Networking to build your craft show, art fair and festival business

March 2010

In a world where almost any general business has hundreds or even thousands of competitors, you need to do something to ensure that you have an edge. Where word of mouth in your neighborhood or circle was once all it took to remain successful, the age of technology and Internet marketing has made this increasingly difficult. These days success in business is largely related to your ability to successful network. For many business owners, this means stepping away from simple word of mouth and business cards and making an active effort to get your name out there.

When you own a craft business that primarily works at local shows, using the Internet to help build a customer base might seem strange. If you don't sell products online, you may think that you do not need Internet networking at all. The truth, however, is that Internet marketing is a crucial business strategy. Consider this; you meet a customer at a show in Michigan who is enamored by your products. With no website, your best hope for making this transaction more productive is to hope that the customer brings in a friend before the show ends.
When you set up networking profiles through such sites as Facebook or MySpace or add an account to an online business listing, that same customer can add you as a friend and post your information to their page. This exposes your business to everyone who is friends with that person, opening up potential customer bases at shows around the country. Creating a networking base through these sites or through a business networking site such as LinkedIn can also help you create business connections with other vendors as well as fair owners and venue owners.

The home based business market is truly a world apart from what it was even a decade ago. Networking through the internet and through different crafting circles is a great way to build a global customer base. For people working on a local level, offering to teach a free class or creating a mutual referral program with a local supplier can be a great way to expand your business. No matter how successful your venture may be, networking can take your business to a new level. Whether you are seeking more customers, a higher revenue, or access to more events and fairs, networking is a crucial step towards realizing your business goals.

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