Since doing my first workshop with Lynn Holland in the Summer I loved it so much I wanted to do more. Lynn has been so kind and together we are doing another two workshops in Rochdale this coming Saturday 3rd November and the following Saturday 10th. It has been smooth sailing so far but apart from getting all the materials, designing a plan and then teaching on the day, Lynn has done most of the hard work getting people signed up for them and providing the venue. To be honest I never really thought much about the advertising and promotion of the workshops and have been more concerned with the content and the quality of the actual day……until now.
I am now branching out on my own into unknown territory! Since moving out of Manchester I have had ideas to start workshops in my local area (Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Knutsford) and so I began to make my ideas a reality. Since it is coming up to Christmas, I thought it would be perfect to have a festive themed workshop so I have decided on Print your own Christmas cards; idea one done.
Next, where to host this workshop? I have spent a considerable amount of time trawling on the internet looking at village halls, leisure centres, church halls and school halls amongst others, making lists, comparing prices, hall size, facilities and availability. Eventually I found Dean Row Village hall in Wilmslow http://www.drvh.co.uk/ which looked perfect. I then organised to view the hall to make sure that it would be suitable and after a short correspondence I went last Friday to meet Julia Dean who kindly showed me around. It is a lovely venue, with nice bright rooms so that it will show up printing colours which is important and it has good tea and coffee facilities, a must for any workshop.
I then went home and got out my diary and picked days when I was free and then looked at Dean Row’s booking schedule. It is a very popular venue as I found out and so I was rather limited to days and times that I could book. It was quite time consuming cross referencing diaries and booking forms but eventually I booked three initial dates. I would love to do more but I thought, start with a small amount and see how it goes.
Workshop decided, venue booked, dates booked, now to advertise and get people signed up. This is where I have my downfall, I am quite a shy person and the idea of getting out there and talking to people to promote is pretty scary to me, I just don’t like bothering people. My lovely husband has been so supportive and he just gave me a bit of a talking to and basically said if you go out and try as hard as you can, even if you fail (which you won’t), how much better will you feel than if you didn’t try at all?
Positive head on, I decided to create a flyer on my computer and print it out myself to save money. It took a while to decide on what to put in and what to leave out but I am happy with the outcome. I feel it is inviting and just enough information. Then it was a question of how to get it out there. I actually tried googling (it always has an answer), how to flyer, but nothing really came up that was useful. I just wanted a few pointers of good places to start.
Today I decided to head into Wilmslow and go around shops and different places to see if they would take some flyers or put them up. I started with the library as I thought it is a place where people to go to find out local information. They had an information folder that I could put a flyer in that showed local events so I was off to a good, positive start. I tried a couple of larger shops who were nice but said they couldn’t promote anything that charged, just charities. I did ask if they knew of anywhere I could try and I ended up at a little newsagent, Cards & Candy on Water Street who, for a small fee, will put your advert or flyer in their window. I then went to a few sandwich places and coffee shops and even a stationary shop where I left a few flyers. To be honest I didn’t really know what I was doing but I just stayed confident and asked people nicely, and if they couldn’t help they were always very helpful with telling me places I could try. I ended up walking around for a good few hours and I actually ended up quite enjoying myself, meeting and talking to lots of people. Having only just moved to the area it definitely got me more familiar with the town which was a bonus.
Meeting other creative people I have found that the promotional side of craft and art business is quite often the most difficult part. If you are like me, you are at your happiest lost in your own head designing and creating new pieces and items. Sometimes hours can go by without me realising, all because I have found a great leaf that has inspired a new design. I need to get better at getting out there and getting myself known as I know that no one is just going to stumble upon my work. I have to work hard and actually treat it like a job. It is definitely a very steep learning curve but I am getting there, I am even about to attend my first WI meeting so watch this space.
- Does anybody have any stories about promoting their art/ craft work?
- Any Advice for promotion?
I would love to hear from you about your experiences.
Lastly, if anyone is interested in attending one of my workshops at the Dean Row Village Hall in Wilmslow, the dates are;
- Monday 19th November 10AM – 2PM
- Friday 23rd November 10AM – 2PM
- Monday 3rd December 10AM – 2PM
All material are provided as well as lots of tea, coffee and cake. Please feel free to contact me via this blog or my e-mail email@example.com