Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

Lesson 4/39 - Is Your Business Ready for a Craft Show?

 

Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

 

Lesson Info

Is Your Business Ready for a Craft Show?

Now that we have figured out all the rad stuff we can get from craft shows we need two here's my stuff again assessing plan so we need to kind of get serious about this and part of that is exciting if your business is ready for a craft show so this is ahh mia mia to craft show along a long time ago with my very, very busy booth yeah looking sharing a booth there so when we when we look at our list our list of benefits these air, some of mine and we have those over here and then we also have the ones the ones that we said where you need to do is think about which benefits you want so you need thio analyze them and figure out which ones are right for you we all have different businesses were all in different places rebecca's done fifty billion craft shows somebody else's done one I'm sure somebody else out there who has done zero and we think about what works for our life so maybe you have small children travel might not be a good idea for you, you know? So you might wantto just say that...

benefit for later maybe you're you know, feeling really lonely like I am when I'm working by myself with my chickens maybe building community is something that like you really want to go for so you want to figure out which benefits are right for you and then you want to prioritize them so figuring out this these are the benefits that I want and then figuring out which one is the most important perhaps you are like I was when I started out and you were very, very poor and making money was key maybe you are, you know, with a partner who helps who's like the main breadwinner and so making money at this point might not be super high priority. So figuring out which one is the priority for you right now I like to start by writing out all the benefits and then kind of going going through them crossing out, prioritizing, figuring out what I want so it's much easier to get something to get a benefit if you decide what it is and then you turn it into a goal. So whereas a benefit is kind of a general thing like uh I want to build my online audience local would be something more specific like I want, uh, fifty new facebook followers by the end of the month and then actions or what you're going to take to get there so your goals are determined by your idea of success and the stage of your business like we talked about and your goals are going to be very focused and time specific um start to talk about carrie again but she is like really really into this kind of like cool action type of thing so if this is something that interests you or something that you struggle with I would definitely do a little get a little carried time you know check check out she she wrote an article for our blogged about it before it's very good so what I like to dio and this is a bonus material right? Vanessa that's right? Yeah reusable which is awesome so you would just put your benefits benefits here I just listed all of them and then do you want that benefit? Yes no or maybe and then your goal which is the more time specific part and then your action list which is the really specific things you have to do to get there so we're going to go through how to create the goals and the actions off of the benefits right now. So let's start with this one I used this one is an example because I feel like who does not want to grow their social media audience was like I hate having a big social media ideas it's such a bummer when everybody likes my pictures and comments on them so let's take this so grow your social media audience so this would be the benefit and then getting that into a more specific area which is our goal would be top we're thinking about time and we're getting as specific as we can so grow your social media audience, get one hundred, new instagram followers by the end of this month you see how like if you're like, I want to grow my social media audience, it seems like impossible, but once we start breaking it down, it seems more a little bit more doable. So the actions to take to do that are maybe a free gift for anyone who comes to the show and follows you on instagram or a contest to win a fifty dollars gift certificates your online shop for anyone who upload a photo of what they of what they bought and tags you in it, you know, so it's time to get creative, you know, instead of just having a sign that says, uh, you know, at deer, handmade life is my instagram, you know, you want a reward, people give them an incentive, uh, and then also to kind of cross promote, so you're trying to build up your instagram, maybe you have a bigger facebook following, so to go on to your facebook and say, hey, guys, I'm doing this instagram contest jump on board right now, so that would be how to turn that very social media audience into something that seems more doable, ok, make money, yeah, so when you say I want to make money, it's like okay, yeah, I want to make money we all do great but getting specific I want to make two thousand dollars a month through selling a craft show starting in two months so you're giving yourself two months to get prepared and you're giving yourself a specific goal of how much money you want to make each month so then you need to figure out how many you know generally on average let's say I prophet five hundred dollars that means I need to do four shows a month minimum you know probably five or six so for me and my first action steps I would say would be to apply for a bi weekly farmer's market or some kind of a regular market where you're having those regular customers coming in and also to research crush shows to apply for s o I put instead of just saying research new craft shows you get specific their research twenty new craft shows and you're going to break it down into however you're going to do it I'm gonna do three a day for such and such amount of days I'm going to sit down into twenty right now how whatever works well for you and then the other one would be actually trying to bump up your sales so creating discounts for multiple purchases so not only trying to do more do more shows so you have more opportunities for people to buy but you're trying to up that ticket price of the person that's buying so instead of you know it's one shirt for twenty your it's one for twenty and two for thirty five believe me you're gonna have or two for twenty two for thirty five sales than you would have imagined it's something happens in our brains when we hear deal even if you don't want the second thing right it happens to me all the time where I'm like why don't I just buy two of these cups like I only needed one but um our last one and I'm really just breaking these down for you guys I mean these are just examples like your actions are going to be different depending on what your goal is and what your benefit is but I really wanted to show you how to break this down so that when you figure out your own you're not like uh yeah I knew I want brand recognition okay how do I even begin go about that so the goal would be to create distinctive branded booth materials so like sign ege um you know outside your move inside business cards you know everything so people know they're walking in tow lisa's booth when they come here people people know that brand and then you're giving yourself a deadline so I'm gonna do that by the holiday season you know? So whatever time of year this is when you're making this up so your actions would be research affordable