I had my first market stall yesterday and I'm sad to say I did not make any sales at all. I have a few theories on why, but I am confident that it had nothing to do with my paintings. I did get a lot of good feedback and appreciation of my work, so I am not too disheartened. However, I did not come away empty handed. I have a lot of new contacts, and people signed up to my monthly newsletter.
To engage visitors in my stall, and into conversation with me, I asked them for help. Everyone likes to help. I told them I was using this opportunity to collect market research and would they mind writing on my (pre printed and logo'd) paper a suggestion of an animal I could paint. If they did, they could keep the pencil. I had a whole basket of pencils made from recycled newspaper, which is also a good point to mention, because it made my visitors actually want to pick one up and try it out. Once they'd written their favourite animal down on the list, I suggested they sign up to my monthly newsletter (pre printed and logo'd Sign Up sheet next to the Animal Suggestion sheet), as I was going to paint all my suggestions and they'd be able to see them.
It worked really well and now I have some potential customers who have a personal connection to some of the paintings I am going to be painting and emailing to them. I can also use the newsletter to let them know where I am next displaying my work, and that I also do commissions, and point them towards my Etsy shop.
Another tip to having a positive day, is to meet other stall holders. If you like their products, or displays, make sure you tell them. Give them some good feedback if you can; they might be feeling as nervous and unsure as you are. I had stall holders come over and see my display in return, and I not only got some good feedback, but also some invaluable suggestions about other places I could sell my work, people I should contact etc. Swapping information and suggestions with like minded artists proved to be well worth the cost of the table I had.
So, although I had a day of no sales, it was my first time. I am going to give it another go as next time I might make a sale!
I now need to work out how to do a proper newsletter..... watch this space for how I do this