“Oh look, a brand new solution to all of my problems that will mean I can make tons of sales while I get on with painting/looking after the kids/drinking sangria on the beach”
“Oh great! A new tool I have to learn because that lady I met last week said everyone is making a ton of money from it and I’m totally missing out”
We all know that product photographs are really important for selling online. They are the only way your online customers can know how lovely your handmade thing is. The only way that they can see what they’re going to get. And they’re not only important online. Good photos get us accepted to the best art and craft fairs, they get us published in newspapers and magazines, they create great stand displays and, perhaps most importantly, they create brand recognition.
Makers often spend a lot of time worrying about how we are perceived by other people. Our customers, our suppliers, our stockists and even passers-by. Many of us start out without any kind of business training, working on the kitchen table, on the living room floor, in a spare bedroom or while the kids are napping. A hefty dose of imposter syndrome can make us ashamed of our smallness, and we carry that feeling of not-good-enoughness around with us.
It's the lifeblood of our businesses. In fact, if we're not making money we don't actually have a business, we have a hobby.
But why do so many artists and makers agonise over money?
Why do we struggle so much to charge enough to even meet our basic needs? Why do we consistently undervalue what we do? Why do we hate talking about money? And why do so many of
Everyone says it takes time to build a business. And actually that’s one of the more terrifying things about starting your handmade or art business. Because what does that really mean? Six weeks, Six months? Six years? How long until your marketing plan works? How...
Unless you’ve got an enormous following already, it’s unlikely that simply marketing to your current customers will provide you with enough sales each month, so all makers need to be constantly on the hunt for new customers. Not everyone who sees our work is a potential customer. Not everyone who is a potential customer becomes a buyer. Not everyone who is a buyer becomes a repeat buyer. And not everyone who is a repeat buyer becomes a raving fan.
When you’re starting a brand new business as an artist, crafter or designer-maker you are going to have to make a LOT of decisions, often about things you don’t have any direct experience of. It feels like every decision is make or break. You’re also really aware that you really don’t know what you’re doing and maybe you’ll make a terrible mistake that will kill off your business before it even gets started.
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’ve been super busy all week but when it gets to Friday, you don’t seem to have accomplished anything? It’s easy to blame it on a lack of time but for the vast majority of us, we’re simply not using the time we already have available in the most productive way.
As small businesses whose details are widely shared online, artists and makers are an ongoing target for scammers. Sadly the combination of inexperience in business (lots of us are just starting out), susceptibility to flattery (because we make our own products) and working alone (no one to offer a double check) means that we will continue to be seen as a soft target for those who make their living by deception.
What if I said that the majority of the problems and difficulties you are facing in your handmade or art business at this moment in time are all linked? What if I said that they are the result of one small error? What if I said that none of them could even start to get fixed before you correct this error? It’s an error that all of us are making every single day. It’s an error that’s completely understandable and completely human and yet completely toxic to your business.