We are NEARLY ready to release the Vendor Application for Season Seven. In fact, it will drop this week!
So, it’s time to think about how you’re going to fill it out. It’s not necessary to be the first to fill it out, as we’re judging, as always, on content and quality over being first in line. You want to be BEST in line.
However, it is a good idea to get it off your plate before our first round of reviews and acceptances on February 1st!
Over the next week, I’ll be sharing tips on how to fill out the best application that will lead you to the the best result– being accepted to participate in Season Seven of Cleveland Flea and thus securing a really big part of your small business income, growth, testing, community-building and customer-finding of 2019.
Today, let’s talk photos.
We’ll be asking you to share 5 photos that represent your business this year.
How we use your 5 photos:
We’re like any other customer of yours– we look at it to begin to shape a story of who you are
We review your words + your photos to see if they make sense together. If you tell us you’re super into small batch, handmade yet your photos reveal something different, we’ll definitely be going with the photos
If your photos are blurry, we’ll come to a few conclusions:
maybe you’re not (yet) great at taking photos
maybe you don’t believe good photos are necessary to submit a quality application
maybe you rushed the entire thing and completed it at midnight on the day before applications close
nothing except that it’s difficult to get a clear view of a business with blurry photos
We’ll compare you to other businesses in your category. We’re looking for the best of the best and the most motivated business owners (or aspiring to be business owners) to want to change, grow, launch and deliver a killer experience to Cleveland this year.
We’ll assess quality of product
We’ll begin to assess which of our Dream Customers you’re likely for:
Small Batch Scouts
We’ll assess your ability to show up and produce good images
We often require images from vendors to use in marketing + social and those who have high quality images and are able to get to them to us in the right timeframe will have the ability to be featured
We’ll asses how far along you are in your business journey
We do take into account if you’re super new at this
What will be a red flag is if you’ve been in business for quite a while yet have no photos or have very low quality photos. We will then want to understand if you know that photos are important but just haven’t been able to prioritize them or if you’ve been avoiding them and will continue to do so. We’re always here to help those who are hoping to get better.
We’ll start to understand your brand
Photos reveal who you are to the world
We’ll begin our curation process. We’re curators of experience and of products for Clevelanders. We know what they want to spend money on. And we’ll only be picking businesses that make our market better, and businesses that we know will have the best chance at selling a lot. More goes into selling than just products, we know that, but High Quality Products is where we start. It’s our baseline. We want you to provide value to our customers, not merely take their money.
We’ll start to understand if you have uniqueness / originality. We curate a market full of vendors who see the world in their own, diverse ways. We don’t want a market full of everything that’s the same because that doesn’t work for anyone.
Your 5 Photos Should Show:
The Quality of your products (best if this is a close up of one item or just a few)
High Quality Products on display together (so we can assess what type of items you carry more large scale)
Booth Setup (so we can predict what our customers will experience AND if you seem well-prepared for an outdoor event)
Headshot (so we can get to know you)
Behind the scenes, ingredients, or other behind-the-brand images that might tell us about your method, values and why you’re different from another similar style of business.
Why is this an important step for you if you’re just starting out?
Well, submitting an application is a lot like building a website. Learning those skills is super important if you’re going to make money doing what you love. We operate at our core like a business incubator–which means we’re always pushing, teaching and helping you evolve to the best version of yourself for the benefit of YOU and SHOPPERS.
This is a crucial step that might feel uncomfortable for some of you. Don’t let your brain trick you into feeling that way. We love everyone who applies for Cleveland Flea. And mostly collecting photos this way makes our lives easier and makes it so we can help you where you need it and get to know you ahead of time.
We’re setting up a photography Q&A / coaching session that will help you take photos for all your applications of 2019, including this one.
Look for that link over the weekend.