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May 16, 2016

5 MISTAKES THAT DECREASE YOUR PRODUCT’S VALUE & KILL SALES


First impressions are everything. And if you want to make sales, your business’ first impression needs to lead the consumer to believe your product’s value matches, or is greater than, the price.

There is so much that can either contribute or detract from the perceived value of your work. The trick is to get shoppers to put a high value on your products before they even look at the price tag. That way, when they see the cost they either think, whoa, I totally thought it was going to be more expensive or yup, that price seems right, I’d totally pay that.

There are several ways you can increase the perceived value of your products but below are 5 of the most common mistakes handmade vendors make that can instantly decrease the value shoppers put on their products.

Take the time to really evaluate each point in your business. I’ve included links that you can check out for good examples and to see if they spark any ideas for your business!


MISTAKE #1 - POOR PHOTOS

This one is soooo important when it comes to selling handmade and the number one way you can increase the perceived value of your products online. Your photos are your business' first impression online and a tool for helping shoppers make decisions. If you’re quickly setting your products down on the first flat surface and snapping a pic without thinking about lighting or composition, you’re instantly lowering the perceived value of your work.

Your photos need to get people “through the door” before you can start selling to them. If your thumbnail photos or the images you post on social media don’t get people to stop and click, they won’t make you any sales.

Example: Hello I’m Handmade is one of my favorite Instagram feeds for amazing shots of handmade products under a variety of categories. Check them out for some great examples of eye-catching photography.


MISTAKE #2 - INFREQUENT OR IMPROPER SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING

There are too many social media sites out there to keep up with all of them and neglected accounts can make visitors wonder if you're even in business. Choose the ones that work best for you and focus your time there.

You also want to be thoughtful of what you’re posting. Be sure to keep each post professional and provide value. Picture someone standing outside of their store shouting what they have for sale and the promotions they're offering. Comes across as being a little desperate for sales doesn't it? And you'd likely avoid walking past their store in the future.

Constant self promotion and hard selling on your social media pages can come across as though you’re not getting enough sales and will ultimately lower the value people put on your work. Be sure you mix in some informational, inspirational or interactive posts so your feed is interesting and helpful to your followers.

Example: Fitbit is a good example of a Facebook page that provides value. They're not trying to sell you a Fitbit in every post. In fact, I couldn't even find one post that is directly trying to sell you one. Instead, they share useful content that encourages a healthy lifestyle and their product is more of a side note on how the device can help. Even if I didn't own a Fitbit, I would still find value in their posts. 

You may also be interested in our article: ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME WITH SOCIAL MEDIA? HERE'S HOW TO TURN LIKES INTO SALES.


MISTAKE #3 - CONFUSING WEBSITE DESIGN

It’s worth it to invest time or money into website design to be sure the right message is being instantly conveyed. You literally only have a few seconds to convince site visitors to stay and click around. If people are confused on whether or not they're in the right place, what you're selling or where to click, they're going to bounce right out of there.

Ensure your brand's message is apparent as soon as people arrive. If a tagline boasts elegant high-end jewelry but the website is dated and full of flashing ads, you're going to wonder if they know what "high-end" means. Quality images are also key here and keep navigation simple. Don't hide the main pages of a website under confusing names or nested pages.

If you already have a website, ask a few people for their feedback on it. Do the words they use to describe it match the message you're trying to convey? If not, it may be time for a re-design.

Example: Blo is a company that really opened my eyes to what great branding is. They're fun, modern and edgy and that comes across in every aspect of their business, including their website. The website is clean, simple and super easy to click around. You instantly get a feel for their vibe, understand what they're offering and are able to find a location or book an appointment. The hot pink color and font style give the site a cohesive look and represent their brand. If you had previously received a piece of their marketing material, visited a salon or followed them on social media, you would know the second you land on their site, you're in the right place. I also love their fun illustrations under BLO SERVICES which show you they know the latest trends in hairstyles.


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MISTAKE #4 - DEVALUING CRAFT FAIR DISPLAY

From your tablecloth and props to your product arrangements and you, every aspect that surrounds your products at a craft fair can add or subtract value from them.

