How to start selling

Where do you start when you want to sell your items? What should take priority? What of the many wheels need to be put in to motion first?

Here’s a little checklist to help you on your way. This checklist was the result of a few hours brainstorming with a Handmade in Norway member who was looking for answers. So thank you Dawn at Cards and Collars for helping me to put this together.

1. Take Pictures

The very first step is to take good quality pictures of the products you make. Taking pictures sounds easy, and it is if you are a photographer. But let me tell you, taking good pictures with low light levels and little to no knowledge of the technicalities of composition, managing shadows and photo staging can become an awesome task.

Thankfully we have thought of this and are happy to help. Handmade in Norway runs two workshops with this in mind. Check out these links for more information.

Product Photography with your smart phone

Photo Staging

2. Logo creation

In the beginning you don’t need to have a logo for your FB page or Etsy shop, use an picture of what you make for both profile and cover photo areas. Read my blog called ‘Do I need a logo?’

3. Start a Facebook page
Image: Here you will need to add profile and cover photos. As above, you do not need a logo to begin with, just use some really eye-catching images og you products.

  • Category: Choose the best category for your work from the list of options Facebook provides. Shop is of course the best option if you want to be taken seriously as a seller.
  • Required information: Fill out as much as you are comfortable with, follow the Facebook page setup promps.
  • Start adding posts about your items: Add pictures and functional descriptions for each item (price, size, colour options, delivery, postage, etc).

If you would like help with this I am happy to schedule a skype session to assist you. These sessions cost 250kr per hour and I will help you to formulate sales orientated text that will attract customers. I can also help with editing images during our conversation. This will ensure that your Facebook page has a refined and professional appearance. Just contact me by email to set up a session.

4. Start a shop with Etsy, Epla or both
Use the information from your Facebook page as a starting point for the information you need to add to these sites. Start with bare bones information, you can always add more later. You can pretty much duplicate all items and descriptions from Facebook.

We organise webinars on setting up your Etsy shop. We will be setting up these webinars a few times a year. Our first webinar will be conducted on Sunday the 21st of January. You can check out the dates and buy a ticket here.

5. Markets
– Keep up to date on when markets are happening around you. Plan accordingly! Many markets need to be signed up for many months in advance.
– Think about how much of your supply you will need to fill a table and have a few spare/backup items.
– Don’t expect to sell your entire table the first hour, be realistic.
– Think of markets more as networking and promotional opportunities.
– Have a sign with your logo and/or name.
– Business cards with name, logo (if you have one), FB page, Shop links.
– Have price tags on each item or a short and easy to follow price list. Often people will feel self conscious about asking the price.
– Keep the handmade look and feel with your signs, price tags, etc. Handwritten is appropriate.
– Depending on the price of the table, prepare to arrive early and help set up
– Find out what is provided and be prepared to bring a chair, tablecloth and materials or props if needed.
– Be prepared for payments made by cash and Vipps. Getting a hand-held card reader that connects to your phone is also an option. But absolutely not a necessity.
– Think about the best way to display your items and bring props/support for that.
– If you are going to bring big items (shelves, display support), find out the parking/drop off situation first, don’t assume that there will be parking for all vendors – especially in big cities.
– Think about how you will react to customers, how to approach them, etc. Some are scared to touch items, and just want to look. Some will be interested in you and your craft and ask questions about the process, some will not. It’s important to adapt to each person.
– Don’t make the organiser chase you for information or payment. Be responsive to any questions they may have. Send images promptly if requested. Ask in god time if you have any special requirements (electricity, internet, table indoors etc). If you wish to be invited back then it is worth investing time and energy if having a good relationship with those organising the market.

6. Networking

Get connected! Use Facebook groups to meet local groups or crafters. Attend meetups if you can or sign up for creative workshops to help build your network.

7. Stay informed

Read blogs, attend workshops and webinars. This will help to feed your creativity, keep you inspired, and help you to stay up to date with current trends.

Tips/Things to Think About

-Determine how much time you have for: setup of pages/shops, maintenance of pages/shops
-Be as organised as you can
-Make a running list of things you want to achieve
-Start your FB page first in order to get a following
-Don’t expect to make millions or sell out straight away. It takes time and effort to build up your business and get known.

Well I hope this list gives you a place to start. It looks long, but take it step by step and you’ll be surprised how quickly you get through it. Be consistent and stay organised!

Hurrah for the new seller on the block! Hurrah for creativity! Hurray for staying strong and daring to put it out there! Hurray for HANDMADE!!

Kelly x

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