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The Future of Handmade Sales

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The Future of Handmade Sales Panel

CreativeLive Team, Megan Auman, Mei Pak, Caitlin Bacher, Sarah Hoople Shere

The Future of Handmade Sales

CreativeLive Team, Megan Auman, Mei Pak, Caitlin Bacher, Sarah Hoople Shere

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1. The Future of Handmade Sales Panel


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Lesson Info

The Future of Handmade Sales Panel

Hello, everybody and welcome tio that we're in the middle of a conference it's a five day conference called improve your holiday sales today this afternoon I am joined by these four lovely women on dh we're going to do a panel on the future of handmade sales creative life is really all about helping you guys live your creative life on give and living a fulfilling and lucrative creative life onda as part of this week, which has been fantastic, we've talked about pricing and marketing we talked about productivity today at least jacob's did an amazing class on copyrighting megan megan almond actually is going to be here tomorrow, but we what we really wanted to dio is talk about what the future of handmade sales is going to be like, you know, several years ago places like that see and shopify and big cartel these places didn't even exist, you know? And so now it's it's really been a phenomenal tool to allow a lot of people, primarily women, tio two live their life into and to create and s...

ell what they're really passionate about. And so that's what we're here to talk about today, I'm joined by caitlin bachir of little farm media sarah couple share of pinterest megan almond of her eponymous jewelry line on dh joining us via skype is may pack from tiny hands jewelry um and so what I'd love to do is just as as a way to kind of get you guys to introduce yourselves as well is to start to start the discussion is I'd love for you guys to talk about what is something that's been a really cool campaign or something that really caught your eye in the last in the last couple of months or so so caitlin, do we start? Yeah, sure so I'm caitlyn bachir from little fine media um I suppose a little bit about myself I e o tell them where to find you ok, so uh I have a blogged about social media and I currently have any courses selling right now called bossy those ladies and basically I work with created this owners to help them to find their target market and increase sales on social media and one of, well, there's. So one of the my favorite places on social media is instagram, and I think that one of the things that I hear a lot from makers is that they're afraid of being overly sales e and they're afraid that they were they will alienate their audience by constantly showing product and you know, they read a lot of advice on the internet blogged post telling them, you know, be authentic open up, share your life and I think that that gets misinterpreted a lot too and so I have two people that I love to follow on instagram, natasha from violent tender studios and her handle is violet tender and also mari from man during mari. And so what these girls have done is totally genius. All they do is show their work, that's it all they do is show product, and they have huge followings, so what they've done is grown a following of people who can't get enough of their products, they're not people, they're interesting in their kids or they're casting for what they had recommended. All they want to see is their product and it's just I mean, they have really big following, and I what I've seen them grow so much, and I think I always when people say, oh, but people get bored if I only show product or I just I always point to those two women, natasha and mari, as examples of and the business owners that are doing it right on social media. Yeah, yeah, I think that's a really common the problem that we hear a lot, actually, from the people who were taking classes at creative live is that mark being just in general make it feels very sales e it feels really mushy, sarah is the is the lead product manager for for pinterest e commerce or commerce? Yeah, yeah, so why don't you explain a little bit about what you do there? Yeah, sure, so I lied product marketing for our suite of commerce products, most recently that's our buyable pins product that we launched over the past couple of months. And so one of the favorite things I've seen lately, I think one of the most exciting things about these emerging platforms is not just that they're a new way to get your message out there, but there are new way to learn from customers and to get insights, and I think there are a lot of brands, both small and large, that are doing a really interesting job of seeing how people are talking about products or talking about trends and then incorporating those into their product or marketing strategy. So a recent one that we saw on pinterest was garnier, which is obviously a large brand, but I think this can be employed by a business of any size they looked at when you search on pinterest, what other terms come up? So we recommend tiles at the top of the search results, and there are other terms that people tend to search with the original term, and so they had looked at terms like hairstyle and summer, and they saw these emerging trends, like people looking for festival style, was a huge trend this summer. The coachella hairstyle with monitoring their style on dh what they did, they actually incorporated that into their own media and into their advertising. So they started developing content that was clearly tied to what people were just organically talking about. And I thought that was a really interesting way of using social of using these platforms just as a pure focus group it's completely free. And I think it's an interesting way to search for your own product or your own category or your own business name, and see how people are thinking about it on damn, incorporating that back into your content strategy. That's really that's a really cool idea. Yeah, like that making me oh, yes, oh, I'm meghan almond. I run my own jewelry line and I also coach other makers and creative on designing an mba. And I also teach plenty of classes here. You guys can find me here, just a wrapped our boot camp, how to make a living, selling what you make eso you may have seen young creative life a lot recently. So you know, one of the the campaigns that I've seen that a real life. So one of my go to people that I think it's just a marketing genius is susan peterson from freshly picked and you guys, if you take it out of my creative life classes, you've seen me talk about susan and her baby mocks, and I and I always a first time must be so nice to make baby and kids products right because they just sell like hotcakes, but that's not really, they might, but it's not why susan is so successful, but she actually just launched a new product, which is she does these soft soled baby mocks that she's making for years, she just launched a hard soul baby mark. I should even suss out, even have kids and I follow thanks so she has launched a hard our hard sold eighty mark, which is clearly a manufactured product. You're not it's a kind of thing you're not making it home, but what I found really fascinating