4 Easy Ways to Turn your Craft into Cash at the 11th Hour.

This morning I asked a man in the produce department if he would read the expiration date on a bag of greens. (I forgot my glasses) He said “It says 2-14:the day every man fears.” It took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. I laughed but his comment recomfirms that the next couple of days are a great opportunity for artists and crafts people to cash in on procrastinators.

 

 

Do you think it’s too late to sell your crafts the last few days before Valentines Day? You’d be amazed at how many crafts people tell me they have made more sales in a couple of hours a day or two before a holiday than in the three previous weeks combined. It’s all about using the bad habits of procrastinators to your advantage.

 

Here are a few tips for making some last minute cash:

 

Many people wait until the last minute to shop. I don’t want to stereotype or alienate my male readers, friends and loved ones but from my experience,  guys tend to shop at the 11th hour and this is a good thing for YOU as a crafter. Hanging out where men are captive audiences is a guaranteed way to turn your craft into cash at the last minute. Particularly if you make wearables like jewelry or scarves, jump on this. Many guys have no idea what to buy their wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers so they appreciate your suggestions.

  • Pick the most upscale men’s salon or barber shop and offer to set up a display of your wares at peak hours. Make sure and approach it as if you’re doing THEM  a favor rather than the other way around because you are. (The owner and operators likely haven’t done holiday shopping yet either so they can have first pick without having to leave work.) Also, mention that setting this up will be an attraction for them as well so it will draw in new customers for the salon. You will sell more than you would in a craft show or retail setting because guys won’t be cheap in front of other guys. There’s kind of a magnet effect. One buys and they all start opening their wallets.

 

  • Even as late as the 24th, if you get permission to set up at a large office building in the lobby or break room, you’ll be doing the employees and the employers a favor because  lots of guys (and gals) are planning to leave work early on the 13th or 14th to stop on the way home to pick up last minute gifts. I’ve heard crafters say they sold more in a lunch hour Christmas eve than all month long.

 

  • Medical personnel often have to work on holidays so a hospital is a great place to have a last minute sale. Ask the HR department if you can set up in an area that the nurses and doctors gather on their breaks.

 

  • Another great place to set up a last minute pop-up display is a nice neighborhood sports bar where regulars gather for lunch and dinner. (think Cheers). If you get the guys at lunch time, you have a captive audience. Many of us eat out the days before holidays  because we’re going to be cooking the next few days, so you have the advantage of couples as well and believe me, if there is a table of handmade jewelry set up, women will crowd around. They’ll not only buy for friends and family but will show the guys the pieces they like.

Many crafts people report making more money IN A FEW HOURS this way than at a huge craft fair. 

In all of the above instances,  be sure to have plenty of cards and brochures with your contact info and write a description on the card what the person liked if they don’t buy it so that they can call or email you later. Also, do a drawing for a piece of your work. Just put out a bowl to collect business cards or scraps of paper for them to put their name and email address on. Ask permission to add the to your newsletter list so that you can let them know in advance when you’ll be back at that location or somewhere near by. (Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, etc.)

There are lots more ideas like this in ““21 Ways to Turn Your Craft into a Cash Cow

 

 

 

A little known secret to turn your craft into cash this last couple of weeks of December and into January

Have you noticed that many of the small boutiques that sell handmade are low in inventory the last couple of weeks in December? As a maker with crafts to sell, it’s to your advantage.

Many indiependent retailers respond to the media’s fear-based projections by ordering light this season in anticipation of slow sales due to ever increasing online buying. But the trend of discerning consumers searching for unique, handcrafted, meaningful gifts is catching retailers unprepared with insufficient supply and no time to re-order handmade gifts. Last minute shoppers are too late to order from Etsy sellers in time for Christmas and shop owners are missing out on revenue if they don’t have inventory.

This is where YOU come in. Boutiques and galleries that may Continue reading

How being generous can help you sell more crafts over the holidays

Are you wondering how you are going to find time to market your craft over the holidays? A lot of people let their marketing fall by the way-side between Thanksgiving and New Years but this can lead to slow sales in January and February.

