We’ve all been there. We have an amazing product, customers tell us how beautiful/wonderful/interesting it is, there are loads of interest at conventions, but you go home and hear nothing.
There are things you can do to make your business and products more likely to be featured, either here on Craft Hackers or anywhere else on the web. Today’s post is going to explore three things that you can do that will significantly increase your likelihood of both getting noticed and featured around the web.
Obviously this is important for those who are looking to sell anything, but it can be the difference between getting featured and not. If you’re at a convention, make sure you engage with everyone browsing your stall, even if it is just by smiling at them. When people notice you interacting with them, even to such a small degree, they are more likely to talk to you about your wares.
That is where you sell yourself and your work, to both customers and reviewers. I’ve featured work that I might have passed by, just because of the wonderful discussions I had with the makers. Likewise, I’ve not featured work that I loved because the people selling it couldn’t be bothered to look up from their phone.
I will say that when I go through cons looking at businesses, I rarely identify myself as a blogger/reviewer until the end of a conversation. So it is important to treat everyone as if they might be someone who could be a reviewer. It has the added benefit of making your product more attractive to customers, but do not underestimate the impact of the personal touch.
Upgrade Your Photos
We talked this spring about simple ways to make your photography better, and this is one of the easiest ways to up your chances of getting featured, as well as getting your product sold. Sites that look to feature artists and businesses want their site to look good as well as to keep their readers happy, and having better quality photos will be more attractive.
This is important as the world is increasingly image-centric. What draws our eyes to different websites is not usually the text, but the photos and pictures. Once you have that immediate attention, then you can keep viewers there with good writing. But at the outset, if you want to get noticed, make sure your visuals are up to scratch.
How do you go about this? Well, you could hire a professional, but these days most people have cameras that will do just fine in their pocket attached to their phone. Spend some time to learn about composition, lighting, make your own photo booth, how to do simple edits in Photoshop (or an equivalent program) and you’ll find that the response to your images will jump.
This is especially important for reviewers as typically we will look at your stall/shop and enjoy it while we are there and go away to write. When we write, we rely on what you’ve provided online to remind us why you caught our eye in the first place, and if you have poor quality photos, I begin to doubt that the products I saw were really of the quality I thought they were, or that you are committed to your work as much as I’d like to see, or even that you’ve given me the right details.
Visuals are key, and the more you can do to upgrade them, the more likely you are to catch someone’s eye. This leads us nicely to our next point.
Upgrade Your Online Presence
Notice that I did not say social media, but just online. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away from a stand at a con, fully expecting to feature them and all their adorable little trinkets or one of a kind wonders, to find out that they are basically non-existent as far as the Internet is concerned.
Maybe there’s an Etsy address on their business card, but there’s nothing for sale in it. Maybe they list a number of social medias, but nothing has been posted to any of them. Maybe they have one or two images up of their products, but it is low quality and unappealing.
Your online presence is key for reviewers and those looking for a feature. There is this amazing mapmaker that I saw all summer at conventions who draws maps from mythical, fantasy, and sci fi realms that are stunning, but all they have online is a Tumblr with some poor quality photos. Even though I badly want to feature them, I can’t justify showing our readership such a poorly constructed online presence. There is nowhere to buy these maps online, and even the photos that exist don’t do the maps justice. If readers cannot be shown the products in a way that allows them to purchase, then most reviewers will walk on by.
Again, I cannot stress enough that this is not about social media. This is about the basics. A website. An Etsy store. A point of call where you have contact details, product details, and hopefully a small bit about who you are as a business. You don’t need to be regularly posting on social media, but you need somewhere that allows readers to find your work and contact you.
Think of like this. If you cannot put together an online presence to show off your work, then why should a reviewer?
And that’s really the key point.