When you start to create your products there is always a process you go through which starts from idea all the way through to end product.
But before you get to your end process life happens.
The idea you started with could have changed due to:
The kids messing where they shouldn't have
A conversation you had with someone
Your materials not working as expected
The weather had an impact in some way
You simply thought of another idea or even combined it with the existing one.
Whatever the reasons this adds to your production process. Oh and don't forget all those emotional feelings you where feeling at the time too, it all adds to your final product.
Unlike a factory, you see your products from start to finish. As a creator you know that the cost of your items also includes the hard work, passion, and love that goes into your work, this is why you CAN ask for a premium price.
However, you have a secret weapon no other business owner has but are you using it to it?
Your secret weapon is your product's story
You have to share your product's story with your potential customers to show them WHY your product is worth buying and to justify your price tag you are asking for.
Massed produced products don't have a story to tell, this is why you can stand out from massed produced products. Every creator has a story, yes it's different but never the less they too have a story to tell.
Don't assume that just because you class your products as handmade that you don't have the mass market as a competitor as well. More so if your goal is to get your products into these mass produced retail stores for wider exposure. If this is your thinking you are keeping yourself and your business in a bubble. I understand that there is a community that as a creative business owner you automatically drop into too. Even though this was not my route when I started, this is probably why I can look at the mass market and handmade market side by side.
However the more you merely focus on those who know and buy handmade the more likely you are allowing your business to lose valuable opportunities. Plus as you are aware, unless you are not seeing the changes in today's handmade marketplace, this area is expanding rapidly. So a few years ago when there were not many creating their own products, that has increased dramatically and that has an impact on your business whether you
want to see it or not.
Words like unique, handmade etc are commonplace now
It's getting harder to speak as a handmade business owner, who creates by hand and offers unique made with care products. That has become the norm for all handmade business owners now.
Gone are the days when using words like handmade, unique, one of a kind, passionate, made with care, made with love are going to be your Unique Selling Point, to persuade a customer to part with his or her cash, when every other product around is saying the same thing. Now you have to be bold, outspoken and be prepared to share more than your work to get across your message of what a potential customer is buying when they decide to part with their money, to purchase something that only you have created.
People who buy from mass produced stores online
could very well be are your future potential customers. The way you speak to your potential customer to change their way of buying is the very reason you started your business. You have a passion to produce a product that is different, made with a skill and has a story to tell. You are not just selling a product you are also selling its story that really makes you stand out from any business crowd.
So I hear you say: "Where on earth am I supposed to write my epic product story, Janet, where?"
Well, the first place you need to write your story is in your description area, right by your product image. If your story is an epic one with chapters and all then you, of course, need to condense it to the important parts. The rest of your story will be in the second most important place and that's on your blog. Your blog feeds your business site. After they have read your story, they should have no hesitation to clicking that buy now button by your product.
There's one thing I must add before you start writing your products life stories, don't waffle, lie or filling your story with rubbish. Meaning only write what's relevant to your products. If your product needs 5 sentences to tell its story then, 5 sentences it is.
How will you know when enough is enough? Trust me you will know.
It's like when you are talking with a friend, and you are totally in the conversation then at some point they start to waffle and you start to get lose interest, get bored, your eyes start a wondering, and you start to switch off mentally that's when enough is enough. When you write your story, leave it a day or so then come back to it and re-read it. You will then see what really needs to stay and what can be deleted, a few days away from your story can make all the difference.
Your story should open your customer's eyes and hopefully their heart to show them that it's not just another cushion. Or not even another handmade cushion but a cushion that has a story and needs a home in their home.
Give your products a voice so your products don't become part of the crowd.