The day and age of artisan crafts is returning. Just jump on Etsy and you’ll see rare handmade items that hardly appear at a farmer’s market or antique shop. Not only does it pay to chase your dreams of creating art and goods, but it pays rather well. Still, there is one vertical to be overcome in the digital marketplace. Craft all you want, if you don’t have some semblance of a marketing background you could be left in the dust. Although sites like Ebay, Etsy, even Bandcamp for musicians, exist there is a difference between the highest and lowest seller. Let’s dive into the three key differences and bring the game back to your online boutique.

The Marketing Funnel

Perhaps the reason for your sudden interest in selling ghostbusters fan art stems from a successful artist you’ve been following for some time. This artist, whether intentionally or not, has used some psychology to get followers and clients alike. The marketing funnel applies that psychology to shuffle potential buyers from the mere sight of the product all the way to paying the price of admission.

Let’s apply this concept to apartment marketing. Simply listing on one website or digital market is not enough. Use social media, posting as yourself and creating a page solely dedicated to your craft, and keeping them updated and engaging. This is called inbound marketing. Measuring what is working, by counting click-through traffic, for instance, can help gauge whether you are actually providing something interesting or simply over sharing. 

This helps build an online identity for your products, and this is what makes people fall in love with companies. Take comedian/actor Nick Offerman for example, not only has he used his presence in nationally syndicated television to promote his wood working company, but his identity has backed the dedication to the craft. This sort of true-to-form marketing allows him to go seamlessly between social media and podcast appearances promoting a product while still being entertaining and engaging.

Niche Appreciation

Building on the last point, inbound marketing is also about spreading the love. Talk with and engage members of the community. Marketers always talk about starting a blog and writing content, and this is helpful for your main audience, but to appreciate the community around you and come in contact with new audiences the focus should be on starting a podcast. Where blog posting can be shared via social media sites, a podcast has the range to be shared and be immediately engaging to new audiences. These days, starting a podcast is easier than one might think. We have microphones and recording software on our phones even.

My philosophy on this subject is backed by my experience with digital marketing in the last few years. Where we used to see loads of marketing spam constantly in forums and blogs, now Google has changed their algorithm to invalidate those posting direct advertisements.

Now, the common marketing theme takes advertisements directly to the podcast listener by paying programs to read ad copy for them. This isn’t entirely negative because the ability to select advertisers you trust falls in the hands of the podcast host.

Human Perspective

Although were discussing digital marketing there is a human aspect to consider. Making real-world connections with those in your niche is the best way to further business. By taking pride in our products by say, having professional glamor shots of products taken, you are engaging with someone in your marketing realm. Perhaps they can give specific insight or may drop some key bit of marketing knowledge in passing. These experiences are inherently well worth the price.

On a larger scale, consider distributing products with competitors in the niche. Trading goods can also build relationships with those whom already have influence in the market. The last thing you want to do is alienate key figures in your world. This insight can allow you to get your hands on products and see what quality is selling. Perhaps you need to step up the craftsmanship? You’ll never learn if you don’t get the goods in your own hands for examining.

These small changes can help expand business from hobby level to professional craft:

  • Build an online identity for your shop
  • Market research
  • Create interesting products that set you aside from the herd
  • Engage with your audience
  • Compare craftsmanship and improve if necessary
  • Meet key figures in the niche and build relationships

One thing is for sure, the digital farmers market is upon us, now we have to get out there and sell.

About the Author:

Ryan De La Rosa is a writer and entrepreneur living and traveling in the Pacific Northwest. Check out his new business The Groutsmith.