How to Get the Prices You Deserve
Don’t Let Guilt and Fear Hold You Back
Guilt and fear will affect your business tremendously. These are the two things that affect how vendors price the most. Fear that their work isn’t good enough or that no one will buy it and guilt that they are charging too much for their goods.
Fear and guilt are normal feelings, especially when you are putting yourself out there to sell your handcrafted work. The feelings themselves are not harmful; it’s what you do with them that will determine your level of success.
If you have been following my Selling Your Crochet Series you will now know two very important things; what type of items you will be selling and how to price your crochet, as well as knowing what your target market is… ok so that’s three things.
If you haven’t been following the series then I highly recommend you start at the beginning and read the two articles in the beginning of the series.
Hopefully you have completed your homework and are now ready to move on to the next action step. Adding value to your items in order to support your pricing and encourage return customers. We will also be focusing the number one reason why people are unable to find success with selling their crochet goods, guilt and fear. Lastly we will discuss ways to attract clientele to your online shop and how to turn a one-time sale into a return customer.
First let’s discuss the two main reasons vendors have fear and guilt?
They don’t value their talent
Afraid to set their prices too high out of fear that no one will buy it
Afraid people will be critical of their work
They listen to the naysayers
Have absorbed negative criticism of their work
Have been told they are pricing their work too high
Now, what can you do with those feelings? It’s easy for someone to tell you not to be afraid or feel guilty but that advice wouldn’t help anyone. Anytime I face any negative feelings I don’t try to talk myself out of them, I try instead to rationalize why I shouldn’t feel that way and what I can do to change those feelings. I also consider what I can do to prevent those feelings in the future.
First, remind yourself of all the time and effort you have put into your work and mastering your skills; the countless times you have ripped out a mistake and remade something, the time you have spent researching new stitches and patterns, the hours you have spent watching video tutorials.
Then, take a hard look at your work. Are there any areas that need improvement? Is there something new you can learn to make your work neater? Obvious starting points, visible seams, sloppy color changes and noticeable finishes are examples of what can decrease the value of your work. Labor and materials are not the only things to consider. Overall quality of the work is an important consideration too. Set yourself up for success. Have confidence in your work by knowing what you are producing is quality. I make sure all of items neat all the way around and that they will not fall apart with daily use or washings. I make sure all items in the round are made with the magic circle and my seamless method (also a tutorial for invisible color changes). I also finish all items with an invisible finish. Don’t make the mistake of selling your work if it is not quite up to par yet. Take the time to make sure your work is ready before putting a price tag on it.
Next, think about ways you can add value to your work. Do you include washing instructions? Do you include a thank you note? What about adding a gift for larger orders, something small like a flower pin or a simple flower tie back or headband? Do you include a business card with your order. What about packaging? There’s a huge difference in receiving a package that is just thrown in a box than receiving a beautifully wrapped package that includes a little thank you note or a free gift.
There are lots of small things that you can do to set yourself apart from other business and to add value to your sales. It’s about more than making a one-time sale. You want to build a strong client base. You don’t want a client base full of people who are just looking for cheap handmade items. You want clients who know and value quality. Those will be the people who come back for more, make sure you are appealing to them. Make sure your clients know what their support means to you. Not only will they probably come back to purchase from you in the future but they will be more likely to recommend you to a friend.
Before you can even make any sales, you first need to attract clients to your work. Whether you sell online or in person, popular styles and colors will attract clientele. Research what is popular and make sure you include one or two of these types of items in your shop. Be sure to use the colors that are popular in the season as well as some basic neutrals that always do well, black, grey, brown, white, off-white and taupe are classic colors that always sell. Include some seasonal styles of crochet. Accessories do well in the summer as do bags beachwear. Fall and winter is the time for hats, cowls, scarfs and other cool weather fashions.
The secret to any online sale is good photography. You can have the most adorable baby hat but if it’s laid flat on a table with dark and grainy picture quality you are probably not going to make a sale. Sometimes the model makes all the difference, but don’t worry if you don’t have a live model. Just make sure you are using a cute display; a wine glass, decorative stand or ball of twine or yarn make great displays for baby hats. Hanging a scarf on a chair or stair banister looks great. Think of interesting ways to display your work. Make sure the background is clear of clutter and that there is good lighting, a shady outdoor area on a sunny day works the best. Take advantage of free online photo editors such as Picasa and PicMonkey to crop your photos and add a watermark of your business name. Another great option is to barter with a local photographer, exchange props for photos.
Lastly remember that there are worst things in life than not being able to sell an item. Not everything will sell and that is ok. You can gift those items, donate them to a local charity or keep them for yourself. Remind yourself that you will be ok if you do not sell an item. You will learn a valuable lesson in what type of items sell well and what doesn’t.
I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of ways to increase the value of your work and how to overcome the guilt and fear that is often associated with selling handmade items. In the future I will be delving deeper into these topics in more detail. If there is any other questions you have on adding value to your work or any problems you have overcoming fear and guilt please comment below and I will get back to you.
- If you work isn’t selling do not assume that it is because of price. Make sure you work is neat and clean.
- Concentrate on making your work look professional.
- Attract clients to your work using trendy colors, popular crochet items and good photography.
- Add value to your work with packaging, adding a small gift or a thank you note and always include a business card.
- Not making a sale isn’t the end of the world. Take the opportunity to learn valuable lessons from lost sales.
Write down your biggest fears and what causes you to have feelings of guilt. Is it internal or due to what other people have said? Then think about the ways you can correct the issues that cause you fear and guilt.
- Do you need to improve the quality of your work?
- Do you need to have nicer and more professional looking packaging?
- Is there something you can do to add more value to your online sales?
Post any questions you have in the comments below or on the Cre8tion Crochet Facebook page.
Cre8tion Crochet will soon be adding an online forum to the blog. This will be a place for the selling community to come together and ask questions in reference to selling their handcrafted work as well as all other business and general crafting and crocheting questions.
Also, don’t forget! The first episode of Cre8tion Crochet is set to air on Wednesday August 14th at 9pm EST. Mark your calendars… you won’t want to miss it!
Have fun and…