If you’ve got the lampshade making bug and have mastered your craft, it might be time to start thinking how you can make money from your favourite hobby and also share your passion for making lampshades.
The most obvious option is to make and sell lampshades. Even if you don’t follow this route, teaching others how to make lampshades is a super satisfying way to pass on your knowledge and skills and spend time in the company of other keen crafters.
Essentials of setting up a workshop
Although, we’re going to talk about the best ways of promoting your workshop, here’s some essentials of setting up a workshop to consider:
Think about the location – is it easy to get too? Does it have good parking and transport links. Also consider disabled access.
Think about the space – is the space suitable? For lampshade making you’ll need a 1 metre table for every student and good lighting. Anywhere from the upstairs of your local pub to a school hall is a possibly, but these two things are key.
Think about the tools you need – you’ll need a pair of fabric scissors or craft knife and cutting mat per person along with an extra pair of scissors per person for cutting tape
Think about the materials – this one’s a little easier as Dannell’s offer a lampshade making workshop pack that includes everything you need to make up 30 shades including brilliant step by step instruction sheet, lampshade making PVC, tape, finishing tools and lampshade rings. Available in 20cm (50 shade pack) , 30 cm, 40cm (both 30 shade pack), and now the NEW double-sided PVC lampshade packs in 20cm (50 shade pack) and 30cm (30 shade pack), you’ll have plenty to run a number of workshops.
Think about the preparation – if you’re a first time teacher or not used to speaking publicly or in front of a group, gather a few willing friends together and run a mini workshop at home. Have a timed plan and try to stick to it, but make notes and ask for feedback to build on your plans.
Setting out your stall
You have your plan, your Needcraft workshop pack and have tested out your workshop on friends (who obviously loved it!) but where do you start with promotion? And when?
For the ‘when’, the earlier the better. Busy lives mean that diaries get booked up well in advance. To attract potential customers there’s no limit on how early you can advertise. Three and even six months is a totally acceptable time frame to work with.
Creating a mini brand
Not essential but if you want to make your workshop look professional and stand out, think about using a simple tool like Canva, which is free and easy to use and can help you create attractive graphics. You can choose from a range of sizes for each social media platform and even design flyers and posters, with easy to use templates.
Alternatively, take a couple of clear bright photos of your best lampshades on your phone or camera and use these to advertise your workshop. Make sure that what you take a photo of is the type and size of shade you’ll be making, as you don’t want to mislead people!
For ticketing it’s best to go digital as people are much more likely to book online than by calling a number on a flyer and there are plenty of options to use. Eventbrite is the largest of these and while it’s free to use, if you’re charging for tickets its fees are 3.5% of the ticket price + £0.49 per paid ticket price. Biletto however charges a monthly fee of £9 +VAT for the occasional user. Others to look at are Eventzilla and The Little Box Office
Set up a Facebook event and share this with all your friends. There’s also nothing wrong with asking friends to share this for you in the message, as they might know someone who’s interested from their own friendship groups. For Instagram and twitter start to share images of your beautiful handmade lampshades and share your ticketing web address on the bio (on Instagram) or in the post of Twitter.
Make sure you keep updating with regular posts, they don’t all have to be about advertising your workshop, but the more people see you posting, the more likely they are to be interested. Get creative and think of ways you can weave in mentioning any forthcoming workshop dates. Also think about a countdown nearer the time which allows you to mention and promote your workshop for a whole week or two!
Good old print!
Even in the digital age there is still customers to be found from a flyer on a café noticeboard or a poster in your local community centre. If your budget allows consider getting flyers printed and hand them out at the school gates or your local station.
If you sell at local craft fairs then make sure you have the workshop details clear and visible on your stand. Running a workshop is a great talking point as more often than not craft fair goers are makers too!
Both your workplace and those of your closest friends is a great place to pop up posters and leave flyer in the kitchen as you’ll reach more potential customer, with a wider range of interests – crafting hopefully being one of them.
After the event promotion
And to get ahead with promoting your next workshop, be sure to take lots of photos of your students in action (remember to ask permission first) and of the shades that they make. People smiling and having a good time will always attract the eye, so capture what’s great about your workshop and use on social media or to create your next event graphic.
What they say
Post up people shade on your social platforms and tag in your students, which will make them really proud of what they’ve made and hopefully gain a positive comment or two about the workshop. Also don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – even by handing out a simple form.
All of these above will hopefully help you grow your lampshade making workshop audience and spread the word about the wonderful world of lampshade making!