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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.
If you haven’t noticed, selling online is *kind of* my jam here at Bloom. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE selling at in-person craft markets and fairs. The reality is, though, they are a lot of work, and at this point in history they are no longer as reliable for sales as they once were. One of my favorite ways to infuse the excitement of an in-person market with the ease of online selling is to have what I like to call an online sale event, or an online show.
Essentially, you are running a sale (not necessarily a discount sale) where you are letting people know that there is something great going on over at your website, and you are inviting them to come and shop.
Like this, but virtually!
There are several different ways you can go about creating an online sale event for your business, and here are a few that might spark interest for you.
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.
I LOVE the idea of having a private Facebook group for your handmade business. I started my own private Facebook group for Bel Monili in 2016 so that I could have a place for the people who expressed interest in my jewelry from my main Facebook business page. At markets and fairs I would invite customers to join, and I also made sure to invite my email list members.
A private Facebook group is a great place to connect on a deeper level with your audience. They are more likely to get notifications when you post, which means they are more likely to engage with you and your content.
You can use this group as a vehicle to hold an online sale event, either posting items for sale directly in the group (you would post a photo of the item with a price and instruct people to comment “sold” with their name and email address to claim) or directing members to your website to shop.
If the shopping is taking place on your website (which I personally recommend because it’s a lot easier for you to manage, plus it’s good to get traffic on your site), make sure you have done plenty of previews and promo posting within the group to get people excited. Ideally, you will want to be launching something special: either a special discount, a new line, or a limited edition product.
Facebook events are a great way to have a “hub” for your online event where people can RSVP and get updates/notifications.
When creating a Facebook event, you will want to set up the event from your business’ Facebook page (NOT from your personal profile). You will want to invite all of your friends, though, and make sure to share the event link on your business page, within your group (if you have one) and in your email newsletter.
A Facebook event is also a nice way to host an online event as a group. In the past, I have had a lot of success partnering up with a small group of handmade sellers (5-7 total is a great number) to put on a virtual sale event. Each business page is added as a host of the event, and each business is responsible to share with their audience and engage within the event discussion.
Creating a new line or collection of products is a great way to get people interested and shopping! If you know your Perfect Customer and what he/she is shopping for, then you should be able to identify what kinds of products would be good for a launch. Some ideas include:
Essentially what you want to do is create excitement about the new products and designs that are coming out of your workshop. Being able to regularly launch new products will create buzz and excitement around your brand, which will make online selling SO much easier!
You will want to tease/promote your launch to your email list, on your social media sites, and to your friends. Make sure you are giving specific launch dates/times and (if possible) teaser content about what will be launching.
No matter which method you choose, the key takeaways here are that you want to be regularly creating new products and regular events to keep your customers coming back for more!
Speaking of Facebook groups, come join the free Bloom Facebook group, created exclusively for handmade business owners like you!
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!