One of the side-effects of running such a busy, bustling market is that we’re unable to answer everyone’s messages via email or Instagram. So we’ve put together this extensive (!) list of frequently asked questions to tell you everything you need to know about MakersMarketFromHome:
When is the next market?
Our next virtual market is on Sunday 13th September 2020 and we hope you can come along to browse all the stalls and watch our live chats with makers!
Applications for taking part in the September market has now closed but we are planning another market for October. We share details of future market dates on our Instagram account @makersmarketfromhome and via our email newsletter so please sign up for email updates to be kept informed.
What is MakersMarketFromHome?
We set up our usual market stalls on the morning of market day – but in our homes! You can set up a stall in your living room, home office, studio, dining room or even your bathroom – like Andy did. It doesn’t matter where you set it up as long are you’re at home and are observing the current social distancing guidelines. We host live chats with makers throughout the day and share stalls on our story.
How can I join in?
There is an application process for each market. We send out the link to the application form via our email newsletter so please sign up for email updates to be kept informed.
I’ve applied for the market, am I in?
There are 75 ‘pitches’ available for each market day and we usually receive 200+ applications. If your application is successful you will receive an email with further information and an invoice. Once you have paid for your pitch and submitted the relevant photos and information, you are part of the market – congratulations!
What do I do next?
Once you have been selected for the market you will receive an email that outlines what we need from you before the market, which includes specific photos and information. Then we will schedule your posts, add your information to our website and allocate a live chat time slot (if you have asked for one). We’d like to encourage you to post photos on Instagram on the run up to market day to let your audience know that you’re going to be selling at the market.
Can I use the MMFH logo?
If you have been selected to take part in the market we will email a password to you so that you can access all the logos and over-lay graphics via our downloads page. There you will also find an information pack to help you plan your instagram posts for the market.
How many posts and products can I share on market day?
There is really no limit to the amount of content you can share yourself on market day! You can post photos and videos of your stall on your own IG profile, you could do an IGTV broadcast to showcase your products, you could take a selfie with your makes, you could share deals, discounts and special offers on your story, you could do your own LIVE chat, you could demonstrate a technique, and you could even photograph your pet manning your stall! Just remember: quality over quantity!
Please include the hashtag #MakersMarketFromHome in every photo or video.
Do I have to set up a market stall?
Yes! This is at the centre of the MakersMarketFromHome concept. When shoppers browse our story, we want it to feel like they are walking from stall to stall at a real market.
It’s a good idea to make your stall photo the first one you post when the market opens and you are welcome to be in the photo as a stall holder. Photos featuring the maker with their stall tend to be the ones with the most engagement! Then feel free to share any other product photos, close-ups, videos of your stall etc throughout the day.
What should my market stall look like?
We recommend setting up a market stall at home in the same way that you would if you were at a ‘real life’ market. You could set up on a table in your dining room, kitchen, conservatory or in the garden. As long as you’re at home, it doesn’t really matter where! If you don’t have a table, you can set up your stall on your bed, on a shelving unit, or even on the stairs like Andy G did – just be safe at all times!
Artists are welcome to display multiple artworks on a gallery wall and potters can position their creations on a mantelpiece – the important thing to remember is that we have to see multiple products set up on your stall. You are welcome to be in the photo alongside your stall, as this makes the market feel even more personal, which is wonderful!
Why hasn’t my market stall been shared on the MMFH story?
We will only share a photo of your market stall on our story if your application for the market was successful and you’ve paid for your pitch. You need to post a photo of your whole stall (with you manning it!) before 10am so that we can share your photo on our story during the market day at some point.
You don’t need to wait for us to share your stall photo before you start selling – feel free to go ahead with sharing more posts, products and videos using the hashtag. It will visible to shoppers on the #MakersMarketFromHome hashtag search straight away!
I’ve shared a photo of my stall on my IG story, why hasn’t it been shared?