branding firm so research a company that can design a logo, business cards you know, all that stuff for you. If that's something in your budget, if not, we're going to talk about this later to reach out to your community. There are so many ways that you can get things done for trade and don't don't let that lack of money hold you back, um, and then adding that branding to your online president's, making sure your social media and you're blocking your website everything has that has that branding in it and then boarding new business and post business cards and postcards so you can see and redesign your booth making new sign ege you can see that all of these things are supporting that, and it feels much easier to say, okay, I need to order new business cards, okay? I can do that in one day. I need to create brand recognition and exposure. I don't even know how to begin to check that off my to do list. I'm a big to do list person as you can probably tell. So now I want to I want to do one together, so let's, pick a benefit don't pick these ones because I just did, um, so if somebody wants to pick another benefit or we can read you one of the benefits that we already did but we can do is specific to you I'm really interesting document the whole cell fires also buyer is cool we're gonna have this column b r benefit this colin be our goal in this column b r action okay, so our benefit iss wholesale right what what does anybody wanna have a goal for that? Does anybody want to say or do you want me to tell you what you should be yeah so I would say a quantity yep so three new stores bye and then you're going to put a time so few new stores by yeah and three months let's say three new stores oops that's why we have the race street new stores and three months okay, what are some actions we can take to get to get us there? Yeah, research stores what else say if you no the stores that you're interested in maybe seeing what products they already carrying and see if those people are going to be at the event you're going too if that makes sense so if they already carry a certain line to know if those members are going to be at the event that you're going to I mean I know you can invite buyers but I wouldn't even know how to go about doing that no lines well aiken we'll talk about that no lines um so inviting buyers you would just literally invite them. Yeah, so send him an email. I am a big fan of in person maybe it's because I'm a lady or something and there wasn't social media when I when I was growing up but I'm a big fan of in person, so I walk into the shop. I'm looking around in the shop, I pick up something if you know, I don't have that much money on me that say maybe it's a card and I buy that card. I make sure I'm wearing one of my things with you are great at stacy, you're always wearing your stuff so you walk in with with your with your stuff on it if possible. If not, you know, if you make ceramics, don't walk in with ceramics on your head, but, uh yeah, you could that you would definitely get noticed that's for sure, so and you, you bys and as you're doing something, I love your shop, it is so cute and it's, so funny lake. I've been following this fender, whatever we did a craft show together last week and edited it. Oh, actually, I'm doing one next week weekend here's a card for there's going to be a lot of, you know, emerging vendors that aren't in any shops yet that air at this show or you can email too but it's much easier to a bank tank email when somebody's right in front of you it's a lot harder to ignore them right about dropping off like a sample no gifting you know yeah, I know and that you know that is already in the shop do an introduction so you can I have like a you can do you can do that too if you have a close enough relationship without person but no, I would never drop off a sample um I would, however try to set up an appointment with the buyer so I would never walk walk into a shop with my stuff yes, sometimes it's very helpful if you just call them and ask who the buyer is ask when they're going to be there and you go in and talk to them yeah, they like that a lot, but very often the they're busy they have a schedule, they have a buying season so they know when they're going to buy and if I go in there they'll let me know right away went to come back or when to show up or when to show the line yeah and they're actually at work when they're when they're at their store so think about when you're working if you would like somebody to come into your studio and be like, hey, I love that you're using those staff's on your you know on your shirts that you're making but my snaps or totally awesome to do you want to buy them and you're like dude I'm making right now get out here yes uh sometimes if you go in to see them for me I don't always know if it's a right store for me versus what they what what they really want to carry and how they want to carry it so are they going toe can they just buy five pieces or are they gonna want to buy thirty pieces do they need a whole line it helps me you know if I can show up in person to see if they're the right match for me not just if I want my stuff in there but yeah if it's going to be a good relationship or a partnership yeah and that's another good thing about having having a rep which is somebody that represents your line to two stores to the buyers from stores is they already know all that information about stores they know exactly what they're you know what this story is going to want how money they're gonna want so so we just we just broke broke that down so you can see the action I would actually change this to be more specific so I would research ten stores in that county you know where where the show is or whatever and you know, set your schedule so that you are going into those stores whether you have appointments or you're just going to check them out the first time so that will be how you would do that how you do that for yourself so now let's talk about questions to ask yourself before doing a craft show so this is what you want to be asking we heard this earlier about the amount of product how much product are you supposed to have so different people have different rules on how much how much product you're supposed to have? This is what this is my opinion for ten times the amount that you want to sell, you don't ever want your booth toe look empty it's a big bummer I mean think about when you walk into a store you know, like we walk into target after they had a big sale and it just looks like a hurricane you know, hit in there you don't want to buy and he thinks you want to get the heck out of there and go home and if you don't have enough stuff how you can't sell what you don't have, you know, so going in there without enough stuff, why are you even there? So you also want to think about and we talked about this a bit too is our your products ready? Are they ready to be washed, touched, used, worn, handled are they ready to fall on the ground or they're ready? Are they ready? Tio have whatever needs to whatever needs to be done for people to use them. Are they going to last? I you know, I had to when I first started making sure it's eye worm and I washed them myself and some of them didn't didn't work some of my screen printing techniques didn't work, and so I went back to the drawing board, so you test it, you have a friend tested if you're doing something it's not as important for things like jewelry and stuff like that, but if you're if you have a food business and you're doing craft shows you to have the proper, proper permits and you make sure everything's in