Forums are really useful tools to crafters and small businesses. So why join a craft forum?
Great confidence booster - members are helpful and honest but in a constructive way. If you're brave enough to ask for opinions on your hand-crafted creations, you'll be rewarded with some lovely, heart warming feedback.Networking with other crafters - even though you’re in cyberspace, you'll be surprised how many connections you can make that are local to you. If you're new to the crafting world, this is great way to feel part of a community.
Inspiration - just as you ask for feedback from others, they'll do the same. It's not the done thing to steal others people’s creative ideas but they can act as a starting point for developing your own unique product.
Find out about events near you - many people in the crafting world who are in business will often place posts about forthcoming events, craft fairs, farmers markets, arts festivals and much more. These posts will often be asking for applications for stall holders as well as advertising the event itself. Probably one of the best ways of finding out about events like these!
Sharing knowledge - whilst crafters (rightly) don't like you stealing their product designs, most are more than happy to share techniques in the form of tutorials and guides. It's also a great place to ask others for those rare craft materials that are rarer than hen's teeth!
Business Opportunities - as well as finding out about local events you can sell your wares at, by listening to other crafters (note these are also potential customers), you're hearing about what's missing out there. Let's face, some of us enjoy a bit of a moan from time to time and there's nothing worse than when your usual supplier discontinues one of your favourite craft materials...You could fill that gap!
These are just a few reasons - if you're already into forums, you could think of hundreds more.
www.craft.co.uk - Fairly recently established, at the moment focuses mainly on scrapbooking, jewellery and beads. Has a great feature that shows upcoming events for the next 10 days at the top of the page.
www.crafteroo.co.uk - Lesser known and used but it has a good range of craft forums including some of the more niche ones as well as great section on promoting your crafts.
Which ones are your favourites? Get in touch and we'll make sure they get a mention.