Have you noticed?
There’s been a boom recently of artisan companies vying for consumer attention.
The word ‘artisan’ is everywhere.
You can drink artisan tea, coffee, beer, gin, rum and other spirits from your artisan cup, mug, or glass, while sitting on your artisan-made furniture. You can live your life (if you can afford it) surrounded by all things artisan.
The UK’s Crafts Council notes that the craft industry generates £3.4bn for the UK economy every year.
That’s a lot.
Artisans aren’t just traditional craftspeople steeped in pre-Industrial Revolution nostalgia. Artisan makers are highly skilled in modern crafts too – from artisan bakers, glass workers and distillers to designers and jewellers, the modern artisan has a passion that flows through into their work.
The business dictionary describes the artisan process as:
‘A production process characterized by minimal automation, little division of labor, and a small number of highly skilled craftsman as opposed to a larger, less-trained traditional workforce. Participants in an artisan process may be self-employed, or employed by a smaller-scale business. Opposite of industrial process.’
In today’s fast-paced world many of us are rolling back to take pride in our creations, taking care to create something personal and worth having. And there’s has no sign of it stopping. People are becoming increasingly sick and tired of a mass-produced world of consumerism.
But this is producing problems for artisans themselves.
While many consumers are favouring artisan-created wares and visiting artisan-run establishments, the number of producers are increasing.
As solopreneurs, self-employed craftspeople, or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), producers have to understand the impact their branding and advertising has on the marketplace.
They have to stand out to survive.
It’s a difficult question.
How DO you stand out?
When there are tons of other artisans out there, all trying to sell to the same audience, what can you do to make sure they buy from you and not your competitors?
Well, there are a few things …
The easiest way to do this is to be yourself. People are buying into you and your vision. If they wanted a generic mass-produced piece of tat, that’s what they’d buy. Instead they want to buy something handcrafted with love and care.
And for goodness sake … don’t be all ‘we do this’ and ‘we do that’ if you’re a solo practitioner. People see through that shit. If you’re a one-man band be proud of that. Talking about yourself in the third person is just so … corporate.
Your text and images should be as good as you can get them.
Images shouldn’t be fuzzy, and your writing should be professional (both in the writing and in the editing). Don’t just lift images from the internet, copyright infringement is a crime!
Yes. One of the most effective ways of setting yourself apart from the rest is to become a storyteller.
People LOVE stories.
People LOVE to buy from people and not robots (well, most people do).
Stories are ingrained into human nature; we’ve been telling stories forever.
To stand out from the other artisan businesses out there, you need to connect with your audience.
And what better way to connect than through human experience?
Through storytelling you can:
When your customers feel part of something, they will invest in you and your business.
Over the next few months I intend to write more on how storytelling can help your business, why storytelling builds connection and builds your brand, and how to simplify your writing to get to the heart of your businesses story.
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