is that she just did basically a one week launch, so I looked back. It was a week from when she introduced the product to when I was available for sale on her site, so she does a really good job of building anticipation and getting people excited for launches. But she's not doing it over a long time, she doesn't give people time to get bored. She must have been developing that products product for months, if not a full year. But it's only in the last week she's like, hey, guys, this is coming really, really soon and I think that's just a smart way to immediately build energy and not have to worry about that kind of fatigue, pushing and pushing and pushing for a really long time to think also help solve that problem of I don't want to be pushy if you only have to do it for a week and then you can kind of back off thing that makes it easier to and it gets your audience excited. Yeah, definitely, you know, may you you've done, you do quite a lot of selling on social yourself and, you know, I'm sure that there's a lot that you have that you have learnt from other people is, well, aziz, you know, that sort of helped inspire you. Yeah, so just a little bit about myself. You confined my line at tiny hands online. Dot com and tiny ann's jewelry on instagram and facebook on guy also have created hive coal, where I help other makers artisan designers build more buzz around their business and they are consistent sales. I am obsessed about marketing, hence why I started this new venture, but actually when I was selling on social media, I still do it occasionally, not as often as I did last year in two thousand fourteen, I did one sale every week on both facebook and instagram, and while I was doing that, I actually came into contact with this guy's name is james and his instagram you can find him at you fresh, natural, zzz y o u fresh, natural zx, and he makes coconut butter and it's just amazing, like the way that he does the social media, he posts a lot of content from his own customers that have bought his coconut butter and that have used his coconut butter in he's really epic food photos, and he just takes those photos and repost sent on to his instagram. But he's got a super large falling, and every time that he does doing instagram sale, he has, you could see, like hundreds of people are commenting, sold, and you can kind of tell that he's making this much money. There are this many coconut butter selling so it's super impressive eric's inspiring as well, you know, christine haynes who's, a pattern designer onda sewer in los angeles. She does that a lot, too, with her patterns I've seen, you know, a lot of a lot of her fans who make the dress in a wide array of patterns and modifications, they send those pictures into christine, and she shows them in a variety of ways on her instagram on dh she's just at christine haynes, c h r like christine was c h and h a y n e s and it's really it's inspiring, and it does make you feel like, oh, I can totally do this and I can make that pattern my own. You know, sarah, I would love for you to talk a little bit about buyable pins because I know that's something that just came out and it's something that a lot of our of our audience has been I think really excited to talk about. Yeah, sure. So the background on buyable pins is basically that we see a lot of people using pinterest as part of their shopping process already everything from discovering products to narrowing things down and pinning them on ben actually clicking through and making purchases and a lot of cases. But we also know that over eighty percent of people are accessing pinterest on a mobile device every day, and so we know that when we're sending traffic on a mobile device, conversion is sometimes challenged for e commerce players on mobile, and so we have this idea that if we introduced an opportunity to buy right within the pinterest app that it would be more delightful for our penner's that are discovering these products and then also could drive some incremental sales for the businesses that use pinterest tomb s o we launched over the past couple months, we've just rolled it out to ios users in the u s and we now have two million products that are viable on pinterest on dh, thousands of merchants, most of those small through a partnership that we've done with it if I so we are just getting started, but we're really excited it's been our most requested feature from penner's for a long time, so it's always exciting to be able to bring a product to market that people are clamoring for and have been telling us they wanted so, yeah, we're excited, that's great. And, you know, megan, or may I'd love for you, teo, you know, a to, like, really solid makers on this panel. I'd love for you to talk a little bit from about the bible pins from your perspective. Yeah, I mean, I sign up foreign media soon if not, we'll sign me up this great I love interest, and so, you know, I'm curious to see how kind of how it goes, especially through the holiday season, I was mentioning that in my family. When we're shopping for holiday gifts, we go to each other's pinterest boards to see what to buy, and so I'm very true, so I think that's really gonna happen. I know for me and my product, I have a higher price point it's kind of think about it price point, but I have a lot of men in buying for the women in their lives, so if they could just go to their wives pinterest board hit the buy now button. Yeah, I think that's I think that's actually going really drive a lot of traffic and holiday, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it plays out this holiday season. That's great may what about you? So I have heard a lot about it. I'm the only reason that I am not as excited about me as of it as meghan is is because I don't have a shot, but fire website and sarah, please correct me if I'm wrong but it's its integration with shopify, right? The bible pins? Yeah, today we're partnering with about ten larger retailers and then shopify for now. So in the future there will be more options, but that's where we started, okay, but what was really interesting, actually is thie the act that I used to sell on instagram and facebook you might be familiar with it, it's called solti, and they did actually just introduce actually a few months back where you can turn a pin into something that you can just click and buy. I don't think it's going to be esteem melissa's what you guys have, but it is definitely an option, I guess, that I could explore and other people who are not using shopify could explore. Yeah, I think we're excited. One of the one of the kind of underlying principles of the design that we rolled out with is that all of your pins across pinterest that are already there that represent products that you want to sell suddenly get a buy button so you don't have to rely on them distributing every single product that you want to sell. So meghan, to your point of people, are kind of discovering these products and thinking about them for a while, we're hoping that they pinned them to a board like a wish list board or a gift ideas board, and they'll come back to it. And now it's actually buyable on pinterest, so the next thing I do actually want to want to jump into those is that is the idea of, you know, selling on instagram you know that's something that I think you know megan's