[159] Top Tips for Selling your Handmade Goods Wholesale with Melanie Augustin

What if you could sell 95% of your handmade creations via wholesale?

My guest today has done just that. She quickly grew her business – and her income! – by focussing on selling via wholesale, rather than online or at markets.

But where do you start? How do you know if you’re pricing correctly? And what’s the best way to approach stores? How to you show them what you’ve got to offer?

There’s a lot to know, and it’s important to keep your relationships with current and potential retailers secure.

Figuring out your pricing to include all those elusive overheads is truly one of the major pieces of the puzzle; along with having a stellar catalogue and knowing how to get your name and products ‘out there’.

In this episode Melanie Augustin sits down with me to talk about how she jumped into wholesaling headfirst and the lessons she has learnt along the way.

Mel is my good friend, and also my co-teacher in the upcoming Wholesale Know-How course, that starts this coming Monday, September 10th!

Click or tap here to find out exactly how our course will show you the steps you need to take to successfully sell your handmade creations to brick & mortar retail stores.

NB: The body of this episode is a replay of Episode 5 of the podcast – I’m bringing it back today because that was 3(!) years ago, and I know many of you would have never listened to it – Mel has some brilliant insights to share, so don’t miss it.

 

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • “Some days it’s almost like the business part and the creative part of me are pulling against each other, and you really have to accept that.” {Melanie}
  • A lot of crafters who craft for fun often think they can turn things into a business but it’s really a different mindset and a different way to think about things.
  • Make sure you know how much you can make in a specific time frame to figure out if you need to factor in staff or other help to get your orders filled.
  • Find a business partner or think about hiring help if you find the accounting side of your business too scary.
  • Trade fairs can be great places to pick up new business but they aren’t essential for you to step into wholesale.
  • Trade fairs are completely different to a retail craft market as people are less likely to want to chat and are there for business.
  • Make sure you have a catalogue which makes it easy for buyers to choose and order efficiently.
  • “I wish I could just create all day and I think that’s what people think but there’s a lot just sitting there and marketing and online business.” {Melanie}
  • “We all make mistakes with our pricing in the beginning. When you have a lot of orders, you can sit there and think, I’m not earning enough money for this!” {Jess}
  • Make sure you maintain a good relationship with your buyers as it’s easier to sell to the same customer rather than get a new customer.
  • Don’t be so worried about work/life balance on a daily basis as you will find that it evens out over the course of the year.
  • “I’m now strict about not working weekends except in those last three months of the year” {Melanie}
  • “Before my daughter was in school, I would go into studio lock-down for days on end and that worked really well because then I could take the time I wanted. Now I have my daughter’s schedule with school hours, I have to adjust.” {Mel}
  • BookThe Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power
  • Instagram is a great tool for marketing an online business along with Twitter if you’re a bit of a wordsmith
  • Mel’s Top 3 things to get right for wholesaling
    1. Pricing
    2. Catalogue
    3. Marketing
  • “If you don’t build your dream, somebody will hire you to build theirs.” {Tony Gaskins}

 


Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible. 

 


 

[157] Leverage your Etsy Shop with Danielle Spurge

 

Want to get featured in a big magazine or online publication? Making sure your Etsy shop is top-notch is a great first step.

My own jewellery has been picked up and featured on Buzzfeed, Ring to Perfection, and in many other places, but that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t put in the work to have eye-catching product photos.

Of course, that’s only part of the story – and my guest today, Danielle Spurge of the Merriweather Council has got plenty of experience and knowledge to share with you on this topic.

She’s been featured in stacks of places, and in this episode she’s sharing her advice on how to leverage your Etsy shop OFF Etsy to get seen and grow your business.

 

 

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle, which gives you access to exclusive members-only episodes (and SO much more). Without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • The traffic you generate on Etsy is not just buyers.
  • “Influencers, big names, media outlets and buyers don’t search google, they go straight to Etsy. If you’re not on Etsy you’re missing out” {Jess}
  • Danielle worked hard to optimise her store for influencers, big store buyers and media as well as buyers.
  • “News outlets need content to share and Etsy is a hot bed of cool and interesting things” {Danielle}
  • A media opportunity can change the game for a small business.
  • Danielle shares a story about the Gilmore Girls and how this increased exposure of a product.
  • Jess shares a story about the longevity of sales from a media feature.
  • “You’ve got to have it sorted – have your products looking great and ready to pick up” {Jess}
  • Use your shop like a portfolio and have images and content ready to share by influencers and media outlets.
  • “No one is going to want to feature a shop that is half-empty or incomplete” {Danielle}
  • If you are interested in collaborations be aware these take longer to arrange and you will need to have a body of work that works as a showcase of your work.
  • Turn around for items needed for a photo shoot is often short. If an opportunity comes up you will need to turn production and shipping around very quickly.
  • “You want to take advantage of an opportunity if it comes up. You don’t want to have to turn it down because you didn’t know or don’t have what they need” {Danielle}
  • “If you want to make a long reaching wide PR strategy you do have to work for it but sometimes they come to you” {Jess}

 

[155] Magnetic Marketing with Shannon Bush

Does your marketing copy sometimes just feel a bit… blah?

Like – you’re not quite sure what to say to really explain how awesome your product actually is?

In this episode, you’ll learn a key tactic that will make your product descriptions SO much more powerful and persuasive – and it’s called the benefit statement.

My guest today is Shannon Bush, who has been working with businesses of all shapes and sizes for over 10 years, helping them overhaul their messaging and grow their reach.

