Making it is one thing. Figuring out how to sell your handmade lip balm is an entirely different ballgame. When you sign up for marketplaces such as Etsy or Wanelo, it’s not always apparent that you still have to drive your own traffic to get sales.
Creating the perfect balm (like our newly released organic lip balm recipe here) and listing it online is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is possible to build an entire business on JUST lip balm if you implement the following strategies:
- Bundling lip balms together to make gift sets and bulk orders
- Offering custom label services
- Subscription boxes
- Selling in person at boutiques & fairs
- Selling on Instagram
- Working with influencers
- Providing as a promotional item
Even if you have an entire line of natural skin care products, promoting your lip balm heavily will earn you the most return due to its high profit margin. This small item can be the foundation of your company.
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Sell Your Handmade Lip Balm via Ecommerce
One of the most convenient ways to sell your handmade lip balm (especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom like me!) is through ecommerce and marketplaces such as Etsy, Shopify, and Woocommerce. You can easily build a whole website just with lip balm alone – that’s how my own natural skin care shop on Etsy started!
By making different sizes of bundles and gift sets, you can quickly make multiple listings with just a few scents of lip balm. Below are six different ways you can market and sell with different price points.
Sell Lip Balms Individually
People LOVE lip balm, and once they find a favorite, they’re typically loyal customers for life. It’s amazing how many people purchase just one lip balm at a time, even when the shipping can be as much as the tube.
Individual lip balms are also are a great price point for add-ons to get to a free shipping purchase minimum.
These are very popular during winter holidays for stocking stuffers and Secret Santa gifts, so make sure you have great packaging!
Sell Lip Balms in Bundled Sets
The possibilities for selling lip balms in gift sets are endless. In my shop, I carry sets of 2, 3, 6, and 10 where customers can mix and match the scents they would like.
Offering gift wrapping for niche-specific gift sets like these make for an easy ‘YES’ during the busy holiday season. An affordable, thoughtful gift idea that continues to be my best-selling category.
Sell Lip Balms Ready to Gift in Bulk
Convenience sells. No doubt about it. Offering your handmade lip balms already packaged and ready to gift could be a game-changer for your shop.
I make and sell these boxed-up natural lip balms in sets of 10, and they have been popular for teacher appreciation gifts, coworker gifts, wedding and baby shower favors, and stocking stuffers.
If my customer wants to have a variety of scents, I just write the individual scent names on pieces of paper and slip them under the ribbon so they know which is which. Easy peasy!
Offer Personalized Labels for Your Lip Balms
If you print your own labels at home, offering personalized labels for your products can open up a variety of business opportunities.
Businesses love adding their company name and contact information to custom promotional items like lip balm, brides love favors with their names and wedding date, and baby shower favors with the little one’s name is always a win.
Keep in mind that offering customizations like this does take more time – you will want to get your label design approved by your customer, and sometimes there can be three or four rounds of emails before a final design is agreed upon. Make sure you’re up to the task before offering this service.
Consider Lip Balm Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes are having their time in the spotlight, and website platforms such as SquareSpace and Woocommerce have plug-ins available to make organization of all the necessary details pretty easy.
If you have 12 scents of lip balm (or more), you could create a subscription box for one scent per month shipped to your customer…or two scents a month for six months…or three scents a month for a quarter…
If you are super organized and are a spreadsheet master, you could even start your own program if your marketplace (such as Etsy) doesn’t have subscription options available. Make your own!
Create Gift Sets with Your Lip Balm + Other Products
Adding products together to make gift sets is a very attractive way to sell your handmade lip balm, and it’s an easy way to add more listings to your website without having to recreate the wheel.
An easy upsell for gifting occasions, so don’t forget to add photos of these sets in your individual product listings so that your customers know they’re available.
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Sell Your Handmade Lip Balm in Person
Even with the rise of online sales in almost every industry, making connections in person is still the number one way to network. This isn’t exactly easy if you are a work-from-home mompreneur such as myself, so check out some of the tips below to see how this can still squeeze into your schedule.
Sell Your Lip Balm at Craft Fairs
Craft fairs are in-person events that are usually just on one day or one weekend without any further commitment, which is perfect for mompreneurs. There is typically a booth fee and expenses to create your own display, but super fun to design your own mini ‘brick and mortar’.
