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are exhibiting there as a marketing exercise to raise their profile and meet potential buyers and customers rather than to make sales. It’s part of what you need to do. Consumers of craft really like to have communication with makers and it’s possible to develop this relationship even when solely selling online. Work on your social media. Having a Facebook page, Twitter account and blog are all very useful ways of connecting with customers.


We’ve collaborated with the Sector Skills council to produce some guidelines on this that were published online in April 2011.


What do you feel ‘big society’ means for organisations such as the Crafts Council which support independent designer-makers and artists? Many people are struggling to understand what ‘Big Society’ means and I would argue it probably already exists. For example, a lot of people are already doing more voluntary


19 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


work in their local community. We organise Craft Club which is an initiative to encourage kids to learn to knit and sew in schools, which we do in collaboration with volunteers from the Women’s Institute.


So, here’s a quick recap on how to weather the storm: • •


page/Twitter account/blog as useful ways to connect (and commit time to them).


For more information see: http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/


Think about your objectives; Avoid any exposure to financial


risk; • Determine your USP and capitalise on it; • Understand the real value of your work; • Make sure you are not underselling yourself; • Be adaptable and open to opportunities; • Work on your marketing and branding; • Consider shows/events as a marketing exercise, not just a sales platform; • Develop a relationship with customers through social media; and • Use tools such as Facebook


Consuming Craft Report - http:// www.craftscouncil.org.uk/files/ file/73c144804d83bd07/consuming_ craft_full_report.pdf


Making Value Report - http://


www.craftscouncil.org.uk/files/ file/7cec2fd1e3bdbe39/making_value_ full_report.pdf


Image courtesy of The Crafts Council


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