done may has done with really great success you I know have worked with a lot of your client and so that so let's talk about what you know what the what the pros and the cons are might be of those you mean a felling directly aligned stolen directly from instagram or or using instagram as a sales tool okay, so I think using instagram as a sales tool is huge but the thing that you have to know about instagram is it's a lot of work I mean it's a lot of there's a lot of photography skill that goes into it it's not just about oh it's wednesday and I need to post something so let me grab a product real quick and take a photo up it I always recommend batch ing your photos so once a week take three weeks worth of photographs so that you're good to go every single day on dh that helps to keep everything really consistent because instagram is flooded with makers andi even now if you go on the explorer tool it's I think it's a craft crafty makers that's one of the things that you can actually click on and see tons of makers that have sixty thousand followers on dh thing that stands out to me and those accounts if that everything is very consistent so it doesn't look they don't look all the accounts don't look the same, but within each account, there's a lot of visual consistency, and I think that's really important on dh. So if you want to drive sales with instagram, just know that it does require a certain time commitment. So, yeah, I may. What about what about you? Because I know that you had mentioned that you that you did that you had done some of them both on instrument, on facebook? Yeah, so actually, the big thing that I'm seeing with other makers and artists on instagram trying to sell their products is that they kind of jump in a little too quickly before they're ready, eh? So that there's two things that I always advise people to get, get prepared first, aziz, take a few months before you start that first sale, because a lot of the time to see a sale, and you can easily tell when someone's buying something because you you have to actually type in, like, sold or you type in your email address so that the but the maker can send you paypal and voice so it's all there for you to see, and you can see, like there's a sale happening, but no one's buying anything, so the big thing is that you you want to be sure that you're following is large enough and that's kind of relative. I'm not talking like you need one hundred thousand followers. You don't need that, you just need somewhat of a falling. I think when you hit your first thousand that's a great start and you can start thinking about selling on instagram, the second thing that's important is that make sure that your engagement is good. S o I would try to aim for five to ten percent engagement racial, so if you have a thousand followers, you should be getting at least fifty to one hundred likes per photo on dh. That would be a great thermometer tio gauge how you're doing with the engagement on dso that's important, because when you're starting to sell on instagram, you need people to take action and actually like type something in which is not always as easy it's like when you like something, you need people to kind of come out of that cave of never taking action and just looking through. Photo after photo s o the the big mistake I always see people have is that they do giveaways for ipads or paypal, cash and that's a great way to build your following but it's going to build your following of people who aren't interested in your products, your engagement is going to be super low and then when you finally do that sale no one's going to buy your products, so these two things are really key to keep in mind. Yeah, I think that's a really good point and you know, megan, you've done a lot like when you released your contract collection used you used instagram pretty extensively, and what I found for me is that I don't try to sell directly off of instagram in in two senses one I don't you know, I don't run a sale where I'm saying comment to buy, but I also I'm not trying to drive people directly to my site to buy so for me, it's all about building anticipation s o I use instagram and my kind of little pro trick is I'm not. I never remember to use facebook, so I just post on my facebook separates instagram, and then I engaged that my answer of separate facebook I don't know that, and I just engage my audience right there on dh, and so that is really important as well because I can hit a couple platforms in one quick post or as kayleigh mentioned not really quick they do take time but so this idea of building anticipation and getting people onto my email list because for me that's what actually drive sales is it's the contra launch one hundred percent but sales came off of my email list so it's really a multistep relationship process for me and that it's how I'm kind of dealing with the issue has made kind of mention of you know, if you're really passive you like it you like it but how do you go to wanting it and that's something that I've been doing a lot of research on because neuroscientists are finding that liking and wanting while very closely related in our brains don't actually trigger the same chemical reactions so it's really easy to be that very passive like like like like like but how do you get someone to one? I think part of it is giving them smaller steps between liking it and actually having to commit to make a purchase so for me it's you like it there's that kind of time sensitiveness join the email list and they can say they don't say yes I want to buy it they just say yes, I'm interested enough to want to be on the list and so kind of and then and then working in the list from there to kind of make the final sale so it's I use social media very extensively but part of a long process because my price point is higher I'm not an impulse buy, you know, may I have very different price points, so I think our strategies have to be very different and so really using it to build those relationships and create that anticipation and desire to then get people to really want want tio I thought it was really interesting and making them I actually talked about this is it was the kind of thing where her posting of the war work in progress on instagram actually did trigger me into a I really want that not like oh that's that's really pretty it's it's it was very it was a really very conscious and I thought a very smart way to take my money from me e I was happy to give because I got this awesome thing what does anybody here in the audience have a question that they'd like to ask or anybody online? Kenna well, thank you and most everyone again, the one question that had come in was actually if could you address the older buyer someone ideal if someone's ideal customer, which is something we've been talking about a lot this week is and they're not actually using so many online platforms yeah, I think I would be happy to talk about that because that is my in fact and so I think one of the things that's really key without older buyer is understanding right where they are online and what they're doing every day so the older buyer first of all they are on facebook because they have to be their kids or their grandkids or whoever they are absolutely there they're not engaging with your brand yet, but they're using it so