Be sure to pass out business cards with your website information on them so that your visitors can still purchase from you at a later date. This is also a great time to collect email addresses from interested patrons, so be sure to have a signup list available so that they can be contacted about future events or online sales.
Sell Your Lip Balm at Farmer’s Markets
The Farmer’s Markets that I’m familiar with require sellers to pay a booth fee for the whole season – a pretty big commitment, especially if you have littles at home. BUT, worth considering since many locals go back every single week (jackpot for repeat customers!).
If this idea is intriguing to you but can’t manage the time commitment, see if there is a complementary booth that would like to partner up and trade off every other week. Another option is to lease out a corner of someone else’s booth if they’re willing to let you sell your handmade lip balm on a mini display. Your products are there but you won’t have to be!
Sell Your Lip Balm in Local Boutiques
If you are able to sell your handmade lip balm at wholesale prices, you should DEFINITELY be checking out the boutiques in your area. This gives customers the chance to experience your product before purchasing, helps support local businesses, and cuts down on the time required to sell ‘in person’.
When you visit a boutique to pitch your line, make sure that you have a linesheet, samples of your products to leave with whoever makes stocking decisions, business cards, and inquire about the best way to follow up. You’re selling your brand to another business owner – be professional and memorable!
Snag the natural lip balm recipe that earned us our first 10k in ecommerce sales!
- Organic Lip Balm Base Recipe
- 21 blends, scented naturally with essential oils
- Direct links to the supplies & ingredients you need to create this recipe
- Access to our private Mompreneur’s Mastermind
Sell Your Handmade Lip Balm on Social Media
After your online shop is all set up, you have to have a marketing plan in place. Driving your own traffic is essential to success when selling via ecommerce. As a mompreneur, the three suggestions below have brought me the most traffic and ROI for my natural skin care products overall.
Sell Your Lip Balm on Instagram (#taptoshop)
You are less likely to convert your reader into a customer if they have to click around. The ‘tap to shop’ feature allows you to link products in your Instagram post to your ecommerce site without redirecting your reader to your profile.
IMPORTANT: You only get one chance to apply for this feature. Be SURE to do it right the first time, or you won’t ever be able to have this feature on your account. Check out Alex Tooby’s video on how to set up a shoppable Instagram feed.
Work with Influencers to Sell Your Lip Balm
If you are still growing your audience or want to see if your products would be intruiging to a different target market, have someone else with a large following promote your lip balm.
Social media influencers share your product on their feed in exchange for either free merchandise or actual $ compensation. Their requirements largely depend on their number of followers.
If the influencer’s terms are right for your budget, this is a fantastic way to sell your handmade lip balm to individuals you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten in front of. (Psst…check their feed before committing to make sure it is content that you would feel comfortable being grouped with.)
Market Your Lip Balm on Pinterest
Pinterest is a visual search engine (not really social media) and is growing at exponential rates. The opportunities to get yourself and your product line in front of new customers with an attractive pin are greater than any other platform right now.
I’ve been using Tailwind (a Pinterest scheduling tool) to promote my natural skin care line for years, but I actually didn’t start seeing results until I changed my pin designs with the help of the Viral Pin Formula ebook. The suggestions in this book had me redoing my entire branding color palette and fonts. Well worth the cost.
The images you post on Pinterest are the #1 key to success, so if you are not great at design (even with the help of the above book), I highly suggest investing in a set of proven pin design templates like these to get the most bang for your buck.
Pinterest is a long-term game (about 3 months before seeing growth), but the life of a pin can last up to 2 YEARS (compare that to a 5 hour life for a Facebook post!).
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I spent years trying to find ‘my audience’ on Facebook, only to discover they were hiding in Instagram Land the whole time! Instagram Ivy League was a GAME CHANGER for my brand.
Other Ways to Sell Your Handmade Lip Balm Online
Just because you set up an ecommerce site and have a custom URL doesn’t mean you are restricted just to stay in that little space! There are so many ways to sell your handmade lip balm online and linking back and forth to each of your chosen areas will boost the traffic to all of them. The two below are my favorite additional ways to promote my skin care products, and just a tiny example of what is available out there.
