Sales, Marketing, and Distribution


The Art of Selling What You Make


Lesson Info

Sales, Marketing, and Distribution

We're gonna talk first about distribution channels, so in your workbooks on page thirty that's where we're starting out this morning, what's a distribution channel, a distribution channel is all of the different ways that you have to get your work in the hands of your customers all the different ways you have to get your work in the hands of your customers and like I said, you have mohr than ever before, and often when I'm talking, especially to new artist maker designer business owners, they have kind of an understanding that they've got, well, I've got one or two distribution channels here, here or there, but one thing that they could do to make a much bigger impact in their business is to include additional distribution channels. You know, instead of just retailing, you can start wholesaling, and that opens a whole new door of business. So before I give anymore away, why don't I run these down? So first of all you've got retail, retail is, you know, you selling essentially directly ...

to your customers. We've got online retail, and we're probably most familiar with online retail through marketplaces like etc. But you also many of you are selling on your own web stores, maybe it's run by shopify, maybe you're running it through commerce there's all sorts of options now, many of them are very accessible to d ie why web people like many of us I know our on dso there's all sorts of ways you can sell retail online of course you can also sell retail in a permanent location. I have seen so many friends posting new picture posting pictures of their new studios on instagram over the last year so many people are breaking into poo permanent retail locations it's certainly a more expensive, more overhead heavy way to go but it is viable for many businesses and so permanent location for retail whether that's in your own town downtown maybe it's you know open studios at your home there's all sorts of different ways to do that and then finally events as well like our online craft show here. But events often play a very, very big part in, you know, in the retail distribution for makers, artists and designers. The next distribution channel is a consignment and consignment is when you place your work in a store in a gallery that someone else owns and you do so with a consignment agreement such that when that item sells is when you get paid for it, you get paid a percentage of the price normally about sixty percent or so although that varies and then the shop keeps forty percent as their sales commission consignment has its ups it also has lots of downs but it is it can be a viable option for people and it's often what makers you know, start off on before they really venture into the world of wholesale consignment. Also, khun play a big part for high end art for gallery type pieces, or for gallery type settings consignment completely play a big part in that, and so you should state open to that while also really considering the negatives of it as well, and just to mention at least the number one negative there is that you know, the consignment shop owners have less motivation to sell your work because they're not financially in the game, yet they've got no skin in the financial game, so if they sell your product it's no skin off their back, right that yes, they don't sell your product it's no skin off their back, as opposed to wholesale on whole sale is when buyers from retailers purchase your work at that wholesale price that we talked about yesterday, which, remember was materials plus overhead plus labor plus profit not gets you to your wholesale price, so retailers will come, they'll or they'll send you an email and, you know, purchase outright from you a lot of your pieces at wholesale to then sell at retail in their own stores. The greek thing about wholesale as a cz compared to consignment is those retailers have skin in the game it's their job to sell your work because they're out money if they don't so they're very motivated to sell on dh they have you know they have a lot more control for themselves also over what they do they can raise the price past times to they can discount whatever they need to do to sell your work hold that the people who buy your work at wholesale are going to do that the wholesale is a very, very viable channel and remember here the benefit to you is that while you're not making as much money if you were selling it outright retail you're selling at volume so you move a lot more work very quickly selling wholesale as opposed to you yourself selling retail. The other thing that's really great about wholesale is that retailers know their customers and they're looking to get work that appeals to their customers in their stores so retailers really become a very fast way for you to find way more of your most valued customers then you can buy yourself it essentially takes your influence your spear of people who know who you are or who were aware of your art and it uploads it out into the general public so they really you know they can provide that seed of a relationship that can almost broker that relationship between you and the people who would love to purchase your stuff if only they knew about it the wholesalers retailers who purchased from you wholesale can really do a lot for your business and then finally someone online mentioned this particular channel yesterday and as I said, I'm not an expert on this but license saying is another option that many artists makers and designers have and basically there's all sorts of different ways that this happens but that could mean having your art printed on someone else's product so say a kn artist or an illustrator has their art printed on the cover of a journal ah company licenses your art to be