The main products I made and sold as part of my craft business, Sara’s Texture Crafts was yarn and fibre for wool crafts and I became known as a reliable indie dyer to retail and trade customers. In fact my dye skills were in such high regard that for a year or so I dyed for another wool craft supplier as a contractor too… which I rarely talk about, but was a ‘thing’ I tried.
Like most craft businesses I had two real problems with my business model; firstly I had one pair of hands that meant I could only physically produce ‘x’ amount of product per day/week on my own. The second issue was that this cap in production would lead me to a cap in sales, limiting my potential to increase my income.
When faced with this knowledge as a crafter we consciously have to make a decision; whether to limit the time we spend in our business if that production cap means we cannot make a full time wage, or we make the decision to diversify in a way that makes sense and allows us to make money from other products or services while we are working on our core lines.
I chose the second path.
The immediate approach for most in this situation is to diversify into physical products and services that complement our original offer… and like most I did this too… but I also turned my hand to more semi-passive products.
What are semi-passive products?
Semi passive products are products we create just once and set up a sales cart, usually through a third party who will deal with the selling and shipping of our product for us. We can of course set up the sales mechanism ourselves; I guess it depends heavily on the product and our web facilities though.
Once we have these set up we no longer deal in the process except to market said product.
Good examples of this are ebooks.
I wrote two ebooks while I ran my craft business, and they are still for sale today on Amazon. After I released these books on to Amazon I sat back and earnt royalties on each sale… well I say ‘sat back’, you still have to market the books… but really this very much hands-off process allowed me to still dye the same amount of yarn each day and ship my website orders every night. It allowed me to work at shows, or go and give talks at craft groups. It allowed me to do all of that and still earn ‘extra’ money.
Why I think ebooks are perfect for your craft business.
I found several interesting things when I published my ebooks;
- I could reach a wider audience through a different channel
- I could sell more of my supplies for the projects in the book
- It gave me an element of perceived expertise by the more important craft guilds and establishments when booking talks… in fact they came to me!
- I got some press I wasn’t expecting, which boosted sales all around
- I could earn a modest extra income that helped my cash flow when sales of my core products were slow
Now I’m not saying everyone should write an ebook, but they certainly aren’t just for those who sell supplies, or kits. Have a look at what your business has you known for. Would a book about the history of your craft, or techniques for beginners be suitable? Have a look and see what other titles are out there… maybe there’s a sweet spot you can fill, or a style that would suit you?
Want To Learn More About How I Created Ebooks For My Craft Business?
Imagine... You could make a side income through sharing your knowledge, with very little effort after the book's creation!
Does this sound like a really cool way to make some extra money from your skills?
In this 1 hour 20 minute video workshop I will be taking you through;
- deciding your topic
- setting your structure
- scheduling time to write
- writing and formatting
- self publishing and selling
- marketing tips