Apply to Sell Your Lip Balms on TheKnot.com
If you enjoy working with customers closely, then connecting with brides is a super personal way to sell your handmade lip balm. Etsy has categories specific to weddings and favors, but you may actually see more traffic from a site called theknot.com.
The Knot is a website for everything wedding, from venues to dresses to favors to food. The ‘local’ search is its greatest asset and where you can get some solid leads to sell your balms as favors.
When searching for ‘wedding favors’ on Etsy and putting a filter on for my specific area, it came up with 1,050 listings. I put in the same search criteria in theknot.com and it populated 46 listings. We’re talking MAJOR VISIBILITY.
Promote Your Lip Balm on a Blog
One of the best long-term marketing tools for your handmade business is to start a blog. Though time intensive to set up, a blog is a guaranteed piece of the internet that is YOURS and is valuable in sending people directly back to the links you share.
As a natural product maker, there are infinite things for you to blog about: tutorials for others to learn how to make thier own products, how to raise a natural family, best ingredients and supplies for a handmade shop, how to use natural products in your home, all things skin care, etc.
It actually took me three tries to start a blog the correct way because I tried to teach myself (I’m stubborn). I invested in the Blog by Number eCourse and was FINALLY able to start directing traffic back to my Etsy shop.
While I do 100% recommend adding a blog to your marketing plan and business model, make sure your ecommerce site is up and running before taking this project on. Many stay-at-home moms blog as a business in and of itself due to the time commitment.
That being said, creating a blog is a well worth the effort. You’ll have to grow it slowly if you have littles at home and an ecommerce store to run. But empires are built brick by brick, and what you can create even in a year’s time will pay off in the long run as an avenue to direct traffic to your shop and also earn you some passive income.
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Provide Your Handmade Lip Balm as Promotional Items
The saying is true…it takes money to make money. Giving your products away is a fantastic strategy to eventually sell your handmade lip balm, as gaining customers really boils down to two things: how many people know about your products and how many people are talking about your products.
It’s a numbers game! Get your lip balm into the hands of all the people, and the business will follow.
Respond to Requests for Donations and Raffles
If you’ve been a maker for a while, you’ve probably had people request a gift basket for a community event as a donation.
Especially if the event is local, do it! Shoppers love supporting local businesses, and this is a great way to get your products in front of people that have a voice that matters.
As we can’t just give stuff away for free and still support our families, give yourself some boundaries.
I set a monthly promotional budget for myself and am choosey with the events I participate in. Make sure the foundation or cause is something you are okay identifying your brand with.
Provide Smaller Versions of Your Lip Balm as Samples
Providing smaller sizes of lip balms in my customers’ packages has paid itself back tenfold. If you can ignore the not-so-great quality of this example photo (yikes), you’ll see that I included a half-size balm, a tiny insert with the available scents at that time, and on the back of the insert is my ecommerce shop url.
I am always conscious of my customer’s order when choosing their lip balm sample. If they’ve purchased other items that are unscented, I am sure to include an unscented balm. If it looks like an order for a fella, I include a more masculine balm scent. If it is an order for a mom-to-be, I include a soothing lavender balm.
Even your samples can be thoughtful and personal!
Give Your Lip Balm as a Free Gift
As small business owners, there is no way we can match the huge discounts that big box stores advertise during popular sales such as Black Friday and Labor Day.
Offering free items during these times in lieu of a discount is still a wonderful incentive for your customers.
Lip balm is the perfect giveaway item due to its higher profit margin (especially if you are able to buy your ingredients and packaging in bulk).
This photo is from my promotional email campaign in 2018 for Black Friday…a grand success that resulted in customers gifting the free lip balm as stocking stuffers…which then turned into new customers!
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I hope these ideas jogged your imagination and gave you some new ideas to market yourself and your handmade products! While this post is specific to lip balm, the same goes for any item in your ecommerce shop (and if you need ideas, I have a recipe book of 7 trending natural skin care recipes available). If you are a fellow mompreneur, remember to be kind to yourself and your energy. It takes time to build an empire – enjoy your journey!
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