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Hi! I’m Lucy. Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
As a coach to handmade business owners and crafters, I’ve come to recognize common themes that plague makers who are trying to sell their items online. One of the biggest complaints? Writing product descriptions.
For some reason, product descriptions cause an enormous amount of grief! But to be honest, once you develop a formula that works for you, it’s a “rinse and repeat” process.
The key to great product descriptions is storytelling. And once you get the hang of it, it’s actually a fun and creative component to your business.
Let’s dive in!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Storytelling can mean different things. If a child is storytelling, it usually means they’re lying (but in a creative way). Movies and books are types of storytelling. When you’re out with friends, there may be that one person who commands everyone’s attention due to their great storytelling skills.
That last example is most like what we mean when we talk about storytelling for product descriptions.
When someone shops online, they are alone at home, scrolling through dozens of listings, photos, and descriptions. There’s a lack of connection.
This is especially true with handmade goods. Think about why someone chooses to shop handmade in the first place. Usually, its because they like the connection to an actual person who made the item they want to purchase.
By adding storytelling to your product descriptions, you help create that connection. Storytelling, for our purposes here, is the part of your description that connects YOU to the shopper.
Remember that your photos and descriptions are acting as the eyes and “ears” of your potential customers. They cannot see your product in person, so they are relying on you to describe it well enough for them to make a purchase.
Every description should include all the pertinent information for the item. This includes:
These are your product’s features. This information is not going to sell your product! It is there to give your customer the basic information they need.
In addition to the specs, think about what problem your product solves for your customer. Every product solves a problem! Think about these examples:
These are just a few examples, but if you think about what you make, you will figure out how it helps solve a problem for your customers.
These are your products’ benefits. You want to include them in your product descriptions!
Before we dive into storytelling, I highly recommend the book, Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. He does a great job of explaining how you can weave story into all your marketing.
Also, you should have a strong understanding of your Perfect Customer. This is the person who is most likely to buy your product. Read more about finding your perfect customer here:
Once you have that information, you’ll find this process will flow and you will get into a rhythm when writing your product descriptions.
Studies show that when brands include storytelling in their descriptions, the perceived value of their product increases.
As a handmade seller, telling a story is actually easier for you than for someone selling a pre-made item.
You can easily weave your story into the product description. Tell customers why you decided to make the product. Share your inspiration for the piece. Why did you start making your creations? A testimonial from a customer about how much they love it.
A personal touch in your product descriptions – that’s storytelling! You don’t need to be J Peterman (although I invite you to read some of their descriptions for inspiration). Just add a little bit of YOU into the description.
I think makers get overwhelmed with product descriptions because they feel they need to be great writers.
The truth is, you just need to include the information that’s important to your customers. They want to know what they’re buying, who they’re buying from, and how the product is going to solve their problem.
Once you have this down, have someone review it just to make sure it makes sense and there are no glaring errors, and voila! Your effective product description is good to go.
Here’s the formula:
Product Features + Product Benefits + Your Story = An Awesome Product Description
Do not copy and paste product descriptions and use the same ones over and over! This is bad for your Google standings (Google does not like repeated copy). Customers will see right through it as well, and your trust factor will decline.
Hopefully you see now that writing product descriptions doesn’t have to fill you with dread! Think about who you’re talking to, make sure you describe your items fully, and add a little bit of YOU to each one, and you’ve got the makings of a great description.
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After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!