Sunday , 21 October 2018
Having a successful craft show experience means more than simply making a lot of money over the weekend (though that's great too!) Another factor to strive for besides immediate sales is directing your visitors and buyers to buy again from you later, either in person, or from your website or marketplace site.

How to Get Post Craft Show Sales

Having a successful craft show experience means more than simply making a lot of money over the weekend (though that’s great too!) Another factor to strive for besides immediate sales is directing your visitors and buyers to buy again from you later, either in person, or from your website or marketplace site. There are several things you can do to make this more likely to happen.

Maximize your business cards.

Leave a stack of cards at the front edge of your craft show booth so shy passerby’s can easily grab one without having to ask. Also, be sure to hand them out personally to any interested browsers or purchasers in case they missed the stack you left out.

Your businesses card is a powerful advertising tool. Make sure it is unusual enough to catch someone’s eye, and clearly indicates who you are and what you sell. (Don’t just include a pretty stock design, but rather, an actual image of your products and multiple ways to contact you.)

A coupon code good for your website only on the back of your business cards will help direct people to check out what you have online at a later date.

Collect e-mail addresses.

If the show allows it, offer up a giveaway item in exchange for names and e-mail addresses. The winner will be notified by e-mail after the show. (Just make sure you are letting people know that they are also signing up for your newsletter.)

If you don’t have an e-mail newsletter, then you need to get one. Services like Mail Chimp and others offer free starting packages for people with small or not-yet-existent lists. This really is the best way to stay in touch with craft fair browsers long after the show has taken place.

Offer custom requests/orders.

A lot of times someone perusing your craft booth with just LOVE a particular item, only they wish it was in a different color, size, etc. Be ready for this with a stack of “Custom Request” forms, that the browser can easily fill out the item specifics, and give you partial or full payment for the item right then and there. This can keep you busy for weeks after a successful show, and in contact with several of your customers regarding their orders, all of which is a great opportunity for long-term relationship building.

 

This post was written exclusively for Handmadeology by Megan Petersen of www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com. You can find more marketing and biz advice over at her blog, BeadingForBusiness.com.

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4 comments

  1. OK,,You are reciting the dogma.
    1. In 30 years of doing markets and giving out cards I have had one phone call and no sales from those cards. Too, if you put them out within reach the kids will clean you out in 30 minutes.
    2. E-addresses, right on!!! You want these people back at a future show. DO NOT HAVE A FORM FOR THEM. You want the interaction of asking questions; what are you interested in?, what woods do you like? Then you make notes on their body language in reaction with the work. Newsletters are a good idea but here the cost of translation would wipe out results. English speaking clients I can reach via FaceBook or Linked-In
    3. I refuse to do custom orders, 20 years doing custom furniture ruined me on that. I will do a piece or two following their wishes, e-mail photos and let them see if they like it. Custom orders were a trap, either the client did not like the results or I was dissatisfied because it was boring. People refuse to pay for design time. I will NOT make a piece I do not like or that I know will not sell if they reject it.

    Norman Ridenour, Curmudgeon in Prague

  2. I’m with Norman about the custom orders, for me it was disaster, I wasted a lot of wonderful olive oil trying to get the scent that folks thought they wanted! BUt it may work well for other folks.

    As for the biz cards, I do think they are a powerful tool. I have them high enough where I don’t have to worry about kids grabbing them. I sell mostly at the Farmers Markets and I have had a lot of people contact me afterwards about an order. When I learn they are visiting from out of the area, I have a magnetic form of my card that I give them to hang on their friige, then they wont lose me when they need a new batch of soap!

    Thanks for the article, always great to learn about news ways of keeping our peeps! :-)

  3. I think all artists hate custom orders. Ah if only we could sell what we have already. But a good deal of my sales are custom. I go from feeling ecstatic at getting an order, to feeling anxious about getting it just right, to feeling un-free because i’m not just making what i want, to feeling anxious again at whether or not the customer will like it.

    I’m trying something new, by choosing the fast and easy patterns that I know I can easily duplicate (I knit and crochet) and putting them on my website. Then when I go to craft fairs, I swear I will shut my mouth about custom orders and just give them my card and direct them to the site where they will hopefully choose from a few carefully pre-selected styles. The page should be ready soon so we’ll see how this goes.

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