able to do that there's all sorts of different ways to set up those kind of agreements not something that you should check with a lawyer on and there's all sorts of resource is online for that as well but licensing is definitely a viable distribution channel you should consider for your art. All right well let's take a look at sales and marketing channels sales and marketing channels so the first sales and marketing channel is social media and this is the one that everyone is always buzzing about because it's free it's easy on it gets you right in front of your customers very very quickly absolutely no middle man you can have conversations you could build relationships with customers with colleagues with mentors that you look up tio social media is fantastic on dh what is social media social media is media pieces of content ideas you know opinions that are generated by the general public and then socially uh you know tossed back and forth talked about change manipulated added on teo that's what makes it social media of course is plural that's something to remember teo so so social media these air everything from twitter to facebook pinterest instagram also social media includes things like blog's blogging is an extremely social media right because you can write a block post and sure people can comment on it but people also are commenting on your block post via twitter or facebook or pay interest or instagram these conversations happened all over the web so blogging again is a very social medium uh the next one is email email is a fantastic marketing and sales channel and we're going to get more into that sales part in just a minute but yeah email is a great way to reach customers I have got a load of statistics for you on this because I know I know this is a big area of resistance for people which is such a shame because email works so well it is both a great way to build relationships with your customers and a great way to get people to take action and that's what's really unique about email web sites and online marketplaces air also places of course that you can engage in sales conversations and engage in selling, but also as well as marketing, too, so you can position your product you can find the right people, you can communicate about your purpose and you can promote your work through those online marketplaces and through your very own website. Retail shows again see there's some redundancy here between distribution channels and sales and marketing channels, of course, but another benefit of retail shows isn't just the selling it's not just getting your goods in the hands of your customers, but it's just creating awareness, having those conversations about people purpose position that, you know really move your business forward. When a customer sees your business. Four different retail shows over the course of a year there that much more likely to buy from you the fifth time because it does, it takes time to create relationships with the companies that we want to buy from on often when we're talking about goods that are at a higher price point. We do want to see those businesses multiple times before we make a buying decision, and so retail shows justus muchas they are sales and distribution channel are a marketing channel as well, and then finally, trade shows trade shows this is where we go to sell our goods onto market our goods directly to retailers people who will buy your goods wholesale and buy a big chunk of them trade shows just like retail shows again are a big opportunity for marketing because retailers go yes to make orders but also just to see what's new to see what the trends are to talk to makers and find out you know what's happening essentially on the street and so trade show's season after season, year after year khun build your credibility in the market place can solidify your awareness solidify your message for retailers grow your awareness with retailers in a way that builds your business exponentially then in the years to come so trade shows are another huge channel for sales and marketing I really do think it's interesting what struck me about when you were just talking about email marketing teo is that I don't know about you guys in here you guys out there but again I I don't think for myself that I think will people won't I want to read my email or what it is that I have to say via email but then I thought about well is there something that I've received an email from a small business owner and that's caused me to act and the answer was yes I have a friend who sells wine boutique wine and it's when I get her email that I'm reminded like oh yeah I did want to order some wine from her yes, exactly. It was just a little hot that I had that. Yes, that does work.

Class Description

If you have serious crafting skills and are ready to transform your work from a pastime to a thriving business, this three-day immersion into sales and marketing in the age of Etsy® is for you.

Taught by business strategist Tara Gentile, this course will help you think like a service-based business to maximize positive customer relationships and sales. Using and applying basic pricing strategies and psychology, you’ll learn how to set prices that reflect the value of what you do while still remaining realistic for your customers. You’ll learn how to write marketing materials and create an online presence that piques the interest of clients.

You’ll also learn how to effortlessly guide customers through each step of the purchasing process, from the first spark of initial interest to the final transaction. Tara will show you how to apply your skills in online venues like Etsy®, real-world settings like craft fairs, and beyond.

This course will give you the concrete, pragmatic tools to connect with customers, make sales, and share the unique things you make with the world.