Though I haven’t taken my pen-making hobby to the level of a business, I have been able to sell a few pens and plow those sales back into creating more pens. You might decide to turn your hobby into a part-time or even full time business. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoy these 11 tips for promoting and selling your handmade pens.
Carry your pens with you wherever you go. People at work, church, or school will see you with your pens and ask you where you got them. Create a display area on your office desk or someplace your pens can readily be seen. Add a picture of your pens to your computer’s desktop display.
Post your handmade pens on Pinterest, Instagram, and occasionally on Facebook. Pinterest and Instagram seem to have a wide craft-oriented audience. Don’t try to oversell your pens on Facebook. You don’t want to drive friends and family crazy.
Find an online forum or two that will allow you to sell or show off your pens. I’ve made a few sells this way, and had some repeat customers. Be careful though and read the rules for these sites. You don’t want to spam people or get asked to leave the site.
Seek out local craft shows in your immediate area or region. Usually, there will be a cost for having a booth. And you’ll need to decide on how to display your crafts and handle the commerce end. You probably should attend some craft fairs first and observe how others are doing it.
Create your own website or join a site like Etsy. This will open you up to the whole virtual world, and it’s not expensive at all. By setting up with Etsy, you will be crossing paths with customers searching for unique gifts and handmade crafts.
If you create your own website or join Etsy, make sure you print up some business cards to give out. You can get hundreds of business cards very cheaply from sites like Vistaprint. Vistaprint can also create fliers, brochures, catalogs, and other promotional products, if you so desire.
Brush up on your photography skills. Get a good point-and-click camera and learn how to take excellent photos of your work. This is especially important for promoting your pens on social media sites. People are drawn to great pictures, they tend to share them.
Discover local shops that will sell your pens on consignment. Again, you’re putting your wares in front of a craft-seeking audience. You may give up some of your profit this way, but you won’t have to worry as much with the business transaction side. But find a merchant you can easily work with and some who is reliable and trustworthy.
Offer your pens up as giveaways for raffles, doorprizes, or silent auctions. People are always looking for prizes to give away at fundraisers, church gatherings, or charity events. Remember to be genuine in your approach. People can easily detect if you are just donating something to promote your own business or cause.
If possible, you may want to personalize your pens to your niche customers or to the individual level. I advertise my whitetail antler pens to the outdoor enthusiasts, and it works. If you have access to engraving services, you could have names, quotes, or personal messages placed on your pens.
Finally, think about packaging your pens. When someone buys your pen as a gift for someone else, they need a way to package the pen. You could provide a clear plastic tube or a nice hardwood pen box. Add a ribbon or some special decoration to the box. Maybe add a short note about the material used in the pen. All of this gives your product and service added value and may distinguish you from your competitors.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and I hope you got something out of it. Please share any of your own tips you have found valuable for selling your handmade crafts.