It's really simple. When you buy directly from an artisan or from a farmer, there is a sense of connection that matters. If the artisan and farmer have pride in their work, you take part in a transaction that validates the quality of the goods you have purchased and you have obtained something you are proud to take home.
You are not just buying a cup, a jug, or a head of lettuce. You are buying the careful effort that went into producing what you just bought. Afterward, you will find yourself telling others about your purchase and sharing your joy at finding something that was just right for you.
You have made a connection between yourself and another human being with a meaningful transaction.
You get something you need and the other person gets income and is encouraged to produce more things for you to appreciate and buy.
The downside of buying locally, when it occurs, is that you may buy something from someone who has no pride in their work or in the service they provide. You can find this in fast food franchises, but you can also find this in small town merchants and businesspeople who have long since stopped viewing customers as new friends.
When you only get inferior goods or services locally, it is quite easy to turn to the Internet and get excellent products at highly competitive prices. The downside to Internet shopping is that you don't always get the personal touch and great service you want.
On the other hand, there are lots of great small merchants who have coupled their jelly-making, or craft work to the Internet and they do very well when they bring the same downhome touch to their online business as they do to their local customers.
So, what is the bottom line here? If you are an artisan or a small business owner and view every transaction as a chance to touch someones life in a meaningful manner, you will have a growing number of people who want to tell others about the extraordinary effect you have had on their lives.
I don't care what you are selling, when you can create rewarding transactions in a natural and relaxed way, you will never lack for business. The easiest way to ensure you stay on track is to provide great products or services that people need and want.
Figuring out how to do that is what marketing is all about. I will probably write about that in another post.
Stay tuned. :)