Goals Check – Happier Handmade as a Community

One of my goals for the @happierhandmade instagram feed (and for this website) is not just to be another curator site that does nothing but post product pics from online storefronts to an audience of other online store owners. Because for one, there are a whole lot of those sites. Believe me, I’ve done the research and have a nice little spreadsheet full of stats about a whole bunch of them. But for another thing, that’s not especially helpful for anyone.

I mean sure, it’s nice to get featured on a curator site. I’ve been unexpectedly featured on a few, and paid to get featured on others. It brings in traffic, which is always a good thing. But the problem with these sites is audience.

Because honestly, a whole bunch of other shop owners are not your target audience if you’re trying to make sales, right?

Building Community on HappierHandmade

So what I want to do with @happierhandmade is a couple of things.

First, I want to build up an audience that includes both creative shop owners and other people who might be more of a target audience for people who are hoping to sell their creations. So I’m actively going out there and looking for bloggers and fashion lovers and moms who show an interest in handmade and trying to get them to follow the feed. So far that’s going really well!

Second, I want to build in more community interaction, so it’s not just promos all the time. I’m experimenting with different ways to do this. Things like:

  • Recurring discussion and intro threads, to help you form a tribe of other artists and handmade fans to support you.
  • Links to more in depth articles on the blog that will be of use to handmade artisans. and which go beyond just promo features. That’s one of the two main reasons I launched the blog – to have a way to provide more value to the artisans and crafters I want to not just celebrate the work of, but support in their work.
  • A new feature I launched today called “Work In Progress Wednesday.” Because when I stop and think about it, one of the things I love about instagram is not just seeing the final, polished product you are selling, but the behind the scenes stuff. I like seeing supplies laid out, new fabrics and materials being tested, and man oh man do I love seeing people’s crafting rooms and workrooms. So I thought I would devote a day to these pictures.

I am sure I will come up with some more ideas over time, but these are my starting points!

Week One of Work In Progress Wednesday

Here are a couple of the pics I highlighted in today’s first WIP Wednesday. They seemed to get a good amount of follows and I’m hoping it will become a popular recurring feature on the feed over time.

Top row: stag paper cut from @amberstextiles
Bottom row: Rainbow chakra bracelet from @yummedesigns, Blue dahlia from @sarah_nick_nicks, Chunk grey knit from @littlecolleydesign

What are some features that would make you feel like you’re part of a community? I’d love to hear from you!

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