Are you into arts and crafts, making them yourself and selling them physically at various craft shows around the country? If so, at some stage, possibly in the early years of your business, you must have felt the need to work out better marketing strategies to sell more, make more profits and establish your brand in the crafts world. The key to success is to build on your experience of one year and implement what you have learnt in the next year.
In this piece, the focus will be solely on the marketing of crafts at physical shows and not through the online route. Hence your primary marketing goal should be to study your competitors and your co-sellers at a fair and analyse how they are going about their business. Simple things like the system they follow in arranging goods for display can give you valuable insights on craft marketing.
Two aspects will be highlighted here. The first is tips on optimally marketing your craft and the second is how to choose the right craft show that will help to maximise your sales.
Tips for craft marketing
In this section, you will know how best to market your crafts at any craft show.
- Treat your visitors warmly – The first point of contact with potential customers is at the stall. Welcome them warmly but let them wander around and make purchase decisions. If you see that they are facing any problems, step in with a casual conversation to help them out. Do not be pushy and start with a sales pitch. Give them a free hand to interact with and appreciate your products.
- Variety is critical – Have variety and a wide range of products on offer. Think of a flower show in your garden. If you have roses only, you will attract just rose lovers. Similar is the case for your crafts. Every year, apart from the products of the past, try adding a new line of items which is entirely different from your other things. The new items might not turn out to be best sellers but they will inevitably attract visitors looking for variety to choose from.
- Have customers carry your brand – Your packaging after you sell an item should reflect your brand. Invest in paper handled bags or small recycled paper lunch bags and have the name of your brand embossed on it in bold. Get a custom stamp with your brand logo and stamp the bags yourself. When your customers meet friends and show off your product, they will not have to describe where they got it from. The logo on the bag says it all. It is one of the best types of craft marketing that you can adopt. Include details of your website too so that customers at the show can get in touch with you later with trade enquiries.
How to pick the right crafts show
The biggest shows with the highest footfalls need not be the best for you. There are other crucial factors also. Here are some of them though not in any particular order.
- Consider the audience at the show – Consider the demographics of the location and whether the age of the attendees fit in well with the type of product. If your product is for the young at heart and the crowds are all middle to old age, you will not make much of a mark at the show. What about the other vendors? Do their products complement what you have to offer? You also have to consider the status of the neighbourhood. Upper class means more disposal income, more attendees and more sales.
- Make a cost analysis – you have to estimate how much you have to sell to break even. For example, if a table costs $100 at the show and your items are on an average $10 each, you have to sell a minimum of ten of them to break even. Take into account other costs apart from booth fees. These include buying props to set up a pleasing display and transportation of your goods.
- Outdoor vs. Indoor exhibits – An outdoor crafts show has a festive air about it and people flock in droves not just to buy exclusive craft pieces but to enjoy the weather as well. Unless the climate is awful and raining, it is better to opt for outdoor craft shows. However, the costs are more as you have to make provision for tents, tables, chairs and other extras while for indoor shows, the table and the chairs are often provided by the organisers.
These are some tips for craft marketing and how to pick the right shows.