after the first step of deciding on the basics for your home boutique (time, date, location), you need to get the word out, aka advertising!
there are several different routes you can go, all with varying prices.
using social media routes doesn’t necessarily work in my smaller area, so we advertise several ways. our primary way is by handing out fliers. i am blessed to have my sister as my talented graphic designer, so she designs all our fliers for us. on the flier, be sure to include: date, time, location (directions if necessary), a name for the boutique (even if it’s simply “spring boutique”), email address or phone numbers for questions, and examples of items that will be sold. i sometimes use photos from past boutiques on my fliers, and sometimes not – totally up to you, but i think that a visual idea of what to come can be enticing to prospective customers.
we get all of our materials printed with overnightprints.com, because of their low prices. but be sure to order early with them as their shipping charges can often be more expensive than their printing charges of you wait too late. also, if you sign up to be on their mailing list you can get some really great deals. just be sure to enter the coupon code correctly because even after several orders with them, they still aren’t very gracious with fixing mistakes.
we always print in post card size, either 4 x 6 or 5 x 7. the bigger size is fun, but obviously more expensive. we have printed just one side, 2 sides, with and without pictures, and all seem to work. it’s just a preference thing in the end.
each vendor is given a stack of fliers, usually 100 or so, and are responsible for handing them out. here’s some examples of places to get your word out: school, church, the gym, coffee shops, dance & gymnastics studios, mommy & me classes, craft stores, boutiques, antique shops, neighbors… anywhere you can post a flier to!
the queen bee market relies heavily on social media advertising. although they are definitely much bigger than your standard home boutique, they set a good example of doing things in a non-traditional way.
they have all of their vendors blog, tweet and post on facebook as much as possible to get the word out, along with having bigger bloggers talk about it as well. and the turnout is HUGE, so their theory definitely works!
i also blog about my events and ask my blogging vendors to do it as well, for our local readers.
we have also set up a stitch market blog, just to highlight our events. we use this to show pics from past events as well as to showcase our vendors for the next market. we need to put more effort into our blog, but its a start. and we always have a link to the blog on our fliers.
although i am still super lame with facebook, most people in the world aren’t. this is a huge spot to get the word out to your local friends. you can even create events to invite your facebook friends to. or if you’re facebook illiterate like me, you can ask one of your vendors to do it (thanks, jen!)
at each market i set out a covered notebook for our customers to add their email addresses to. not only do i send out upcoming market info to them, but also to EVERYONE local in my email contacts.
twitter is a great way to get the buzz going about your event! even though for my small town, twitter didn’t bring that many shoppers to our boutique (it did bring some!), it was a great way for the vendors to get excited about our event, which is valuable in itself.
ok, that’s it for my info on advertising for a home boutique. if you have any questions i’ll answer them in the comment form, rather than via email like usual, so that others can see my answers. and feel free to let me know some things you’d like me to address in my next parts (vendors, details, etc…).