Making the most out of opportunity is one of the cornerstones of being a small business owner. When time and budgets are tight, every minute counts. Getting on the craft show circuit is a great way to spread brand awareness about your craft business, but with a lot of time and energy being spent on production and preparation, it’s essential to be deliberate about what you want to gain from each show. Gaining a customer following at shows is great, but the key is to convert them into online shoppers. Below are my top 5 tips for helping a craft show support your online shop.
- Create an email list. A lot of business owners miss the boat on this one, but even with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an email list is really important. It is a list of names that you own. If Facebook disappeared tomorrow, so would your followers. Collecting a list of people already interested in what you have to say means you can be very specific and targeted in your email newsletter campaigns and convert more sales!
- Offer a Social Media Sign up Discount. I had never seen this before, but when I was a vendor with Zelma Rose at this past summer Renegade Craft Fair, my booth neighbor Yellow House Handmade offered a 5% discount to people that followed them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the spot. Genius! I will be giving that a try at my next show.
- Takeaways that Promote your Online Shop. Craft shows can be both overwhelming for vendors and customers. There is a lot to see and unfortunately a lot can get confused at the end of the day in terms of business name and designs. Most people take business cards, but it is important to think about something standout that customers can take with them that leads them directly to your online store. I like to use a postcard with a discount code for a future purchase from my website. Post cards tend to stand out more than business cards and you can place a beautiful large image of your designs right on the front.
- Tell People Where to Find You. These days a lot of bloggers come to craft shows. They love to discover new designers and take beautiful photos of your work for their blog. Have your social media tags and web address posted prominently at your booth. Many bloggers will ask if they can take a photo, I always say, “Yes, please tag me.” Having a sign to point to with your information makes it easy. People can photograph the sign and have all the info they need to properly credit you.
- Spread the Word. Tell customers the added benefits of vising your website. I always mention that I give style advice on my blog and tutorials about tying bow ties, and layering Zelma Rose necklaces. Let people know that your online shop is not only a place to buy, but also one to learn.
Remember, part of the success of a craft show is how long you can convert the sales following the show. Getting customers interested in visiting your online shop to find new designs and learn more about you and your story helps turn one time shoppers into loyal customers.