Saturday, 19 October 2013

My main thought this week has been....

What is my niche? 
In an earlier post, Why do I need a plan?,asked myself the questions, what am I going to sell to hit those sales numbers? What is my niche? 

Online is a huge marketplace, if I only look at Folksy and Etsy, the amount of talented makers & sellers are impressive. 

So how do I compete? I need to stand out and have a niche.
I love making cards, it is what I have become known for but it is a saturated marketplace.  What makes me stand out, my USP (Unique Selling Point) in marketing speak.  My intention was always to do more than cards and I now have the time to explore the other areas of craft I love ~ I love constructing 3D designs from paper and card, I sew (my degree is in Fashion), I enjoy cross stitch, photography and I have recently taught myself to make jewellery. 
What is a niche....
A niche = Your specialism + Your target customer
Benefits of a niche....
  • What I become famous for - an expert in that field, making it easier to stand out from the crowd and get noticed
  • Easily defined product
  • Easily defined market.  By knowing who my customer is keeps marketing costs low, customer loyalty high and deeper revenue with those customers
By thinking about the following will help me find my niche....
  • Values - Quality of product and service.  I hate poor service and not getting value for money.  Good quality supplies are important to me, I also aim to buy British where I can and support our economy.  I want to be known for excellent customer service, treat my customers how I like to be treated.
  • Passions - creating, designing, making pretty things that makes someone feel special - so not product specific but a start
  • Talents - I am not very good at blowing my own trumpet but I would say I have a talent in designing, a good eye for colour and I am creative, all of which I hope shows through my products
  • Ideal clients - This is tough as ideally, anyone who buys!  A question posed to me was which customers challenge me and who do I enjoy working with?
So I need to do some more work to find my niche and be able to answer the above, so the plan is....
  • Product - Cards will always have a place in my range but what else can I create to complement them?  I will now have the time to try all the different projects I want to do and test different markets, not only what sells but what I love doing.  The way I am going to do this is make products relating to a theme and have a "collection" for example Christmas is a great theme to create a range of products.
  • Online sales - Both Etsy and Folksy provide stats for my page and I also use Google Analytics which is free. By looking at these I can see what has been viewed and purchased.  The disadvantage of online is you can see what products are looked at but you don't know why they didn't buy
  • Craft fairs - This will fill in the gaps that online stats don't answer.  Craft fairs and markets are great for free market research, I'm going to speak to people to find my ideal customer, what they like about my products, what they buy and who buys them and what turns them off. 
I have a stall at Berkhamsted Town Hall tomorrow, it is my first time at the Berkhamsted Artisans Art & Craft Market, I am really looking forward to it and if you can come along it would be great to see you but if you can't make it don't worry, I will be posting pictures on my Facebook page and on Twitter during the day and you can be sure to read all about it here in a future post....
Berkhamsted Town Hall Postcode is HP4 3AP


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