that's the first thing is how you meet them there on facebook makes that so easy you can run targeted ads you can really find your people very easily they are also in pinterest they're absolutely using pinterest ahs well, they might not be again looking for your product you have to think about what it is that they're looking for and put your product in that context but then the other thing is that they are not always active on every platform every day and so for me and one of the reasons that I drive to my email list is because my customers they may only check instagram once a week or once every two weeks and they might check facebook a little more often but they check their email every day and so it's understanding where they are and what they're doing and their behaviors air different because they're not digital natives but they're very reachable and I actually was just seeing a stat that the thirty five forty for it in the forties five to fifty four age crowds are disproportionately shopping online, so there's a higher percentage of them shopping online than they are part of the population. So it's, good to know that actually the thirty five, fifty five is actually forty five percent of online buying audience so that's a that's a huge market on dh the good news is because they're not on a million social media platforms. You don't have to be on a million social media platforms. Yeah, well and I think that's actually that's actually kind of a good segue way to, you know, lots of people here in the audience on dh I'm sure people watching at home there they're they're solo preneurs, they don't, they don't have any health and they and they don't know, you know, they don't have a staff that's, that's helping them market and create and sell and everything. So you know what? What would you say? Like for you know, you work with a ton of these a ton of these ladies and men, too, I'm sure, but how do you say, hey, how do you decide? This is the one that's right for you? So one of the most important things that I go over first is that you need to pick two platforms so it's never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket if you're totally nailing instagram or if you're totally kneeling twitter, whatever it is you need to pick something else to add to that and I think it's important to really think about the work that goes into it so you know yes, instagram is very like popular and great and it can bring you lots of fails but like I said before there's a lot of work that goes into it if you want to sell on facebook which a lot of people overlook selling on facebook but facebook is great just end this I would like to piggyback also on what meghan was saying about using social media to build your email list I think that is so important and there's so many baby steps along the way so if you're on facebook and you run, you run a facebook ad that's getting people to sign up for your email list then you can create another facebook ad that's targeted everyone that's on your list so if you have a male chimp list of x number of customers, everyone on your list will then start to see that facebook ad and I think I think that it's really important to think about what's sustainable for you because because you can't do everything right? Yes. And it's it's unrealistic. And if you try to be everywhere, you're going to do a really crappy job. It's just not it's not going to be pretty well, it's a good point and, you know, may I know you're on a tonic, you know? You really are active on a number of social networks, and then that takes a lot of time. Yeah, that didn't happen overnight. It was it's kind of crazy because I really did just take two like caitlin said and really focused on that. So instagram and facebook both were what I focused on, but to reiterate what? Caitlyn, I said it, I do believe, like the number one platform that you should focus on it's, not social media it's really your email list because and sorry, sir, I know you're from pinterest and I'm just saying all this right now that but you understand what I'm talking about? You can use pinterest to build your email list, but, um, and social media can change any day like how facebook changed their algorithms and now no one seeing people's posts eso if you were focusing all of your efforts on facebook and you have gotten and build your bowling to a million people? Well, they're not saying your boats anymore and now you have to start from scratch somewhere else. S o I do instagram and facebook and really focused on that facebook was the one thing I had when I started out I think I started it in like two thousand eight, so I was lucky in that way that when I started my jewelry business, all of these social media's weren't out there already on die just slowly added to my arsenal, but really, I think for you sell a preneurs out there what's important to remember is that it's not so important what you choose as it is more important that you just pick one or two things and just focus on that s o don't worry so much about whether you're making the right choice or not. If you have focus, you have consistency and have a plan for that one or two social media's you'll be fine if you have your own web site or your own app one of the most overlooked ways to quickly gain scale in your time and your effort is to add the sharing button, right? So we talk about a pinterest adding the pennant buttons, all of your product pages and making that prominent, and what we see is that people then bring your content to the platform for you and so I think that's another way, as you think about managing your own time like let's your customers who already love your product do that work for you, andi think it's just an easy way to scale your time and your effort to yeah, well, and I know that you were also just saying that that you use pinterest to to build your email list a swell absolutely. Do I have a campaign running right now, that's promoting my free e book on pinterest and it's sending people to my website and then they're opting in so that right there is totally passive. I mean, how much time does it take? And you know I love instagram, how much time does it take for me to do a photo shoot? Post something on instagram, tell people toe opt in for my e book tons of times that pinterest thing is just on its own it's just evergreen like creating getting china and that's why I love interest for being time starved because your content live that's the only platform your content lives forever I have, you know, pins that are a year or two years old that are still getting tons of re pens and pinterest is the number one traffic driver to my site, it beats google, I think ten times on my site, esso and and I haven't I had a very consistent strategy that but worked for a year I really build up content, but I haven't bill any content or very much content in the last year, but all that content lives on, and especially if you create things, you want to create things that are sort of trending and timely but also feel evergreen. So the post that, you know, I did a lot I've kind of fashion around outposts and those, you know, people are still trying to figure out where boyfriend jeans, even though they've been in for a couple seasons, so that stuff really does live forever, and it it saves me so much time because it's just bringing in right pass