Hello folks. Continuing on with our Handmade Business Weekend, please welcome Belinda from BrisStyle with some tips on how you can turn your creative hobby into a business. So if you love to craft, sew, or create, why not try your hand at starting your own market stall and/or online store?
BrisStyle Pinterest Page
There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your dreams realised. Taking your creative passions to the next level may be a dream to some but it is not so hard to achieve if you follow a few simple steps.
Think about your branding… First up, give your business a name. Think about who you are, what you’re making, and how you would like your business to be perceived. At this stage, you can enlist the assistance of a designer, or you can try your hand at designing your own logo with photoshop or a free software program.
Setup an online store… The internet is an amazing resource for independent businesses, and setting up an online store has never been easier. There are heaps of websites to choose from so do your research and find out which one best suits your products and budget and where you can really stand out from the crowd. Online marketplaces like Etsy, Madeit, Tittle + Tat, Big Cartel and Blue Caravan are a great place to start.
Gain an online presence… Set up a blog, website, facebook page, twitter account and/or pinterest account. You don’t have to do them all, just do as many as you wish and see what works for you and your fan base as it builds. Social networking is a priceless avenue for connecting with the public to gain feedback on products and to show off new ones as they come to light.
BrisStyle Market Stalls
Take it to the streets… Get your products out and about by joining in at local art and craft markets. Visit local handmade shops and show them your wares. Sometimes it’s a little nerve-wracking to put your craft on the line in this way but you are your best advocate for building your brand. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting your fans and having that interaction with your customers (and hopefully making some sales too).
Speak to the bloggers… You might not have the budget to engage in paid advertising when you first launch your business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get noticed. Make a list of all your favourite bloggers and start contacting them to introduce yourself and your wares. Make this contact personal (i.e. avoid spam) and tailored specifically to the blog you are contacting. If you have a fabulously unique product, you might find that they are keen to talk about it with their readers. At this stage, it is important to have good quality images available to increase your chances of editorial success.
Nat from Quill and Ink making a sale!
For heaps more hints and tips, please check out the weekly ‘Your Creative Business’ posts on the BrisStyle blog featuring valuable topics and handy links so that you can take your hobby to the next level.
Belinda Harris is the Operations Coordinator at BrisStyle; A cooperative group of Australian artists, crafters and artisans committed to making Brisbane the hottest destination for everything handmade. You can connect with Belinda and the BrisStyle team via their website, or Facebook page.