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MARKETING MISTAKES MOST HANDMADE BUSINESSES MAKE
May 17, 2017
Marketing is essential to small business success but many business owners make these common mistakes. It’s easy to push marketing to the side, figuring the important aspects are to make product and sell it.   But the number one question I see on message boards is; why aren’t my sales higher? That’s where marketing comes in my friend.   Of course, marketing won’t do much good if you’re starting with the wrong product (download the free chapter from my ebook MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT for tips on tweaking your product to make it stellar). But in most cases, small business owners are lacking sales because they’re slacking in the marketing department.   Running your business without marketing would..
WHY I QUIT CRAFT SHOWS & WHAT I’D DO DIFFERENTLY
May 11, 2017
It’s been several years since I shut down my handmade business and stopped selling at craft shows. I still kind of kick myself for not pushing through, as looking back; I know I really found my groove in my last couple years.   A lot of people feel like throwing in the towel when it comes to craft shows. If you don’t find the right ones, with the right organizers, bring the right product and create an amazing display, they can be anything but profitable.   Although a handmade business can be successful selling only online and through retailers, craft shows are an amazing tool to test your products, get to know your customers, conduct market research, grow your business locally and if done properly, leave you with ..
3 MISTAKES THAT WILL HURT YOUR ONLINE SHOP SALES
March 30, 2017
When it comes to selling through an online shop, It doesn’t matter which marketplace you sign up for, which platform you use to build your website or which social media site you post to, you cannot rely on traffic just rolling in.   I really do wish it worked that way though, for your sake and mine.   I help run one big website and it's a constant cycle of of trying something new, marketing it, watching stats and tweaking.   It takes a lot of work y’all. There isn't an option that allows you to create, throw a quick pic up and fuhgeddaboutit.   I just want to put this out there when it comes to running a business in general. With a few exceptions, success does not happen overnight. There can..
WHAT TO SELL AT CRAFT SHOWS TO MAKE MONEY
March 24, 2017
Whether you're just starting a business and aren't sure what you're going to make or you're already running a business and are looking for ideas on what else to sell to make money, this article will help.   No matter what you make, you can offer variety and increase sales without having to learn a new craft or break into a new industry.    If you want to know how to have a best selling product at a craft show, check out this article.   If you want ideas on what you can create and bring to a craft fair to make more money, this article has got you covered. Keep reading below...       STEP 1: WHAT’S YOUR CRAFT?   I’m assuming you're already making and selling som..
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A CRAFT SHOW & PREPARATION CHECKLIST
March 15, 2017
This article is to help you get ready for a craft show you’ve been accepted to.   If you haven’t been accepted to a craft fair yet and are looking for ones to apply to or want to increase your chances of being accepted, check out these articles. Improve your chances of getting accepted 5 mistakes that will get your application tossed (not literally...just gently pushed aside maybe) Do's & don'ts craft show organizers with every vendor knew 10 red flags to watch for when applying to a craft show 5 reasons you didn't get accepted to a craft show   And if you've been accepted, keep reading.....       Congrats! You’ve been accepted as a vendor at a craft show. That..
WHAT SELLS BEST AT CRAFT SHOWS?
March 1, 2017
If you’ve sold at craft shows before, you’ve probably noticed those “IT” booths.   They got it goin’ on. They scream, “cool” without having to say a word and have a steady stream of shoppers in their space all day. The products they sell have their own vibe, their display is on-point and the vendor looks relaxed and confident.   You’ve likely also noticed that it’s not one category of product that’s consistently the most popular.   So if you were looking for the most popular product to sell at a craft fair, as in jewelry, mittens or art, you won’t find an answer here.   I don’t think you’ll find an answer anywhere. And that’s because…   What sells best a..
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR HANDMADE PRODUCT WILL SELL
February 2, 2017
You design your products, build up tons of stock, set up at a craft fair and hope people like what you brought and want to buy.   The hard part is; you can never know 100% what people will and won’t buy until you put it out there.   But….you can increase your chances of creating a product that gets sold and save costs along the way by doing research and working off facts, not guesses.   Let’s assume you’re in the dream up stage of your new product. You have an idea, have figured out several details but haven’t actually begun making any.   You’re in the safe zone right now; not a lot of money has been put into this new product idea and you have very little risk at this point. &nb..
