Running your own business selling things you have made yourself can be a hugely satisfying way to make either your main or secondary income, and is becoming extremely popular as the trend for artisanal crafting continues, with some great sites like diyformula.com also helping more people learn more skills.
With people running businesses from their homes and workshops making everything from furniture to home-made cheese and jewelry to upcycled clothing, there are all kinds of entrepreneurs out there trying to sell their lovingly crafted items, and this can make some sectors of the market fairly competitive.
This means that to have success and get more of your products out there, you need to master marketing, and one of the most vital tools in your arsenal in that respect is the contact details of the people who have bought from you before.
The Classic Sales Mantra
Even in big business, all people involved in sales are taught one thing very early on in their careers:
‘It is easier to sell new products to existing customers, than to sell existing products to new customers.’
Assuming your customers are all happy with their purchases, they are the people it will be easiest to sell further items to. They already have familiarity with the existence of your business and have had a good experience shopping from you already.
Word of Mouth
The other thing your previous customers can do for you if you keep them engaged is recommend you to friends, or share your social media content. As people who already like you and your business, they may well be happy to pass on your promotions or new products to people they know, even if they don’t need anything new for themselves at the present time.
This is worth its weight in gold for you, because as much as you may try and use social media for outreach, it counts for little without people supporting your posts and sharing them with others.
Keeping in Touch
Of course, it can be easy to forget a company you bought something from, even if you were delighted with it. For this reason, it is important to keep up engagement with your past customers. Email newsletters can be a good way to do this. As long as you don’t spam your customers, most people don’t mind the odd email with a special offer or a peek at new products.
Encouraging people to follow your social media accounts is also a good way to keep up engagement, though as this is an extra step for the customer to take, you may find you get through to more of them if you offer an incentive, like a small discount or free shipping if they like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram or Twitter.
When you gain new customers in real life settings, such as at craft fairs, always be sure to hand out business cards with every purchase and if possible, ask people to like your page there and then from their phones (again, in exchange for a small discount or gift).
Never underestimate just how important it is to keep hold of the people you have already won over to your business!