We get 1000s of tags in stories during market day so we don’t share ANY stories – there would just be too many to go through to find your photo. You need to post a photo of your stall (with you behind it, preferably!) to your Instagram profile ‘grid’ before the market opens so that we can share this image on our story and tag you.
Of course, you are welcome to share as many photos and videos on your own story as you like throughout the day. In fact, this is a great place to showcase products and share your prices and discounts. If you use the hashtag #MakersMarketFromHome, the Instagram algorithm will add your story to the collective story on #MakersMarketFromHome hashtag search where shoppers are browsing.
I haven’t applied, can I still take part?
We allocate the pitches in advance so, if you haven’t applied for the market, your stall won’t be included on market day. You are welcome to apply for the next market when the date is announced – please sign up for email updates to be kept informed of the next market and application procedure.
I can’t be at my stall all day, can I still join in?
Of course! That’s the joy of a virtual market – you don’t have to sit beside your stall all day! As long as you’ve posted a photo of your stall with the hashtag, you’ll be part of the market. You can simply reply to comments and messages from customers whenever you get the chance – so it’s no problem if you need to do something else during the market, like cook dinner or walk the dog. Of course, the more you put into the market, the more you’ll get out of it, so it’s important to do multiple posts and stories during the day to get shoppers interested in your products.
How do shoppers buy from me?
Shoppers can discover your market stall through any of the posts on our grid, through the live IGTV chats, or through our story on market day. Shoppers will click through to your Instagram profile if they see something they like. Be sure to let them know how to buy from you when they reach your profile – whether that’s through a link to your own website in your bio, an Etsy shop or simply by messaging you.
Is there a fee to take part in the market?
We previously relied on your very kind donations however, the ongoing costs of keeping the market running mean we are now requesting a pitch fee during the application process. Your pitch fee is being used to grow the market for the benefit of us all and we hope to continue running the market for the foreseeable future in this way. So far we’ve been able purchase a domain and build a website, run email newsletters for both shoppers and makers, host giveaways, create an IGTV channel that highlights makers and pay for advertising to promote the market and attract even more shoppers.
Why can’t I see my own post on the #MakersMarketFromHome hashtag page?
There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to find your post on the hashtag page even though you’ve included the #MakersMarketFromHome hashtag. Firstly, the ‘magic’ of the Instagram algorithm mean it chooses a handful of ‘top posts’ to show at the top of the hashtag page but don’t worry all other hashtagged posts are just below this section. Click on ‘recent’ to view more photos.
Secondly, you might not be able to find your post because of the sheer volume of people posting with the hashtag – within any given minute there could be multiple posts being published at once, especially at the very start of the market. As long as you used the hashtag in your post or story, it will show up on the hashtag search somewhere and other people will see it.
Can I be part of a live chat?
When you apply for the market you can specify if you would like to be involved in a live chat. This will either be on market day or during the two weeks before the market as a midday maker or studio tour. We will allocate a live chat session to you in advance. We try to mix up the live chats on market day as much as possible to show our shoppers a wide range of makers and products.
I am new to Instagram, can I get some help?
We would love to be able to help everyone with their Instagram accounts but unfortunately there are so many makers involved in the market that we can’t help on an individual basis.
If you have applied for the market and your application has been successful, you will receive an information pack in advance. This will give you some ideas for planning out your Instagram content before and during the market.
Also, our makers are a very friendly bunch so you can always ask a fellow maker if you’re not sure how to do something on Instagram – we’re sure they would be more than happy to help you! If you would like additional social media training Andy and Georgia from Bloom Content Creation run regular ‘Instagram for Business’ online courses.
When does the market open?
10am! Andy will do a countdown during the live broadcast to let everyone know the market is open at 10am. That’s when we will start sharing photos of the market stalls of registered makers on our story – so you need to have posted a photo of your market stall by 10am. If we come to your profile at 10:01am and the photo of your whole stall isn’t on your Instagram grid, we will move on to the next maker and might not get a chance to come back to your profile.
