In the last two years I’ve been able to start making a full time income from my handmade business and I’m so proud of myself for being brave enough to put up those first few items and see if people would buy them. I took a chance on myself and created a successful craft business! And one thing I’ve realized about myself is that I enjoy the sense of pride I get from accomplishing something more than I do the actual outcome.
It hasn’t always been an easy road to get to making an income I can live on with my handmade business. I had to figure out a lot of stuff along the way and find my own way to create a successful craft business working from home.
When I look back at my journey, I realize how much people over-complicate the whole process and people who teach how to sell crafts online make you think that you have to do it a certain way or use certain tools or it’s not going to work for you.
It’s pretty frustrating when you’re trying to make products to list and trying to do all the things that you’re “supposed to do”. You start to feel like you’re drowning. The best way to make your handmade business a success is to do it in a way that feels good to you. Yes, there are some strategies that will help you make some progress, but this is going to be whatever you make it. And you’re the one who is going to be doing this for years to come. So, I suggest making it fun!
I put together a few of my best tips that have helped me grow my online handmade business from zero sales to $10,000 per month working at home in my PJs. Everyone’s experience will be different, but my first year I only sold on Etsy and I wasn’t making more than $1500 dollars per month. Usually it was only a few hundred. I started my Amazon Handmade shop about a year in and a few months later I had my first month that was over $9,000.
These tips are what worked for me and I hope they’ll work for you too, but don’t ever feel like you have to use anyone else’s cookie cutter systems to build YOUR business. You do what feels good to you and the success will follow. Here are my best tips if you want to quit your day job and make your handmade business your full time job!
7 Tips To Make Your Handmade Business Your Full Time Income
Success Mindset To Reach Your Handmade Business Goals
I really can’t even tell you how important mindset is in building your dream business. Honestly, if you don’t believe in yourself, it’s going to be difficult to get anywhere. I am not a very confident person typically. I had to work really hard to be able to believe in myself and my ability to succeed in the online world. I used journaling and just taking some time to think through why I didn’t think I could succeed. Once you get that positive energy behind your handmade business, you’ll approach things so differently and attract all the good things to you.
Mindset and listening to my own intuition are responsible for 80% of my success. The other 20% were strategies that felt good to me. So please don’t take mindset lightly.
Only Sell Crafts You Love To Make
Some of my most popular blog posts are about what handmade products to sell. I know I looked this stuff up too when I was just starting my Etsy shop. But the thing is, you have to find something that you enjoy making. Let me tell you, when you have to make 75 of the same item in a day, it had better be something that is fun for you or you’ll lose your mind.
So, what craft skills do you have and what craft tools do you have and how can you put those things together to make something to sell that is FUN? You can use Pinterest for craft project inspiration, but be sure to put some of your own flair into your handmade products if you want to stand out and make a full time income from your handmade business.
Don’t Make Amazon and Etsy SEO Complicated
If I see another post or video on Amazon or Etsy SEO I’m gonna scream! Everyone makes this so complicated and maybe at some point it was. Search engines are way smarter now. Here’s how it works, use terms that people would use to find what you’re selling. The end.
When I was first listing my items, I didn’t even know what SEO was. I used words that made sense to me that people would type in the search bar if they were looking for my items. I didn’t use any fancy tools that I had to pay for. Actually, once I learned about the SEO tools, I tried using them and they gave me the weirdest words that didn’t get me really any traffic. Apparently, what I sell doesn’t get enough searches to ever look good in these tools, but they sell every day when I use normal words.
What would you type in the search bar if you were looking for your item? Now put those words in your title, tags, and description. You can also use the Etsy or Amazon search bar. As you type in a term, it will show recent searches with those words in them.
Sell Your Handmade Crafts On More Than One Platform
I started out on Etsy and I got a few sales after about 2 weeks. It kept growing very slowly from there. I was making a couple hundred and sometimes up to about a little over a thousand dollars a month, but I wanted to make enough to have my handmade business be a full time income. For me, I felt like $4,000 per month was my number that I could live on and be happy with. Etsy wasn’t cutting it.
I had read online that a lot of people didn’t like selling on Amazon Handmade because the customers were crazy and they couldn’t sell for the same prices as Etsy or customers expected to get their items faster. I’d been playing with the idea of selling on Amazon for a while, but after reading all of that, I felt like it was going to suck. I decided to do it anyway and I’m so happy I did. My sales on Amazon are MORE THAN TRIPLE what I sell on Etsy. It changed my life! It doesn’t have to be Amazon, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t be afraid to try new things. Listen to your gut instinct. (UPDATE: I now make about the same amount on Etsy and Amazon each month.)
Social Media For Your Craft Business
Use social media like a person. You don’t have to just spam your products all over social media. Use your business account to let your customers get to know you. Have a conversation. Interact with people. Post some personal things that fit with your brand. People use social media to connect, not to buy products. Connect with people and build a relationship and you’ll make sales.
And if you’re not into social media, you don’t have to use it. Or only use the ones you love. I have an Instagram and Facebook for my handmade business and I really never use them. I’ve made my craft business successful without using social media.
Pin Your Handmade Items on Pinterest
Pinterest is the best for getting traffic to your shop and helping you grow your handmade business to a full time income! The thing I love most about it is your products are on there for eternity. Post your products there and they’ll be found years from now. It does take about 4 to 6 weeks to get indexed on Pinterest, but once you are, you’ll see consistent traffic come in from there. I love that it’s a visual platform so it’s perfect for posting handmade products.
Give Excellent Customer Service
This is huge! If you want to get repeat customers, spoil them with fun little extras. A thank you note is super easy to put into your packages and people LOVE it. You could also gift wrap your handmade item so they feel like they’re getting a gift in the mail when they buy from you. You could also consider throwing in a little gift with purchase if that fits your brand. Make people feel special and they will keep coming back. Also acknowledge when you get a repeat customer. I always thank them for their repeat purchase and say how much I appreciate them in my thank you note.
And treat customers as you’d want to be treated. If someone isn’t happy with their purchase, take a minute and think about how you would want that situation to be handled if you were the customer.
I hope you’ve found these tips really helpful and they help you make a full time income from your handmade business! Remember it’s YOUR BUSINESS. So run it the way you want to and HAVE FUN!
Here’s the video for how to make a full time income from your handmade business.
This is my first video I’ve ever made, so ignore my nervousness please 🙂