We often think of being “different” as being weird or awkward. When it comes to marketing, being different, weird or awkward will work to your advantage. Although we have all gone through a phase of trying to fit in or be like everyone else–-think high school. Those days are long gone (thank goodness!). Now is the time to be the different, weird, and awkward person you were born to be.
Your products won't catch anyone’s eye if they look the same as 100 other artisans’ products. This is particularly important with online selling. When your product comes up in a search for “hemp jewelry", for example, does it look the same as all the other search results? If it does, it can easily get overlooked. There’s no reason to sell the same thing as everyone else. This is the beauty of being a handmade artist. The farther handmade products are from the norm the better. Don’t try to compete with something that people can get at their nearest department store. You will always loose to lower prices and convenience.
Being different will help you catch the attention of at least a few people (and those few people will be your biggest customers). If you marketing to the every day person you won't get very far. Every day people are very good at ignoring everything. With numerous things trying to catch their attention, generic marketing is not going to get you noticed. Think of it this way: if you were standing at a corner waiting for the streetlight to change so you can cross the road, what would catch your attention? The ad on the bulletin board across the street? The radio ads coming through your headphones? The poster in the corner shop window? You might not notice any of theses! However, if a hot pink Volkswagen Beetle covered in glitter with a clown doing a handstand on the top of the hood drove by, you might notice that! That is if you’re the sort of person who likes Volkswagen’s, glitter, clowns, or gymnastics.
You need to find out what exactly you’re marketing. That is, if your handmade product was something driving down the road (and passed those people waiting to cross the street) what would it look like? Is it covered in sparkling gems or does it have metal pieces sticking out all over? Does it look like a big scrapbook covered in blue ribbon and silver die cuts? What exactly are the elements of the products you’re trying to sell? Figure this out because it will tell you what you have to work with. It will also narrow down who you need to center your marketing plan around. You will be marketing to the people who love what your product represents or incorporates. These are the only people you want to market to because everyone else will be ignoring you and watching someone else’s “Volkswagen”.