When you’re a maker, especially in fiber arts, it can sometimes feel like it’s you, your yarn and whatever show you’re binging on Netflix. So, connecting your community and your business might not seem like a clear picture. But, using your small business to create not just great products but invest into your community is a great opportunity.
In fact, when I say community, I don’t just mean the your neighbors. Online communities, such as The Yarnpreneur Society, provide not only resources but a great way to get connected with people who love the same things. Here are a few ways you can create and engage with your community through your small business.
1. Markets & Craft Shows
When I first started my business, I was nervous about even attempting to sell in front of people. I’ve never been one to enjoy the spotlight, that’s probably how I ended up writing! However, upon participating in my first craft market, I was able to meet neighbors and other makers who were excited and impressed with my work. This propelled me forward. I loved that my small crochet business can help connect me to my neighbors that I wouldn’t otherwise meet. It’s a great way to start conversation, create loyal customers or even make some new friends!
2. Meeting Small Business Owners
Whether you have a storefront or an online shop, if you’re running your own business, you’re bound to run into times when you can use a second opinion. Having a small business allows you to introduce yourself to other local business owners and collaborate together, finding win-win promotions or situations that can benefit your business and your community.
3. Holding Lessons & Tutorials
While there are many online tutorials available now, knitting and crocheting is often best learned person to person. Think about how you learned your craft? For many it was likely passed down by a family member or friend. Pay-it-forward with your business. See if you can host a small class in a library or community center. It also might be a great time to partner with another local business who would be willing to host your event. It’s a great way for neighbors to start recognizing your brand as well as learning a new skill they can use!
4) Online Communities
In this digital era, let’s not exclude the great benefits of online communities. From maker chats where you can connect with other artists to Facebook page groups, it’s easier than ever to start conversations with people all over the globe. In fact, Facebook is now ranking group posts higher on the news feed than just your average wall post. So, if you haven’t done so yet, start a Facebook page and group for your small business. Start chatting with your fans and followers and watch your business grow.
Are there ways you’re able to connect with your community through your small business? Share with us in the comments below!