As a maker, your revenue is dependent on selling your handmade goods. Your booth at shows, your website, your Etsy site, your instagram site: they are all working toward that one goal. But, there is one thing many makers don't take seriously: their product photos! Photos of your products are one of the most important parts of marketing.
You don't need a fancy, thousand dollar camera to take excellent product photos. You have the tool in the palm of your hand: literally! Your iPhone or other smart device can take some excellent product photos with a little help from natural or artificial lighting, white paper or a solid background and your products!
What you will need:
Use a light or dark grey backdrop. It will give your photos a tidy and consistent look without a lot of noise in the background.
You can make your own backdrop by using a jumbo roll of white paper.
Using natural light is the most affordable (it's FREE!) and easiest source to use when...
Booth set-up can involve a little psychology: all humans want to avoid pain and seek pleasure and remembering this can actually help you in your craft show booth set-up! We are going to address some common mistakes we have seen in booths which do not make high sales at shows so that you can avoid making these same mistakes. Remember, we inherently want to seek pleasure, even when making purchases, so take these tips to heart:
NOT WELCOMING GUESTS INTO YOUR BOOTH
Hiding in your booth is a surefire way to lose business. People attend craft fairs because they want to meet the maker and if you are acting distracted or staring down at your phone, looking too busy to help a customer, you will probably lose that customer. We know not everyone is a social flower and some would rather be a wall flower but this is your time to shine! It's your time to tell the world I MADE THIS and meet new clients who will become part of your handmade community.
NOT HAVING BUSINESS CARDS, A MAILING...
It's a new year and with a new year comes a whole new schedule of craft shows you can sign up for! Finding local craft shows is essential for making a living via your creative biz. Selling at shows puts you in front of buyers who want to support you and fellow makers whose community you can join.
But where do you start? How do you find out about craft shows in your town and near you? How do you determine if you want to travel to out-of-state shows? How do you even FIND out of state shows? Here are a few ways:
TALK TO OTHER CRAFTERS
Ask other crafters what events they participate in and which ones they do NOT participate in. Word of mouth is a great way to find new fairs and glean details about existing ones.
Google is a great way to find fairs in your city, state and in other states. Here is an image from a quick google we did and look at all that popped-up in Kansas City:
And here is a google from Missouri which came up with lots of fairs in the state:
We're sure you know, craft shows can be hit or miss. They can be a great way to get your products in front of new customers, get feedback on what is popular and of course start generating income for your business.
Even slower shows can have their benefits (meeting future fans, growing your following, meeting other makers, learning about great shows in the area, getting crucial customer feedback, etc.), but picking the right shows can help you grow your business faster and save you lots of time.
We have a few tips for choosing the perfect craft fairs for selling your amazing maker goods!
ATTEND: Visit potential shows to see if your items would be a good fit.
COST: Determine how much booth fees are for each show.
SHOPPERS: Consider the audience demographics.
VENDOR ATTENDANCE: Find out what vendors have participated in the past.
CUSTOMER ATTENDANCE: Ask the curator or past vendors how many shoppers attend.
ONLY HANDMADE?: Find out if...
It is so easy to let creativity fall to the bottom of our list of priorities. But it is oh so important to nurture your creativity! Even if you are a creative person, it can require a bit of effort and planning to make it happen. Here are some simple ways to add more creativity to your daily routine:
It's much easier now that we constantly have a camera in our pocket! Photos can be a great way to look at things a bit differently and see the beauty around you. It's a simple way to observe beauty and will inspire your creative work in other ways, no matter what creative medium is your favorite.
PLAN CREATIVE TIME
Creative entrepreneurs have so much on their plate. They often wear ALL of the hats in their small business, and creative play time gets pushed aside.
If we wait to "feel inspired", your creative work just might not come to fruition. Instead, work on creative projects every day, even when you don't necessarily...
It's No-Show January. That month between the winter holidays and Valentine's Day and there are NO CRAFT SHOWS! If your business has slowed down this month, DON'T FRET! We have a few tips for how to use this down time to KEEP GOING:
BOOKKEEPING AND NUMBERS
Use January to get your books in order and review the year. Figure out which shows were profitable (see our nifty graphic in our last blog for help in determining your numbers) and which weren't. Get organized for 2020 by sorting your tax documents and creating a profit and loss spreadsheet if you haven't already.
RESEARCH AND PLAN SHOWS
Are you part of any FB groups like Craft Show Success that has other makers in it? Post a question to them or do some research by searching past posts about shows in your city. Look up craft shows and plan your 2020. Mark down when applications close for certain events in your calendar so you don't miss out on applying! Plan for booth fees. Sometimes multiple events will have fees due around the...
It's the age-old question? How much product should I bring to a craft show?
Ideally, you want to recoup 8 to 10 times the booth fee and bring double the amount of product to make that happen. You also want to make sure you're spreading your inventory across several price points.
A lot of variables exist that can effect the amount of stock makers bring to craft shows and art fairs, but there are some equations that you can use to help you determine how much product to bring.
First, you'll need to determine some very important numbers.
Once you have determined the numbers from the graphic above, you can use them in this graphic to figure out how much product you should bring to shows to meet your profit goals!
You don't want to bring ONLY the amount of products needed to meet your profit goals or else your booth will be completely bare by show's end! Make sure you bring DOUBLE that amount so you can restock and sell more. Shoppers love browsing full...
It's the BIGGEST shopping week of the year: Black Friday, followed by Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday!
SALE IDEAS FOR CREATIVE BIZ OWNERS:
You can schedule your sales ahead of time and share on your social media. If you have an Etsy account, you can create a sale and change your banner to reflect your sale. Here is a great example from Craft Show CEO co-founder Carly Rae of how she published her sales on her social media:
You can see she mixed in sales both at her in-person events and also online and she encouraged her followers to screenshot the graphic (it was posted to her Instagram stories). This...
As a craft show organizer, I've watched countless vendors 'in their element' and... not in their element. Whether you're a seasoned pro or ready to apply to your first craft show, there is a very important "Code of Craft Show Vendors" that is mostly unspoken, but should be followed in order to make great sales and to make your show run smoothly (for you AND for the organizer).
CODE 1: BE PRESENT AND FRIENDLY
I can't tell you how many times I've watched vendors buried in their phones while customers wait for them to look up, but when the vendor doesn't look up, the customer walks away. Make sure to greet your customers and make them feel welcome to ask you questions or find out more about your product and give them your full attention (or tell them you'll be with them in just a minute because understandably, you could be merchandising or doing a social post). Craft show customers are coming because they want to support and meet YOU, and you can gain some loyal followers by being...
'Tis the season to be... going 100% into Holiday Craft Fair Mode!
It's that time! The most wonderful time of the year when we come together at in-home showings, wine & shops, craft shows, and school holiday fairs. It Holiday Craft Show time. We have compiled a few tips on how to give your booth a lil seasonal cheer while you're selling your handmades:
Fake trees can add some holiday cheer to your booth AND serve as a display. We love these 'trees' and the possibilities are endless with how you can decorate them. If you're a jeweler, you can hang your jewelry on them. If you make note cards, you can clip them to the tree. Ornaments? Hang them just like would a real tree!
We love how Arched used a holiday tree in their booth to hang her merch: ornaments!
Photo by Arched
Let your light shine! A simple thing like some extra lighting can give your booth a holiday feel. You can find strands of LED lights...