If you are in the very early stages of your craft business, then today I want to bring you five recommendations for unmissable books that are going to get you off to a great start. Even if you have been in business for a little while, these choices are going to expand your knowledge and help you grow your business and get more traffic and potentially sales.
The first two books are actually by the same author,Kari Chapin, and they are The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business.
The Handmade Marketplace (available on Amazon UK/Amazon USA) is a brilliant guide to almost the complete process of getting out there and selling. Kari covers setting your price for your work, where and how to sell, both online and offline, tips on photographing your work to best effect, technical advice for selling through a website or online marketplace and also how to sell wholesale into brick and mortar stores.
In the words of Amy Butler, from Amy Butler Design “Kari has thoughtfully created the very best guide book for navigating the craft marketplace. Her personal voice, guided by personal experience is evident throughout the book. You’ll feel encouraged, inspired and informed….. totally confident to jump start your own craft business!”
Grow Your Handmade Business (available on Amazon UK/Amazon USA) is even more of a hands on book and walks you through the process of taking your business to the next stage. Kari explains in detail how to create a business plan, tips for expanding production and distribution, what you should do if you need to find funding and additional advice on financial and legal matters involved in running a business.
“Countless crafters have turned to The Handmade Marketplace for advice on selling their goods. Now Grow Your Handmade Business helps creative entrepreneurs achieve their long-term business goals. Kari and her contributors talk frankly about budgeting, licensing, marketing, time management, loans, taxes and even the law. Whether you are new to the handmade business world or attempting to grow your business, this book will be valuable.” Lisa Congdon, author of A Collection A Day
If you have a craft or handmade business one of the best ways of promoting it and getting more sales, either from your website or from an online marketplace such as Etsy or Folksy, is to have a blog. The advantages of a blog is that you can network with people, buyers can get to know a little bit more about you and your work and you can showcase pieces that you are designing. Furthermore a blog is regularly updated, which means it helps you to gain more visibility both in the search engines and through social marketing.
If that all sounds pretty complicated then never fear, Blogging for Bliss (available on Amazon UK/Amazon USA) walks you through how to get set up and how to build a vibrant creative following. I can assure you that once you get going, blogging is going to be something that you really enjoy.
“Tara’s book is fabulous because it was easy to read and follow, the illustrations are great, and she offers many wonderful blogging tips. For example, I had been searching for a way to ‘frame’ my photos in a creative way, and she explains how to do this in a step by step manner. I highly recommend this book, if you want to be ‘with it’ in the 21st century!” Amazon Review from Theresa Mink
One of the hardest things to get to grips with when you are selling items online, is to take great photos of your work. Yes we have all used a camera for taking snaps of the family and our pets 🙂 but it is a little different when you need close-up, well lit images to show your work off to its best advantage.
Remember if someone is buying something from their PC screen, they can’t examine the item, weigh it in their hand or feel the quality. Therefore you need to supply as much of this detail as you can through both the written description, but also more importantly through great images taken from multiple angles.
The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos (available on Amazon UK/Amazon USA) walks you through the entire process and not only demystifies photography jargon, but ultimately helps you get some very cool shots of your handmade items without lots of stress.
I recently reviewed Craft a Creative Business (available on Amazon UK/Amazon USA) on the blog and I would definitely recommend this book for anyone starting out with a business. It’s a really accessible book which walks you step by step to building a successful handmade business. The areas it covers include: online & offline selling, branding & promotion, setting up as self employed (UK), social media, photography, search engine optimisation (SEO), marketing and goal setting.
The book is very visually appealing with coloured pages, coded for the different sections. It also includes tips and recommendations from business owners who already run creative businesses. This is definitely one to add to your business library.
There we have 5 great books that can be the cornerstones of any craft business.
Also, do you want to make social media truly effective for your handmade business in the year ahead? If so you may want to sign up for my 6 week online course – the Social Media Marketing Bootcamp. Enrol today for instant access.