One of the hardest parts about selling hand-made items, is standing out from the crowd. Etsy, Ravelry (if you’re a pattern designer), Facebook, Twitter, etc. all offer amazing platforms to reach potential customers. Thousands of other shops also have the same chance to reach these same customers, though, so finding a way to capture attention is a must!
You need to position yourself as unique, valuable, and rare.
Creating a strong brand identity for your business should be at the top of your to-do list. Wikipedia defines brand identity as:
Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors. Brand identity is what the owner wants to communicate to its potential consumers.
Notice how that definition clearly states “differentiation from competitors?” This is one of the number one rules of business. You need to be able to create space between yourself and other shops selling similar products.
One of the best ways to set yourself apart is to narrow down your products as much as possible. For instance, I sell only baby patterns. Occasionally, I’ll write a pattern all the way through adult, but all my items are photographed on babies, and the majority of my patterns only go through 1-3 years. I have positioned myself as a baby pattern designer. I want people to think of me every time they have a need for a baby pattern.
You need to figure out a way to do the same. Instead of selling baby items, adult beanies, shawls, the occasional dress, etc. focus on a niche for yourself. Maybe you sell the most amazing animal scarves around (did you see that parrot scarf on my Facebook page the other day? Super unique, and super pricey! That shop has established a niche). Maybe you sell super unique and cute crochet shoes. Perhaps you’re focused on really awesome and unique wallets.
Those are all ideas of very specific niches. You want your customers to think of you every time they think of a specific need in their life.
Have you ever defined a specific niche for your business? Have you remained true to the brand identity that you set for yourself? Comment on this post and let me know!