May 29, 2009

Ten Tips For Marketing Your Crafts Business On A Shoestring Budget

If you're like most people just starting to sell their crafts, you don't have a lot of money to spend on marketing. Well, you'll probably be surprised to learn that there are many low-cost and even free ways to market your handmade items. Here are ten tips to get you started.

1. Be A Human Billboard

If your handmade items are meant to be worn, wear a piece of your work whenever you go out. You'd be surprised how many people will notice it, and compliment you on it. Don't miss the opportunity to graciously whip out your business card and give it to your admirer.

2. What, You Don't Have Business Cards?

Business cards are a must for anyone who's serious about marketing. You should also have letterhead stationery and fliers, all with your eye-catching logo. It won't take long for people to start to thinking of you whenever they see your logo.

Don't be satisfied with plai-old, boring, white business cards. Moo is a great place get bold, attention-getting business cards, stickers, and other promotional items for your business at affordable prices.

3. Leave A Trail Of Flyers Behind You Wherever You Go

Post your flyer or business card on every public bulletin board you find. Look for them at grocery stores, libraries, schools, laundromats, colleges, and a host of other places. Leave them at welcome areas along the interstate to draw in tourist traffic.

4. The Press Release Is Your Friend

Get free publicity by sending press releases to local newspapers. Think out of the box. The electrical co-op where I used to live in Tennessee published a little magazine that often featured local artisans on the cover with a nice write-up inside. This went to thousands of homes across middle Tennessee every month. Is there something similar in your area?

5. Join Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

You should also join local and national craft organizations. Take plenty of business cards along when you attend meetings as these are great opportunities to network with other business owners and crafts artists in your area. The Chamber of Commerce may also publish a list of its members, which will be handy for contacting local organizations.

6. Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

Once you have the handy list of local groups, you can contact them and offer your services as a speaker. Non-profit organizations, the Rotary Club, the YMCA, and local civic groups usually need speakers to jazz up their meetings.

7. Teach Your Craft

If you're a bead worker, organize an after-school class at the local library for teenagers (and their moms) who want to learn to make earrings. You'll be popular and well-loved. Not only can you charge for lessons, but you can sell books and supplies, too. Once you get them hooked on making these things, they'll be back to buy more supplies from you.

8. Make A Donation

A great way to get lots of publicity locally is to donate a piece of your work to a charity auction or fundraiser. The organizers usually promote their sponsors in their ads and brochures, which can give your business a nice boost.

9. Set Up A Special Showing With Another Crafter

Look for someone who produces handmade items that complement yours. If your specialty is handcarved picture frames, perhaps you can team up with a watercolor artist to do a special show during the holidays. You may want to include other crafters, too, to keep your costs lower, and to draw in a bigger crowd.

10. Write Articles About Your Craft

Your local newspapers are always on the lookout for story ideas. Avoid blatant self-promotion in your article, but mention your business at the end.

Look for online ezines that are related to your craft, and offer to do an article. You'll get a link back to your online store in return. There are many article directories online, too. Write interesting, informative articles, and you'll probably develop a following. Be sure to include your store link.

There you are -- ten ways you can market your crafts business for free, or at very low cost. What are you waiting for? Get busy!

by Darlene Norris


  1. Great tips and ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fantastic ideas and so inexpensive!

  3. Your post could not have come at a more perfect time. I'm a newbie, and I am quite overwhelmed with promoting. Any more posts you could do on this topic would be great.


  4. Your post could not have come at a more perfect time. I'm a newbie, and I am quite overwhelmed with promoting. Any more posts you could do on this topic would be great.