Do you have a craft that you think is marketable to the general public? Are you not sure how to get your craft noticed?
Many artists know the feeling. Developing a product that friends and family love is one thing but how to get past that is another. Initially what you need to do is to know your target audience. Are they teenagers, parents, or grandparents? Define them as well as you can.
Once you define whose attention you are trying to grab, it is easier to know where to go next. Set your sights at the local level first. Go into stores that appeal to your defined audience and introduce yourself as well as your product. Give them the option, initially, to do some consignment: basically, they carry your product and when it sells you split the profits. Once they have carried your product and decide that it is a good fit, you can start asking for payment upfront rather than consignment. Hopefully many will be interested in carrying your line; some might even buy your products up front rather than consigning.
Next, you want to try to go statewide with the same type idea but you probably will not have the time to visit each store owner. With this in mind put together some promotional packs to send to various stores with a cover letter explaining your product and terms for purchasing it. Also be sure to mention turnaround time for initial orders as well as reorders. Include some sort of flier with pictures of your product. These fliers do not have to be professional because the stores will understand you are a start up; however, be sure they look clean and well thought out. Depending on how much it costs to produce your product, you may want to send a sample so that they can see the quality of your work. Obviously if you are selling artwork you cannot do this.
Another great outlet is to create a blog. Through your blog your customers can follow what is new, what is coming up, and they can even send personal pictures of your product which was really fun. More likely than not, if you post a customer’s picture on your blog they are going to pass your blog around. Do not forget to mention referrals to your audience, offer incentives for a certain amount of referrals. Also, be sure to sign yourself up for a tool like Statcounter so that you can monitor how many hits you get as well as where they are coming from. You will start to get the rhythm of what draws more hits.
Etsy is another great avenue for getting the word out about your product. They charge a small fee but it is insignificant compared to the exposure you get; Etsy is basically the artist’s Ebay without all the junk to weed through. Be sure to list the address to your blog or website in your Etsy listing in order to drive more traffic to your website.
Check with local charities to see if they are having any shopping events. Most of them do these in the spring and just before the Christmas holidays. Charities will host these events and charge a small fee to vendors in order to raise money for their causes. Not only are these events great for exposure as the charity promotes the event, you usually walk away with a nice profit that is well worth a day’s work.
Finally check with your local artist guild to see what art shows are upcoming in your area. These, like the charity events, always draw a really big crowd which means more exposure for you.
No matter what you do to get your product out there, be sure to remember that word of mouth can either make or break you. It is all about having a pleasant personality and being as accommodating as possible. If people love you, they will tell their friends and family; if people do not love you, they will tell their friends and family.