Making Your Handcrafted Items the Star of the Show

Posted 28 July 2022 in Tips for Crafters

When you start out selling handcrafted items online, whether it’s handmade bath bombs or wax melts, you’ll probably be asking a thousand questions about sales, marketing and advertising, as well as, “Do I needcraft insurance for wax melts or bath bombs?” It’s definitely a good idea to get craft insurance for wax melts and bath bombs if you are making them, and we’d like to help you with some of those other questions too, if we can.

We picked the brains of our friends at Cre8ion for some ideas to help you out with the marketing of your handmade products. They told us that when you sell online, video is a great way to do your wonderful handcrafted items justice (as well as still shots) because online customers love to watch film!

So, we went and got some tips on how to use film to promote your items and yourself more effectively. Remember, there is no absolute right and wrong as the creative approach will differ depending on the desired end result. Essentially, it’s all about telling the story of your product. Think about the journey the product had to take to get from its raw materials into the hands of the customer and what you did along the way to make it all happen. 

Where do I start?

Ironically, the first thing that you need to get right when taking video footage of your products or interviewing your customers for great testimonials, is not the picture, but the sound. Viewers will forgive a poor picture but never poor sound. Great sound gives viewers an emotional connection with what they are seeing, so, the better the soundtrack, the better the connection. Remember the film Gladiator? An unforgettable soundtrack elevated that film to a sublime experience! 

You too can elevate your video by buying yourself a Bluetooth microphone, they aren’t that expensive and they do a great job. If your product is a cold drink, you can have the mellow sound of liquid sloshing into the glass and ice cracking to complement the visual experience.

Which Camera?

You probably have a camera on your phone already that can be used for taking great videos to use on your website or for social media. Today’s phones are more than adequate and can be used with tripods and gimbals to achieve even better footage.

Top Tips for making videos of yourself and your products ‘in situ’.

1.) A great idea to add value to your products and take your customer on a journey with you is to video yourself in the process of making them. Allow people to see the different stages of your process and the time it takes. Ideally, your videos should be 60 seconds in length to use for Instagram, other social media and for your website. 

2.) Although it’s down to personal preference, most products will look better in softer light. You can make a DIY light diffuser to soften the light you are using by shining your light through a plain white shower curtain or even through baking paper. This makes the light appear to wrap around the subject rather than creating harsh shapes and shadows.  

3.) Experiment with different shots and angles when showing your product in its own environment. Why not try an aerial shot, a top-down shot from directly above? Give a bird’s eye view of your product or of yourself working, with all your materials laid out. This kind of a shot works well as an establishing shot or as an ‘A roll’ to set the scene. 

4.) Think outside the box. How about placing your product in the background of the shot with a prop to frame the shot in the foreground? For example, you could film your product through the petals of a pot plant or through a gap in a tool box… 

5.) When filming your product against a plain background, use a textured background such as wood or concrete, something with a grain to make the shot more interesting. When filming a top-down shot, or what is known as a “flat lay”, to give the shot depth don’t place the object right up against the background, leave room between the objects/background to create more depth, subtle but effective!

6.) Include other elements in the shot that complement your product or feature, its ingredients and associated ideas. For instance, if you are making honey bath bombs don’t just film the bath bomb but include shots of dripping honey, maybe even with the sound of bees buzzing in the background. If your product contains a perfume from a flower, include shots of those flowers swaying in the breeze.

Top Tips for making videos of your customers. 

Start filming people who have tried your products and had a really positive experience. 

1.) The best way to film your subject is to film them at an angle. Make sure that the room is well lit. If you are interviewing a customer, for example, don’t sit them in front of a lighted window as they will be silhouetted. They’ll look more like an anonymous witness on a crime report and you won’t be able to see their face clearly. So, use as much natural light as possible, seat them near the window, at a slight angle so they’re not facing the camera, but still facing forwards, so that the light falls on their face. If you are adding artificial light, then use your DIY light diffuser to give a softer light that wraps around the subject. 

2.) If you are filming your subject on your own, provide the subject with a focal point for them to look at, don’t have them staring right down the barrel of the camera. It should look as if they are having a conversation with someone who is off camera. Still nod and respond at the right places as it will help the subject.

3.) Make it interesting. You need to grab the attention of the viewer in the first couple of seconds. Give them a question to answer that will pique the viewers’ curiosity and make them want to find out more. Also, set the scene of the shot to be as visually interesting as you can, but not distracting! If someone is seated in a neutral environment, have a pot plant with a pop of colour on the desk to give the viewer something else to look at, and bring the shot to life.

Now you know how to take great videos and attract more customers to buy your bath bombs and wax melts we can help you to answer the next question, “Do I need craft insurance for wax melts and bath bombs?” Please get in touch for a quote.