Scrapbooking is a service and a business that can lead to increased monthly income if you know how to get clients. It keeps changing as I go along.
I will share with you some of the things that I have done and that work well for any arts & crafts hobby. Start a work log of your projects.
The reason I encourage hobbiest to turn their interests into profit is because most likely you know more about the craft than anyone else and people will pay you for your skills.
I started making paper cards a few years ago as a way to express my creative side. I have always loved art, drawing, painting and making collages.
As a child I would cut out pictures of faces from magazines and then glue them all together on stock paper.
Then I would add embellishments to them. Even in high school I took my textbooks and covered them with uniquely designed book covers that I made myself.
I would receive compliments and never thought to do it as a business until I got older and needed to make some extra cash for the family household.
Hopefully I can share some useful information that you can use or share with others. Let me know if you have any marketing tips you would like to share.
Turn your hobby into cash, stop searching and start building. P
It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had a marketable skill and talent that people would pay me for. Up until that time it was something I did for family and friends for special occasions and holidays.
My passion has turned into a full-time income and I want to share with you some of the things I have learned along the way. It is pretty basic and just takes some planning and organization to make it work.
Write Down What You Know
The first thing you will want to do is write down everything you know about your hobby. This can get tricky because as you know if you have been doing something for a long time it is almost second nature.
Take some time and concentrate on the step by step process to how you are able to complete your craft projects. Once you write out the steps you will want to take pictures of the items you use.
For instance I regularly use lace and ribbons in my projects so I sat down one day and placed them out on the table and took a photograph of them. Then I typed up my instructions on my computer using openoffice.org, this way I would have a digital copy of my step by step cardmaking guide.
Find a Place to Publish your Guide
After that I went online and looked for ways to compile this information into a readable format for others to check out. I found a site called eJunkie and they allow you to upload PDF’s ebooks to their site and choose a price to sell them. The great thing is that it is only like $5 dollars a month to use the service and once you start adding your digital downloads you can create a library of books for others to learn from.
Use Free Methods to Market Your Services
Now the fun part is marketing and I will go over some free ways to get the word out about your knowledge, skills and abilities. You will be surprised at how many people are online searching for this type of information.
Don’t worry about writing perfectly because the main thing is that you want to get the idea across to your readers, they will understand and be grateful for your honesty. It takes practice and then you will learn what will work for you and what will not work for you. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean that you can do it too.
Marketing Your Craft Business on The Web
Learn How to Promote and Sell Your Arts and Crafts online. Homemade items are what is global creativity.
The internet is always changing and one thing that I like about it is that there are so many outlets for our talents and more are being added each day.
One that I found that I absolutely love is a site called Esty, one of the reasons is because it is full of people who are interested in reading and commenting on the many articles that are posted to the site everyday and also you can gain a lot of inspiration.
Join Communities Online
Finding sites that have a warm community of participants will probably your best option when it comes to marketing your craft business, but you need to excercise caution because not all social networking sites are created equal.
When I first started my journey on the web I think I joined tons of social sites and immediately got frustrated because I wasn’t making any sells.
The biggest reason was because I wasn’t in the right environment. If you want to succeed in gaining more clients and increasing monthly income you will first need to find where your target audience is located.
Believe me you will find plenty of people ready to talk or should I say type your ear off but it will not do you any good if you are unable to reach your buyers market.
Know Your Target Audience
Everyone has a camera these days and most smart phones have a camera attached to them. The amount of pictures that each person takes from month to month can be in the hundreds.
The interesting thing is that there is no real way to catalog or display these photos other than digital scrapbooking.
It is a win win and I usually try to hang around sites that cater to those who are technology enthusiasts. You know the ones who have to buy the latest and greatest new gadgets.
For instance Kindle Fire is supposed to be a strong competitor for the iPad this year. In any case you can set up your own blog and start posting content related to these new technologies.
Things to Remember
1. Write Down a Step by Step Guide
2. Publish your e-guide on eJunkie.com
3. Set up a Blog
4. Market your Services on the Web
5. Set your Rates High
Marketing with a Blog Guide
Use a Blog to Get Your Message Across
The best invention in my opinion is the blog, because it allows you to do so many things. The built-in RSS Feed is a good way to spread your link around the web.
You can add photos to your blog, you can add your social media buttons and you can also add videos. In the arts and craft business a good instructional video can go really far.
Use your blog as a way to get out your message and reach people who want what you have to offer. Tell your story and show them that you have a solution for their digital photos.
Stick to Your Price
It works really well and then you want to have a price sheet to discuss your packages and the various prices you charge depending on the service you provide.
People will try and talk you down on your prices and all I have to say about that is you want to keep your prices high. The reason for this is you will end up spending more time on each project than you realize.
Your time is valuable so do not work for pennies. Get what you are worth. What I tell potential clients is that I provide a custom creation that they will not be able to find anywhere else and that they are paying for the uniqueness of my craft.
How Valuable is Your Time?
Plus I do not want to deal with penny pinchers, if they can’t afford my services then I don’t want to work with them anyway.
When it comes to your arts and craft business do not settle for less than what you are worth. You are providing a valuable commodity. For whatever reason high-end clients seem to pay on time and do not give much hassle.
When you deal with people who can’t pay much they usually complain more about the finished product. Don’t ask me why but that has been my experience.
Ever since I agreed to do a project for less than what I normally charge I decided to never do it again. It was the biggest headache in my life.
Now I charge premium prices and I am always amazed at how many people will accept my conditions. Creating memories are priceless and you are the best person to provide that service to others.
“Your blog is where you SELL your products”
“Online communities is where you SHARE your knowledge”
The difference between Selling and Sharing
I read a blog one day and for the life of me I can not remember who wrote it. Lesson learned now I save the URL’s of my gac bloggers.
Anyway she was talking about why we are not successful online and have a hard time making money with our home based businesses. The thing that stuck out to me was the idea of “Sharing vs Selling”
Your Blog is Your Store Front
Basically what she said was that if you have a blog that is where you should be writing your sales copy and pushing for a sell of your products and services.
Because the blog is your storefront or the virtual business that represents you. So when prospects come to the blog they should be really clear on what you want them to do.
1. sign up for your newsletter or email list
2. buy a product or service from you
Let people get to know you online
Thats it, because the sharing of information is what you do on the online communities. I had never thought of it like that before because I basically was doing it the opposite way. LOL
I was giving people a hard sell on the social sites and then once they got to my blog I was writing all these tutorials and sharing information. Which did not lead to many conversions or sells. I was perplexed and could not figure out why that was.
Warm up your target audience
The reason it is better to let people get to know you first on the online communities is because it is warming them up for what you have to offer and then they will be more open to try your services.
Simply put by the time they reach your blog they are going to be in a buying mood. But if you try to hard sell them on the social site they will have blockers up when they get to your blog and if all they see is free information they have no reason to buy anything. So remember to “Share in online communities” and then “Sell on your blog”
How to use Content instead of Third Party Advertisements
Your blog needs to be the compelling content that your audience wants from you. Online advertisement has been replaced with engaging blog writers. The reason is because a blog post can be shared on twitter or Facebook very quickly it is the sharing mechanism that gets your message viral.
The 3 step approach to a successful online business starts with:
1. Promoting content with content – this is done by using social sites and this is where you provide value to your readers and encourage then to share it with their networks.
2. Opt-in Landing Page – you will want to build a relationship with your readers once they get to your blog and the best way to do this is to get their email address.
3. Provide a detailed report or newsletter each week to your target market to keep them engaged and coming back for more information about your niche products.