In this episode, we talk about her concept of magnetic, or ‘lean in’ marketing – how to draw people to you rather than pushing them away with shouty marketing tactics – and we go in-depth on the process of crafting a benefit statement for your products and business.

So get your notebook ready, and prepare to create powerful product descriptions that will tap into the wants and needs of your ideal customer, and get you more sales!

(P.S. I totally used Shannon’s tactic to write that last sentence…)

 

 

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle, which gives you access to exclusive members-only episodes (and SO much more). Without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • You are never done with business – there are always new things to learn and try.
  • Magnetic marketing is about finding your own magnetism and creating an approach that is genuine to who you are.
  • Aim to create the “lean in effect” where people want to engage with you, find out more about your products and are drawn to you and your story.
  • Take the extra time and effort to connect with your customers and build a relationship.
  • “People buy from people – remember the human element” {Shannon}
  • Your marketing helps people understand what you sell and why they should select you rather than others in the same field.
  • Jess recommends the book “The Fortune Cookie Principle” by Bernadette Jiwa
  • “The descriptions of what you sell are critical” {Shannon}
  • Each of your products has a why. Consider why you started making, why you chose those components, why you designed your product this way.
  • “People do invest based on that perceived benefit” {Shannon}
  • When writing product descriptions outlines its features and then outline the benefits. This is wordier but it provides customers with why they need this product in their lives.
  • “Just because you are making something that doesn’t have a practical purpose doesn’t mean that people don’t need it in their lives” {Jess}
  • Use the language customers are leaving in reviews for your products to help shape your benefits text.
  • Linking statements are the words between the list of features and the list of benefits that provide extra dynamism. Examples include “so you can”, “allowing you to” and “reminding you that”.
  • With descriptions, remember to speak to the person directly and use “I” and “you” not “we” and “they”.
  • Magnetic marketing can feel very easy because you get to be “you”. Be genuine, build relationships and keep it real.

 


 

[154] The Success of Soak Society

 

So many business come about because the creator sees a problem, and can’t find a solution… so they create it themselves.

Soak Society is one such business. It’s founder, Natalie Thorogood, started the business a few years ago when she wanted to use bath salts without any artificial colours or fragrances. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she created it.

Over the next few years, Soak Society has blossomed into a boutique bath product company that is stocked all over Australia and overseas, including in a huge range of stores in Tokyo.

Natalie is a brilliant example of a young woman who saw and opportunity and jumped on it. I loved chatting with her – she’s a Sunshine Coast local, so just down the road from me, and she exhibits a wonderful down-to-earth perspective on work and life.

P.S. Are you ready for the #MakingItPodcourse? It’s a FREE 30-day course for makers in business, and I’m publishing a lesson a day on the podcast. It kicks off on July 1st!

 

Head over to MakingItPodcourse.com to register now for email reminders and updates throughout the course.

 

 

 

 

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • “You don’t have to have a uni degree to start a business” {Natalie}
  • Natalie has a stockist newsletter to provide regular updates on Soak Society happenings. This is supplemented with individual points of contact via phone and email.
  • Soak Society used a PR agency for 4 months to assist with build brand awareness and build stockist list.
  • “You are paying for the contacts and experience they have” {Natalie}
  • Collaborate with others in your field and cross pollinate ideas and content through gifts with purchase, interviews and promotions.
  • Natalie uses Flaunter to compile, share and promote brand imagery, media and press releases.
  • Keeping a sustainable work/life balance is essential.
  • “There needs to be a balance and you can’t be guilty about it” {Natalie}
  • Natalie recommends the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
  • “Consult with your wholesalers – they are your customers and they know what sells in their stores” {Jess}

 

[151] Being Boss with Emily Thompson

 

Have you heard of the Being Boss podcast? If so, you’ll know my guest today – one half of the BB duo – Emily Thompson.

If not, you’re in for a treat.

In this episode, I interview Emily about what it means to be the boss of your business and your life.

We cover a lot of juicy mindset topics, and we discuss Emily & Kathleen’s new book – Being Boss.

I loved talking with Emily, and I hope you get a lot out of this episode!

In other news… I introduce you to something very exciting happening on the pod in July!

Listen below to find out more!

 

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Emily started with her first business at age 18 and her career has shifted and changed many times since then.
  • It is very unlikely that you are going to find the things you are going to do for the rest of your life early on.
  • Confidence is a muscle – the more you work it the stronger it gets.
  • “Find the ways to remind yourself that you are awesome at what you’re doing or you will figure it out along the way.” {Emily}
  • Being stuck in fear will not allow you to lead a fulfilling life and work.
  • “Confidence is something you will have to practise and you will always have to practise.” {Emily}
  • Look for proof in your past experiences of times the thing that scared you worked out.
  • Take a breather from the problem – get some perspective and change gears and then come back with fresh eyes.
  • Entrepreneurs are making it up and figuring it out as they go along.
  • “We are all experimenting. You have to be willing to do the experiments and take the risks.” {Jess}
  • The more you try the more you will fail – get comfortable with failure to allow you try new ways and new things.
  • When things are no longer fulfilling in your business it is time to let consider what you need to change to get back to fulfillment.
  • “There are times when a dream job is no longer dreamy.” {Emily}
  • Systems and process are very important to business it is important to leave space to be creative.
  • “You can systemise yourself into a rut where you don’t have the space to allow your creative juices to be flowing.” {Emily}
  • Find out more about Emily, the podcast, and the Being Boss book here.

 

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