6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Teaching Craft Parties
When we started teaching craft parties in 2016, the concept was still really new.
We felt like we were all alone as we expanded on the “paint and wine” business model to create something that was still fairly new. Looking back on that first year, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. There wasn’t a course we could take or a blog we could read, or even a mentor we could ask for help with starting this business!
So, if you are thinking about starting a craft party business, I want to share 6 things that I wish I knew when we first started out.
When you first launch, you will obviously need to focus on advertising to get customers. Once you start selling tickets though, you should focus on creating an awesome party experience and strengthening your relationship with customers who have already purchased tickets!
When you don’t have enough time to do everything you want, it’s more important to be well rested and organized for your upcoming event than to post more Facebook ads and it's more important to write an email to your newsletter subscribers than to make posters. When you make your actual customers happy, they will be your best advertisement!
Turn your customers into raving fans and they will bring you new customers! They’ll also be the first to schedule private craft parties with you. Repeat business means that you can spend less time and money on marketing and more time building meaningful relationships.
We bought so many things right away that we really didn’t need… like 200 sample bottles of fragrance oil to start developing a bath bomb party. We’ve only used about 15 of them.
Some of our bigger investments, like branded aprons, are nice to have, but not necessary. We could have waited to purchase a lot of things until we were more established.
Speaking of branded aprons… We love our logo, and we put it on everything at first. We made branded aprons, branded measuring cups, and put our logo on most of our social media pictures for a while.
Turns out… no one cares. Some craft party businesses have no logo or use clip art, some have beautifully designed branding. This doesn’t seem to have much impact on the success of their business. It’s more important that you have a fun craft and that you make your parties awesome!
Our website and ads used to focus on who we were, and what we did for people. Then we started following the amazing Marie Forleo and she taught us that we needed to put the spotlight on our customers instead of ourselves.
This one change made a huge difference in the success of our ads. Instead of saying, “We’ll bring all the supplies and walk you through each step,” we now say, “Have fun with your friends while you make three beautiful bath bombs!”
Check out Marie Forleo’s Marketing Strategy: How to Write Copy that Turns Website Visitors Into Customers
Public events are a lot of fun, but if you want to create a full-time business and increase your profit margin, then spend more energy getting private parties. These are team-building events, bridal showers, birthday parties, or family reunions. They’re easier because you’ll be working with one coordinator to prepare, instead of marketing to the masses to buy tickets. Your cost will also be lower because you’ll know exactly how many people to buy supplies for.
It can be really tempting to get too far ahead of your business. If you’re passionate about crafting, you’ll want to turn every craft into a party! Resist the urge! Please hear this: Developing a new craft party is always more work than you anticipate.
If you know how to make bath bombs, you can teach everyone else, right? Wrong. Making bath bombs in your kitchen is very different than teaching 30 people, in a bar, who have no idea what they’re doing, who are also often drinking. Not only is development time-consuming, you’ll also confuse your customers if you switch up your craft too often.
This business also has seasonal patterns. We made the mistake of assuming that, because ticket sales exploded during the Christmas season, we should triple the number of craft parties we hosted each month.
This was us getting way ahead of our business. It was a mistake that really hurt during the summer, when business usually slows down. Your business patterns will most likely change with each season. If your business is like our’s, you’ll be really busy in November and early December, and fairly slow in July. You’ll need to get through one full year though, to know for sure.
We hope that, what were hard-learned lessons for us, will save you some time, energy, and money as you start your craft party business. If you want more tips and tools, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!