Dedicating yourself to crafts is a challenge. Work and make products with your hands, design with care each of the pieces, define your style … It is undoubtedly an experience that we recommend to all people, even those who do not want to dedicate themselves in a professional manner. But even if you are the best at your own, it is likely that you will not get through it. For this reason, today we want to dedicate this post to the common mistakes in the crafts and how to avoid them.
Common mistakes in crafts
– Lack of planning
Starting in the world of crafts requires, like any company, planning. It is likely that your product is already manufactured by a multinational or that other recognized artisans are specialized in its production. Ceramics, jams, knives, jewelry, handbags or leather belts are products of mass consumption, in which there is fierce competition. How are you going to make a hole in the market? From a general or statistical perspective, one might think that it is a utopia to be able to dedicate themselves to crafts and get enough clients to be able to maintain the activity. The reality but, it can be very different.
From the beginning, you must assume that a product made by hand will always be more expensive than one produced in series. Beyond how to set prices, it is important to be clear about what values you will transmit to your products or services. It is in that “extra” value where you must focus since it will allow you to offer your clients a unique, non-copyable attribute. And for that you must plan and, above all, encourage communication.
– Little or no promotion
The majority of companies dedicated to crafts are unipersonal. This means that the artisan or craftsman is the only boss / employee, which means concentrating all the tasks. Design, development, supervision, administration, accounting … To reduce costs or time, it is common to fall into the error of leaving the promotion for another time or even ignore it. Maybe a few centuries ago, where there were guilds that monopolized the trades, it was not necessary to promote or advertise because the clients had no alternatives. Today, not doing so is the fastest way to the premature death of the company. And undoubtedly, leads the ranking of common mistakes.
To promote yourself, it is not necessary to invest large sums of money. The first step is to lose the shame. You can start by opening a profile on Instagram or other social networks where you think you can find a related audience. Here you can contact other makers, get inspired or know the latest trends and fashions. For this, it is important to demonstrate a dynamic and open attitude, as well as you must commit to upload quality content and not purely advertising.
Si ya tienes presencia en alguna red social, el siguiente paso es plantearte si necesitarás una web propia. Existen muchas plataformas, pero si buscas algo práctico sin invertir mucho en programación lo mejor es WordPress o Wix.
In addition to online communication, try to transmit your know-how to in offline. Make business cards according to your production style. Each card is a cover letter for companies and individuals, take advantage of it to be original and capture their attention!
In a second phase, you can evaluate making a catalog, as well as advertise in channels such as magazines, newspapers, radio, newsletters, unions, associations, … You can pull a contact or prepare press releases if you present something new. As Picasso once said “the difficult thing in art is not to paint a painting but to sell it”.
– Low self-esteem
Craftsmen and artists are of a sensitive nature. This is the origin of the beauty of his works: a wealth of emotions, memories, evidence, dedication … and nerves, many nerves and anxieties. And is that the creative effort often accompanied by low self-esteem. Will you like what I do? Will someone notice my product? Will they understand?
In these moments, it is important to stop and take distance, otherwise you will end up frustrated or burned. It is likely that what you now see as something ugly, tomorrow does not seem so much to you. Tastes are like that. That is why it is so important that you focus your attention on promoting your products and making it clear that they will contribute to your customers. The important thing is not what you sell, but how you can improve or help your client’s life.
And if one cup comes out more inclined than the others or the jam has a sweeter point than the others, it can be an occasion to find out if your customers like it more or less. Only you know how it should have been. For other people, the product has the look that its author wanted to give it.
– Do not take advantage of the first impression
As in everything, the first impression is crucial. Providing a clean, new and careful appearance is basic, but in addition, we must have a good presentation. In our era, more and more digital, having good photos and videos is vital. You must invest in quality photography equipment, as well as in a smartphone that allows you to be up to the task outside the studio or in unforeseen situations (for example, in a selfie with a satisfied client). If the overall appearance is not good and the photography is not very clear, you are probably giving a bad image.
The same can apply to the stand, the web or catalogs. All communication must offer the same standard of quality and style, making it clear that your product is exclusive and that each piece is spoiled to the maximum. Make yourself and your project desirable.
– Market opportunities
Who will buy your product or service and why? It is a key question for every company, but we do not always dare to answer it. Here there is no place for assumptions or opinions of family and friends. We must be objective and listen to our customers. As Romeo Soler, founder of Labelfree once said, “you can not fall in love with your project”. First of all, you must detect what your customers need, be aware of new trends and have an eye on the competition. You must be able to leave the ego aside and be able to redirect your works or even your style.
In addition to listening to your customers, it is important that you ask yourself if you are selling at the indicated site. If you want to sell a lot and you care little about the margin, do you have enough points of sale? The fair you attend is designed for people who go for a walk and hang out or are focused on a specific target? If your product is luxury and you look for margin, are you in a high-end circle?
If you are an artisan and want to dedicate yourself to it, you must be clear that your clients not only buy your product, they also buy part of your spirit and know-how. If you are able to avoid these 5 mistakes you will have gotten these closer to your goal. In addition, you will make your customers happier and more satisfied.