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Alternative ways to promote your handmade crafts that are not social media

Alternative ways to promote your handmade crafts that are not social media

Fact: there are some of us who love social media, and some of us who can’t stand it. Whichever side of the fence you’re on there is no denying that social media has lowered the barrier to promoting our work. Social media has provided the opportunity for anyone regardless of budget to create a professional online presence, carve out a niche, and reach audiences around the world with just a few clicks. It is, therefore, easy to see why social media is an attractive marketing option especially for the start-up business owner.

Like all promotional channels, however, social media does have its drawbacks, especially when a business user puts all their focus on a single popular platform at the expense of other ways to promote their work. This is a risky strategy as it puts your marketing efforts at the mercy of issues ranging from constant algorithm changes that can negatively impact reach and engagement, to platforms suddenly closing down. The reality of this latter point is illustrated by the news of the US threatening to ban TikTok, highlighting the drawbacks of relying too heavily on a social platform to promote your craftwork.

Smart business owners see social media as just one tool in their marketing strategy. Alongside your social platforms, it would be wise to consider using alternative promotional methods that can be just as effective, if not generate more long-lasting impact.

Here are some alternative ways to promote your handmade crafts that are not social media:

SEO – search engine optimisation

This is the process of getting your work found on online search engines such as Google and Bing by using the keywords and phrases that your audience is searching for. You would add these keywords and phrases to the content you create related to your business. An SEO strategy may take longer to get results, but your promotional content could have greater longevity when compared to the fleeting posts in social feeds.

TO DO: Identify the keywords and phrases your audience is using to search for craftwork similar to yours then use them within any blog posts and other content on your website. This will help to boost your search engine rankings.

PR Strategy

PR is a traditional way of promoting things. It is the process of getting press coverage for you, your creations and your business in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Press coverage in the right publications for your work can give you credibility by association.

TO DO: Identify the publications and platforms that are right for promoting your creations and business, and start building relationships with the relevant editors and journalists.

Craft Fairs, Events and Tradeshows

Promoting and selling your work in person trumps social media any day. For the simple reason that it brings you directly in front of your target audience. This provides you with valuable opportunities to really get to know your customers by having more personal conversations. Also, showcasing your creations online alone cannot replace the experience of physically touching or seeing something in person.

TO DO: From local artisan craft markets to buyers-only tradeshows, explore what physical events are right for your creations and budget.

Word-of-mouth

Having others tell their family, friends and colleagues about your work is a powerful promotional tool. Word-of-mouth has the benefit of your customers doing your promoting for you. Positive word-of-mouth endorsements give you credibility and help establish trust in your selling process.

TO DO: Encourage your existing customers to tell others about your work by providing outstanding customer service and paying attention to the details. Also, ask for testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials and yes, share on your social channels.

Creative Collaborations

Creative collaborations give all those involved the opportunity to tap into each other’s audiences. This can widen your reach, by getting you in front of customers who may never have found out about you otherwise. If your collaborator is a high-profile individual or brand you could benefit from any of their launch events, industry press campaigns, and other promotional activities that would be expensive to do on your own.

TO DO: Seek out collaborators who share your values and whose work or service offering complements what you do. Ideas to get you started include a joint workshop, or creating a collection together.

There are many ways to promote your crafts both on- and offline. With a bit of creative thinking and a targeted approach, you can create a promotional strategy that does not rely solely on a social media platform.

– Tapiwa Matsinde

[Image credits: The image shown belongs to Leeloo The First sourced from Pexels. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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