One of the best methods to sell more craft is to make sure it’s seen at holiday parties.

If you have friends or family who host holiday parties in their home or office, ask them if they would like to borrow some of your art for the party. Whether it’s wall art, table-top or  wearable, your work will be seen by lots of new potential customers. Just be sure your friend has cards with your contact info handy to give to anyone who admires your work.

If your make jewelry or wearable art, you should wear it every single time you leave the house, even to run to the grocery store. And always have cards with your contact info in your pocket. But especially over the holidays, you can get other people to be your billboards as well. My employees and friends always knew they could borrow a piece of handmade jewelry, a scarf or other wearable art to attend special luncheons or parties. The only requirement was that they keep my cards in their handbag and anytime someone complimented the piece, they told them who made it and where they could purchase one or something similar. It’s not imposing. They’ll love wearing and talking about your work. It’s often a good ice-breaker at cocktail parties.

If any of your friends work in a place where they see lots of people every day, they can be a great source of marketing for you just by wearing what you make and telling anyone who admires it how they can contact you.

Don’t over-look how many women are shopping for the perfect outfit to wear to the holiday parties. They will need accessories as well so it’s a great idea to approach some upscale boutiques and ask them to display your work with their dresses. If they don’t already sell jewelry or whatever accessories your make, they can up their average ticket by showing the customer a piece of yours to match the outfit. They have nothing to lose if you do it on consignment. And you have everything to gain.

For more easy, fun ways to sell more crafts, check out the audio course: “12 Easy Ways to turn your Creative Hobby into an Extra $1200 a Month”

Days before Christmas and you still have time to turn your craft into cash NOW

It may seem like days before Christmas is too late to plan a sale of your handcrafted gifts but this is actually perfect timing. Surveys report that most consumers have not even begun their holiday shopping and even those who say they’re finished are still likely to purchase more if they see something really special.

The days prior to the holidays, everyone is feeling rushed and wondering how they’ll find time after work to get to the stores to shop. It seems employers are not falling for the frequent “sick days” employees are taking to get their shopping done.

In order to have their employees come to work rather than play hookie at the mall, or spend on-the-clock time shopping online, companies are now very receptive to vendors coming in to sell to their staff during lunch breaks.

Most corporations don’t take a percentage of the sales or ask for a space rental fee. Apparently they recognize that it is to their advantage to have the option for their employees to get some of their shopping done during business hours.

It’s always nice to hold an event with no fees or percentages going out. If you’re used to there always being a trade-off, it may seem odd that there are people who simply would love the convenience of being able to shop at their workplace. Talk to Continue reading

How to pay for college without loans

   An article in Entrepreneur article titled “10 Businesses You Can Start From Your Dorm Room” listed IT consultant, social media consultant , web designer, photographer, personal trainer, event planner, graphic designer, cleaning service, makeup artist, landscaper and snow removal. I found it interesting that there was no mention of all the crafty businesses students can run from their dorm room, particularly since so many students are crafters.
There’s so much opportunity to sell handmade items both on and off campus and if you have an item that appeals to a young, trendy population, you have a built in customer set of tens of thousands of qualified buyers.   And that’s without even taking your business online. If you are a college student or parent of a college student, check out the e-guide “Crafting Your Way Through College” for lots of craft businesses you can start while still in school. Most of these you can even start while still in 
high school. If you’re not a maker or want ideas beyond crafting check out “Create Your Own Summer Job”. (you can do most of these businesses any time of year.) 

What you should do this week to sell more of your handmade crafts for Mother’s Day

If you sell your handmade jewelry or crafts on Etsy or another website AND you’re doing all the right things to drive the traffic (buyers) to your site, that’s wonderful. Remember, though, a lot of people are last minute shoppers and won’t begin shopping until Friday for Mother’s Day Sunday.

