Selling your crochet is a great way to bring in some extra cash. Whether you’re aiming to raise money to pay an unexpected bill, or being able to afford a family holiday or even turn it into a full time income.
But how do you go about selling your crochet around the 9-5?
Selling Your Crochet When You Have A Job
First you have to admit that being short on time means that you won’t have all the bells and whistles you see people who sell full time using.
You won’t have to time to post 3 times a day on every social media platform. You won’t have time to create a product line of hundreds of items.
Instead you need to focus on the essentials only.
This can leave you feeling like you’re missing a trick, or that your business looks like the poor relation. This isn’t true. It’s all about how you place yourself in the market. You are going for small exclusive boutique rather than global superstore.
And who doesn’t feel more special and cared for when shopping at a boutique than a giant warehouse?
The trick to successfully selling your crochet when you’re short on time is to get focused. Only spend time on the things that will grow your business. Separate the nice to do things from the things that will absolutely move your business forward.
Everything that you do should fit into 1 of 4. categories
- Build Your following
- Grow your newsletter list
- Nurture your audience
- Making sales
You need to keep things simple, no convoluted, complicated strategies.
Stick to using just 1 social media platform, but use it to your full advantage. Sell on a 3rd party marketplace like Etsy to maximise your sales. Commit to sending regular newsletters. Have a small but we’ll thought out product line that is perfect for your ideal customer. Finally make sure you plan your time so that you only take on the orders that you have time to fulfil
Let’s look at each of these in more detail
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Use Just One Social Media Platform
There are several social media sites to choose from, and of course you could find customers on all of them. You can make a success out of whichever platform you choose if you put the effort to learn how to use it to maximum effect.
But learning how to best use each platform takes time, and of course you have to create posts on each platform, then reply to comments and interact with other pages, groups or hashtags in order to please the algorithms.
This all takes a huge amount of time, more than you may realise. There is no point posting and running. You simply won’t get either new people seeing your business, or building a relationship with current followers.
An effective social media strategy needs your time and focus. If you don’t have much time, then you need to just focus on a single platform. It’s the only way that you will find success when you have time restrictions.
Choose the platform you like best, and put all of your focus into it.
Sell On A 3rd Party Site
When you’re short on time you need to maximise your chances of making a sale. 3rd party sites like Etsy give you just that. Yes you will have to pay fees – find out more about them here. But in return for those fees you get to appear in Google searches.
If you only sell on social media you have to go and find all of your customers. If you sell on a marketplace like Etsy, then customers can find you as you will appear in search results when they are looking to buy.
This gives you a much greater chance of meeting your sales goals, and will take you much less time than trying to persuade people to buy from you just using social media.
Send Regular Newsletters
Why are newsletters important? 2 reasons. The first is that you own your list. If your social media account and Etsy store get shut down, you still have your list which means you still have your customers.
The second is that social media has no guarantee that your followers will see your posts. You can however guarantee that your newsletter will appear in every subscribers inbox.
This gives you a much greater chance of getting your message to your followers when using email vs social media.
You can set up a newsletter for free using services such as Mailerlite (my recommendation), MailChimp, SendInBlue etc. The only cost will be the purchase of a domain name, which is usually only about £15 a year – and no, you can’t use your outlook or yahoo email to send your newsletters out. This is considered spam.
A Small But Effective Product Line
You don’t need a million and one products in order to get regular sales and start making a profit.
A small product line of just 10 products that are chosen to compliment each other and are what your ideal customer is looking for will do the the same job.
Start with a central item. Let’s say a sweater. What else can you offer that would compliment the sweater? I would also choose a hat, scarf, hooded cowl, fingerless gloves, a bag, poncho, ear warmer, snood and a cardigan.
All of these items fit into the category of winter clothing and accessories. There is a mix of smaller quick to make and lower priced as well as larger statement pieces that will get attention and bring people to browse your shop.
Another set could be a table runner as your central piece. Complimenting items would be, coasters, place mats, cutlery bands, napkin bands, tea pot cosy, pot holders, dining chair cushions, rug, wall hanging. A full matching set that will have your whole dining evening perfectly coordinated.
Offer everything in the same colour options, and take lots of photos showing how your range could be hopped and changed together and how everything compliments each other.
Everyone loves a matching set, so push this as one of your biggest selling points. Then make sure you shout about every benefit and show off all those fabulous photos as much as possible.
Growing your crochet business around your job takes time. It won’t grow quickly, but it can grow steadily. Focus on the tasks that will move you forward. Ignore the nice to do, you simply don’t have time for that, and do what you absolutely need to do.
Keep your focus, stay sure in your strategy and you will succeed