#216 Why Selling at Shows Might be Killing Your Business

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We both know that selling at shows can be back-breaking work, m’dear. And it doesn’t get easier as you get older… trust me.

Plus, what would happen to your biz if you had to take a break and couldn’t attend shows? Would it still function and make money while you were away? 

When I quit my day job to focus on building a business full-time, it was a real struggle. It was impossible for me to walk away because I did not set myself up for success.

I realized that I had just created a new job for myself, not a business.

Here’s the difference: 

  • A job requires you to be constantly working to generate revenue

  • A business generates revenue on an ongoing basis, even when you’re not actively working.

If you’re relying on live shows for your primary source of income, I hate to be the one to tell you but… you have a job.

Don’t get me wrong, shows aren’t all bad when you leverage them right. But I don’t want you to be dependent on one stream of revenue. 

So, if you’re feeling stuck in the trunk show grind and sacrificing too many weekends, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy

And I have just the thing to help you – let’s make a live show pros and cons list!

Click here to download the show notes

Pro: Immediate Sales

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from selling your jewelry in person. 

You get to see the person’s face light up when they try your jewelry on for the first time, and you can practice selling to people directly.

The surge of sales that can come from a live show is seriously rewarding, and can really pay off sometimes. But are you taking into account the ROI?

Con: Huge Investment

The cost of renting a booth, setting it up, traveling to the show, making inventory, hiring help… it all adds up. 

Don’t discount the serious time investment on your part. Not only do you have to spend a weekend traveling and working your booth, but it also takes weeks of hard work to prep for the show.

And I’ll tell you from personal experience, the manual labor only gets more taxing as you get older.

Though it may feel like you’re making bank at shows, it’s critical to evaluate the return on investment. Is this the best way to be spending your time? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Pro: Face-to-Face Action

Attending live shows gives you a unique opportunity to form relationships with your customers and build your email list.

Even if you don’t sell right away, exchanging contact info can lead to a sale in the future.

There’s also the benefit of watching how people interact with your jewelry. By observing which pieces they gravitate toward, you get instant feedback on your designs.

When the foot traffic is flowing, you get the chance to chat with people you may not get to if you just sold online.

Con: Less Control

I’ve heard the horror stories. 

You spend two weeks preparing for a show and buy plane tickets months in advance. You pack up your stuff, lug all your inventory to and from your booth, only to have it rain sideways the whole time.

At live shows, you’re at the mercy of so many factors outside of your control. What the weather will be like, how many people attend the show, the placement of your booth and who happens to walk by…

Online, you can target your dream clients and drive traffic to your site, rain or shine. You don’t have to keep track of many variables outside your control. Ultimately, it’s the safer gamble.

“Okay Tracy, so what? Do I just give up on live events altogether?”

No, of course not! Shows can be incredible, but only if you know how to be selective and leverage them to your advantage. 

Listen to the full episode to find out how 😉
And hey, in case you missed it last week, download the free In-Demand Designer’s Guide to Scale Your Sales.

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Beyond live events, you should be thinking about how to leverage every area of your business to set yourself up for success and be the best creative visionary you can be.

Not sure where to start? Join our Strategic Online Sales Accelerator and let us work with you from the ground up so you can be prepared to grow and scale your business.

Click here to find out if the program’s right for you!


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