Craft Fair Preparation Series: Part II- Advertising! Ask any craft fair coordinator and they will probably tell you the number one method of advertising… is you! With less than one month before our craft fair, we will look at different ways to get the word out so we can ensure the most traffic, and the most success, possible.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA. Let’s face it. We live in a new world. What used to cost hundreds of dollars in printing, stamps, and signage can now be accomplished in the click of a button. Not great for the paper companies, awesome for us! When inquiring with other craft fair coordinators about their advertising process, the number one method from all of them was social media.
- It’s local.
- It’s free.
- It’s based on networking and circles of influence.
- It travels fast.
- It’s measurable.
- Basically, it works!
If you are a craft fair vendor or a craft fair host, you had better be using social media to your full advantage. And I’m not just talking Facebook. We’re talking Twitter, blogs, websites, Pinterest, Instagram…
For the next four weeks, I challenge you to post about the craft fair three times a week on your personal page(s). Get creative. Post pictures of what you’re working on. Host giveaways and specials for people who show up and say they heard about it on Facebook. Or host a giveaway for sharing the craft fair on their own page! (your director can get you a great image to share) Invite local friends to share the information on their page or through their twitter. Post three times a day at different times of day… you will get a new audience every time!
Social media is our best platform and YOU are our best marketer. Your circle. Your fans. Your family. Start there and encourage the circle to spread outward!
2. FLYERS AND SIGNAGE. Next to social media, putting something physically into the hand of a potential shopper has to be the next best way to advertise a craft fair. That’s why we will be providing digital copies of a flyer you can print, post at your store (or at your mother in law’s boutique or your friend’s salon) or church, hand out to customers, put beneath windshield wipers in a parking lot… the possibilities are endless.
Your director will probably post flyers at businesses in the community near the craft fair. But just like social media, the reach of the vendors is far greater than the director/host alone! Do your part!
3. RADIO, NEWSPAPER, MEDIA OUTLET ADVERTISING. This type of advertising is usually up to the craft fair coordinator. Some media outlets provide free advertising for local events while other media outlets charge a small fee to advertise. There are often “community calendars” that will put fairs on a locally advertised events calendar. Some TV stations advertise small, local events during their afternoon shows or on their own website calendars. And newspapers are a great place to post a visual ad for a few days prior to the event.
Social media indeed covers a lot of ground, but there are certain demographics that respond better to more traditional styles of advertising! Check and see if your craft fair director is planning to advertise in any of these more traditional ways, and offer to help if you already have a “foot in the door” somewhere- at a newspaper, with a local newsletter, at a TV/radio station, etc.
Business consultants are a very important piece of the craft fair advertising puzzle. Because of the nature of your job, you likely already have a large network of local contacts that you can inform and invite to the sale. Not only that, you actually already have a business relationship with many of these people!
– As you think about advertising the craft fair, these should be your first invitees. Let them know you are going to be there- in person. Invite them to come support you. Bring their friends. They can pick up previously purchased products. They can place catalog orders. They can take part in any discounts or sales you promote. Let them know they are a valuable partner in your business- both at their homes and out in the community.
– If you are a newer consultant, you may be participating in a craft fair to build up your contact list. Valid reason! Make sure everyone you can is aware that you have started selling this product and that the craft fair would be a great place to meet you, see what you have to offer, and get started partnering together for shows. Business consultants also have a lot of resources already available to them backed by years of selling these great products. So check with your director or your affiliate website for special craft fair tips, tricks and trainings. They will surely share some great advertising advice!
– Begin advertising your gameplan now on social media and to your present email list. Let people know if you are hoping to make it a fundraiser, or if you are going to have some new products or incredible discounts that they don’t want to miss. You can even offer a special promotion to customers who say they saw you on Facebook or who printed off the email and brought it to the fair. Get creative and open up that address book!
Here are some links to other great advertising tips:
Regardless of how you choose to help advertise, remember, not only are you sharing the love with other vendors and with the organization you are supporting, you are also gaining more foot traffic and possibly more sales for yourself! So what are you waiting for?
Happy Crafting (and sharing)!!!
Meet back here next Thursday for Part 3: Preparing Your Booth. (now it’s really getting fun!) While a great product and a bunch of friends is a good start, there won’t be much point if you don’t have an organized, appealing craft booth. This week we will think ahead on how best to arrange, decorate and organize your booth for maximum appeal- as well as share some tips on giveaways & getting new clients.
Don’t miss the other posts in this series: