Marketing know-how

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Q: I’ve developed a line of African American ceramic statues and cloth dolls but have been unable to expand my business beyond the two craft shows that I do every year. How can I expand my market?
-N. Harris
Fresno, California

A: By taking the right marketing steps, you’ll get the exposure you need to move your product, says Tracey Lowrance, president and CEO of OutSource ConneXion, a full-service marketing communications agency in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

  • Develop your Unique Selling Propo-sition (USP). Determine what makes your product unique: quality of workmanship, price, packaging or availability.
  • Determine your product’s mission. This statement can help you target the right markets for your product.
  • Determine your target market. Research such things as residency; career or occupation; household income and what income is spent on the arts.
  • Consignment. Place your product in specialty stores that your target market frequents without requiring the store to invest any money up front.
  • Pick up the Ronay Guide at your nearest arts and crafts store. It lists craft shows in your area and provides information on fees and other requirements.
  • Barter your products to get the services you need.
  • Network. Get out and meet people who can help you at local business or social organization or association meetings or join online discussion groups and post to bulletin boards.