Many artists, crafters and jewelry makers assume everyone knows about Etsy but you’d be amazed at all the qualified buyers with money to spend who would never dream of looking on Etsy for a Mother’s Day gift. There are also many people who want to see and touch the gift before they buy. That’s one reason brick and mortar jewelry stores still exist.

Your job, the week leading up to Mothers’ Day, is to get your work in front of buyers where they already spend time:

  • offices and hospitals
  • spas and barber shops
  • gyms
  • sports bars

If you took my advice and set up some trunk shows for Valentines Day, this week you should just call the places where your sales were best and schedule a date to do it again in May. If you haven’t taken any of these suggestions yet, now is the time to follow through and plan to make more money from your craft.

Remember it’s to their advantage to have you in their establishment. To read why, you’ll find more lots of ideas for what you can do to sell more crafts at the last minute HERE. Some of the tips are written about Valentines Day but they work great for Mother’s’ Day as well.

2 ways to get your craft, classes or services in front of millions if you hate marketing and self-promotion

Last week a client told me about something that I want to share with you, particularly if you’re someone who hates marketing your own craft. It’s one of the coolest things to pop up in this new shared economy. Aimed at travelers,  it’s important to know if you have any skill or knowledge you’d like to get paid to share with others.

I alredy knew about Verlocal but I’m really excited about both of these opportunities. I think it’s especially helpful for those of you who still haven’t made peace with the M-word. If you want to get your offerings out to a wider audience without having to do the promotion yourself (and you haven’t yet discovered that marketing can actually be a creative activity) you’ll love both of these.

If you live in a major city and have ANYTHING you are knowledgeable about that you’d like to get paid to share with others, you can become an “Experience Host” on AirBnB. You do NOT have to be an AirBnB host to be an Experience host. Hosts can offer immersions or one day experiences. Immersions happen over multiple days and are offered as is. One day experiences can last just a couple of hours. You can take someone on a walking tour of your city and show them the little-known secrets only a local could find or teach anything from how to make your own sushi to salsa-dancing. Are you an ace at roasting coffee or throwing pottery? Now you can offer it as an experience on AirBnB. You design an experience, list it on the AirBnB Experience page and pay a booking fee of 20% (last I checked.) You’ll have the exposure of a world-wide audience.

I knew about Verlocal but hadn’t thought of it as a way to get the word out about your art or classes or experiences you might offer. It is only in select cities so far. You can set up a class or event and list it on Verlocal. You choose your own pricing. When transactions are made for classes, Verlocal simply takes 15% of the amount listed. You can integrate their booking tool on your own website or if you don’t have a site, you can use your Verlocal profile page as your personal site.

Both Verlocal and AirBnB Experience are great ways to dip into the teaching pool or expand your offerings to a wider audience without having to do the marketing ourself. Can you think of something you’d like to get paid to share?

For more ideas on how to begin teaching or facilitating in the arts, check out the Inspiring Teachers course where 30 of the most sought-after creative teachers share their experience and wisdom running retreats in beautiful places around the world or teaching in their own home studios both in person and online. Find out more HERE 

Why would you want to teach your craft online or at art retreats and workshops?

WHY TEACH?

As the guest teachers have shared in the Inspiring Teachers series, there are so many reasons to teach your art or craft online or at artist retreats or workshops.

 

Share your gifts

Maybe you simply love to share your gifts, knowledge or skill or just enjoy being in the company of other creative people.

 

Fund Your Travel

You might plan art or writing retreats in spots you love to visit or teach as a way to fund your travel. 

 

Work From Home

Or, teaching online from your home studio may be the ticket to expanding your income while enabling you to stay home with your kids or pets.

 

Income

You always hear “no one teaches for the money” and it’s true that most teachers choose that profession because they have a passion for education but let’s be honest here: money is a valid reason to teach. OR at least to add teaching to your income as an artist. In fact, one best-selling author and workshop facilitator says teaching is the majority of her income.