it's just bringing in traffic, but I'm doing other stuff. Yeah, I think the good thing about it is that, you know, people aren't there like collecting this information, so if people are looking for products than your products are there, and you, you know what you were saying kalen about like, not wanting to feel to sales it's like they're they're looking for this product. So there's actually say the same thing that I do for facebook and instagram actually what meghan was talking about, you don't have enough time and you like that with interest your content list for a long time that's kind of what is happening with my own jewelry business now is that because all of two thousand fourteen was really like my social media year every day I was making you know, like what caitlyn says boesch taking photos of like behind the studio pictures are working progress pictures and I have collected like hundreds of these photos kind of lifestyle photos and other product photos I have that I can just rinse and repeat and recycle with instagram and facebook and what I like about instagram facebook is that you can actually post like they work really well together so something you post on facebook you can also post on instagram and vice versa so there are a good match to work with together but yeah so at a certain time point once you've collected such a huge social media library, you don't have to worry so much about creating new content anymore and I think that's so important it is ok to post a picture on instagram that you already posted like a month ago nobody's going to remember it's not you know I think that's really smart to just grow your content library and keep doing it and the other thing that I want to point out is that so many articles focus on creating unique content for every single social media platform and that is great if you have a whole foods social media team behind you but for people like me me and for most of you that's just not feasible and it's totally fine exactly what may said, whenever you post something to instagram, share it to facebook. A lot of times you're gonna have very different audiences. You're gonna have a very different audience for your facebook business page than you do on instagram and it's totally find to share it both ways. It's also find I find teo I like tio embrace the power of the the creative crop, so when I shoot model photography, I shoot it, I go out a little further than I normally would and then it's the no it's vertical for pinterest its course, I'll help her facebook, it's square for instagram, so and it's all the same shot, but just by cropping it to the proportions of the platform, I get so much mileage out of doing one photo shoot. Yeah, one of our best practices on pinterest is if you have just straight product shot on a web site like a single product on a white background, if you take that and exactly what you said, just crop it so that it's vertical that those are some of our top performing pins on pinterest, you'll notice my life say all the product geography is now vertical I just want to read it optimized it's already there it's easy things, please oh, we do have a question. Yeah, I do have a question that's, that's pretty row relevant right now. This is from maxie, who has been with us for most of the week, who says yahoo says for the social sites, then that you're not focusing on maybe right now. Do you recommend that you on those accounts point people somewhere else? I kind of acknowledge that you're not really doing a lot of facebook. Quit on your facebook page say, go follow me on instagram, or what do you recommend? You are not really active on a certain platform, then you're probably not going to have a big following there anyway, so I mean, I guess a lot of you know, a lot of even set up that tt app to automatically tweet whatever you post on instagram as a native twitter picture. So it's not just an instagram link that gets shared it's the actual picture, which then populates your twitter feed. So right there you're focused in all your time on instagram. You're repurposing that same content on to facebook and you're also having it without even thinking about it repurposed onto twitter and yeah, I mean, you could say something, I guess, in your twitter bio, you know, follow me on instagram, I've heard some people write like my party is on instagram or whatever it is if people are looking for you on that platform that's where they want to see your content so why not just use one of the many tools out there and push and then not worry about it or put it you know, I put a little bit of time in my calendar, you know, once a week I'll pop in a twitter and just steve I have to reply to something I've gone who'd sweetened reply really quick and then call it a day so you wantto because you do want to interact with your followers you want to ignore someone if you're gonna put content on a platform but I agree just use those tools and and make it because if they want to follow you there that's where they want to follow you yeah yeah definitely um and do it we have a question in here more of a statement of purpose well may had mentioned facebook, right? Rebecca um and I just wanted to say that I spent two weeks ago like a whole week of learning about facebook I just wanted tio kind of stop the facebook sucks madness because I think it's like a really a misnomer that you can no longer talk to your audience on facebook and I don't work for facebook I work for myself, by the way, but um one of the things I learned was the importance of growing your email list and how you can utilize that on facebook, and if you guys want to learn more about that, look up facebook lookalike audiences because that, yeah, it changed my world and for, like, five dollars, which is a really you should invest in your business. It's a small price to pay, but lookalike audiences helps you really talk to the people who want to hear what you have to say, and one of your product and it's cheap tio. So, yeah, it's, really caitlyn jenner has it, too, that you can if you use male trump, you can go in, but even if you don't, you could actually import any email us, and you can go in and you can build, you've either just target those people already on your list, or you can create what's called a look like audience where facebook scans, and they find people who are similar to the people already on your email list and it's a really easy way to target and grow that list. And I think, you know, caitlin and I were talking about this before we came in, I think it bears repeating, you know, people will run like a single facebook ad and try to get people to click to their website and they don't get instruction like a facebook ads don't work but it's the same thing of looking at it is that relationship process and what do you bring your customers through? So I run a lot of ads that air just like campaigns because I want to see who's having that immediate visceral reaction to my product and then after that that I'm boosting to those people and then I'm asking them to go to my site and again I'm not going to buy and I'm asking them to sign up to my email list so we all are it seems like everyone wants that magic immediate sales solution and especially as you get higher and higher price points and your products it's not going it doesn't work like that I'm going to