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Making an impact

Sara Davies discusses how to be seen, heard and remembered in the crafting world

Sara Davies discusses how to be seen, heard and remembered in the crafting world

Promotion, promotion
Exposure is an essential part of any business. The more people who know who you are and what you do, the better, so it's important to take every opportunity to promote your craft business. Increasing brand awareness can seem like a challenge when you're first getting started, but there are lots of ways to make an impact. This issue Crafter's Companion Founder, Sara Davies MBE, shares her top tips for getting noticed and creating a buzz around your products.

Super sales
Large-scale promotions are at the top of the list for gaining exposure and engaging with your customers. After all, who doesn't love a good bargain? So, why not run a special offer on selected products or have a short sale for your customers? Everyone likes to feel like they've got a great deal and if they save money on what they wanted in the first place, they might even make additional purchases.

Competitions
Don't just stop at offers, competitions will give current and prospective consumers the chance to do some fun crafting and potentially win a prize, while generating publicity among those who compete. You could even create a competition using your own products, which is a fantastic way to make sales and show off your wares. There are a variety of ways to use competitions. Firstly, you can work directly with craft magazines. Competitions are always popular among big consumer magazines and you'll get some great coverage for your chosen products. More often than not, they support big competitions with social media campaigns too, which is great as it can help you to reach even more prospective customers. If you can get the magazine to agree to include your competition in their newsletter too, you'll be able to extend your reach even further. Alternatively, you could even set up long-term or regular competitions and run them yourself to drive brand-commitment using promotions over a long period of time.
Think about getting your customers to send in their latest projects for a chance to win and put them on display in your store. This type of competition can help build relationships with your regulars, and give you an insight into who your promotions are appealing to. This will also help make future competitions even more successful.

Participate in big events
Asides from competitions and promotions, there are several other ways to get noticed in the crafting world. You could take part in big events like London Craft Week, look into getting a stall and take some products along for attendees to interact with. Or, if you can't get to the event then why not hold your own in celebration? These events are a great reason to hold educational craft classes and demonstrate the value of products. You may even be able to encourage people to try their hand at something new and use some products they wouldn't normally use. It all forms part of the customer's journey, from product adoption to eventual purchase.

Think about doing a leaflet drop too to promote your events. You could have the best event in the world but if no one knows about it you're wasting your time. So, spread the word around the local community hubs both online and offline and really build some excitement around your plans. Building your profile will open the door to many more opportunities for your business and hopefully, you can use these tips to make brand building more fun and effective.

Happy retailing!

Sara Davies is a Durham-born craft entrepreneur and the founder of Crafter's Companion, www.crafterscompaniontrade.co.uk.

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