Artists, artisans, and craftspeople have more and more opportunities to work for themselves these days. Craft fairs, vendor shows, and online selling have become not just increasingly viable but also surprisingly affordable, giving individuals more and more ways to earn money by doing the things they love.
Your online shop or social media store might just be the first step towards a much broader presence, while craft fairs or vendor shows can be a really effective way for artists and artisans to broaden their audience, reach more people, and generally boost those sales.
A Good Smartphone Is Everything
When you’re out on the road, visiting craft fairs and vendor shows, it’s best to have a good smartphone. It can help you follow up with potential customers, process payments on the fly, manage your inventory, and document your activities for social media (which can be a great way to grow your brand as you go).
Understand That Presentation Is the Most Important Thing
You only get one chance to make that first impression, and when you’re one of many sellers that are competing for the attention of several potential buyers, that first impression is one of the most crucial parts of the process. Dressing up your area will go a long way, but it’s important to avoid being busy simply for the sake of being busy.
Present your wares in a way that is consistent with your personality and brand, but avoid overdoing it, as this can easily turn buyers off just as quickly as it might attract them. Make design choices that communicate who you are and what it is you do, with complementary colors and plenty of information.
Make It Easy for Your Customers
Part of good design choices involves giving your customers everything they need without making them have to do too much work for it. Display pricing prominently and clearly, so there’s no confusion as to how much anything costs or what’s for sale. Make sure that your contact information and follow-up details are clearly displayed, too. Keep website and social media links visible so that new customers can stay in touch if they want to.
Remember that you might be busy fielding more than one visitor to your booth or stall at a time, so you’ll want to make it easy for customers to get everything they need without having to dedicate your full attention to them.
Smart Choices Make for More Sales
The craft fair and vendor market circuit can be competitive, which is why it’s smart to have the best strategies at hand. Smart design choices can make a huge difference when it comes to getting your customers to make a purchase, and having your information clearly displayed gives everyone a way to stay in touch with you so you can keep growing your audience.
Lastly, keep in mind that as an artist, you’re self-employed in every sense of the word. That means Uncle Sam wants his share, so to stay legal, register your business with the state. You’ll need to determine your business structure when you do this. Many people like the LLC (limited liability company) status since it provides some tax advantages and asset protection. Plus, it’s super simple to do your LLC filing: Minnesota, for instance, allows you to use an online formation service.
Making a living as an independent craftsperson used to be nearly impossible, but these days, it’s more realistic than it’s ever been. With the right tech choices and design decisions, you can enjoy a living making the things you love.
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