dispel myth right now just just does not work like that, but if you can figure out how to build people through the process and and social media is a great place to start that relationship building but you have to bring them through you can't just ask someone to marry you on the first date that doesn't work like that so and I think that also goes along with what I was saying about pick too because you can see from all of that information that might just gave us look like audiences important email addresses that takes time and work and so whatever to platforms they're going to focus on just make sure that you spend time in researching the ways that you're going to get the most out of it yeah, yeah, you know may mentioned she had her year of social me I had a year of just pinterest like a year of salo and it it made a big difference in my traffic in my business, but it was a year of solid, solid focus on the platform I was wondering if you had tried doing any market research on like future products that you wanted to make using facebook or any of the social media platforms like put something out like, hey, I'm thinking of doing this design, so I tried that so I haven't done so much, I wouldn't call market research, but I'm a big believer in the idea of the minimum viable product, and so for me, the minimum viable product is usually just a quick picture. So actually the start of the contra collection launch was in fact this particular stone laid on my hand there was nothing else happening was late. I mean, I thought I said, oh, I think this wants to be a ring and that was the whole point and people I guess it does it does want to be a rang because I wasn't gonna make any rings and that of course he wants to be so not, you know, for me part of it is my creative vision so I'm not going teo you ask my audience for design input per se but I'm going to post stuff that's in progress and see how they kind of feel about it in that more subtle way actually sorry yeah actually do that a lot with my business so a lot I'm very indecisive when it comes to light colors like oh I'm making this cotton candy necklace do I want a blue or do I want pink so it's really easy for me to just take a picture of what I've made and then put them side by side on a picture put it on my facebook page and then just let people vote it out and my boat my best products actually come from doing market research like that on social media and also custom products that my customers asked for or things that my customers on social media keep asking for again and again those tend to be best sellers from ing you mentioned the guardian example earlier I think that's exactly how you can think about using these platforms to like see what's trending think about how you can incorporate that into your own unique product line take advantage of these willing people telling you what they're interested in you know I didn't want tio I did want to ask you actually because I read a blood post on your post on your block recently about instagram loops which I and I had never heard of that before, and I didn't know that was actually something you could do, and I thought it was really interesting you want to talk about that? Yeah, so the most important for those of you that don't know an instagram loop giveaway, as when you pair up with a variety of people, and you, everyone on instagram posts an image at the exact same time, and it says, you know, follow us, and you have a chance to win expires e so the most common mistake that I see that I see what these loop giveaways that really gives people a bad taste in their mouth and like, oh, I hate little loop getaways, I'll never do another one is the lack of planning that goes behind creating one? So when you are choosing who is going to be in your loop giveaway, you need to make sure that every single person you're picking is a good fit for your brand. Are you comfortable backing up that person? Would you feel comfortable referring, referring your customers to this other person? Obviously, you don't want someone who does the exact same thing as you in the loop, but it does make sense for if you make a baby product to have other people in the loop that also make baby products that shared a similar aesthetic, and I think that when you see so many times, people just posting in a facebook group, a random call out, you know, who wants to do let's do a loop giveaway for, you know, for september, who wants to join, and then a lot of people will join and it's just like, oh, my god, no, this is not this is not the way to go about doing it. So, um, I know the last time I did a loop giveaway, it was all with professional, other professional service providers, and I have a great deal of trust with my audience, and I did not want to break that trust by just pairing with other people that maybe had tons of followers, but I don't know how they do business and maybe it's not something that would benefit my audience on dh, so it ended up being really successful not just for me, but for everyone. And so I think that it's really, really important to make sure that you are valuing your audience when you're doing a loop giveaway and don't don't recommend crap to them. Well, there I also read another article that was similarly talking about instagram loops where someone talked about and of course I can't remember the brand off the top my head, but they got three thousand followers very quickly and one of the things that she did talk about is there are people on there who are there just for the contest and they're not there because they're they're fans on dh when you when you're giving away your products that's less likely to happen than if you're giving away something like a like a monetary gift gift certificate or something um do we have any other questions from the audience? I don't wantto good high making uh I'm sorry, yeah ok, so I have a question you mentioned that on your facebook or your social media you actually don't directly sell over them you basically point them to your website to sign up for email and then generate self from there. So is it ever ok like for somebody else for example, like to actually post direct by from facebook on dh if you like, what is a frequency for doing that? I imagined people don't want every single one of your house to be like by myself. Yeah, like if it's not frequently now for example, we don't ever come up once a year maybe people would just people who like your products would not even see that post so bryce inky if you have any yeah so first of all it's totally ok to sell directly from any pot form on and I do post calls to action that terrible to buy but they're always after the email list has gotten the call the action because I want people who aren't on the email list to feel like they're late to the party because that's what gets him on the email list so you know when I do too big annual sales here your birthday sale in october and I do a sample sale in april and they're both twenty four hour really short time sales and the the email list gets it first and then I will post the coupon code on social media but the really committed people are on the email list in there waiting time looking at elizabeth because she's one of those people so I think that's fine and then the other thing is you do have to post hurry the racist but I tend to function in