I love creating websites for craftspeople and helping them with their online sales and personal brands. One of the biggest challenges these clients face, besides money, is the consistency of updating blogs and social media. There’s an inherent catch-22 in handcraft businesses: no incoming work projects = no money to invest in social media software or web design; incoming work projects = no time to devote to updating, creating content, or even communicating with freelancers. Additionally, the profit margin is often so small with side gigs that hiring out content development isn’t feasible.

To help, I try to talk myself out of being hired. My biggest piece of marketing advice to craftspeople is to sell on Etsy, eBay, or another platform that will also get you exposure, and develop your brand on Facebook and Instagram. If you must spend money, it should be on enhanced listings on those selling platforms or on targeted Facebook ads (and Facebook will walk you through the basics of placing a targeted ad).

A very common problem that small businesses of all types have (and even some larger businesses) is knowing who their ideal customers are. There is a prevailing mentality that you’d like to appeal to anyone who likes [what you’re trying to sell], and nobody should be left out. I try to coach through this by getting clarity on who their target customers are NOT. Wanting to appeal to a wide audience without segmentation or taking the time to explore basic customer personas is often a recipe that sets me as a marketer up for failure (whether I’m designing a WordPress website, helping with social media content, blogging, or creating newsletters).

Instead, I encourage my clients to think about who they specifically want to reach. Are they targeting young, urban professionals who love unique, handmade jewelry? Or perhaps stay-at-home parents looking for fun and educational toys for their kids? By narrowing down their target audience, they can create more focused and effective marketing strategies.

Another tip is to start small and scale up. Begin with one social media platform and one type of content. Maybe it’s weekly Instagram posts showcasing new products, or a monthly blog update about the inspiration behind their work. As they get more comfortable and see results, they can expand their efforts. The key is to stay consistent, even if it means starting slow.

In the end, building a strong online presence for handcraft businesses is about balancing time, money, and effort. It’s about making strategic decisions that will yield the best return on investment, whether that’s in the form of more sales, greater brand awareness, or a loyal customer base. And most importantly, it’s about sharing their unique story and passion with the world.