place. So it was bath and body people there's like specific ways, you know, if you're doing sober chapstick or something like that, they're specific ways that you need to label your product so making sure that all of that stuff is in place and making sure that people know how to take care of it, would they once they get it, how do I wash this? How do I drive this? You know, what do I do if the silver on my necklace tarnishes, you know, make sure to let them know that that's going to tarnish you let them know this is how you clean it or the tarnishes what's gonna happen and that's what makes it like how it iss and awesome you also want toe be ready to accept payments credit card sales all you guys have done craft shows seventy five percent or more of your sales at a craft show is going to be credit cards so if you're not ready to do that get ready it's very easy now square has a little trooper that you plug into your fancy phone you can do the transaction if you don't if you forget your little scanner oh you can do it just with your iphone ipad there you go pay pal I think has a should be thing now so there's absolutely no excuse not to take credit cards no excuse at all there was ten years ago it's over technology has gotten rid of that and you also want teo think about having some kind of like accounting system in place so that you can keep track of stuff. So when you're thinking about like accepting payments you're not just taking that money and putting it into your wallet with your paycheck that you just cashed you know from your part time job or from your regular job you need to be able to keep track of everything you have any recommendations quickly for that like in programs or anything so I use quickbooks I use it because it was the first thing that I learned how to use and I really like it so being creative I have found quickbooks to be very awesome and once I got the hang of it it's something clicked in my brain and I got really into it quickbooks now has a small business or entrepreneurial version of their oh yeah and I have been using on it it's really cool for that um also within square you can take photos of a big item that you have taken name it so it's really easy just touching photo and automatically puts it in to the q that's also uh I recently worked with shopify and one of the things that I really liked with about them is that when you saw something you have your inventory like it's all in there and when you saw something at your craft show and obviously you don't close your online store when you're at a craft show your stock in your online store goes down to reflect that so I mean back in the day for me that used to happen all the time I would because I made one of a kind stuff when I started out so I would sell it and then I couldn't sell it twice so I'd be like trying to hurry up and go on essie and deleted it so you can do that with the reader wait a minute contract inventory yeah, so there's there really isn't an excuse of saying like I'm creative like I can't do math like no they're making it there making away to way too easy for us uh you also want to make sure that your pricing formulas solid so you're not pricing your products based on your emotion, your pricing them based on fax and that you're determining your labor and your materials and everything that goes into your into your product and it's all being accounted for um you don't want to underprice we're going to talk about that no wonder print I'm looking right at you know underpricing you also want to think about your line so, um when you're when you go crash there's like so many booths everywhere you want to stand out so whatever it is it's going to help you to do that to communicate your brand and we're going to go through merchandising and displaying your booth and we're goingto just get in there and we're going toe actually set up booths in here we're gonna talk about what what's going right? We're gonna talk about what could be improved so we're really going toe going to talk about that branding in the booths and talking about a cohesive line is feeling like your products go together, so um they need to be aesthetically similar and recognizable so that when somebody sees your thing there like oh that's lisa's oh that stacy's oh that's fatima's that's rebecca's like they recognize it they wouldn't be saying that they be saying your business name but you get your people to me not businesses so I will refer to you by your human names, not your businesses and we're going to talk deeply about branding so and then you want to think about I think somebody online said I don't have the money to make my stuff so you want to make sure that you if you get in you have the money, the money to pay that booth fee you have the money to make your product you know you have the money to be ableto have a bank of cash change for your customers, which I did not have that first day the flea market I was like home, nobody wants change, you know, because I don't have it I only have ten dollars making sure you have the time to accurately promote the show. You know, of course, you know, the producers of the show should be doing their part promoting but you have to do your part to so why waste that time and money on a show if you're not putting everything into it? If you're not telling all of your people about it, um and then having a having a kick butt display which we're going which we're gonna talk about so then you want to talk about if you can meet those goals, you know, where's, we're talking about all all of these goals and these benefits, like, if you have these goals like your goals again, the wholesale stores and you're trying to do a craft show, which is kind of honestly it's kind of a round out roundabout way to get into wholesale shows, it just happens to be something that could happen. It crashes, but if you're trying to do build your wholesale business, go build your wholesale business and, you know, you might happen to get a wholesale buyer from a craft show. It's not really, this leads to this, so, um, but I mean, if that if that is one of your goals and you don't have line sheets, hey, you're not ready to meet your goals if you want to build your drive more traffic to your your online shop by building your customer base there and you don't have, you know, social media, orange juice, letter or any way to get those in person people online get that in place before you apply. Now this is a bonus material, correct that's, correct crops readiness checklist and if you haven't had a time, some timeto go through the bonus materials list you khun see all of the bonus material listed on the course page chris will put that link in the chat rooms for you, but what I think is great about this, nicholas, that it saves so much time, you don't even have to think about any of this and the preparation that goes into actually thinking about, you know, whether you have enough product, are your product's ready for the public, you know, stuff that sometimes we don't even think about and it's just I mean, I don't know if you can further emphasize how important it is our I mean, this is all years of experience that you yourself have probably stuff that comes up and you don't think about it when you're in the moment. Yeah, I mean, these are the questions that we just went through, and you might have your own questions, you know, like these air, this is my world that we're in right here some of these questions might might not matter to you, and you might have other questions that you want to add to that, but create using this or creating your own boom, it makes it makes it super easy.

