Building a Fan-base for Your Arts and Crafts in Idaho

March 2009

Building your art and craft business in Idaho can be both rewarding and challenging. Building a "fan-base" for your art and crafts can improve your chances for success. Devoted customers are eager to see your creations and will travel to see your work. They will be your core group for special orders and your most valuable advocates. Five elements to building your Idaho arts and craft fan-base are outlined below. Personality True aficionados will want to know about you. Talk to people and share you story. Your willingness to provide personal information about yourself, your craft and why you do what you do means something. The more you interact with potential buyers and the more interesting and personal your story, the more art you will sell. Provide information about you in every piece of marketing and include a bio with everything you sell. Persistence/Presence Consistent marketing and visibility builds a fan-base. When you actively market yourself by becoming a regular at shows and community events you begin to build a reputation and a following. Strategic donations of your work for fundraising events can provide exposure to additional audiences. Persistently following up on all leads and opportunities broadens your presence. Patience Building a real following takes time and patience. Long-term achievement requires long-term commitment. Planning Set goals and develop a plan for achievement. Businesses with written plans (even just one-page) have been proven 7 times more successful than those without. Create a plan to build a following, and follow through with the plan. Priorities Sometimes creative people have difficulty working on the business side of their business. It is much more rewarding and fun to spend our time creating. Spending time perfecting your craft is obviously important, but so is time spent planning and marketing. Prioritizing your time and tasks based on the outcomes you want to achieve, is the best way to ensure both creative and commercial success.

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