As an artist and a maker, you probably have more skills than you give yourself credit for. Sharing your knowledge through craft nights, Craft Parties, and other hands-on gatherings in your community can be a great way to connect with other creative minds in your locale. Teaching classes and workshops can even be a great way to not only share your expertise, but also rake in a little extra cash to support your hobby or business.
Danya Cheskis-Gold, the community manager at Skillshare, has some tips to share for promoting events from Craft Party to classes and beyond.
Whether you’re looking to fill your house with smiling guests at your Craft Party, get the word out about your Etsy shop, or have perfect attendance at your Skillshare class (I’ll explain what that is in a moment!), you’ve gotta do some strategic marketing. You said you’d make the most delicious, color-coded Pantone chip cookies, so where are all of your Craft Party RSVPs? You’ve taught all of your friends & family how to knit, so why isn’t anyone buying tickets to your Skillshare Stitch Study class?
Today I’ll share some marketing magic from Skillshare, a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. Our mission is to flip the notion of traditional education on its head and democratize learning. Skillshare uses the web to bring together people with skills and knowledge to share, but all of their classes happen in “the real world,” offline. Teachers choose the price of the class, too. So, you’ve got crafts, love, and knowledge to share — now you have to make sure other people know it! Read on to learn how.
1. Test Your Idea
Photo by nerdnest
Whether you’re getting ready to add a new product to your Etsy store, thinking about themes for your craft party, or planning on teaching a Skillshare class like this Etsy seller, you’ll want to test out your new idea to see if it’s as fly as you think! Ask your friends, family, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or even that random person sitting next to you on the bus — do people think your theme party will be fun? Would they take your class? If people are positively responding to your Facebook post, linking to your blog, and you’re receiving emails or phone calls from people who’ve heard about your plan through word of mouth, you’ve got a brilliant idea!
2. Write About It!
Get your idea onto virtual paper. Write about your idea on your blog as a way to organize and articulate your thoughts — not only will this help you get the word out, but it will also make your idea a better one. Share deets about your party, class, or product via your newsletter, Twitter account, or Facebook profile/page.
3. Dress Rehearsal
Get your class listing up on Skillshare or add your craft party to Etsy’s Meetup Everywhere page and market it to everyone who originally read your blog post or liked your Facebook post. Don’t just be theoretical — take a practice run! Throw a mini-craft party with a few friends or do a test run of your class for your kids (they’ll be super honest about how interesting and easy it is to understand). Start with the people you know: get your best friend to be the first RSVP to your party or class. They’ll get the ball rolling for you and make you look legit, so that others will trust you and want to join in!
4. Just Do It (and Be Gracious!)
Photo by wenduink
Once you’ve sold your first Etsy product or taught your first class, do it again and again! After the initial hooplah dies down, ask your guests for feedback. For your subsequent parties or classes, you can invite your previous students and guests, who will likely be happy to attend again, especially if they know you’ve taken their advice into account. Don’t forget to show gratitude to everyone who has supported your idea. Handwritten thank-you notes, take-home handouts, party favors, discounts — they all do the trick.
What are your ideas for getting the word out? Share in the comments below!