When does the market close?
Officially, at 5pm on market day but in reality it never really closes! Your posts on the MakersMarketFromHome page will be there forever so shoppers can browse the market whenever they like. It’s usual for makers to receive messages and make sales throughout the weeks following the market. Our live chats will be posted to our IGTV channel – another opportunity for shoppers to discover more stalls.
I haven’t sold anything, help!
That’s okay and please don’t worry if you haven’t made a sale on market day. The whole point of the market is to showcase our creations and get our products ‘out there’ so our followers can see them and know that we are still active as a business. And you can expect shoppers to visit you before, during and after the market as our posts will remain on the MMFH Instagram profile. We believe that sharing creativity and spreading happiness is the key to long-term and successful relationships with customers. At the very least, we hope you will make contact with fellow makers, grow your audience and receive some likes on your posts.
I haven’t had a reply to my message/email…
One of the side effects of running such a big online market is that we can’t keep up with all the messages we receive. It’s lovely to hear from so many makers and we don’t want to be rude, so we try our best to reply when/if we can. But this is precisely why we have put together this extensive (!) list of frequently asked questions for you and hopefully you’ve been able to find the information you needed. If you’ve read through all this info (we know it’s a lot!) and you still have something important to ask, please do get in touch. Sorry in advance if we don’t manage to reply! Also, the other makers involved in the market are a very helpful bunch so you can always reach out to a fellow maker or one of the MMFH Ambassadors if you have a question.
I would like to complain about something…
MakersMarketFromHome is a happy community full of positivity and lovely makers who are working hard on their businesses. So we don’t want any negative comments to put a downer on the efforts of everyone involved – everybody is doing the best they can. If you are unhappy with an element of the market, we very kindly and politely ask you to keep this to yourself 😉 We are learning from each market and refining the process all the time – it’s difficult to get everything right first time and we are all doing our very best.
The market was created in response to everyone’s ‘real life’ retail environments closing during lockdown so that we could all try to make the best of the situation and hopefully continue to trade online during the pandemic. We hope that the market has helped makers to do this and are always grateful for the positive comments and support we receive from our happy community of makers!
I have a problem with a maker/purchase…
We cannot be held responsible for any interactions or transactions with others. MakersMarketFromHome is simply a ‘hub’ where people can discover makers and learn more about their products. ANYONE in the world can use the hashtag #MakersMarketFromHome on their Instagram post so we can’t possibly vet every single one of the 10,000+ photos that include the hashtag. Likewise, ANYONE can register as a maker and be shared on our story so please don’t take a share/tag from us as an endorsement.
Please exercise common sense and caution when shopping on Instagram, just as you would anywhere else online.
Who runs the market?
We like to think it’s a group effort! It’s down to ALL the makers sharing posts that ensures #MakersMarketFromHome now has its own hashtag search page, which can be viewed by customers at any time throughout the month. Even so, there are just a handful of us volunteering behind the scenes – Andy G and Mrs G, MMFH Ambassadors Lydia and Alice, and social support from Georgia.
How did the market start?
We set up this virtual market on the first day of lockdown and it now has grown into something much bigger than just a few of setting up stalls in our living rooms. In a time of despair we wanted to create a little ray of hope. We got in touch with our local maker friends and asked if anyone wanted to join in. Word quickly got around and after 4 days we cobbled-together the very first MakersMarketFromHome with the help of Lovely Lydia.
We were amazed that 100+ makers joined in on the first market day and we had thousands of views. We talked to makers from around the world during our live chats and, when one maker told us that they has completely sold out by lunchtime, we knew it was a worthwhile venture! It’s thanks to the support of the creative community and our lovely shoppers and browsers that the market has gone from strength to strength.
When is the next market?
We always announce market dates through our email newsletter so, if you haven’t already, please sign up for email updates to be kept in the loop.
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