I have a great free video for you today, previously only available to paying attendees.
I don’t know about you, but I simultaneously feel like January just started and is already basically over. So I’m doing a quick recap of 2016, before plunging into 2017.
2016 was a big year for highlighting the importance of diversification and differentiation for small businesses! People realized through some abrupt changes to the platforms they’d grown to rely on that their business was not ultimately in their control when the bulk of it depended on one third party system to keep on working the way it used to work (this could be Etsy, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).
At Aeolidia, we have been stressing the need for self-reliance. Instead of passively waiting for shoppers to come to you, you should take time to learn what makes your business unique, who your perfect customer is, and how to market your business. That way, when change comes, you have a solid foundation to your online business, and the know-how needed to pivot and take your customers with you.
Etsy is good, but you also need your own domain name and online shop. Social media is great, but you also need your own email list. A Facebook page is fine, but Facebook Groups have been huge for small businesses this year. Carve out your own spaces to create community and interest in what you do.
The tools and services available to help you do this are better than they ever were, though the marketplace feels like it gets more crowded every day. That’s why finding a unique niche and point of view for your business is vital.
Sharon Fain from Academy of Handmade summed it up nicely when speaking of the online summit she put on last fall:
When we take a moment to look back at what we did the past year, it’s truly astonishing how much change we’ve endured and how, despite the difficulty, we are still here and better for it. Not only that, these changes can really help us to see patterns for the future and anticipate future changes.
Which is why Academy of Handmade is hosting the first-ever The State of Making: An Online Summit. It’s a multi-day event over three weeks that will look back at the changes in the biggest categories that affect makers, with insight from experts (like Arianne from Aeolidia!) and veteran makers.
Watch my panel at no charge
Sharon has graciously allowed me to share my video in its entirety at no charge for my newsletter subscribers! If you’re a subscriber, the link to our members’ area is always included in every newsletter I send, and tomorrow I will link you directly to this video. If you’re in a video-watching mood, I have two other in-depth videos already available in the members’ area. Subscribers: go watch it now, and email me if you have any trouble.
Not a subscriber yet? Below is a peek at the video. This clip is about things that your customers want you to have on your website. We also talk about Buyable Pins, choosing ecommerce software, why we like Shopify, moving from one platform to another, the importance of having your own site, rather than selling on someone else’s marketplace, and much more.
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Watch the entire summit
Sharon has made the whole online summit available for viewing. See who spoke about what, and purchase access to the whole video series at Academy of Handmade: State of Making Summit.