Everyone likes free stuff. I learned this lesson when I managed a website, many years ago. I posted downloads (like resume templates and cartoon assistants) to attract visitors to the site (and entice them to pay for software). I loved being a year-round Santa, delighting geeks and office workers.
So why couldn't I do the same thing at my table at the craft fair? Pull folks in, make more sales. Hah! If only it were that simple.
Lesson 3: Do your giveaways the right way
This was the first time I'd given anything away at a craft fair. It was also the first time in a long time I'd taken my dad's advice (sorry, dad). He'd just finished an online course on irrational behavior, and one of the things he learned was the power of free stuff. Before my craft fair, he suggested doing a BOGO -- buy one get one free. No way, I thought. I'm not giving away half my inventory. But I could give away other stuff.
Like candy. Everyone likes candy, right? No wonder I attracted so many kids to my table! Turns out they all have CANDAR -- they can spot a bowl of candy through crowds of people and across acres of bright shiny stuff.
But did the candy bring in more sales? I doubt it. And the candy itself made me feel like a hypocrite. Upcycling is all about reducing waste. Waste like hundreds of tiny paper candy wrappers.
So I tried a second giveaway -- mechanical pencils attached to my business cards.
|You know you want it. Don't you?|
Like Cinderella's slipper, the third try worked like a charm. I made hand fans out of oversized playing cards. Sweaty customers spotted these on my table easily, without prompting. The smiled when they discovered the cards were actually fans. And they couldn't believe I was giving them away for free.
|Are you a fan?|
- They were something people needed at that moment. They didn't need to be stuffed into a bag, dragged home and later thrown away. Their value was obvious.
- They illustrated upcycling perfectly.
- They were unusual. I bet no one had seen anything like them before.
Lesson learned! On to Lesson 4...