Career Clinic: How Can I Make my Artisan Brand Pay?

This month in our clinic, businesswoman and author Erica Wolfe-Murray offers advice to an artisan crafter how to price her work without worry! 

I’m struggling with pricing my work. I’m a product-led artisan and people tell me I’m too expensive so I end up knocking them down or justifying my costs, but the thing is, what I create is expensive!

Have you any tips for pricing, or feeling confident with pricing?

Evelyn, Sussex

sewingThere are countless other artisans in a similar situation to you.  The public is so used to buying cheaper products made from lower quality materials or using poorly paid labour that values have become skewed.  So let’s think through what you can do to help yourself

Firstly – don’t apologise for what you charge.  You are an experienced maker using good quality materials who needs to pay your overheads and earn a living.

Take a look at your marketing.  Does it truly convey the quality of the product you are making?  Does it tell your story?  Including your passion, your training, your experience?  Does it mention how long each hand-made piece takes, where the materials come from?  By shifting how you talk about what you do, you can move potential customers’ perceptions about the value and unique qualities of what you are making – from commodity to art/collectable.

This storytelling should be across your website, your social media feeds, your packaging, labelling – every customer touch point should reaffirm the messaging. Remember that your journey to here as well as what you make is unique, so harness this to your benefit.

Take a look at your marketing.  Does it truly convey the quality of the product you are making?

If your customers are questioning what you are charging, can I ask if you are selling in the right places?

If you are making high quality, high-value products, they need to be seen in marketplaces where the audience is used to paying for craftsmanship. It is worth spending time researching what other outlets you can find to stock your products or online stores with similar priced merchandise.

There are countless web marketplaces available and even if you choose not to go with them, learn lessons from them about how they describe and position products to gain those high prices.

When you run your own business – you are both the manufacturer and the marketing team.  You have to keep both running in tandem, so it’s vital to set aside time to do marketing every single day.  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of putting the marketing off whilst you have orders to fulfil, but you may then find yourself with time to market because you’ve got no work…!

Finally, if you feel that you could do with a boost to your confidence, there are lots of online courses and coaches who can help you.  I’ve referred many clients to the lovely Jo Emerson at www.jo-emerson.com who does both face-to-face and online support.

I hope you find this helpful.

Want to ask Erica a question? Email kirsty@beyondfabulous.co.uk and we’ll pass it on!

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