Pages

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

How to promote handmade products

I was searching for that little extra something to make our stylish glass art stand out in the crowd, I came across this article over at 5thjoy, I have already tried a lot of these but after failure you become negative; I have realised that the real gift is perseverance and making yourself stand out.

Get your personality into your product!


HOW TO ACTIVELY PROMOTE YOUR ONLINE HANDMADE PRODUCTS BUSINESS

1. Email Like a Human Being. Send only personal emails. Use the recipient’s name and indicate that you actually read their blog or visit their shop or know what value they offer the world. Emailing 10 well-chosen contacts personally is far more effective than spamming 100. It’s all about exclusivity. If the email isn’t personal, the recipient knows you’re offering everyone else the same content.

2. Be Relevant. Relevance is the most important and effective element of the personal email - and the personal relationship building newsletter email too. If you don’t have a good reason to reach out about which the recipient will care (an announcement, an expertise that could benefit them), wait until you do. You’d only waste your time and theirs.

3. Keep Attachments Simple. Don’t email PDFs or PPT files, which can be hard to open. If you are sending an inquiry about a business partnership (to a shop for example who might be interested in carrying your product line), include 3-4 images of your work in case they don’t have time to link out.

4. Ask Before Adding to Mailing Lists. Never add contacts to a recurring mass email without asking permission.

5. Giveaway Grace-fully. Don't give stuff away all the time. It cheapens your products and lowers perceived value. You also attract a lot of freebie seekers - not the traffic you want! That said, one or two well-chosen, valuable giveaways a year can help your blog, IF you position your site to make the most of them.

6. Embrace Google Apps. When you grow to the point that you can’t respond to every email, use Google Canned Responses. Placeholders remind you where to personalize, while the shell saves you from recreating the wheel.

7. Be persistent. If one idea is rejected, keep submitting new ones. When Emily has rejected a few ideas but loves your latest ine, she’s even happier to give you a shot.

TWITTER + FACEBOOK

8. Rule of Third’s. This is one I'm taking to heart. I really need to start doing more of this, and this is great advice. Follow this rule: on Twitter, make sure your tweets are 1/3 personal, 1/3 business, and 1/3 resource sharing.

9. There’s No Royal We in Tweet. Remember that Twitter and Facebook are SOCIAL venues. Don’t robo-tweet or treat your Twitter feed like a press release. Be informal and personal. People will respond to knowing there’s a human being behind your brand. It’s okay to be a one-woman show.

10. Share the Wealth. Resource sharing builds goodwill and is a great place to pass on finds and tips that don’t merit a whole blog post. Tweet useful links (make sure they don’t drive to your own site) and watch your followers grow.

11. Never Complain. Complaining comes off as ungrateful. Always. So just don’t.

12. 3 Tweets a Day. Minimum.

13. Avoid The Tit-for-Tat Trap. Respond to everyone who engages in a real conversation with you. We’re not beholden to thank everyone for every single Follow Friday mention or RT. But responding to every last person who takes the time to say something specific and thoughtful is a requirement.

14. Know Your Venue. Play to each social network’s strength. Facebook is great for photos and reader contests. It can also be a great place to share your personal life.

PSST! WHISPER EFFECTIVELY: PASSIVE PROMOTION

15. Socialize Outside Your Niche. Make contacts outside your niche. There’s no inherit competition, so it’s easier to discuss challenges freely. Don't spend a lot of your precious time outside your niche though. Do go where your customers are most of the time.

16. Barter. Try bartering for services. How about jewelry repair for photography work? Or babysitting for copywriting?

17. Say Yes to “Great Opportunities.” Yes, that means working for free. When you’re starting out, say yes to everything, even if you shell out some dough. The less glamo. rous projects needn’t go in your portfolio. Investing in the more glamorous projects usually costs less than advertising, and is more effective. When she started, Amy would spend $200 buying flowers just to get her name out there.

18. Share Your Secrets: Barb Blair talked about teaching as way to give back and open doors. When Grace contacted her about writing a DIY column, she was nervous about sharing her secrets. Two months later, magazines and publishers were beating down her door. Now she’s working on a book deal.

BE EXCELLENT. AND DIFFERENT.

19. Do Your Thing Really Well. The best promotion is doing something really well that no one else around you is doing. Emily Newman talked about how Amy Osaba’s fluid, organic approach to floral design sets her work apart from the traditional arrangements, especially in the South.

20. Invent, don’t Copy. Amy stressed being unique is not about following trends. Don’t copy what’s already going on; take inspiration from what you see and give it your own twist.

21. Give Yourself a Good Shake. Grace chimed in that the cutting edge isn’t one thing. Define your own cutting edge. Being in the same place all the time digs creative ruts. Put yourself in situations that shake you to your core. Take a horse-race themed trip to Italy. Come home from Mexico with a color palette no one else is using. (My own tip would be make time for art of all kinds. An afternoon at a museum disturbs your worldview when travel isn’t an option.)

22. Do Fail. Don’t Wallow. Ashley talked about making a really ugly piece of art (“If my mom thinks it’s pretty than it must be horrible!”). Because she was on a project deadline, she had to completely rethink it and make something else on the spot. The whole exercise pushed her to new, fertile ground. So go ahead and suck, but don’t wallow. Just get on with trying something new.