Episode 94 - Marketing Your Paper Flowers Locally with Martha Lucia Tokos
Learn how our guest Martha Lucia reaches out to her local market in order to successfully promote her paper flower business.
How do you market your paper flowers to local customers?
Selling online is fantastic. We all do it for a reason. But it has drawbacks like high shipping costs and more competition—plus, you can miss out on a customer base that will be more loyal to you and is more accessible to only you.
You need to tap into your local market!
Here’s what you’ll hear when you listen to our conversation:
- How to best market locally.
- How Martha has had so much success outside of the wedding industry.
- Managing working relationships and partnerships.
- How to run workshops through local businesses.
- Why good relationships with local retail stores is so important.
One of the biggest obstacles with marketing paper flowers locally is simple education.
People in your area need to learn that paper flowers exist and that you sell them.
Our conversation kept circling back to some of the amazing things she’s done to build up her cardstock paper flower business locally.
You’ll want to listen to the entire episode to hear all about how she runs her workshops, sells mostly outside of the wedding industry, and how she navigates her online presence.
But here’s some of what we talked about when it comes to marketing locally:
Work Craft Shows
Martha has had great success in selling products at craft shows like The Queen Bee Market. This was the first thing she recommended on the podcast when we asked her how she advertised.
People go to craft shows ready to buy. They have loved ones in mind to buy gifts for. They have an empty mantlepiece at home that they’ve been wanting to decorate. A craft show is really a perfect place to sell something like paper flowers.
Even if you don’t make a sale to everyone who stops by, those people are now aware that paper flowers exist (which is the first big hurdle), and that your business sells them. When they do have an event or celebration that calls for something beautiful and handmade, they’ll think of you.
As Quynh has shared before, she once worked with a restaurant to feature paper flowers on their tables years and years ago. She still gets customers who remember that and look her up now to buy something.
When a local shop approached Martha about teaching a paper flower class, she was enthusiastic. She already had teaching experience thanks to scrapbooking classes she’d taught years earlier.
If you don’t have teaching experience, you might be more hesitant to lead a class. That’s understandable! But the payoff from teaching is well worth the discomfort and the effort to get the ball rolling.
Teaching workshops can help you connect with people you might not have otherwise. Some customers will pay to buy something already made, but some want the experience of making it themselves. Martha shared in the episode that in 2019 (before the pandemic threw a wrench in everyone’s business plans), she made most of her income from teaching classes. People love them!
Those local workshops that Martha teaches serve another important function: building relationships with local retailers and businesses.
When you have a good working relationship, you can benefit from some of the advantages that brick and mortar stores have. These local shops tend to have a loyal customer base of people who are interested in crafting, home decor, and attending workshops. Those customers might not be aware that paper flowers exist until their favorite shop hosts a class. Then bam! New customer for you!
Besides helping with advertising, local stores can also handle the financial end of accepting payments for classes or products. If you don’t have your own website set up, this can be very helpful—especially when you first start teaching.
Listen to the podcast to learn more about how Martha has built relationships with local stores, plus how she’s partnered with Farren Celeste who lives overseas. Martha puts together Farren’s paper flower kits in the States and teaches workshops with her templates. It’s a tricky sort of agreement to navigate, and you’ll want to hear how they worked out their arrangement.
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