20 things you can do NOW to sell more this Christmas
How can I sell more? This is the question we probably hear most at Folksy HQ, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. There are lots of things you really can do that will make a difference (this blog post covers many of them – A Beginner’s Guide to Selling Craft Online) and we’ve listed the 20 things we recommend you do right now to help you reach more customers and bring in more sales this season.
Remember, it takes time and perseverance to build a successful business, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see sales flooding in immediately. But if you follow these steps, you will increase your visibility and be in a much stronger position. Be proactive, get involved, connect with your audience and go get those sales!
1. Join campaigns – and get involved!
There are so many promotions, challenges and campaigns to support creative businesses happening in the lead up to Christmas this year. These are being run by other people to help YOU – but for them to work, you need to get involved. Take part, be active, create interesting content and you’ll get your shop in front of new people.
Here are four campaigns you can join now and over the next few weeks:
- Celebrate Handmade (Black Friday weekend & through until Christmas) – read more here
- Just A Card (anytime) and Just A Card Indie Week (19-23 Nov) – read more here
- Joanne Hawker Meet the Maker Week 2018 (26 Nov – 1 Dec) – read more here
- The 12 Days of Folksy (1-12 Dec) – read more here
2. Tell us what it means when someone buys your work
We want people to understand that buying from independent designer and makers, really makes a difference. This is a core part of the Celebrate Handmade campaign we’re running from Black Friday weekend all the way through until Christmas. We’re actively looking for quotes about what it means to you when someone buys something you’ve made, so we can share them and tell people why it matters to you!
Keep sending us your quotes right up until Christmas – you can do that in a message on Instagram, in the Folksy Clubhouse, in our Folksy Forums or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t need to create a graphic, just include your Folksy shop name.
3. Include a clickable link to your Folksy shop in all your social media bios
If you want to get more sales in your Folksy shop, you need to tell people you have one on social media – and make it easy for them to find it and click through! So add a clickable link to Folksy in your bios on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, and add a shop now button on your Facebook page that links directly to your Folksy shop.
If you want to add more than one link in your profile, an easy way to do that is to use Linktree – https://linktr.ee/. Linktree allows you to add multiple links in your bio, so you could also add a link to your Christmas Collection, gift ideas for men, stocking fillers, any interviews or features you’ve had etc. Make your profile work harder for you.
4. Create gift guides and wish lists featuring other Folksy sellers
Put together a wish list or a series of Christmas gift guides featuring items from other Folksy sellers, and share them on your blog or your social channels. Make sure you tag and mention the other makers featured when you post them on social media, so they see them and can share them too. This is a really effective way to introduce yourself to a whole new audience – and also gives your existing audience ideas for presents. Win, win!
Create a Pinterest board with the same name as your wish list and then pin your items there too.
Tell us about your guides and wish lists too, so we can share them – or if you have a brilliant idea for a themed Christmas shopping guide (eg gifts for cat lovers) that we could feature here on the blog and on our social channels, email us at email@example.com
Tip: Wish lists / gift guides of nine items work well as they fit into a 3×3 photo grid – to create those, try Canva. It’s fine to include one or two of your items, but they should mostly about sharing pieces by other makers.
5. Start new Pinterest boards, add hashtags and keep pinning!
Pinterest is a HUGE search engine, used by thousands of people to find inspiration and to shop. It’s the most effective social channel for bringing customers into Folksy and 7.5 million people see Folksy pins every month. You don’t need to interact with people to make it work either – you can just pin and repin.
So start creating new boards on Christmas themes or related to your work and collection – eg Stocking Fillers, Llama Gifts, Hedgehog Gifts, Personalised Jewellery for Christmas, Handmade Mugs, Cosy – or pin your Folksy products to boards you already have. You can pin any Folksy product directly from the page by using the Pin It button (this is at the bottom of the page on mobile or to the right of the main image on desktop).
Tip: Product titles become the Pin title when posted to Pinterest. If you want to change that title, you can edit it in the pinning process and also add a relevant hashtag. If you add a hashtag to a pin, it will appear in the feed for that hashtag when someone clicks on it, with the freshest pins appearing at the top – another reason to keep pinning and adding new pins! Read more about hashtags on Pinterest here.
6. Tag Folksy in your social media posts
We’re always looking for content to share, but especially over Christmas. Make it easier for us to find you by tagging us in your posts. On Instagram, we can share posts directly to our Stories (where we can add add a ‘swipe up’ feature that takes people directly to your shop or product) if you tag us in a post on your Story or on your grid. If we’re not tagged we can’t share them (unless we do a screenshot or use an image from your Folksy shop… and that’s a lot more time-consuming!). Our Instagram Stories are seen by hundreds of people every day so it’s a great way to get yourself in front of a bigger audience.
