craft market success

Welcome to Craft Market Success!

Craft Market Success is a series that we created to help entrepreneurs/makers who are interested in doing craft markets but could use some help getting started. We will walk you through the entire process, from nervous start to successful finish. Even seasoned craft market exhibitors will find some useful tips on how to refresh their market experience.

For this series, we teamed up with Leslie Kuny of Westcoast Leslie Designs. She has had extensive experience in both participating in and hosting her own craft market, the SHIFT Handmade Market. We knew Leslie’s expertise would mean she’d be a great go-to source for useful tips and ideas. Plus, she’s pretty fun to work with!

The fourth and final post of our series is The Market Home Stretch. Leslie will share some great tips about the final home stretch to your market. Enjoy!

Craft Market Success

Did you know that most shoppers find out about local markets FROM VENDORS?

That’s right.

Of course the market organizers are plugging away, marketing, advertising and doing all they can to bring people to the event.

But VENDORS need to remember that they are the MOST POWERFUL marketing tools for the event!

Here are some tips to help drive traffic to your next market-

Tip #1: Feature a favourite item!

craft market success

On Facebook or Instagram, feature a favourite item from your product line that you’ll be bringing to the market. You could even offer a deal on that item (not necessary but an option).

Even better, extend it into an “Oprah’s Favourite Things” event running for a whole week!

You want to get people excited about what you’ll be bringing to your next event. By creating a sense of urgency in your customers, you’re encouraging them to see you at your next event or else they might miss out on that particular one of a kind item. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real!

Tip #2: Behind the scenes!

craft market successBehind the scenes photos are a great way to bring your shoppers closer to your process and show the love and care you put into each item.  This builds a relationship with your clients and informs them about how well-made handmade products are.

Most of the makers I know are passionate about quality and work hard to perfect their craft. As artisans it’s our job to educate our shoppers about the passion and craftsmanship that goes into each and every item and WHY handmade is worth it.

When you allow your shoppers to “peak behind the curtain” they feel included and everyone loves feeling like they’re a part of something.

Building that trust and relationship creates long lasting fans that will continue to support you beyond the holidays.

Tip #3: Post Early!

craft market success

Only posting/promoting the night before the event is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Sorry, this just isn’t cool.

Even posting one week before the event isn’t really that great. If you want to have a great market, you’ve got to get PUMPED about it!

Even if you’re running on zero sleep, your kids are sick, you haven’t vacuumed in a month…whatever! When you’re excited, other people get excited (this meme of Kristin Wiig from Saturday Night Live is one of my favourite funny images to post!!)

You might be wondering why posting so close to the event isn’t effective. Keep reading J

Tip #4: SHARE SHARE SHARE!

craft market successLife gets busy but not so busy that you can’t repost or click “share” on Facebook.

My sister Jill + I (aka the SHIFT) make and supply Instagram-ready images for our vendors to post!

Follow the markets you are participating in and repost their posts. This helps maintain the market’s visual branding, message and makes your life SUPER EASY. Not to mention that the more people see the same image, the more it clicks with them.

Have you heard about the Rule of 7?

The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service.

Now that’s definitely something to remember when you’re promoting an event, a service, or a product. So unless 6 other people also post the night before a market, chances are you’re missing out on potential shoppers!

Tip #5: Look the part!

craft market success

It’s important to remember that you are representing YOUR brand at markets.

YOU are part of YOUR display.

I’ve seen vendors, who look like they just rolled out of bed, trying to sell high end products! Hey, we’ve all been there once or twice but your shoppers are evaluating you as much as they are evaluating your beautiful booth and gorgeous goodies.

Imagine if you went into Nordstrom and the woman helping you was in an oversized tee-shirt and sweats!??!

It doesn’t match!!

The image you have of Nordstrom being a high-end retailer with great brands and good quality, would be shattered by “Miss Comfy Pants”!

What if all your products are created in pastel hues for kids and you look like Morticia Addams?!?! I’m not too sure how well that will go over with your potential clients 😉 I call that a “picture mismatch”.

We all know it when we see it – the person representing the brand doesn’t project the image we think of when it comes to that brand. For most makers you ARE your brand! So own it, take pride in it and project the image you want to bring in the shoppers you want.

Tip #6: Bring that vibe to the market!

craft market success

By now we’ve all heard the saying that “your vibe attracts your tribe” and this is equally true when it comes to shoppers.

If you stand there with RBF (resting ____ face), arms crossed, or sitting and scrolling through IG, I can guarantee you’re NOT attracting happy, money-spending shoppers!

Whether you like it or not, by attending handmade markets you are a retailer and a sales person. Your general vibe will really affect your day.

Likewise, if you’re next to a Negative Nelly Neighbour, try not to let their Debbie Downer attitude get to you. I like to bust out a good ole “Running Man” or “sprinkler” if I feel the energy getting sour. Plus it’s funny and will boost the mood of the shoppers around you.

Tip #7: It’s all about YOU!

craft market success

You are TOTALLY in control about the image, energy and attitude you put out, regardless of how many shoppers there are or if there’s a snowstorm!

I can’t tell you how many times a simple smile, hello or compliment on a shopper’s shoes/sweater/other purchase has morphed into a sale.

It’s easy to blame the market, or the organizers, or the weather when you have a less than stellar weekend and sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles. Markets only have so much control over getting people to their event. What I would suggest is that you sleep on it and on Monday or Tuesday, take a look at all the factors.

How busy did it feel?

If it wasn’t super busy, were shoppers still interested in your booth?

What was the weather like?

Were you interacting with every shopper who walked by your booth?

Did you smile and say hello?

Were you texting your bff complaining about the market?

Did shoppers look like they were buying from other booths but not yours?

Incredible vendors (LIKE YOU!) help to create the vibe of the event and THAT’S what shoppers remember. And that’s what brings those shoppers back to events year after year.

As Maya Angelou said “people won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel”.

You are the key to a successful market – you hold SO MUCH POWER!

Use it wisely young grasshopper – now go out and kill it!

craft market success

I can’t finish this post without inviting you to come check out the SHIFT Handmade’s Holiday Remix on Saturday December 2nd. The market opens at 10am in our gorgeous, log cabin hall (9400 208th Street, Langley) and 30+ vendors will be there ready to help you crush your holiday shopping. We’ve got gifts for everyone on your list, including the hard to shop for men in your life!

As I finish up this four part series, which is really just the TIP of the iceberg, I want to thank Essential Packaging for inviting me write about things that I’m passionate about!

It’s been so much fun sharing and learning together.

Thank you for reading!

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