Tag Archives: marketing

Make It Monday – Martha’s American Made Awards

If you look to the right of this post, below the photo of me looking very colorful, you’ll see a new button that looks like this:

Martha Stewart - American Made 2013 - Nominee Badge

Yesterday, a friend from our local Etsy team, Etsy Fort Worth, shared the link for our team members to nominate themselves for Martha Stewart’s Made In America Awards. The finalists from the six categories will receive an AM gift basket, and will be featured on the site and on Sirius radio. The first prize winner receives $10,000 to use toward their business, and a trip to NYC!

All you have to do to enter is click the green button on the right (or the picture below,) check out our profile, of course, and click the “nominate  yourself” button at the top right of the page. You’ll select your category, add any photos, videos, and links you’d like to share, then write a short bio about yourself/your business, and answer a couple of questions. You can save a copy of your profile before publishing it, and once you publish, you can edit your profile if you notice any mistakes or something you may have left out.

A sneak peek of our profile!

A sneak peek of our profile!

 

Voting starts August 26, so be sure to add our profile to your favorites list for later! Mom is looking for a house right now, and we’ve been planning out our studio space (who cares about the rest of the house, right?) So, if we win the grand prize, part of the money will go toward renovating one or two of the rooms to create a space where we can make and market together, and where we can invite customers to talk about custom orders, and host fittings for models. We are in serious need of a collective, designated space for our work, so that we can collaborate on projects, and store our supplies in one space. I’m especially excited to designate an area for taking photos, with different backdrops and a light box, without having to take it all down and reassemble it to save space in our current, small apartments.  

Of course, if we don’t win, we’re just excited about the opportunity for free exposure. By creating our profile, we’ll reach potential customers that haven’t heard of us before, who’ll visit our Etsy shops and other links, and get to know us better. If you or anyone you know has a handmade business, take the opportunity to put yourself out there! It could be craft, design, food, gardening, or style related. Nominate yourself (or make them nominate themselves,) because you never know who’ll fall in love with your product.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

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FB, Friends, and Fans

Today, I fiddled with Gimp (free photo editing software) to create a new image for our Facebook business page:

Our FB Business Page

Whaddya think? Now I think I need to work on our blog header!

Here’s a great link on how to maximize your FB business experience:

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-marketing-ultimate-guide

Facebook is yet another great business networking tool. It’s free, and you’ve probably already got friends to “fan” your business page (and if not, you’ll have some now!)  It’s also yet another way to keep tabs on the other seller friends you’ve made along the way.

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Chelsea

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Love on Wheels (Freebie!)

I love it when vistaprint.com has freebies! Check out their site, and click on the “free” or “sale” link for some great deals.

Now we can advertise while cruisin’ down the road. (And it coordinates with our business cards!)

 

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Chelsea

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10 Ways To Improve Your Online Business

You see the question over and over again: “How can I improve business/increase sales/increase traffic on my site?”

If you’re new to selling online, you know that it can seem overwhelming. It can also seem discouraging when people aren’t buying your stuff. After answering the question above a few times now, I’ve decided to make a go-to list. So, here are the things we’ve learned so far that we hope will help our business, and yours too!

1. Be confident in what you sell. Focus on this first before you focus on “being successful.” If you can convince people that they like and need your product, they’ll buy it.

2. Know your target audience. If you could advertise your product in any magazine, what would it be? Got one? Now, who reads that magazine? Is it a teen mag, a decorator’s magazine, Women’s Daily? Think about who you want to buy your product, then market to that group of people.

3. Ask questions. It sounds simple enough, but many people wait to ask questions or to get feedback on their store. Then, several months in, they ask people why they haven’t been getting any sales, and BINGO! They wonder why they didn’t ask sooner.

4. Get a mentor. Find someone who can help guide you through the process of starting your business. Someone who knows the ropes, and who will be there to support you. Someone who will be honest with you, and who will tell other people about you.

5. Take great pictures. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule. There are some sellers out there to do really well without professional looking photos. However, your photos serve as the first impression of your product, and often the first picture a buyer sees is a thumbnail image of it. So, you want to make it stand out. That may mean using a background that doesn’t distract from the item, changing the lighting you use (natural light works wonders), and using closeup shots for your thumbnail images. You don’t have to have a fancy camera, either. Most cameras, with a little adjustment, are cabable of taking excellent photos. Start by reading your manual start to finish (a yawn, yes, but worth it!)

6.  Market yourself inside the box. If you’re selling on a “host” site, like etsy, use all of the tools that site gives you to advertise yourself and your work. For example, use forums to advertise sales, new items, and to get to know other sellers. Use widgets to help keep track of sales, views, etc. Use all of your tags, and utilize freebies like banners and “sale” signs to get yourself started. Use the site’s blog for tricks and tips of the trade.

7. Market outside the box. Many sellers forget this step, then notice that their shop isn’t getting much traffic. Here are ways to advertise outside of your host site:

– Start a blog.

– Start a Facebook business page (and invite everyone you know.)

-Use twitter to tweet new items; create a hash tag by putting the “#” symbol before the link or key words: “#etsy”

-Build a website to sell your items.

-Get involved with local arts and crafts fairs.

-Put a link to your shop in every bio you’ve written on the internet.

-Use widgets, such as etsy minis, to advertise on blogs and other sites.

-Use a site like Vistaprint.com to find inexpensive or free ways to advertise: business cards, signs, t shirts …

If what you sell is wearable, wear it! (Or have you kids, grandkids, dog wear it …) When people ask, and they will ask, tell them what you do and hand them a business card.

8. Creative tithing. Many people do this without realizing it. If you take time out of your day to give creative or business advice, or to buy something from another artisan, if you help someone set up or tear down at a fair, or donate your skills, you’ve committed creative tithing. It’s a wonderful way to give back and to keep yourself grounded.

9. Know your price point. Research other sellers with similar items – what do they charge? Is your product low, middle, or high end? Remember to factor in cost of materials, tools, and the time and effort you put into it.

10. Don’t give up.  Building a business is hard work, but don’t give up if that work doesn’t pay off right away. Sometimes you have to wait a while, years even, for a business to really take off. So, be patient, and always strive for something – a new product, a better product, a new technique, etc. Don’t forget to give yourself a break, too!

Bonus: Listen to yourself. Sometimes, good advice isn’t necessarily the right advice. It’s always good to take constructive criticism into account, but don’t forget to go with your gut.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

 

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