Last time I shared with you just how big the spa and leisure industry has become.
I also promised to share some of my top ideas for marketing your range on a shoestring budget.

Local markets and craft fares

Local markets and fares are one of the best vehicles to sell your products very cost-effectively. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind when selling at local markets:

  • Be different – unique product names, unique labeling, unique packaging, and unique formulations will hook the interest of passers-by. Unique packages are harder to come by in smaller quantities, but the other items are totally under your control. Labels can be printed up in small runs very cost-effectively as well.
  • Local flavor is the key – I recommend emphasizing your local roots. Many people would much rather buy a unique gift from their local area than a mass-produced product shipped from interstate or overseas.
  • Effective presentation – make sure your stall or booth is clean and well organized. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but first impressions do count. Displaying some unpackaged product in stainless steel bowls can be a useful presentation technique to get people coming over to your stall and smelling and sampling your creations.
  • Effective packaging – with bath and body products, it’s a fact that packaging sells. 50c more spent on packaging may mean you can sell the end product for an extra $5. It can be hard to find truly unique containers in the smaller runs that you’re likely to start off with, but you can add a lot of value and interest with the addition of gift baskets, ribbons, bows, and printed or embossed labels.
  • Free samples – offering small sample-sizes or “single-use” sachets can be a great way to build interest in your range if you plan to exhibit at the same market regularly. You can also throw these in as “bonuses” with products purchased to get your customers trying out more of what you offer.
  • Build an email list – this is my favorite promotional strategy that can produce exponential returns. Even if you don’t make a purchase (but especially if you do), by collecting the name and email address of interested people, you can keep in touch easily and cheaply. A good incentive to encourage people to give their details is to offer to send them a coupon for a free product. The cost of the product can be a couple of dollars to you but lead to other purchases at full price, not to mention all the repeat orders. The email service I recommend that can do all this for you is called Aweber. Starting from just $19 per month, it will become one of your most cost-effective marketing tools.

There are even some great recipes out there online that you can try out. Here is one that will help you make a salt scrub (If you had to pay full price for a good jar of salt scrub, you’d be spending at least $20).

Just combine about a half cup of sweet almond oil, a handful of sea salt, and then add your favorite essential oils. You’ll be ready to have your spa experience right at home.

There are many great recipes for various spa products online including shampoos, facial products, footbaths, and treatments for your hands.

One you have come up with the products you want to sell, then you need to market these products. Using the word “spa” is actually quite powerful in itself. It adds prestige to even products that are quite common. When you see products with the word “spa” in them, many people will be willing to pay a little more, just based on the perceived value alone.

When you are packaging up your spa products, it is important that it looks great, but it should also be low cost as well. Simple plastic wrapping is okay and you can dress it up with some great labels or tags that are easily customizable for you.

Another easy marketing option is to have some friends over for a “spa at home” party and let everyone try some of your natural ingredient spa products.  You will need to set up the room where you will be having the party so that it feels like they have entered into a spa.

Set up some signs that tell about ways to fight dry skin, how lavender heals, benefits of detoxifying the skin and so on. Then turn on some really mellow music and possible have a small fountain running or even a water noise maker.

Now that the stage is set, you can have a great spa party that everyone is going to enjoy. You can offer pedicures and manicures, or even a massage or a facial to those who attend. This will help you introduce your line of products and you’ll also get some great feedback as well.

Remember, most of the products in The Handcrafter’s Companion can be sold with at least a 500% markup (so if it costs you $2 to make, you can sell it for $10).

Once you establish a few simple marketing systems you’ll be amazed at how your sales grow.