When I was little I would always see my Dad fill up a page of a columnar after dinner. “This is the secret to a debt-free household,” he says. “Keeping track of everything from expenditures, liabilities, and looking for patterns.” The handmade soap business is not in any way different.
This is especially true with the looking-for-patterns part. Knowing trends and seasonality on any business is an important factor if a handmade soap maker like myself wants the handmade soap recipes to work their money magic.
I know my Dad’s accounting blood flows through my veins whenever my eldest son admires my Excel spreadsheets, listing every handmade soap making supplies I purchase and handmade soap making kits I sell.
So what is business seasonality?
It’s when certain seasons or events affect a business in such a way that the business lose (partially or entirely) revenue streams. For those who are just planning to get their feet wet in diving into a handmade soap business, don’t let this phenomenon scare you. It affects ALL kinds of businesses. Moreover, it can totally be combated.
As with any battle, they key to winning is preparation. But how, you ask?
For a handmade soap business like yours, which rely heavily on word of mouth advertising or on craft fairs, here are three words you need to remember: social media marketing.
Social media marketing does not necessarily mean simply selling your handmade soaps on various online platforms and promoting your products so you can make money out of that handmade soap recipe and that essential oil combination you are very proud of.
It also means actively devouring any information available on these online platforms to improve your sales. Here are three key points in creating a social media marketing strategy for your handmade soap business.
GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
A key component of marketing DIY bath bombs — or any other products, for that matter — yet something that some eager beaver crafters tend to forget is knowing the targeted audience. Yes, most of those who want to make a living out of their craft have an idea who might want to buy their products. But they don’t take time to really get to know the audience.
To know what to sell — and HOW to sell — you have to know what matters to your audience. Why do they buy DIY bath products? Which bath bomb recipe do they ask about a lot? Which essential oil combinations are getting a lot of attention? What makes them prefer to shop online rather than to just pick one at a famous bath and body store? Are they into craft fairs? Which ones? Do they like handmade soaps and bath bombs for the scent, the color, the texture?
Once you’ve identified all these (and feel free to add questions as you fit your handmade soap business and your audience), then you can curate a social media marketing strategy that your target audience will surely devour and that will translate into sales in no time.
Quick tip: Stalk those who frequent other DIY bath bombs online shops (or maybe even just DIY online shops in general). Take notes on what posts they tend to like and comment on. Incorporate those notes on your social media posts.
MAKE SURE TO TREND-WATCH CONSISTENTLY
Just like getting to know the audience, this requires a bit of “stalking.” Look at Twitter. Search on Pinterest. Take a moment to park yourself on Instagram.
Are there any hashtags related to your brand that is attract a lot of buzz? If yes, then make sure you use that hashtag when making a post. Is there a craft fair that’s generating interest? Make sure you sign-up for it.
Do this every day, consistently, without a miss. Trends on bath bomb recipes change every day and your business must keep up with them to stay relevant in the market.
Quick tip: Bookmark a few known handmade soap sellers — small business or commercial brands — and check what is common in their most liked and commented posts. See how you can bring that into your own business.
When you trend-watch, don’t only look for popular hashtags. Also check out what fans and followers commonly love. See if you have a variant that caters to that and diversifies your offerings to open yourself to a wider market.
Let’s say you specialize on minty DIY bath bombs in earth colors. If you notice that in a particular month, people tend to lean more towards bath bomb recipes that are fruity and bright-colored, maybe it’s time to learn that that and start mixing up your essential oil combinations.
Widen your craft. Take time to learn more not just about your craft but other crafts as well. This means that in seasons when bath bombs are just not making a killing in sales, then you have a “back-up plan.”
And there you have it. Some few tips to prepare yourself for the inevitable business seasonality. If you have any other tips you want to share with business crafters, comment away. We also would love to hear how these tips helped you out.
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