1. Diversify your efforts. If you are hoping to book more, think outside your resources (network) and get into the community. There are many ways to do this – work alternative events to get leads (see #4).
2. Sell Retail – and Wholesale. Do you sell consistently to customers every month or two? Offer an automatic shipment program and a savings for a certain dollar amount. For example, if they spend $75 or more, they get a savings and maybe some free samples (or free shipping).
3. Sell your Work through Online Outlets. If you don’t have a personal blog or website and only sell through you corporate site, you are missing out on opportunities to sell, offer promotions, specials, etc. Make your customers’ buying experience personal by offering tips and advice for using your products (even video!).
4. Show Your Work in Alternative Spaces. Pop-up boutiques are common in many cities—search around and see if there are some you can work for the day or weekend…or band together with other local sellers and start your own!
5. Donate. Search out local opportunities to donate products or services for charity. It’s a great way to build exposure for your business.
6. Write About Yourself. Write an article about yourself and your work, or have an article written about you. Post it online, on your blog, FB page—everywhere! Start building a strong online presence.
7. Regularly Send out Press Releases – Any time you have news, whether it is a show or event where you are participating, a new product or service, or if you just want to publicize yourself, you can send out press releases, by email and on paper. Send them to trade publications, local newspapers, large newspapers, blogs, and news organizations. Most importantly, tell your story. The press is always looking for interesting stories for their readers. And face it, you’re interesting!
8. Develop a Referral Program. Word-of-mouth referrals are like gold – you want to encourage them whenever possible. So, how to get referrals? Ask for them! When you send out an email newsletter to your existing customer list, ask them to refer any friends who may be interested in your work. You may want to offer a discount or a gift card for these referrals. And be sure to thank anyone who gives you one!
9. Make Your Website into an E-commerce Site. You spent a lot of time and money on your website. So, where’s the shopping cart? Getting online visitors is challenging enough, but when they do visit and can’t make a purchase, you lose the sale. And constantly drive traffic to your site to get those sales!
10. Sell at Home Shows. Obviously this is the core of your business. Make it very profitable by having products bundled ahead of time guests can take home and have a nice inventory to choose from. Guests will order more if you have the product on-hand.
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