5 ways to advertise your handmade shop for free.

handmade-business-tips-maggie-whitley

Whether you’re brand new to the handmade community (welcome, welcome!) or you’ve been around for years (hello, gorgeous!), it’s fun to find new ways to help your biz grow — without spending a dime. You know the saying, You have to spend money to make money, right? Consider this my personal twist on that. Each of the five tips below require you to have spent some money initially (ie: ordering business cards or paying your cable internet bill) but quite honestly, these are important tools in your handmade toolbox so you can kinda brush off the saying ;)

My 5 best tips to advertising your handmade shop for free: 

1. Keep a secret stash of business cards in your purse and hand one out to everyone who comments on your product or asks where you work (don’t be shy; you know your business the best!). TIP: a clean, easy-to-read business card is visually appealing and reiterates professionalism.

2. When family or friends ask, How is your business doing? be honest with them. It’s OK to: brag about the amazing things you’re making, share what you’ve learned, or discuss a goal you’re currently working on. It’s true, the more confident you are the quicker (and more easily) they’ll take you seriously. TIP: need help with your elevator speech?

3. Share weekly shop updates through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your email newsletter list. Give them a call to action, share a photo of something you’re working on inside your studio, or link to your newest product collection. TIP: have you set up a Facebook business page?

4. Email someone who’s indirectly mentored you and ask them if there’s anything from your shop that catches their eye and would they mind sharing a link to your shop? You never know — they could say yes! And networking is so super easy to do. TIP: keep your email short & sweet.

5. Invite some of your fellow blogger friends to a private Facebook page and cross-promote your content with your social media communities. TIP: curate a diverse list of trusted bloggers to avoid over-saturating your communities.

 

My personal favorite is tip #4, some of my best friendships and business contacts have been made from sending a quick “hello” email. How about you? Which tip is your favorite? Or, do you have a tip not listed here? I’d seriously love to know! Advertising is so important, no matter how long you’ve been around ;)

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    I specialize in making “Plaster Bellies” for expecting women. So I called up a local boutique who does ultrasounds and asked if they would let me display a belly on the wall and they said yes! Sometimes all you gotta do is go out on a limb and just ASK! :)

    [Reply]

    Maggie Whitley Reply:

    @ashlee klempner, yes — that is a GREAT idea! Good job being brave, love it! :)

    [Reply]

  2. 4

    says

    This was a great source of encouragement today. Thank you! I just opened a small Etsy shop late last year that sells burp rags and bandana bibs. Our main goal is earning some extra money so my husband and I can afford IVF treatments (@jbabyrags on Instagram). It’s been mostly rewarding, but I often feel like I might not be doing it right. Ha! I am still having fun, so that’s good, right? Truly love reading of your success, and appreciate these little nuggets of advice.

    [Reply]

    Maggie Whitley Reply:

    @Lo @ crazy ever after, I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to do any of this? Sometimes the most unique and personal ideas we have can be the very best ideas we have. One little tip I’ve learned over the years is to try new things and not to be so afraid of them. And then one of my longest standing favorite tips is to let us into your world. Share with us your studio and your inspiration and sneak peeks of projects you’re working on. Keep us wanting more :) You’re going to do great things. Keep it up :)

    [Reply]

  3. 8

    says

    I find it so hard to talk up my little handmade business! Many of my friends are really supportive but I get shy when they want to buy – I love to give! Courage is needed! Love all your steps :)

    [Reply]

    Maggie Whitley Reply:

    @Alex, Giving is good, but not at the expense of your businesses success. Do you have someone who can help you practice your elevator speech? My husband used to randomly ask me, “What do you do for a living?” when we were driving. It was an easy way to learn exactly what to say in like 15 seconds or less. :)

    [Reply]

  4. 9

    says

    These are wonderful tips! Thank you so much for sharing. I opened my crochet Etsy (BabyStrings on FB & Etsy) shop a little over a year ago with mostly little items like baby hats & shoes. It is slowly growing and thanks to Facebook I have had lots of custom orders, everything from blankets to scarves. These little things help so much :) I need to get business cards I keep putting it off and I really shouldn’t.

    [Reply]

  5. 10

    says

    I always meant to thank you for the post you did SO long ago. I think it was the 30 days of handmade business. A month or so after that, I opened my shop (currrently on Etsy). I had no sales for 100 days and I came back to that post often and pulled many bits of advice from it:) After my first sale I slowly increased sales and after 16 months, just hit 1700 sales. Thank you so much for your insight and being so generous with your “art”. And hello from MN…it’s FREEZING here…bet you don’t miss that;)

    [Reply]

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