The better the photos and the more interesting your posts are (not just, “I’ve just listed this, buy it now”), the more likely they are to get shared, get seen, get liked, get commented on, and get people to buy. This applies at all times, not just at Christmas!
Tip: We can’t share any tweets or Instagram posts that mention or tag other marketplaces or selling platforms, so if you want us to share them, make them specific to Folksy :)
7. Stock up your shop shelves
Most customers on Folksy come from Google and land on product pages. If they don’t know who you are and don’t recognise your name or brand, they are likely to check your product listing carefully and then look around the rest of your shop – read your About page, look at your other listings, check your terms and conditions, read customer reviews – before deciding to buy.
However, if you only one or two listings, this won’t fill them with confidence and doesn’t give them much to go on. So keep your shop stocked up and looking tempting by adding new listings. Also, the more products you have, the more likely there is to be something they want AND the more likely you are to match someone’s search (on Google or on Folksy).
8. Make sure your shop is up to date and all links work
Before they buy with you, customers need feel confident that their money is safe with you, that you will deliver their order safely and quickly (especially at Christmas) and that it will be good quality. This starts with your shop. Make sure your listings are all up to date (eg no expired offers on the page), all your social links work, that you’ve filled in your tagline and About Me page and that there are no spelling mistakes. If your shop looks unloved or out of date, customers are less likely to buy from you as they can’t be sure you will take care of their order. Sometimes it’s the really small things that matter…
I can’t tell you how many times I go from someone’s Folksy shop page to check out their social media and when the links are not there or when they don’t work I give up on that shop as I presume the shop owner doesn’t care. – Joys of Glass
- Find out how fill in your About Me section here > New improved About Me section – and how set up yours
- and How to Write a Fantastic About Me Page here >
9. Check your postage times
For customers, knowing their item will arrive in time for Christmas is crucial. So check the shipping times given on all your listings. If they are over 3 days, can you reduce them? Could you post the next day? If you can, change the shipping time to 24 hours (the default is set to 3 days on all listings), and tell people in the product description that you post all orders the same or the next day.
10. Check your postage costs
Postage is the single biggest reason that customers don’t go through with a sale. Many customers expect free postage but we know this is difficult for makers on small margins. Some sellers deal with that by incorporating the cost of postage into the item cost (weirdly, research shows customers are more likely to buy an item with free postage even if it costs more than the combined price of exactly the same item + postage). If you can’t offer free shipping, make sure your postage costs are reasonable so they are less likely to put off a customer interested in buying your work.
Find out if you should offer free postage in your shop – Should you offer free delivery?
11. Review the keywords in your listings
Are you using the right words in your listings? Are there some that you are missing? Describe your product thoroughly in your description. What is it? How is made? Who is it for (eg a gift for dad, newborn baby, music lovers, cyclists, bakers, makers)? Describe the colours and materials well and in different ways (eg yellow, mustard, wood, oak). How does it feel (is it soft, strong, delicate, cosy)? Where would you use it (eg in the garden, on camping trips, in the kitchen)? How can people use it (eg as a stocking filler, a secret santa gift, a last-minute present)? Is there a pattern or style (tropical, polka dot, Paisley, retro, nineties). Would it be a good gift for fans of particular TV shows, films or musicians/bands (eg Stranger Things, The Archers, Prince)? If it’s a soap, how does it smell?
When you have these words, find ways of including them all in your listing (incorporate them in real sentences not just lists), and then pull out the most important ones to use in your title and tags.
Using the right keywords will help you get found on Google and other search engines, as well as on internal searches within Folksy and by us!
- Learn more about keywords here – How to Make Google Work for your Handmade Business
- Learn how to use tags – New Clickable Tags and Tag Pages on Folksy – what they are and how to use them
- Understand how to write a great product description – Selling Craft Online: How to Write Good Product Descriptions
- Learn how to write a listing that get found on Folksy – How search works – how to write a listing that gets seen in search results
- More SEO advice here – Top 5 SEO Dos and Don’ts for Craft Sellers
12. Use variations for personalised gifts
Personalisation is especially popular at Christmas, with customers looking out for special gifts. If you can offer personalised gifts, use the new variations feature to make it easy for customers to see and choose their options.
Learn how to add variations on Folksy here – How to use variations on Folksy
13. Encourage people to add your shop to their favourites
In the lead-up to Christmas (and after) we’re sending out weekly emails to our subscribers featuring new items from their favourite shops. This email goes out every Wednesday morning and features a selection of items from shops that someone has added to their favourites. So, if you can encourage people to add your shop to their favourites on Folksy (they’ll need to be logged in), then your new items have a really good chance of being beamed directly into a customer’s inbox!
