Folksy Ltd

What Do You Think of this Idea for Promotion?

Hi there,

I joined the community about a month ago because I’m helping a friend start her concrete sculpture business. Exciting times! :slight_smile:

Even though we’re still in the initial stages, we’re trying to figure out how to best promote the work. So, I started looking around for independent craft websites which help promote handcrafted items for sale, and also provide valuable external backlinks to help with SEO.

I found a couple of interesting sites, but was really surprised that there aren’t more of them, and also that very few of them solely focus on craft items for sale.

Rather than sitting around and bemoaning the fact, I got to thinking, could – and should – I help create a site like this? (To clarify, it would be completely free.)

As more experienced craft sellers, I’d love to hear your opinion: Would a site like this be useful to help build awareness around quality craft? Do you think it would help the community promote – and sell – handmade items? Would it help build an online presence and strengthen SEO?

Thanks so much for taking the time to help out a newbie with your feedback!

PS For anyone who’d prefer to express their opinions anonymously – rather than commenting and discussing below – there’s a quick questionnaire instead:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RQPLQ2P

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There are sites to promote handmade we all use them.

But more would be great but new ones take time to take off.

They need to be free to use
Easy to use
and have a large following of not only seller but buyers also.

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If it was completely free, what would you get out of it though? There are several sites like Folksy, but obviously they are operating as a business. To provide a selling platform costing nothing seems very generous?

Also, you may well find that the Folksy team aren’t too keen to encourage people to offer a free service like this on their forums! :smile:

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Thanks so much for sharing @EileensCraftStudio ! Yes, I think the key is having a large following of buyers. But I think there really are a lot of potential customers out there I could attract.

For example, I’ve got a friend getting married in a few months and she’s busy sourcing handmade items for her wedding. Just the other day she was complaining that a lot of the blogs and sites she was reading for ideas focused on how to make the items…But she doesn’t have the time or inclination and just wants to buy them – she couldn’t understand why it was such a pain for her to just buy the things she wanted.

Then direct her to Folksy the home of British handmade :slight_smile:

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Hi Margaret!

Thanks so much for sharing your ideas :slight_smile:

All great points. First, it wouldn’t be a platform for selling, but rather a website featuring gorgeous products. If viewers were interested in buying, they could then click the image and would be taken straight to the person’s Folksy store. So, I wouldn’t be competing with Folksy but rather directing interested customers back to the Folksy platform. It would be bringing outside customers to the Folksy stores.

As for what I’d get out of it, apart from personal satisfaction and promoting some of my friends, I would have to make sure I was covering my costs… I already have a food blog I create out of love, so I know how much time it takes! It wouldn’t bring in much, but one idea is to look at affiliate opportunities. This would mean I could keep it free for both sellers and buyers. But you’re right – I really need to think really carefully about this.

PS As a newbie, I made sure I cleared this post with the Folksy staff beforehand :slight_smile:

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@EileensCraftStudio lol I did! And she’d never heard of Folksy before! Which got me to thinking even more about how many potential customers there are out there who we could connect with…

That’s OK then, sorry if I sounded negative, we do get all kinds of posts on these forums and it sounded a bit too good to be true and I wasn’t sure if Folksy would like it! I don’t actually sell anything here, I’m just a buyer, so what you’re describing could be interesting!

lol Eileen! x @EileensCraftStudio :laughing:

Not at all Margaret – I completely understand where you’re coming from and really appreciate the comments :smile:

It sounds interesting Natalia, a bit like an e-magazine - or directory - for shoppers? I assume you wouldn’t feature just from Folksy though. Would you keep it British handmade, or open it up wider? It does seem like a good idea, great for promotion.

@ciesse Great question Christine! My initial instinct was to make it wider but it does seem to make sense to value provenance as well. What do you think?

PS To be completely transparent, I’m actually Australian – I just seem to gravitate towards all things British!

I think it depends who your target customers are (buyers, not sellers) and whether or not they would value British handmade goods over handmade in general.

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I will only buy British online, so that would be important to me. Might make it more manageable too.

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Hi Natalia, many of us promote our handmade items with Craftjuice, I have a small bridal range, I think it works well for SEO. It would be great to sell on a free to list site, but it all depends on SEO and being found.

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I don’t mean to be negative Natalia, but there are so many blogs, magazines, sites, facebook groups, etc,etc out there, what will be different about yours, especially if you want to charge for it?

And really all you need to do is Google “British handmade craft” to find the sites selling what you want - and Folksy is right there at the top :smile:

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I agree with Rose there, Folksy is number 1 in search for British handmade crafts. x

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Great points @rosesworkshop !

First of all, the site won’t be paid, it will be completely free.

Secondly, there are lots of fantastic sites and blogs out there, but they don’t seem to be focused on items for sale. That is, most of the ones I’ve seen to date have been a mix of people documenting their own projects, patterns and tips for doing your own projects, along with some items for sale. The aim will really be to connect people who specifically want to purchase high-quality handmade craft (as opposed to people who are simply interested in reading about it) to those who sell it.

I haven’t yet thought about whether it would only feature British craft – would this be a dealbreaker for you? What would be the pros and cons if, for example, it featured craft from other places in Europe?

Thanks so much for participating in the discussion :slight_smile:

Make no mistake – I absolutely love what Folksy is doing and would like to bring even more people to Folksy stores. I literally just googled “British handmade crafts” and Folksy didn’t appear anywhere on the first five pages (I have no idea where it does appear because I got sick of scrolling through the results by that point). I can’t help feeling that this is a shame and it would be great to raise awareness.

I suppose it all boils down to the following question: for those of you selling, do you have more sales than you can handle or would you like to have more people visiting your stores?

If you already have more sales than you can handle, then I assume you’re not looking to do any more promotion. On the other hand, if you’d like to increase your sales, would a site like this be useful?

Obviously British-only would suit most of us better I would think - less competition, promoting British business, attractive to those buyers looking specifically for British products - and easier to manage: where would ‘Europe’ extend to? Just the EU, or geographic Europe? Would that be easy to control?

If it were open to an even wider base of sellers, the average price would probably fall, with many ‘mass-produced’ handmade items creeping in. Much harder to manage.

I certainly don’t have more than I can handle and would welcome any new avenues of promotion, especially if they’re free!!