Friday, October 16, 2009

2010 Crafting Calendar - Marketing Locally

I'm about a month away from my first big show - I have been busy, busy, busy getting everything together and I'm about 3/4 of the way finished.  I have 3 shows this season and that is a huge increase from the one show I did in 2008.  But I'm already looking to 2010 and filling my Crafting Calendar full...

Now that I've made the purchases of tables, display pieces, and the hundred and hundreds of business cards that I need to be a REAL craft show seller, I fully plan on doing a lot more local craft shows next year. When I'm not preparing for this season's already-planned events, I am searching for more places to sell.

Since I am in a niche market - only selling religous (heavily Catholic) products - it can be a little intimidating applying to a local street fairs and Indie marketplaces where my products may not be fully appreciated.  I'm not letting that deter me by any means - and will still be happy to sell anywhere and everywhere that will accept me - I realized that I can also use my niche market by focusing on events sponsored by local churches and schools in my Archdiocese.

First, I was thinking of doing direct self-marketing campaign.  I wouldn't send them to the whole Archdoicese of course, but I would send them to the churches/Catholic schools that I can get to easily in my neighboring cities.  I want to let them know who I am, what I make, and that I am available as a vendor at their parish/school craft shows or fundraising events.  For those parishes with gift shops, my items would also be available for wholesale or consignment. 

I'm thinking of starting with post cards with pictures of my rosaries/crafts and links to my Etsy shop, Blog, and Contact information.  Instead of postcards, I may consider sending a small package with one of my inexpensive rosaries included as a gift to showcase the quality. Focusing on the fact that everything I make is handmade and that I am a local parishioner of the Cathedral in Seattle will be my selling points.  Knowing that a rosary or Holy Medal trinket was made with love from a fellow Catholic - and not mass produced in another country - could make all the difference.

I'm going to give this a lot of condiseration with plans on executing my first batch of marketing early in 2010  in hope of some Spring/Easter Sales and then again later in the year as a reminder for Fall/Winter/Advent sales.

If I get positive response from this campaign idea, and I'm not too overwhelmed with orders (I wish! LOL!), I may consider in 2011 branching out to other parishes in the Archdioces specifically for gift-shop wholesale or consignment.

So tell me, do you market yourself in your community? Do you sell in local shops as well as online and at craft shows? Besides social media (blogs, Twiiter, etc.) how do you get the word out there about what you do?


Jennifer's Craft Store said...

I also tried writing letters, introducing myself to local surgeons to market my medical scrub caps. NO ONE responded.
The best results that I've gotten are from doing craft shows and meeting customers and other vendors. I sell over $100 worth of medical caps to nurses because 1 nurse at one show introduced me to all his coworkers. They all place orders together so that they're not wasting my time.
Those shows and the interpersonal connections you'll make are priceless. Even the bad $$ shows can be gold if you network yourself right and keep your ears and mind open to new ideas.
Good Luck!

TheNikiProject said...

See this is really a part of my business that I haven't given any attention to. I badly need to. I'm excited to read how things go for you!