Building a brand and a community hasn’t been easy, however we’ve learnt a thing or two whilst building The Village Markets for the past 12 years, including a community spanning over 125k+.
Here, our very own TVM founders Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller share some key takeaways.
Community is everything
For our business, it’s not just about running a market twice per month. We have always been passionate about being professional, boutique and high quality event, encouraging positivity, collaboration - and good vibes only. We believe this is what sets us apart from any other market event.
This in turn has promoted inclusiveness, friendships, a sense of belonging, trust and positive word of mouth.
“Our stallholders have become great friends, they swap products, collaborate on shoots, look forward to spending market days together and some have even been each others wedding parties after forming such close bonds at TVM!” Marissa, TVM Co-founder.
‘We’ve been at TVM since the beginning, day one of our journey. All of the stalls are such good quality and so good at what they do. It’s like we’re all a family and we’re just moving along together’, words by Samara of Stevie Jean jewellery in the earlier days of TVM.
The Village Markets fosters creative collaboration and supports stall holders working together, rather than competing. As a business, our success is reflected in that of our community and ‘When our community succeeds, we succeed’.
Building a Database
At our very first market 12 years ago, we stood under a tree with a clipboard in hand asking people to sign up for our mailing list. At the time, we were both still working full-time as marketing executives for large corporate companies, so we knew the importance of email marketing for business.
Despite the social media trends that have come and gone over the years, building our database has always been a key marketing priority for us and still to this day, email marketing is our #1 focus when talking to and building our community, whether it be to stallholders or customers.
Email lists are important, as they are the only actual customer list you will own.
Social media accounts can disappear or algorithms can change overnight, so it’s important to grow your list, whilst focusing on other areas of communication.
For more on the importance of email marketing, here’s an interesting listen.
Jump onto new trends – if it fits your brand!
Try new social channels and find unique ways to make them work for your business. Stick with one to three channels and use a management platform to schedule your posts and content for ease of use. We love Later for Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Use reviews to your advantage
Encourage customers to leave reviews and use these kind words as testimonials and content for your socials, encourage new and repeat business.
We’d love to know, did you find this short sharp recap about how we built our TVM community helpful? Would you like to see more posts like this one and if so, let us know in the comments below!