Owning your own handmade business is an exciting thing. You get to work on something you’re passionate about, you get to work for yourself, and get to bring in extra income.
But growing a business can also be a lot of work, and it can take longer than what you expected.
First, remember… it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Great things take time.
Next, growing your business should always be part of your regular activities. Your growth activities don’t just stop once you start seeing some money come in. They’re ongoing!
That’s why I’m sharing my 5 smart and simple strategies to always be growing your craft biz!
Create consistent content
To grow your audience and social following, it is KEY to be creating consistent content. This is how you’ll get in front of your followers and ideal customers.
Showing up consistently online keeps you top of mind to your future customers and helps you reach more people.
So what can you post about? I’ve got three ideas for you!
This kind of content could be how-to videos or DIY tutorials. I’ve had great success with both and they continue to be the main way in how I build up my audience.
Inspirational content can be personal stories. Great examples you can share are how you learned your craft, why you make your craft, or the values behind it.
If it resonates with your audience, you can also share inspirational quotes.
Everything you share doesn’t have to fully relate back to your business but it should relate to your audience.
For example, I have found that many of the women in my audience are cats lovers so I always get a lot of engagement on my posts when I share cat memes.
Nothing wrong with a little laugh sometimes!
Now, as you’re posting more consistently there are two things you should keep in mind.
First, don’t be afraid to show up as yourself. People love buying from people and when you share about yourself and not just your products, your audience will feel more connected with you.
Second, make sure the content you’re sharing is something that your ideal customer is interested in (more on how to find that out in the next strategy). When you figure out what they like, post more of that.
I’ve had great success with using video to grow my audience. The algorithms on Facebook and Instagram prefer it and will show it to more people. Use this to your advantage!
My last tip for this strategy is when you’re posting, make sure you’re sharing it everywhere!
When you post on your Facebook business page, share it over to your personal page and into relevant groups.
When you’re posting to your Instagram feed, also be sure to share it to your IG stories.
The more places you share your content, the higher chances you have for reaching a wider audience.
Know your analytics
You can create content all day long but if you don’t know what’s working (meaning actually getting engagement) you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
Using your analytics helps you use your time more efficiently because you’ll be creating more of what your analytics are showing that works.
So where do you find this information?
On your Facebook business page, there’s an “Insights” section. Sort by post type and you can see the number of engagements (i.e. reactions, comments, and shares) on each post.
On Instagram, be sure to turn your personal account into a business account. When you have a business account you’ll get access to insights.
The same goes for Pinterest – you must have a business account. You can then see what boards and pins are reaching the most people.
After you review your analytics, you can see what content is working best for your audience.
This may seem obvious but do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
Get in front of other similar audiences
I don’t feel enough people do this or know about it so let’s call this next strategy our little secret.
An effective way to grow your audience is to get in front of other people’s audiences. That may seem a little weird, but hear me out.
Other crafts and makers out there sell different products, but may have a very similar ideal customer. Use this to your advantage!
What you can do is start interacting with their blog, IG, or in their Facebook group. Once you’re sure that their audience is who you’re looking to connect with, reach out directly to the host.
You can pitch be on their podcast, teach a tutorial in their Facebook group, or write a guest post for their blog.
Remember here that you’re serving their audience so you don’t make it about you. How can you best serve them?
Also, be sure to return the favor and feature the host!
Another way to get in front of others’ audiences is by using HARO. HARO (help a reporter out) is a website where journalists go to find people to feature or quote in their content.
When you sign up on the website, you’ll get emails with a list of things that reporters are looking for.
If you see something that fits your niche, you simply reply with the information they’re requesting and you may be published!
Little trick here is to be sure to turn on Google alerts for your name and business name. They don’t always tell you that they published you.
Do a BETTER giveaway
Doing a giveaway on social media is another great way to get in front of a wider audience. This plays off the last strategy, but it’s so good that it needs its own point.
A giveaway gets your existing followers reaching new people for you, plus you’ll reach even more people when you partner up with other crafters.
So how do you do it?
First, pick something JUICY you can give away that people will be excited about.
Second, you’ll want to partner up with at least one other person who has a similar audience to yours, but isn’t a competitor. It’s totally fine to team up with a handful of other crafters, just keep in mind that they have corresponding values to you and your business.
You’ll also want to choose someone who has a similar sized following as you.
Next, it’s time to post! For people to enter to win the giveaway, they need to follow a set of rules.
The best way to do it is to have them like the post, tag a friend in the comments, follow the other accounts in your giveaway, and share the post.
Grow your email list with a freebie
It is SO important to be sure you’re growing your email list along with your social media.
Why? You don’t own your social media. You have zero control over the rules, the algorithm is constantly changing, and your account could get shut down at any time.
However, with your email list, you own your customer’s contact information and have more freedom of what you can send to them.
Not to mention, social media only shows your content to up to 5% of your following. With an engaged email list, you can get open rates of 30%.
Conceived now? Growing your email list is very easy to do.
If you have your own online store, a great way to get potential customers’ emails is to offer a coupon code or free shipping.
They have to enter their email to get the code and you will then send it over.
If you use Shopify (which I HIGHLY recommend that you do), you can use the app privy to insert a pop up on your site.
Now, what if you don’t have your own online store? You can still grow your email list by using social media.
You can offer up a free digital goodie in exchange for their email address.
Some examples you could give away is a simple video tutorial or PDF guide related to your craft.
Remember the key here is that it should be aligned with your business and what you sell so that way you can later turn them into a paying customer!
Implementing these 5 strategies will help you skyrocket your audience growth and lead to more sales!