised (= more sales from the same pool of customers), than a larger product range where you become the jack of all trades....
Map out your ideal customer
Once you have your front runner product you need to map out your customer and this needs to be super detailed.
You need to really understand him / her and their desires and wants and what problem you are solving for them. You might be thinking “how can I make my scented candles a problem solving purchase?”, but trust me there is always a way (example below). It just requires some out of the box thinking.
First start with your ideal customer – questions to ask are
1. Demographics – male, female, age, relationship status, family status, education, location, age of children
2. Style – what is their personal style, what are their hobbies, what social media channels do they love, what magazines do they read, what tv shows do they love, what blogs or youtube channels do they love, what styles do they like and dislike, what are they passionate about?
3. Needs – what need is your product fulfilling, what problem are you solving, what can they buy from you that they can’t buy elsewhere, what problem / issue did you have that you identify with, how can you effortlessly solve this for them, how do you understand them, how does your product align with their beliefs/hobbies/passions/loves?
Product: handmade, personalised scented candles made from organic beeswax in the UK
Ideal customer: Female, 35-45, married, 2 children (8 and 14 years old), works in a holistic job (massage, reiki, yoga), loves reading wellbeing blogs, eats organic food, cares about the environment, loves buying “local”, buys chemical free make up and moisturisers, bohemian, watches documentaries on Netflix, attends local fairs, takes pride in a holistic approach to health, meditates.
Now, knowing the above how does that change your marketing/voice of your product? How do you attract her to your site? What does she care about most? What’s the hook?
Using the above example I would expand on the candles being organic, made in the UK and the scent is personalised to them or the feeling they wish to elicit form the candle.
“My new lavender scented organic candle, bringing calm and tranquillity to any room, perfect for winding down at the end of the day or calming stressed clients”
“New range of trio organic candles, one for uplifting, one for calming and one for meditation”
By really drilling down on what your ideal customer is looking for and speaking their language, you are encouraging them to buy, you are pulling them in, giving them a purpose and a need that they might not even have realised they wanted and at the price you want to sell at!
Now that is marketing at its best!
By understanding your ideal customer you have also uncovered…
- Who your customer is NOT. The above example would eliminate a large population of customers, but embrace this.
- Being so broad you attract everyone means you sell to no one.
- Repeat business. By attracting only to your ideal customers and having a product that they love means they’ll come back again and again. You buy their loyalty with this approach.
- Referrals. The above person I mapped out will undoubtedly have friends who are similar to her, she will sing your praises and send more customers your way………for free.
By honing down on your ideal customer, you will streamline your business, become laser focussed on who to reach and where to reach them, and build an empire in a corner of the world that is yours.
You will stop wasting time attracting customers who won’t pay and won’t refer you and you will reap the rewards in your handmade purse pocket.
This is the start of how you grow a successful craft and homemade business.