A while back I published a post called Top 10 hints for markets. You can be well organised on the day, but unless there are customers, your stock is not going to move one inch!!
The busier the market is, the better buzz it has. So what can you do?
Advertise far and wide
Yes, the market organisers should be responsible for some of this (some would argue most), but you need to do your part in building excitement about your business and the market. After all you want people to attend the market to look at your products not anyone elses!
- You can email your friends and tell them. Encourage your friends to forward the email onto their friends.
- Use Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools to let people know what is happening ... if you don't have a Facebook Fan page then you should!
- Build anticipation by showing parts of or hints about a new product range. For example Dear Fii does this so well with her gorgeous photography.
- Make sure your neighbours/friends/relatives know about the market. They will get a buzz out of seeing your stuff.
I have this one gorgeous customer that comes to every market and she generally brings a different friend each time to say hello.
So what can you do to build loyalty?
- Do your blog readers get a discount if they mention your blog?
- Have you emailed past customers and offered them an incentive for turning up?
- Are you showcasing new products or services?
- Ask yourself, how can I get my repeat customers to return to my market stall?
Given that I felt so out of control before my next market, here is my count down list for the next Northside Makers Market in March. I work better with lists and it is easier to delegate if you know what you need to to!
4 weeks outbound
- Send out facebook invites to friends. Let them know what you are doing!
- Decide on whether you are going to have a new product range so that you have enough time to make and blog about it in snippets to build excitement!
- Hand out fliers to your neighbours, get them to help. Ask them to take in pamphlets to work and put them up on the social noticeboards.
- Do you have enough business cards and pamphlets for the next market stall? Get these organised now.
- Hint at the new products you will have at your market.
- What new materials are you using?Are you showcasing or working on a new design?
- Send out press release if you are launching a new product.
- Has your favourite cafe got a poster of the next market you are at?
- Make sure you go EVERYWHERE with pamphlets so that you can tell EVERYONE!
- What forums do you frequent. Have you posted your market details on these forums?
- Make sure you have a big blog post about the market, and if the organisers have listed the stall holders then plug them as well. The more buzz the more customers.
- Email out past customers (if you are able to) and let them know that you have new products or a special offer for them.
- Advertise Blog specials for the market, 10% for regular readers with a code word! A free item with a larger item purchased.
- Do you catch public transport? Leave a few pamphlets on the tram or train!
Most of your personal advertising should be done by now. The market organisers are probably going at it hard (this comment from personal experience), but any pamphlets to friends should be done by this time so that they have time to distribute them. People generally need time to plan their weekends.
- Make sure you have pamphlets for your NEXT market for your stall.
- Do you have any discount coupons for customers that purchase large items?
- Send out a reminder to your Facebook/Livejournal/Blogging friends
- Reminders on any forums that you frequent.
- More blog posts about your stock and the market. Tips for where to park the car? Cafe's to visit before and after? Help people make an event of it!
The very likelihood of me actually following a plan is remote, but I find if I write it down, there is a higher likelihood that I will pick up on about 50% of these tips and hints. Hope that you have found this list helpful!