Class Description


Selling at craft fairs is a big investment of time, money, and resources – it’s also one of the most powerful venues a crafter has for getting products in front of people. In Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business, Nicole Stevenson teaches you everything you need to know about working the craft fair circuit.

Craft shows are complex affairs. From the application, to the preparation, to the actual hustle there are many variables to plan and prepare for. Nicole has been a vendor at over 300 craft shows and produced over 40 – in this class she'll help crafters make informed, strategic decisions about where to invest their time and effort. You’ll learn how to:

  • Find and apply to the right show
  • Develop your “look” using basic branding
  • Prepare for shows with products, checklists, staff, and a pitch
  • Merchandise and display products for maximum effect
  • Deal with pricing, permits, and taxes

Nicole will offer insights on troubleshooting common challenges so you aren’t left in the lurch without the equipment or information you need to do a great job. You’ll also learn strategies for keeping in touch with customers and building relationships with event producers that last long after the show ends.

The world of craft fairs is complex and it is not always easy finding the right match.  Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business makes the process of finding your perfect fit as stress-free and fun as possible.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

I've been growing my business successfully online for the last six years, but hadn't shown my work in person for a decade. As a refresher, I took Nicole's craft show class to be sure that I made the most of the time I would have in front of my customers. Because of the preparedness and mindset that I gained from Nicole's teaching, my show was a huge success. My interactions with the customers, producers, and other vendors were genuine and joyful, building a stronger foundation for future business and relationships. This course took the worry and stress off my shoulders so I could enjoy the opportunity that I had. Thanks, Nicole! Tamara Kraft Pithitude