As we discussed the other day I am really a big fan of open houses for your handmade craft item. I believe that it is really something everyone should be doing or at least trying it out. There really are no costs to do an open house in your home and the only thing you are out is your time. On the flip side at a craft fair you can be out a considerable amount of both time and money and have little to no sales. It is so out of your control, as to who comes to a fair and if they are serious buyers or not. At your open house, you are in control of who you invite and you are going to invite everyone!
Who do I invite to my open house? That is where list building is really key. Every craft fair sale, person to person sale, and online sale you should be capturing email addresses for your newsletters. Make sure you as you build your list you are breaking them into lists or groups. For instance you may have one group that is the St. Mary Craft Fair group another group might be co-workers, neighbors and yet another might be friends. Your online sales groups should be broken up into long distance and local. This comes in handy so you are not inviting people that have ordered online that live in California to your local event in the Midwest. You do not want to clog up people’s inbox and they unsubscribe from your newsletters.
Be sure to make a list of everyone you know, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and also a great time to make up a flyer walk the neighborhood and meet your neighbors. Remember you have a great product and they might be looking just for that item you sell. If you do not tell them you are making and selling it, how will they ever know? And for those that have purchased from you from a prior craft fair I am sure they would love to know you are having an open house. If they have already bought from you, they know how great a product you have. Another thing you can do is offer a gift if they bring a friend. You may want to qualify it with, they have to purchase something or be over 18 or something like that. You do not want someone loading up their minivan with kids and telling you they brought a guests. (don’t ask me how I know this one!)
Once you get your list you need to send out an email blast maybe 1 - 2 weeks in advance. Tell them to RSVP so you know how many to plan on. Another great way to invite people is with a Facebook event. But don’t send out a Facebook event or an email and sit back and wait for them to reply. You really need to follow up with everyone. So start making your list. Do you have a special way of inviting people that I did not mention? I would love you to share it with me.
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