How do you grow a following?
How do you find new customers?
These are questions we get all the time, and the answer is: CREATE COMMUNITY.
Yes, but how?
And why does community matter?
Phoebe hops on the podcast to talk about GGC’s community, and how this community is the revenue behind the business and also gives her great joy.
Phoebe talks about her origin story of making. (For the whole complete story, head to Girl Gang Craft Podcast Episode One)
Phoebe found the craft fair world to be expensive and exclusive, booths at these events were sometimes expensive and also she wasn’t always getting accepted. She created GGC craft fairs as an affordable, inclusive, and fun place for creatives to show their work.
She loved participating in these craft fairs, and learned so much about merchandising and selling her work. Plus she found community here.
These other makers became friends and ultimately the people who would also participate at the GGC events.
These craft fairies became the perfect way to identify GGC’s target maker audience.
Phoebe utilized her yoga teaching as a way to also find her other target GGC audience: event attendees. These are the “fans” of small businesses, these are the humans who show up to the events, and purchase GGC and GGC’s friends’ products. These are local Bay Area people who are interested in events, and most likely social justice.
Alas, these people intersected with Phoebe’s yoga students.
Phoebe used her yoga teaching platform as a way to attract GGC event attendees. She would announce the events after every class and leave fliers at the studio.
What sorts of communities are you already involved in? Can your coworkers become your clients? What about the parents of your childrens’ friends? What about your place of worship? What communities do you already find yourself in that can translate to your current audience? This applies for both product and service based businesses. Could someone in your extended family really use your product? Does your best friend’s cousin need your service?
So while creating communities you first want to examine the circles you are already in.This is why talking about your business all the time is so important. This is why having a business card and an elevator pitch ready to go is necessary. You never know who is going to be in the room.
(Keep in mind, obviously a lot of this in-person stuff may not be currently accessible, but it will be in the future and you can also look back at your past).
FIND NEW COMMUNITIES
When IRL events are back on, think about attending meet-ups, conferences, festivals.
(Always with your business card and elevator pitch ready to go!)
During Covid times, we have to find new communities online.
Try facebook groups!
Join the Girl Gang Craft facebook group to meet other creatives!
Facebook groups are cool, because it creates a niche. Look for maker groups or entrepreneur groups. Maybe you’re a tarot reader, find a tarot or witch group, maybe you connect with herbalists. These are places where not only you can find people who are in your line of work to connect with, but perhaps you find your customer.
Get creative. Maybe you make a children’s craft kit, join a mom’s group. Maybe you make huge scale weavings, join an interior designer’ group so they could suggest your products when they work on new projects. Etc tec.
Think about where your customer hangs out, maybe join some local groups.
BOOST YOUR FOLLOWING
How do you boost your following? Well you’ve got to find new humans that will like your account/product/vibe right?
Think about adjacent accounts of yours, and go through their followers.
Maybe you’re an abstract painter. Find another abstract painter that you admire and literally go through their followers and start commenting and liking those profiles, with the intention that they will see your work and follow you too.
Again, think about who your customer is.
Maybe you make high profile art. Where do people with money live? What kinds of jobs do they have? Find these people and interact with them.
Running a business, you’ve got to have guts. You’ve got to go after what you want. Create opportunity for yourself.
Yes, I am an extrovert. And yes I introduce myself to my booth neighbors. Yes I do laps around these craft fairs in the early morning and introduce myself to vendors that may be a good fit for GGC fairs. And yes I have been known to wander around Dolores Park on Sunny sundays and sell my uterus pins, yelling “Uterus Pins, 10% goes to Planned Parenthood” with my square reader and all. (Of course this is pre-covid).
Community created in real life and online, literally translates to your customer base, whether you offer a service or a product, you want to nurture your community. The more you take care of your community the more they want to see you succeed, and whether that translates as just instagram engagement for example, or whether these become your clients or customers, creating community will not only give you purpose, but most likely this community will turn into revenue.