For the next week, you have the perfect opportunity to sell your handmade jewelry and crafts for Valentine’s Day. Even if you’re snowed in, just pick up the phone and set up some trunk shows at galleries, men’s salons, health clubs, office buildings or all of the above. Do you have any idea how many people would love to have your help in choosing a piece of hand crafted jewelry or a silk scarf for their wives or girlfriends rather than have to scour shops trying to figure out what the women in their lives would like? Whether you need to generate cash to pay off your holiday credit card bills or turn your crafts into cash so that you can go to the Gem Shows and buy more supplies, right now, today is the time to make those calls. After a successful sale, you’ll have an open invitation to return for Mother’s Day.
If you’re exhibiting at craft fairs tot he public or trade shows to shops and galleries this summer, you might be missing the most important thing you can do to increase your sales. It’s so simple but can make all the difference in selling more of your work.
Get your pieces in the hands of your customers. Don’t ask “is there something you’d like to see?”. When you notice someone looking at a particular piece, simply hand it to them. If you sell wearable crafts like jewelry or scarves, keep a mirror in your booth and invite and encourage attendees to try things on. Engage them in conversation about how your pieces are created and where your inspiration comes from. The longer they spend in your space, the more likely it is that they will purchase.
The difference between a handcrafted piece and mass produced items is the human-ness of handmade so make sure attendees know you as a person and get to touch your work. The next time you exhibit, make it a goal to put a piece of your work in the hands of everyone who stops by your booth. Then let me now how much your sales have increased. See, I told you it was simple.
Hopefully, you did a great business in December and are still going strong but for many artists, sales are slow in January and early February. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is one simple thing that will guarantee you increase your revenue and have a good winter and spring.
Have you noticed that when women shop, they are often verbal about what they like. This can be used to their advantage and yours when it comes to making more sales. Whether you show at craft fairs, home parties in shops or online, you absolutely are missing the boat and a big chunk of cash if you do not keep an active wish list. (If you sell online, you MUST add a wish list to your website.) If you sell in-person, here is what I did.
I had cards made that were double size. One half was my regular business card and the other half said “Hint, hint: I found exactly what I want at (my gallery or booth name). Then I had a blank line where I filled in the item description that I would recognize. I had them with a pen in several locations throughout my displays and I kept my own file with index cards under the person’s name with their wish list items. The women could then bring their “hint” card home to their husband, boyfriend, friend or family member. When it was time to look for a gift, the men could then call (or come in if you have a permanent location) and ask what was on his wife’s wish list. Everyone is happy. The guy is satisfied that he picked something she will love. The woman is happy that she got what she wanted instead of some random choice of his which she may or may not like and YOU got the sale. A win-win, right?
How can your work translate into something that you and/or your friends can showcase in the workplace? Even if you don’t work outside the home, here are some tips for getting more people to see and buy your craft.
If you or your friends work in a hospital, bank or institution that requires employees to wear a badge, you have a great opportunity to get your handmade jewelry or other craft noticed. Particularly if you make beaded jewelry, you can add a badge holder attachment to any of your necklaces. Invite your friends or co-workers to wear them and make sure they have your card or contact info. Then when patients, clients or other employees compliment the badge holder, you or your friends can let them know you make these and can make them as necklaces or eyeglass holders as well.
If you are a metalsmith, you can also make a version of badge or eyeglass holder as a pin with a loop to hold the badge or glasses.
Whatever your medium, be creative about making pieces that people can see in the workplace and spread the word about your work. If, for example, you work in ceramic, polymer clay or even fused glass, consider making a business card holder that you and your friends can put on their desk where others will see and comment on them. You can also make picture frames that you keep on your desk and when people will comment on them, let them know about all the other work you do.
Even if you create high end pieces, putting more moderate work out where people can see it will interest them in your art and give you an opportunity to introduce them to the rest of your line.
Think about what other objects can can you add to your line that will showcase your art in the work arena.
The whole idea is, get it out there because you aren’t going to sell it if it’s sitting in your studio unseen.
Are you participating in craft fairs or any face-to-face shows this holiday season? How have your sales been?
Do you know there is one simple thing you should be doing that will increase your sales drastically and create loyal customers? One easy, obvious thing that you probably aren’t doing.
Place your work in their hands. That’s it. Easy peazy, right?
When I attend craft fairs, I notice artists only speaking to people who ask them questions and mostly just saying “hi, how are you?” or “thank you”. Or worse,
sitting in their booths texting, reading or looking bored.
People who shop in-person for crafts want to have face-time with the artists, to know the person who makes the art. To be able to tell the gift recipient or their friends who admire the piece they met the artist. They want to touch and feel the work.
Try this next time you display your art: Greet every single person who walks by your booth. If they hesitate, they are interested in knowing more. Invite them into your space and tell them a little about your work. Talk about the process. If they are looking at a particular piece, put it in their hands and even invite them try it on if it’s wear-able.
I guarantee you will have a lot more sales and happy, return customers.
Let me know how it works for you.