Another small way to promote your shows on social media is simply tagging the shows accounts or using their specific hashtag(s). If you post a behind the scenes photo of you making an item for the show, tag them! If you complete a whole pile of something and post a picture of your accomplishment, tag them! If you’ve got the car all packed up and ready to go the morning of the show and put it on social media, tag them! These are subtle reminders to your fans and customers that the show is coming up and serves as a good reminder to come and check it out. Also, by tagging the show they might repost your photo and it just might get you some more followers in the process. Win, win, win!
As the date of the show comes closer you can also post on the “discussion” of the event on Facebook too. I try to remember to do this 1-2 days before. My approach is usually an introduction of sorts – I might say something like “Hi, I’m Capri with Craftinista Girl (tag your page, don’t just type it) and I can’t wait to show you all of my handmade baby goods at the show on Saturday, see you soon!” ALWAYS include a photo with your post! People often disregard posts that are just words, show them a photo that catches their attention and then they’ll read what you’re saying about the photo. Other ideas of what you could post:
- A photo previewing some of the items you'll be bringing
- Advertise any sales you might be running at that event - "Headbands $3 each or 2 for $5 this Saturday ONLY"
- If you know other makers that will be at the show tag them in a post
Throughout all of the social media activity, I highly recommend interacting and reciprocating as much as possible. I understand that it’s not always easy to keep up with all of the notifications, but try the best you can to respond to comments and questions if you see them. If a show posts a photo of your products leave a comment saying “thanks for sharing!” You might also consider re-posting or making your own post directing your followers to check out the show page. Also, if you are featured, read the comments! Are people asking questions? Are they complimenting your creations? Take the time to go through and respond to those comments. Think of other ways to interact too! Maybe the show makes a post featuring one of your maker-friends. Comment on that with sincerity and excitement - “OMG I bought one of Capri’s baby bibs for my niece and she wears it ALL THE TIME!”
More than likely you have more than one holiday show during the season too. Another idea is to advertise your upcoming shows in your booth at each show. Sometimes I’ll hand-write or print a schedule of upcoming shows and put it in a cute frame that I have out on my table somewhere. I have had shoppers snap a photo of that list on their phone or even tell me they have plans to attend some of the upcoming shows already. It’s advertising and can sometimes be a conversation starter too! I’ve also seen some makers use postcard sized flyers to put in customers’ bags or to keep out on the table for people to take with the list of upcoming shows.
One last way that you can promote your holiday shows for free is to contact local business owners (like me) and straight up ask! Find the brick-and-mortar shops in your area that carry handmade items, support the handmade movement, or are proponents of small business in general and simply ask if they’d be interested in helping promote the show. You might also be able to reach out to places like your Chamber of Commerce or a local tourism office. Maybe you could even approach the place that you work at! Ask them to hang a flyer in their window, put some handouts at the checkout, include the show info in their newsletter, or even see if they will do a shout out on their social media account(s). Try to have as much of the “work” done as possible when you contact/approach businesses. Don’t make them search for the details, provide them with everything they need up front. Send them a graphic, or the direct link to the event rather than making them go out and get the information themselves. If you say you’re going to bring flyers by, follow through with that. The more prepared you are, the more likely they will be willing/interested in helping now and in the future.
Throughout the process of advertising your holiday shows please be mindful of anything that the show has specifically asked you to do or not to do. Show organizers have often spent time, money, and many sleepless nights to give their show a branded/cohesive look and feel. They have researched you, your business, and their anticipated customers, they know what they’re doing! Don’t get too carried away with interacting or participating on social media. Don’t go make your own graphic for the show if they have provided you with one. Read emails from them in their entirety. Be respectful and use all of the resources they have worked hard to provide you with!
Do you have more successful/free/inexpensive methods for promoting your shows? Do you have an upcoming show you’d like us to share with our customers, fans, and followers? Drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you!
Now, get back to making – can’t wait to see what you’ll be bringing to your holiday shows this year!