We’re also going to be making some changes on the homepage to give logged-in shoppers a more personalised shopping experience, which includes boosting the Favourites view and showing people the latest items from their favourite shops. So, get people to favourite your shop, and your items will be one of the first things they see when they come to Folksy.
Read this post – How to Get More Favourites and Shop Followers
14. Show your packaging
People are busy at Christmas. If you can make their lives easier by gift wrapping their purchase so they don’t have to, that’s one job off their list. So use one of your photo slots to show people your packaging – even if it’s just showing your product wrapped in brown paper or tissue with some twine and a tag, or gift box for your jewellery. Or if your packaging is recycled, show that and explain to people why you choose to use only recycled or eco-friendly packaging in your product description.
15. Check how your photos look in search results
We say this again and again, but good photos are THE most important thing when you sell online. Your products shots should be covetable and clickable. They also need to convey as much information as possible to the customer as possible. So when you’ve uploaded a new product listing, search for it on Folksy. Imagine you’re a customer, scrolling through the search results. Does your listing stand out (for the right reasons!). How does it look among the others? Is it the one you would click on? Is it clear what you’re actually selling – can you see the product once the image is cropped to size. Remember, your product needs to be the hero in the image.
We have a huge section of the blog dedicated to product photography – read all the tips and see examples here
16. Design a brilliant email marketing campaign
Email marketing is one of the very best ways to get sales, but lots of makers shy away from it because they’re worried about spamming people. Don’t be! If someone has signed up to your mailing list it’s because they want to hear from you! So use that mailing list you’ve collected at craft fairs or online and put it to work by sending some lovely festive emails. These are your fans and probably your best customers – so remind them that you’re there, ready to fill their Christmas with joy!
Make your emails inviting, image-led, interesting, imaginative clickable and on brand!
- Newsletter ideas: How to write a brilliant newsletter for your handmade business
- Read more email marketing tips here – https://blog.folksy.com/category/seller-tips/newsletters-tips
17. Send happy post to your best customers
One of Patricia van den Akker from The Design Trust’s top tips is not to discount traditional marketing methods like snail mail. Sending your best customers something nice in the post – an invitation to your open studio or a hand-written Christmas card, maybe– reminds them you’re there and makes them feel valued. Everyone likes getting happy post! Whenever you contact customers though, make sure you are follow GDPR guidelines.
18. Check your listing matches your price
As we mentioned above, most shoppers come directly from search engines into a product listing. Your product might be exactly what they are looking for, but as it’s handmade it may cost more than they were expecting. This isn’t to say it’s too expensive, it’s just that something that’s been crafted by hand usually costs more than something that has been mass-produced (as it should!). A lot of people won’t realise that, or even that it’s handmade, so they won’t understand the price. They also won’t necessarily have bought anything handmade before!
So your product listing need to show them WHY it costs more, that they’re buying from a talented designer, maker or artist, that they’ll get a beautiful, special, unique product and amazing customer service. You can do this through your images and your text. Use your photos to show them how it’s been made – for example, if you have a photo of your pot on the wheel, add it in one of your photos slots, or give them visual clues by styling your hand-stitched bag alongside scissors and a vintage cotton spool. Tell them in the description the process behind the piece. Use your inspiration section to tell the story of your product. Tell them YOU made it. And then make sure your About Me section is filled in too, so they understand they are buying from a real person and a skilled maker.
19. Interact LOTS more on social media
This counts all your round, but make an extra effort to interact with people on social media between now and Christmas. Yes, go down that rabbit hole on Instagram – click on hashtags in people’s posts, find posts that you’re drawn to (and that you think your audience would be too), talk to the people posting those images, be genuine and interesting. For example, if you sell paintings of the Lake District, click on the #lakedistrict hashtag, look at the top posts, what hashtags have they used? Hone in on the smaller less generic ones. Click on those. Which images appeal? Follow the people posting those. Comment on their images. Interact.
Don’t try to sell to the people you meet doing this, that’s not what this is about. It’s about building connections and relationships – people buy from people! If you can connect with people and they like you, they will be more likely to buy from you.
Also, it’s not all about Instagram! Your audience might be on Facebook – most people in the world are! But the same principle applies. Talk to people. Comment on your follower’s posts and be genuine. Join Facebook Groups like the Folksy Clubhouse and be interesting, helpful and part of the community. Don’t just promote your own work or your shop.
20. Watch this webinar
The Design Trust asked us to share our top tips for selling online in a webinar for their Business Club members. Usually only available to their members, you can watch it too. We’d highly recommend it as we analyse listings and give practical tips on how to get seen and sell more.
Watch it here > Top Tips for Selling Online – The Design Trust X Folksy webinar
For more tips on how to sell craft online, check the Folksy Seller’s Handbook – Folksy Seller’s Handbook