Make sure that you’re choosing display elements that work with your brand, strengthen its message and increase your product’s value. Don’t leave your display as an afterthought and ransack your home for baskets and racks to showcase your work on. Consider the message you want to send and then brainstorm how you can communicate it.

Get creative and consider how to create a unique space for people to shop in. If you’re setting up a booth at a craft fair to sell your handmade bath and body products, you could create a spa-like environment so people imagine themselves using your products at home for a mini spa day. Tranquil music, soft colors, the scent of lavender and herbal tea to sip while they shop would make anyone want to stay a while. Their surroundings and the way they’re treated in your space will also lead them to believe your products are worth their price.

Example: We've pinned a bunch of effective craft fair displays to our Craft Fair Tables & Booths board. There's a lot to think about when it comes to your display but it should have a cohesive look, include eye-catching elements and make use of zones and compositions to lead the eye/customer through your space. You also want to keep your shoppers in mind. What will they see first as they approach? Does your set up encourage people to touch and pick up items? Does it make them think of gift giving? I explain these points further in my e-book: MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS and share a ton more ways to create a display that adds value to your products. You can download a sample chapter here to see for yourself the type of useful information that's inside.


MISTAKE #5 - LACKLUSTER LANGUAGE

How you write about your products and the way you speak about them can change a shopper’s perception of them. Imagine dressing up and going out for a fancy dinner at an elegant restaurant. The environment is lovely and the food has gotten amazing reviews but when your server walks up, they say: “Hey, how’s it goin? Just thought I’d let you know the chicken is on special. What do you want to drink?” It would detract from your “fine dining” experience wouldn’t it? If instead the server said: “Our feature this evening is a pan seared chicken breast in a white wine sauce, garnished with fresh parsley” it would make their chicken special sound a lot more elegant, expensive and enticing.

Here are a few areas to examine when it comes to the language you use for your business:

Product Names – would you type in “handbag” or “lime green diaper bag” when searching for a diaper bag in this season's colors? If you want people to find your products in their searches and put more value on them, be detailed with your product names. *bonus tip: if you can add a relevant benefit to your product name, even better! "Washable Lime Green Diaper Bag" would be appealing to moms and they may even specifically search for "washable diaper bags".

Descriptions – your descriptions should paint a picture and get shoppers to imagine themselves using your products. “Handmade. 14” x 10". Green cotton.” doesn’t add much value to the bag. “Handmade messenger style diaper bag. Each seam double stitched for durability. 5 interior pockets help keep all your items organized and easy to find. This bag is made from environmentally friendly, organic cotton and can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning. Available in this season’s color trends: lime green, peach and lilac grey.” The first description shows lack of effort while the second communicates the benefits of the bag, helps the shopper imagine how they’ll use it and points out the social currency they’ll gain (owning a bag in this season’s color trend makes them look much cooler;).

Signage – Your product names and selling features should be pointed out in your signage at a craft fair as well. You won’t get the chance to go into depth with every shopper so your signs should be used to share important messages that help people see more value in the products you’re selling.

Bio – this section should be used to show your credentials, point out how you’re different from your competitors and build a connection with your site visitors. Think of who you’re speaking to and what you may have in common with them. Random facts are okay to share but question whether they're relevant to your brand or products and if they'll add value.

Sales pitches – when you’re selling your products at a craft show, you want to say the right things that will help shoppers understand the benefits of your products. If you don’t know what those are or how to communicate them properly, you could be losing sales (Chapter 9 can help with that!). Imagine car shopping and having the salesman point out the buttons, show you how to start the car and where the trunk is. These are all things you can easily figure out on your own. What you want to hear is how the back seats fold down and that you can easily fit a kayak and paddles in there so you know it’s perfect for your outdoor adventures.

Example: I'm going to use Blo again in this example. Have a read over the copy on their website and you'll see why. They have a lot of fun with their text and can even get a little risque with it. But it strengthens their brand and adds to the overall experience. The names and descriptions of each hairstyle you can request, show that that they're on top of current hairstyle trends while helping the customer imagine the look and where they might wear it. They keep this language consistent across every area of their business: in salons, marketing, social media, etc.


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