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Creating a lucrative business from your craft

The dream of many crafters is to turn their hobby into a full-time business.  What could possibly be better than making the things you love, every day, all day?

The only problem is that making enough money is often the only thing that holds us back.  Sitting in a small cubicle at flea markets every weekend and selling the odd product on a website isn’t going to bring in the big bucks, however.  You need to kick this game up a notch if you want to create a real business.

Here’s how:

1.  Create multiple streams of income.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  You have beautiful products, right?  You want as many people as possible to see them and you can’t do this by having a shop on one website or one stall at a flea market.  You need to ensure that you have your products for sale in as many places as possible:  Online shops (be in at least 5 different ones), craft shops, various flea markets, shows and home parties, to name a few.

2.  Go where your market is.  Where do the people that really want your products tend to hang out?  If you sell African crafts for instance, go where international tourists go…the hot spots.  If you sell children’s toys, go where new mommies go – baby showers, pediatrician’s offices, etc.  And if you sell things like prayer beads, consider yoga studios and meditation centres.  Think outside your box.  Think like your ideal customer.

3.  Expand your product range.  Don’t stick to just one item or even a type of item.  For example, if you make earrings, why not source earring holders or stands too?  Not to mention the matching necklace and bracelet.  Try to make it as practical as possible.  If you are into quilting, why not expand your range into quilted teddies, upholstered furniture and cushions?  Or if you sell handmade clothing, you could create some pretty and unique hangers that go with the range.  Or possibly complementing accessories.

4.  Get a web presence and blog

These days you cannot get by without a website.  You need to show the world who you are – showcase yourself!  If you can connect this to your own online store, even better.

You also want to keep your website new and fresh.  The best way to do this is to keep a blog.  You can write about your products, your creative process, your business – whatever you wish.  The more you share online, the more people will be driven to you and your crafts.  And be sure to have a newsletter so that you can send your followers news about your new products!

5.  Drive traffic

Once you have your website, you need to get as many people there as possible.  Start commenting on other crafters’ blogs, do some guest posts, interact with people online.  Get social on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

6.  Become the expert

The big money these days is in information and skills training.  Digital products such as ebooks, videos and online courses, as well as things like in-person workshops.  Think about what you do really well – for example, your particular craft.  Now think about how you could teach that skill in a unique way to a larger audience.  You can write an ebook on how to create a quilted teddy bear, for instance.  Or you could host a workshop on the same topic.  Or both.  People don’t just want to go buy a book on beading anymore.  They want someone to show them in person – so create a video series online, or have a home party in your area where you show them how to do it – and sell your own products at the same time.  Or turn that entire concept into an online course that runs over 6 weeks.  The options are endless.  Brainstorm some ideas – you’ll be amazed what you come up with!

Now go make some money!

There is so much to talk about around this topic, so feel free to send me your comments and feedback.  I love brainstorming ideas and will help you come up with some for your unique product and/or service.  For free!  Email: michelle@michelleainslie.com

Michelle Ainslie is the go-to expert for creative solopreneurs who want to quit their day job and live their dreams – and make tons of money at the same time!  Visit her website and download a free Creative Solopreneur Manifesto poster that will inspire you to create every day:  www.michelleainslie.com