And several successful workshop teachers say that if they didn’t teach, they’d have to take a part time, non-art-related job to supplement their income so why not create a situation where you’re able to continue working in the arts as your extra income source?

 

The Aha-Moments

As the guest teachers have shared in the Inspiring Teachers series, there are so many reasons to teach your art or craft online or at artist retreats or workshops. One thing all of us who love to teach have in common is the pure joy when a student has that “aha-now I get it” moment.

 

Inspiration

Inspiration is another benefit to teaching. Sometimes new students may use a tool or material in a way it wasn’t intended but has beautiful results. You can learn a lot from a novice who isn’t afraid to experiment . Nearly every teacher in the Inspiring Teachers series said they learn from their students.

 

Insight

Student’s questions can often give you insight. The work that comes easily and naturally to you may seem more challenging to others and breaking your processes down for them helps you see it in a way you might not have viewed your work before. Doing in-person workshops can be a wonderful barometer for how your classes will work online because you can get feedback from students who are at your live workshops about anything you might need to be more clear on.

 

Community

Teaching is a great way to build a community of artists to share ideas, resources and information about events, venues, techniques and materials. Students or workshop attendees will tell their friends about you and your work and ideally recommend your future classes, spread the word about your shows and help you get invited to teach at other people’s events.
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Sell Your Own Art or Supplies

You can usually display and sell your own art either in your workshop or at the marketplaces of larger artist events.

You can also, at many venues, offer supplies, tools and materials for sale when you teach. You can make up kits to sell to workshop participants at in-person classes and events or participate in a website affiliate program for art supply companies. Some art supply companies actually have a sponsorship program for artists who teach because you’re representing their products by demonstrating how to use them.

 

If you’d love to create your own art retreats to support your travel or as an additional way of making income from your home, you can learn how 30 popular teachers have created a successful teaching business. You can register for the Inspiring Teachers Series HERE.

 

Get paid to travel the world with friends and sketch?

I know this sounds too good to be true but I’ve been having the most inspiring conversations with real people who make their living doing things like traveling to retreat centers and faciliatating workshops or taking a small group to Europe to sketch and go to wine tastings and take cooking classes. Really. (and most do NOT have teaching or art degrees. )

Some of the most sought after arts workshop teachers share how they get paid to travel the world, teach online from their home studios or create their own artist gatherings.

Whether working from home teaching online or in-person locally is your ideal livelihood or you also want to get paid to go to art retreats, you can learn how all these artists built a career doing what they love. FIND OUT HOW HERE

 

Thinking about teaching your craft?

  Do you see those artists or crafters posting photos of workshops they’re teaching in Paris or Hawaii and wonder how they got so lucky? If you envy artists who are holding virtual classes from their own studios, have you thought  “I’d love to do that but I wouldn’t know where to begin” or “I haven’t got the credentials to teach art”?

Well, it isn’t about luck OR credentials.

Have you ever attended one of those art retreat weekends where they bring many multimedia teachers together for a buffet of classes and thought you ‘d love to organize something like that but you don’t know how? Or wondered how those artists get those cool gigs?

Are you curious about how to share what you know and love but you’re not really sure if you’re “qualified” to teach or how you would go about organizing classes or how to get people to enroll in your workshops.

Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to teach but as an art education major, I realized I didn’t want to teach in a school setting but I didn’t realize then that there were so many other options for teaching.

Besides getting to hang out with creative, like-minded people, one benefit artists gain from teaching workshops is the added income. If you want to make more than you earn from selling your art, facilitating classes sure beats a job-job to supplement your bankroll.

But money isn’t the only reason to teach.
Facilitating classes expands your exposure in the art community, gives you the opportunity to show (and sell) more of your own work and can bring you invitations to teach at other events and participate in open studios.

One of the best ways I know to get to take lots of courses is to bring artists together to create your own gatherings or retreats and it isn’t really difficult to do.  Find out how you can learn from some of the most brilliant and in-demand teachers in the arts HERE.   The Inspiring Teachers Course is now open for registration. Find out more HERE