Stand out at craft fairs and art markets with these promotion tips
Struggling to get noticed at craft fairs? Branding expert Andrew Dark, director and co-founder of branded printwear and promotional merchandise specialist Custom Planet, explains how you can get people’s attention and make more sales at your next craft market.
Craft fairs offer a great way to make some money and gain exposure but, when you’re competing with a multitude of other talented sellers, it can be tough to stand out. A bit of savvy marketing and creative branding can make all the difference — and you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on it. Here, I’ll share five ways you can make your stall stand out and promote your crafts before, during, and after the fair, including:
- Showcasing your products creatively
- Using marketing materials and signage
- Wearing your brand
- Providing personalised customer service
- Using social media
1. Showcase your products creatively
You only have a few seconds to catch browsers’ attention, so make them count! You need to give careful attention to how your stall looks, and how your crafts are presented. As a craftsperson, you probably already have quite a creative streak, so thinking up ways to present your products in an eye-catching, attractive way should come naturally. The key is to stay consistent, and to make sure your stall has a cohesive look that suits the aesthetic of your brand.
For example, for a modern jewellery stall, you could keep it clean and minimal, perhaps arranging your jewellery on ceramic slates, blocks of wood, and simple jewellery trees. Or, if an eclectic, shabby chic look is more in line with your crafts, you could decorate your table with vintage pieces and bric-a-brac. It’s all about thinking imaginatively and being true to your brand colours and styling. And don’t go over the top: you don’t ever want to have so many decorative elements that your products are lost among the clutter.
Of course, you’ll also need a prominent sign with your name and logo. Bigger is better when it comes to signage at a craft fair, as it can be seen from a distance, which will help browsers who might already be familiar with your work find you in the crowd. So, don’t be afraid to splash out on this.
As a creative, thinking up ways to present your products in an eye-catching, attractive way should come naturally. The key is to stay consistent, and to make sure your stall has a cohesive look that suits the aesthetic of your brand.
2. Bring marketing materials
Even if you don’t make a sale on the day, customers might seek you out at a later date or find you online if they take your details away with them. That’s why it’s so important to bring plenty of marketing materials with you, including business cards, leaflets, and flyers.
As buyers at a craft fair are primarily interested in artisanal, handmade products, it’s also a good idea to create a leaflet or flyer than goes into detail about how you create your products. If possible, you can even include a few images of you working at home or in your studio to emphasise the artisanal quality of your products. If you do custom or bespoke work, be sure to go into plenty of detail about this too, as customers may like your work and bear you in mind, even if they don’t purchase anything at the fair.
Lastly, be sure to place all of your marketing materials at the front of your stall where people can easily pick them up as they pass by — not everyone wants to stop and chat, but they might still want to grab a leaflet or flyer so they can learn more.
Customers might want to seek you out online after a craft fair, so bring plenty of marketing materials with you and place them at the front of your stall where they can easily pick them up as they pass by.
3. Wear your brand
Naturally, if you craft clothing or accessories, you’re going to want to show them off by wearing your own handiwork. But you can also consider making some branded t-shirts with your logo printed or embroidered on them to wear at events. Wearing your brand with pride will show you’re passionate about your business and products, which can make all the difference when shoppers are considering whether or not to go ahead with a purchase. This can be an especially effective tactic if you run a stall with a business partner or friend, as it creates a cohesive look and will really makes you look like professionals.
Be your brand: if you make jewellery, clothing or accessories, show them off by wearing your own handiwork or consider getting some branded t-shirts made to create a cohesive look and represent your creative business.
4. Offer a personal customer service
A beautifully presented stall might draw browsers over, but friendly and personal customer service is what will ultimately seal the deal and land you that sale. Of course, every seller there will be on a charm offensive too, so it can help to go the extra mile and personalise your service. Be willing to chat to your customers about your products and go out of your way to accommodate any special requests they might. You can even offer a complimentary gift-wrapping service — this can be an especially effective tactic in the busy run up to Christmas.
Free samples always go down a treat, too. Even if it doesn’t lead to a sale there and then at the fair, it will still give you an opportunity to give out your business card, and customers may get back in touch later to buy products from you directly. So, you could definitely consider offering a few freebies if you can.
Free samples offer an opportunity to talk to customers about your products and give them your business card. Even if they don’t lead to a sale there and then, they’ll be more likely to remember you and visit your Folksy shop afterwards.
5. Use social media to get more from the craft fair
Social media is a fantastic tool for small craft businesses: not only is a great way to show off your products, but you can also use it keep in touch with your customers and let them know which events you’re attending. And, you can include a few posts that give a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into your business — these tend to be popular with followers, and they showcase the handmade nature of your products. So, if you haven’t already, set up accounts and be sure to feature all of your social media handles prominently on all of your marketing materials, from your business cards and flyers to your bags.
If you already have an online following — whether it’s on social media or through a mailing list — you can use it to let your fans know which events you’ll be attending in advance. Many craft fairs will have social media channels of their own so, if possible, reach out and ask them to publicise the fact that you’ll be attending the event, too.
Use social media to let your customers know which craft fairs you’re attending and feature your social media handles prominently on all of your marketing materials – from your business cards and flyers to your bags – so you can keep in touch with customers the event
After all the time and effort you’ve put into your crafts, it’s only sensible to go the extra mile to promote them. Follow the tips I’ve shared here before attending your next craft fair, and you should be on course to grow your following and make plenty of sales.