With only seven weeks until Christmas, it’s time to ramp up your exposure so that you can sell more handmade items for the holidays.
A lot of my clients and readers have said they aren’t doing craft fairs anymore because of the hefty booth fees or concerns that many of the organizers are allowing vendors who sell mass produced products to participate. So how can you get your crafts seen by those buyers who value handmade items, but may feel overwhelmed by Etsy, Artfire and the other mega craft websites?
A simple and fun way to get your work in front of qualified buyers is what I call a virtual craft fair. Basically, you invite a number of fellow artists and craftspeople to join you in an indie online craft show. Ideally, you’ll have friends from different geographical areas, who have a completely different list of friends and followers than you do. The idea is that you will all grow your lists of buyers and collectors by each person promoting the virtual fair to their own lists.
Let’s say you invite 15 other crafters and each of you has a list of 300 friends. You can put up a simple web page with a sampling of images and a brief artist’s bio for each “exhibitor”. You don’t need a shopping cart on the group site. Simply link to each person’s website or Etsy page. Then you each send out an email “invitation” to everyone on your mailing list. That means that your work will be seen by 4,500 people, as opposed to just the 300 people you know.
You’ll introduce your friends to unique handcrafted gifts, help your artist friends to sell more handmade items, and gain more exposure for yourself as well. To get into the spirit of giving, you could all agree to give a percentage of your sales to a specific cause. It will make it easier to share with your friends because you’ll feel good about contributing to a special cause.
Be sure to invite crafters who make a variety of different media. Ideally, your work will all complement one another.
A virtual craft fair can be a fun and easy alternative to a physical show and you’ll all reap the benefits year round. (Of course you’ll be keeping in touch with all these new buyers at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other gift giving holidays.)
If you like this idea, be sure to check out the audio class: “12 Easy Ways to turn your Creative Hobby into an Extra $1200 a Month” for more creative ways to sell more crafts.
What other ways will you try to ramp up your exposure for the holiday season?
Terri Belford has been self-employed for more than 30 years and been on all sides of the art and handmade craft business as an artist, gallery owner and consultant to artists and crafts people. You can follow her on Twitter@craftbizcoach and Facebook. And follow her blog for more craft business articles.
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