Throughout history you can look at any successful creative or artisan producer and they each have something distinctive and unique about their work. Even the fairly uninitiated can pick a painting by Picasso, or recognise Whitney Houston’s voice. These distinctions are no different than recognising the smell of a particular perfume, knowing to ‘have a break‘ when you ‘have a KitKat‘, or understanding the main differences between Air NZ and JetStar. This is often called called a ‘unique selling point’ – something that your customers recognise as being distinct to you, and like.
Successful sellers on Felt have found (or are on track to finding) their own unique selling point. It is the thing that makes your work distinctly your work. It informs your voice, brand, and look. The unique thing about your work might be your creative process and the journey of each piece you make; or some specific technique or skill that you have; a style of photography and presentation; a story behind the materials, your inspiration, or the design… anything!
Figuring this out is hugely powerful in helping to sell your work, as your unique selling point clarifies how to photograph your work, write your descriptions, talk about your creative practice, work out your marketing strategy…everything. The challenging part is figuring out something that comes naturally and authentically to you which also resonates with your future customers.
Here are some ways to go on the journey:
- Play with the boundaries of what you count as ‘your work’, and consider how your items might seem if put in a different category e.g. art work vs tea towel vs baking and cooking accessories
- What would happen if you made this with a different material – leather, steel, cotton, timber?
- What if this was a very different size, scent or flavour?
- Assume you don’t know anything about your market or customer, and think broadly about who it might be. Write as if you’re talking to everyone in the supermarket at once, and they know nothing about you or your work.
- Write evocative sentences that would help someone understand exactly what your work is and why it is excellent, without having seen or touched it.
- Ask your biggest champion extrovert supporter to describe your work. Then ask them to describe it again, but this time with a price tag 100x higher. What do they say differently?
- Pretend your work is in a museum in 400 years. Why is it there? What are they saying about it?
A lot of us are afraid to trial new things, and miss out on potential opportunities as a result. It’s ok to let go a little bit, and play around. You can always delete or change a listing that really doesn’t work!
I’ve written about descriptions in the past, because it really is important to talk about what makes your work unique and valuable – materials, techniques, processes – tell them all about it! Often there are logistical matters that need to be covered in a description too – e.g. is item pictured the one they’ll receive or is it made to order? – in which case state the making/delivery time. Is that 10mm or 10cm wide? Make sure all factual info is there so the customer feels confident to click “Add to Basket” without having any questions.
Finding your unique selling point will take time, and even when you find it it might start to change and evolve. So don’t take it too seriously, just follow the successes you have and see what you can learn for next time.
Cover Image: Stand Out – Large Wall Flag by jettblack.felt.co.nz