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Topic: Marketing a crafty business that doesn't "make" anything  (Read 844 times)
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b16aGirl
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« on: April 30, 2009 05:20:07 PM »

Hello,

 My business is actually a giant space with machines and set ups for metal working, woodworking, sewing, laser-ing, and a whole bunch of things crafty people would love to have access to without buying, but I don't know how to market it!

 Everyone I talk to loves the concept, but traffic to the space is slow.

 Any ideas?
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soorawn
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009 01:11:54 PM »

I don't understand.  Is it a sort of multi-workshop?
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009 04:38:34 AM »

Clearly you have to market it to crafters. Where can you find them?

I would visit every art supply shop, every fabric or craft supply in the area and have them display a postcard that says something like NEED SPACE TO WORK?, plus I would offer to let crafting groups meet in the space even if they don't use the equipment. There's lots you could do. Check out your local Meetup groups, state Etsy team, and look through the paper to find meetings of various crafting clubs. You might just take your business card to every craft show in town, too, and wear a t-shirt advertising your space (message big and clear, forget overly fancy graphics). They'll probably frown at direct solicitation of the vendors, but they can't keep folks from wearing clothes, eh?
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b16aGirl
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009 04:55:41 PM »

 It is exactly a multi-workshop. It's 2500 sq. ft. so all the area are contained and separate so no saw dust on fabric or metal shavings in the laser. We just started a monthly crafty meet up with fliers all over, but that's geared more towards fabric artists.

 I have been wearing my shirts all over town and even talk to strangers at flea markets, etc about it. I guess that's just the best way to do it!

 Thank you for the advice Smiley
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soorawn
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009 12:27:09 AM »

It's an attractive concept!  I have not much to add to what CraftyChef said, apart from putting up an add at the library and checking the local community groups to send them info to offer the space.  Many people just don't do something because they just don't know where to do it.  Try to reach them so they know they have a place waiting.
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Ambri
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009 10:14:44 AM »

I love that concept.  I would also suggest that it's kind of an unusual concept, and therefore, it might, just might, be newsworthy.  You might type up a press release, describing this concept/ studio, where it's located, and how it benefits people, and email it in to local media outlets, ie newpapers (if you still have any in your area) and the local news networks.  You might figure out the best person to direct it to, i.e. the editor of "lifestyles and hobbies" or whatever.  Be sure to follow up on your submission with a call or email in a week or two!
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009 07:43:43 PM »

I totally agree about this being newsworthy!  I wish there was a place near me that would just let me use a pottery wheel.  You're onto something awesome, good luck!
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IndefatigableL
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009 05:40:35 AM »

You could also try marketing classes. Find someone with a skill, set up some sort of contract where they teach.

One-time only classes.

OR

Classes that run for several weeks, and offer FREE use of the space on off days to class participants.

So, say a person signs up for a quilting class that is once a week on fridays, for four weeks, and they can come in say, wednesdays and use the space for free (or whatever) in addition to being able to use the space on Friday. Or maybe the class starts at 6 PM, but all day Friday they can use it for free so they can come in early and/or stay late.

I think classes would be a good way to get people in who then would be interested in utilizing the space beyond the scope of the class.

Also, Craigslist.

Another idea: Guest speakers/workshops. Is there a local fabric store that would sponsor a day where they show how to sew a simple bag? You could work out a deal with them, because it would be advertisement for their business, and they could brings products such as fabric for people to use. This would probably cost less for you, than say the above idea where you would hire a local artisan to teach a craft.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009 05:44:33 AM by IndefatigableL » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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loukr
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009 09:50:18 AM »

Take a look at how photographers advertise their studio space to other photographers.. it's pretty much the same concept Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009 10:06:41 AM »

I was just going to add exactly what loukr said. Photographers advertise all the time on Craigslist for studio space for rent.

What a great idea, I'd love something like that near me. I have far too many crafty ambitions and too little money to fund them all. Being able to rent space and equipment would be awesome!
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