Holiday craft show season is upon us again and we’re happy to hear of so many Etsy Teams and sellers taking part in holiday craft shows all over the world! Everyone loves a good craft show — chances to meet your favorite area artists in person, see and feel amazing handmade goodies as you buy them and opportunities to soak in the wonderful handmade community, but they’re also really great opportunities to market your Etsy shop. For tips from our wonderful community on Craft Show basics, check out “Rocking Holiday Craft Shows“.
If you’ve already got your booth set-up all figured out and you came up with a comprehensive checklist of things you don’t want to forget ages ago, here are some tips for taking shows to the next level. Below are just a sampling of way to use shows as a tool for developing a loyal customer base:
- Reconsider your business cards. What makes your business cards stand apart from the giant stack of cards shoppers are picking up at the show? Check out the Don’t order another 1,000 business cards! article for ideas on creative promotional items. Or consider including an offer that shoppers will find valuable on the card, such as free shipping if they include the name of the craft show in their order or a small discount on multiple items ordered within a period of time. Also, be sure to include product images on your cards to make it super easy for people to remember what booth was yours. You can use the Etsy-Moo deal to get your listing photos right on the cards (more details here).
- Collect email addresses! We’ve written Team Tips about this before, because permissions based marketing (which is when someone gives you their email address or other information, along with permission to contact them with special offers) is the best way to contact people you know are interested in what you are selling. It’s information sent directly to your target market, so it’s efficient and a good use of your limited marketing time. Be sure to follow up, sending out an email blast with links and beautiful images not too long after the event to jog people’s memory about the good stuff you have to offer.
- Have information on hand! Print out nice copies of your most popular items’ Etsy listings and descriptions, or use screenshot images from your shop to have a small booklet printed up (try a service like Blurb.com, for example, for great professional results with little effort). This will give people something to browse at your booth, and give them great details that people often don’t think to ask at a show, such as washing instructions, tips on care, material content, etc. It’s also a great way to familiarize them with Etsy and your shop, making it more likely they’ll go visit it again when they’re online.
- Talk it up! When you have a customer who is interested in your work, don’t be afraid to mention that if they go to your Etsy shop, they can find a wider range of colors, options, they can check out previously sold custom orders. Let them know that if they have an Etsy account, they can mark your shop (and others) as a favorite, so it’ll be easy to find again when shopping for gifts, etc. Mention that you accept many forms of payment in your Etsy shop, and they can make purchases at their convenience online.
- Don’t forget your Etsy Team! You might let buyers know that they can find more great work from your Teammates for simple, easy one-stop shopping. For example, if you’re on a Team that makes pet items, when someone buys a collar for Fido, be sure to mention that your Teammate sells dog cookies that are perfect for obedience training. Bring Team business cards or promo items, and be sure to point out ways the buyer can find items from your Team online.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself at the show! Craft shows are a good way of getting feedback on your work, and nothing’s more fun than watching someone fall in love with your work right before your eyes. Be sure to introduce yourself to your crafty neighbors at the show, and do a little shopping and appreciating of the indie arts yourself!