What’s Community Got To Do With It?

 

If your serious about writing, then you join a writer’s group. If your even more series about getting published, you attend a writers’ conference. And, if you’re an artist or crafter, you join a group of talented people who share the same interest. There are all types of groups, workshops, and gatherings available to those who are in the pursuit of their craft.
But how does one go in the pursuit of customers? Do you meet customers at conferences? at workshops?
The answer to those questions is probably not. If your going to a writer conference and selling books, then yes you’ll sell to other authors, because let’s face it. If they like to write, they like to read. Just like you. However, if your and artist selling paintings, chances are you’re not going to sell as many paintings to another artist as you are to an art collector in a gallery.  See the difference?
So if you’re getting out there to enhance your craft, that’s great. Keep up the good work. Now, it’s just time for you to step out into the community with a different gait.
What I mean is, you’ve chased down the best conferences, best workshops, and best places to talk shop. Now, you need to do the same thing with the community. It’s more than attending a local PTO meeting at your child’s school or volunteering to be the Den Mom for your son’s cub scout troop. Yes, you will meet people, but are you meeting the right kinds of people?
These are the people who will be your customers. They are people most likely to pay you for the craft your selling. Who are they? Well, that’s for you to figure out, and I’ll help you in another post.
Today though, take a look at what is happening in your community and surrounding areas. Is there anything that inspires you to help, volunteer, or donate your time and craft? Is there any event that you just want to become a part of as an attendee where you can mingle with others and build relationships with potential customers?
As an author, I attend workshops, writer groups, and conference each year in the pursuit of getting published, but more so that I can be a better writer. Along the way, after many years, I’ve developed a network and support group. Some of those in my network are fellow writers, some are potential customers waiting for a new book to hit the shelf, you my blog readers, and my family.
Many times you’ll find me browsing the shelves of a book store alot, or sitting with a cup of tea and my laptop in my studio. Sometimes, I squeeze in a book club around my kiddo’s hetic activity schedules.
As a crafter, I attend parties and gatherings that lets me catch up with old friends and introduce myself to new people. I do this online through social networking and in person. I sell guest books through MRsCHADT, so where do you think I go in the community to get to know others?
That’s right, bridal shows (yes, even though I’m already happily married), craft fairs, card parties, local craft shops weekend demonstrations, and sometimes I drop off little sample product and gifts at hospitals to be included in new mom packages.
What ways can you think of that will help you become apart of the community more and begin your own customer network?
Sometimes, its more than just selling your craft, it’s showing others who you are beyond the studio.
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Daughter of a dairy farmer, this crafty mom has a heart for all things handmade. When she's not writing or crafting, you can find her creating memories with her family.

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Posted in Talk Tuesday

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