Today we have a special guest post from Beth Pomerantz, founder of Firefly Handmade Markets in Colorado. She talks with us about ways to up your market game. Thanks Beth!
During the past four years that our Firefly Handmade Markets have been in operation in the Denver/Boulder area, we have been continually amazed by the fresh, creative and quality products that our artisans offer at our market. It’s part of what makes each market exciting for us. Equally amazing, however, has been the failure of a good number of these artisans to capitalize on the several advantages inherent in selling their products in a physical marketplace as opposed to an e-commerce site; namely the ability to connect with their customers and give them the opportunity to touch, feel, experience and connect with your handmade goods.
With that in mind, here are our top four tips to make your market opportunities more productive.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Put a smile on your face, show a willingness to engage with those who stop by your booth, and be yourself (or at least the better version of yourself that you always thought you could be-in other words, fake it!). In our experience, positive attitudes beget positive responses and interest from shoppers; translation-a smile is contagious! It’s surprising how many artisans we see who retreat into a corner of their booth and sit glumly on a chair. If you aren’t excited about your goods, why would a customer be? And don’t underestimate the value of a touch, a handshake, making eye contact. Can’t find that on the Internet.
Engage Customers In Your Creative Process
Whether through in-booth demonstrations, pictures of your awesome creative self in action, or simply a willingness to describe your creative process, but simply, give customers an appreciation of the skill and hard work that goes into your goods. If you provide them a reason to be invested in what you create, then your customers will naturally understand the thought and quality that goes into what they could own. And don’t kid yourself-- customers do want to own the authenticity and quality of your products.
Create A Storefront
Make no mistake-- your market operator is selling you valuable real estate. Between the venue cost, utilities and equipment, marketing/promotion and manpower, your booth space is just not a random spot on a piece of ground. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of that by creating a welcoming and unique “storefront” for your booth space? It’s your pop-up shop and enhancement of your brand, maybe even an opportunity to imagine what a permanent storefront could be like for your business. Include creative signage and other touches that give someone a reason to wonder what great things are going on inside.
Don’t Scrimp On Your Display
True story-- we had a vendor who was selling magnificent, high-quality jewelry. Maybe the most expensive price point to be found at our market. Yet, all of that awesomeness was being exhibited on 10 cent display set-ups; the kind with faux velvet plastered over cardboard that was so flimsy it would be airborne if a small breeze kicked up, the disconnect between the quality of the jewelry and that of the display was mind-blowing. Our market goers are smarter than that and could see through her lack of engagement with the product and you guessed it-- she sold nothing!
Simply said, how you display, what you display on and a positive attitude should be a reflection of you, your product and your aesthetic. Happy crafting and selling!
Beth Pomerantz is the owner of Firefly Handmade Markets, as well as an artist. She helped run a private art studio and taught art for five years. Beth has a passion for connecting people, and promoting talent. Prior to Firefly Handmade, she had a 20 year career in marketing, advertising and event planning. If you are an artist interested in showcasing your creations at a Firefly Market please apply here. If you would like to stay up to date on all things Firefly, join our email list here.