launch cycles as opposed to trying to put a product out every single day. So and I generally aim for a launch cycle every sixty weeks depending on what's going on so two of those air those big annual sales that something like the contra collection launch if I'm doing you know I didn't knew hearings in the springs of those were their own launch cycle and so in that time focused much, much heavily on my social media supposing two, three times a day, I'm giving sneak peeks and given content like that so that's what I do on those platforms and then my kind of lots of little stuff, every that's, what I do on pinterest because that's really what that platform is built for. So I find a balance between kind of pushing those big launch cycles on other platforms and then every day, making sure I'm putting content both some of my own and then repeating other great content so that they're mixed together on pinterest a question that came up on the creative life baseball q and a that we did a couple of hours earlier on basically, you're you're wondering, like if there's a ratio for how many not in sales a post you put on facebook or instagram versus how he's sales coast you put on there, and I think a good ratio is the eighty twenty rule s o if you have, say, ten posts, it is them should be more lifestyle or more content, more free, less sales e posts and then two out of those ten posts will be about sales for your product. Come back to my website by my stuff eso actually do a similar formula with my facebook page I post four times a day on facebook. The first three posts that go out every day are just content like it's just really cute pictures or videos for people to look at and the last post one out of four post I tell people to go to my site to buy something but that's very different from may's instagram strategy right? Because on instagram for old first tiny hands jewelry she showcases it's pretty much all product is that right? And I just want to point out to you I think you know you mentioned it's just content I think people get really bogged down in this idea of content now content is a picture that's really all we're talking about a lot of time it's a single image you know I always talk about my my pinchers content it's an image that's vertically crops that time hendrix content s so it doesn't have to be overthought rocket science it's a great image that's that's really what content is the one thing we think about two we've looked at promoted pins on pinterest and what makes that a top performing promoted pin and a lot of it comes down to the description and what's interesting is that when you look at all of the different things that go into description and all of the different variables that could make it high performing the one that jumps out is is it helpful? And so when you think about how to make your content sail the versus content e I think you could have a product shot that has a really helpful description, so maybe someone is not in the mood to buy this or not in the mindset to buy it today, but if you're saying you're giving a helpful hint on how this type of product might fit into someone's wardrobe or into someone's home that's a helpful piece of content that doesn't feel sales e so I think I think about how your description also in these platform arms can take someone from inspiration all the way tio actually making a purchase. Well, I was actually just gonna ask you based on, you know, the idea of cropping photos and how megan, your strategy for pinterest has now changed how you do that are there? Are there common mistakes that you're seeing makers do consistently that can be rectified? Um, I mean, the vertical images a great, like, easy best practice, just because because of the grid on pinterest, that grid format of the feeds, everything is the same with so to just get more real estate, if you vertically crop in image, you're inevitably taking up more of the screen, you know? One thing that we see is that tasteful branding doesn't detract from performance, so I think if you're ever wondering, like e, I don't know if I should put my brand on it, or we have not seen anything as long as it's done tastefully to suggest that that hurts performance. S o I would say no, that pinterest at least is a platform where people are going to discover products and discover new ideas, so they're open to new brands on dh that doesn't hurt them, I think don't be shy about promoting your brand. The description thing is big. We hear a lot of people focus entirely on the image and not on the describe, and we've seen that helpful, longer, more helpful descriptions, which I think is different than other platforms perform really well to can I also had something that I think there's a I see other makers make all the time on pinterest that drives me nuts, too is they just try to use their pinterest board as a portfolio, so they're on ly pinning their own things, which is counter to the way pinterest works. You want to put your products in the context of other things because the more you do that, the more they show up. So you know you don't need another portfolio. That's what your website is for so going in there, making sure that your sing your products like I do, I am for about ten to one ratio, and I don't know if you guys have found with other brands if there's a more ideal, but that's, usually about what I aim for is ten of other peoples, and I don't I do post other jewelry and post a ton of other jewelry, but I do post, you know, if it's another cool statement, I close to a great ring, I post that, but it's also, you know, here is the you know, the outfit that you could wear, and here is the living room that you could wear it in. So making sure that it's you know, for me, it's, it's, that's, my brand it's, basically my brand magazine, that I don't have to pay any money to create a so only that you're creating a resource for your customers, right? This is like, this is your style guide. If you like my jewelry, you might also enjoy these bed linens, this table lamp and this recipe. Although you don't have recipes, I have one board, but they have to be really pretty, and my brand said, I have a secret board for the things that I just one mistake, one common mistake that we hear, or that we see is people focusing just on followers which on pinterest it's a little bit different so many many more people on pinterest will find your content through search or through following someone that follows you and seeing the repin then they will just by following your brand so it's great to focus on building your follower count but not at the expense of making sure that your content is optimized to show up in search results for example which means a helpful description that's full of key words a strong landing page experience you know so that's a mistake that we see people make is to sort of forget about those optimizing their content and at the expense of thinking just about powers that you suggested search is magic it's a magic tool for thinking about people search for your proxy I use it all the time to write my my right my descriptions like talking like he word tonight I'm like I can't believe they just give this bus for free it's average teacher it's amazing for market research absolutely huge for marguerite so we just have a couple of minutes left so I just wanted to see if there's