Several readers have asked how they can gear up their sales for the holiday season. They wonder how to stand out in the crowd of Etsy and other online shops.
Some mention a desire to have face-to-face interaction with their buyers but are leery to exhibit at local craft fairs either because the booth costs are prohibitive or they are concerned about the quality and integrity of other exhibiters.
Here I offer up a couple of ideas that will increase both your in-person and online sales:
Alternative #1: Organize your own small craft fair. It’s simple. You can then control the quality of other exhibitors as well as the medium. If you make handcrafted jewelry, you don’t want to get lost in a craft fair with 35 other jewelry artists and you sure don’t want to pay a hefty booth fee and then find out that you are competing with mass produced imports, right?
Why not gather some other crafters and artists together and either have a home craft show or rent a space at a church or school. (tip: if you offer to donate a percentage to the school or a club, they may let you set up for free.) You can then control who the other exhibitors are. You might ask a couple of potters, someone who does hand painted silk scarves, knitter and crocheter, photographer, a couple of painters who make smaller pieces or prints, a woodworker, someone who makes metal sculptures, a couple of jewelers who do different work from your own, etc. If you don’t know enough crafters personally, contact some local craft guilds and connect with artists there. I recommend charging a small booth fee to be sure people honor their commitment to show up and ask emphasize to each person that you all have to do your part to get the word out. Split up the PR chores. One person can contact the local news media, someone else might handle the postings on Facebook and Twitter, someone else create the posters and you should all distribute flyers in coffee shops, libraries, etc.
Alternate idea #2. Organize a virtual craft fair. Here, you invite friends from anywhere in the world to join you. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way to do this is to put up a simple webpage with links to each of your individual sites. Everyone agrees to send out an email invitation to all of their list and friends and to post a link on all their social media sites. Ideally, you each have different groups of friends so even if all your own friends have seen your work, the other artists all share with their friends. So you each have exposure to the others’ lists and friends who’ve never seen your work before.
If you like these ideas, check out “12 Easy Ways to turn your Creative Hobby into an Extra $1200 a Month” for a dozen more creative suggestions on free or inexpensive ways to make more money selling your crafts. “