What to Work on in Slow Times of a Handmade Business
January 14, 2017
It’s not uncommon, and so easy, to feel a little down and stuck after December. You’re tired from the holidays, have the back-from-vacation blues and are returning to your handmade business after one of your busiest months, filled with sales and craft fairs, and into a slow time full of crickets and empty inboxes.   When you’re running your own handmade business and you’ve gotten used to all the sales, emails and Facebook likes, it can be a frustrating seeing those numbers drop. Every task you think about starting gets questioned and inevitably pushed aside because it’s not a direct path to an immediate sale.   When I worked for a large retailer, it didn’t make going back to work in January any easier b..
How to Make a Best Selling Handmade Product
December 12, 2016
If you’re struggling to make sales in your small handmade business, one of my first suggestions is to take a look at your products. When you have a great product, people brag about it for you, write good reviews, become repeat customers and if they own a shop, they carry it in their store. Having a great product also helps take pressure off when it comes to marketing and selling.
How to Display Jewelry at a Craft Show
November 24, 2016
    WANT TO STAND OUT AT A CRAFT SHOW? TRY THESE DISPLAY TRICKS is one of my more popular articles with over 20,000 people reading it each month (and growing). Through that article I’ve received lots of emails and comments from readers asking for ideas on how they can create an impactful display for their products. "How do I display my handmade jewelry at a craft fair?" is one of the most popular questions I get asked and so I put together this article!   If you haven't read that article yet, check it out here for explanations and visual examples of the 10 eye-catching elements shared in this article.   I wanted to take the ideas from the article and get a little more specific while answering some o..
50 Ways to Market your Handmade Business without Saying a Word
November 9, 2016
  I’ve launched a new ebook! Yaaaaay. My first ebook MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS has exceeded my expectations with all the feedback I've received. I never imagined I’d have so many people voluntarily reaching out to me, just to tell me how helpful they’ve found the information in MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS.   That response is what inspired me to write my second ebook THE SUCCESSFUL INTROVERT.   The idea for it actually started with a list I was compiling for an article. It was going to be 10 WAYS TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. But my list kept growing and growing and soon I had over 50 ideas!   From there the idea continued to grow into&..
How to Work with Vendors at a Craft Show to Increase your Sales
October 11, 2016
I have a fun idea for you to try at your next craft fair. I personally never tried it when I was selling handbags but thought it may be something you could give a go and let me know how it works! You owe me nothing if it’s your best craft fair yet and I take no responsibility if it’s a flop ;) Seriously though, as per our terms, this is just advice   And that idea is...   Cross-promote with another vendor!   No, not just share a table with a friend; they get one side to display their products and you get the other. I’m talkin’ bout finding a vendor whose products compliment yours and can be displayed together. Creating a one-stop shop for your ideal customer. Finding the peanut butter to your jam. ..
10 Things you Hear at a Craft Fair you would Never Hear at the Mall
October 3, 2016
  Shoppers don’t head to a craft fair with the intention of insulting the artists. They’re usually just asking a question they see no harm in asking. So this article is not to shame anyone who’s uttered the words below to a vendor. Rather it’s to point out to small business owners that just because someone asks doesn’t mean you have to cater. Consider your business’ goals, values and message before agreeing to something. For example, if you want your work to be valued, viewed as high-end and raise awareness about the importance and costs of using ethically sourced materials, don’t hand out discounts anytime a shopper asks. Being flexible is a perk people love in small businesses. So you don’t necessarily n..
SELLER SPOTLIGHT WITH MEL OF ROAM VINTAGE HOME
September 26, 2016
We love the unique setup Roam has at craft fairs and markets; displaying her re-finished and vintage goods inside and outside her re-purposed 1960's trailer.We admire her stand on charging what you're worth as well as her tenacity when it came to starting her business (check out her answer under our "biggest challenge" question; important lesson in there for all small business owners!)Read about her business, the must have pieces for your home and the important lessons she shares for other small business owners.Tell us about your company:Roam is an Edmonton & area popup shop offering thoughtfully curated vintage home goods & refinished furniture from a classic 1966 trailer named Winnie.Why did you start your business?I first wanted ..
5 Steps to Bring Sales Back Up in Slow Times
September 24, 2016
  Have you felt it? A dip in traffic? Fewer people purchasing from you at craft fairs? Less sales coming through your website? If you have, you’re not alone. When the economy takes a nosedive, people alter their spending habits and businesses feel it.   But that doesn’t mean your small business is doomed. As with anything in life, you have to roll with the punches and adjust your course.   If you’re willing to go back to the drawing board and take a hard look at your products, your customers and your operation, you can get yourself back on track and keep your business thriving when some consider shutting down.   THE PROBLEM The issue most small businesses run into when the economy takes a tu..
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