anybody here who has any additional questions that they want to ask her that's a lots taken yes kind of go for it we'll have some people in the chat rooms who are wondering if any of you have of started or try to use any of the live streaming tools such as periscope or now facebook streaming in order to connect with your clients and it's very new medium so I mean I love periscope I'm on there all the time and one thing that I there's a couple so there's one woman I love watching her but she's an artist and a maker and her handle is page poppy so it's p a g e and I think now she hasn't underscore there and then popp so she has created ah whole brand on periscope and so she is she at it she has a little tripod and she shows pictures of herself painting various things it's like, you know, it's behind the same team. Obviously you don't want to be giving away your trade secrets or anything like that, but she does it in a really beautiful branded way and she gives you no other periscopes of her like the inspiration behind something that she's making. But I think if you think of if you think of you know q b c for example, right qvc is all products people will spend an hour talking about the same floral blazer and over and over again, you'll see them, you know, doing this, they're like whatever like interacting on, then someone calls them they're like I bought this for my mom and she loves it and those wake up that's great. So I mean, there you go like that go right like it's, like a many presentation of your product, you know, on but show show the experience of someone who received your product and watch them unbox it, you know, what is? How are you using it? How are you matching it with other things? I just think there's so many things that you can do with periscope and I mean, I know for myself my email list has really exploded since I started using it because it's, just introducing me to a different audience, I wasn't on there before, so na meeting new people through there, and I see a lot of I see a lot of artists there in particular, that are really opening up, kind of the behind the same thing and it's so I mean, high like bob ross, right? Like, who doesn't make bob, but I mean, you know, like so relaxing to watch someone, it just sucks you in. So yeah, I think it's really important to figure out, right? How do you balance you don't give away those trade secrets, so, you know, how do you balance and what do you do? And I have not used any of those platforms yet because I haven't quite figured out how, but now, sitting here like I can do that, I have a hit on one of the things that I was just thinking about is I went and saw the iris apfel documentary, which, if you have not seen it, iris apfel is my hero. I should be wearing way more jewelry right now, but, you know, mike's eso, but one of my favorite scene in the entire movie is just watching her style mannequins in the basement of bergdorf's and that right there is a good start mannequins that's fun, so, you know, just thinking about those little things that are so compelling to watch, but that are also useful to your audience because it's hard it's, hard to style your clothes for a lot of people, one for may, if I know it's hard for a lot of people thinking about what your audience wants to see, right? So if you're an artist on periscope and all you do is talk about what you're making for dinner, then you're going to attract people who are interested in what you're making for dinner and not interested in buying your art. So make sure that meg said, like, put some thought until what you're going to deal first. Definitely well we are we're about at the end of time but I would love each one of you to just do a quick I would love we would love to get recommendations like what's the one thing that you think or that you would recommend people to really focus on a new and makers in particular to focus on in the next year e you mean like a social media it's good right go okay okay so my tip is basically that there is no shame and selling so you are a business you are there to sell stuff if your friends and family follow your business account and if they're annoyed by that and then follow you that's fine they're still your friends and they're still your family but your job is to sell and there's I don't just kind of want to eliminate a lot of the the kind of embarrassment or a tentativeness that or discomfort that goes along with that one I would say well obviously if you shopify you should try buyable pins I have to get that blood but regardless I think the other thing I would say is just think about how you let the audience your audience do the work for you of spreading the word so make your content easy for other people to share on your behalf I think about that from the pinterest lens but it applies I think across a lot of platforms I am going to go mail unless mailing lists mailing list it's still super important all the social platforms are absolutely important but drive traffic back to a list that you can control it and you can keep because also to it that's an extra step right alike is easy and we want to get them to the one and so making them commit to your email list means those are the people who are most committed and likely to buy so the more you khun drive that through whatever social platforms euros come trouble on the more successful you're going to be and then don't forget to actually email your list that that's really important to you yeah so I actually I'm tauron so I would recommend anyone to do either instagram or facebook or pr and publicity because that's aa lot of how like susan petersen with freshly picked she really exploded in blew up not just on instagram but also because she got really great huge national magazines and she got her baby mocks on celebrities and so pr publicity and no creative life has a great course on that on that with andre ears that you guys should take but just pick one thing and focus on it for the next six to twelve months do it focused do it consistently they facebook instagram pinterest is great too or pr and publicity but just pick one thing and then focus on it excellent. Well, you know, ladies, thank you so much, you know, may pack megan almond, sarah, who pull share and caitlin batter, so I'd love to give them a very big round of applause. Thank you for coming. You guys were great.

Class Description

The old guard is falling and the handmade marketplaces where you sell today won’t be the same places you sell tomorrow. Tune in to The Future of Handmade Sales for a discussion on emerging trends in selling online.

As technology evolves and buying habits change, sellers must prepare to change too. From the “Buy” feature on Facebook, to #instasales on Instagram, to Buyable Pins on Pinterest – the online landscape for hand-makers is changing. Get up to speed on the conversation and learn about the latest technology for staying connected to your community and customers in this panel conversation with some of the brightest minds on the business of making.

Get insights on making it easy for folks to buy your stuff online – today and into the future.  



Fantastic panel. Tons of great practical tips.

Al Assil Machlah

Useful , great ideas , logic tips and understandable , thank you

Helen Ancira

I really enjoyed the class. I got a lot of great tips. Thanks