Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Business Chat - Holiday bootcamp, get the word out!

In our holiday preparations so far we have worked out our inventory list, spiffied up our booth display, gone over our online shop and ordered our holiday packaging. Now it’s time to let the world know that the holiday shopping season is here and that you are ready! It’s time to market and advertise your work.

Here at the Business Chat, we’re fond of wearing hats. Today we’ll put on 3 hats. First there’s our Marketing Hat, second our Advertising Hat, third our Sales Hat.

Marketing is what you do to get a customer to knock on your door. It informs a customer of who you are and what your product is.
Advertising is the method you use to publicly acquaint your customers with your product in order to get them to buy what your business is offering.
Sales are when you knock on a customer’s door.

When wearing our marketing hat we create the message we want people to know about our work. The question you have to answer here is “what do you make?” This is really important during a holiday season when all your competition is screaming loudly trying to get their message out. You need a crystal clear message in order to rise above the noise. The following will help you define your message:

Once you have your message it’s time to switch hats. Advertising takes the marketing message and gets it out to the public. You can pay for ads in places like blogs or facebook or you can use social media. Me, I’m not paying for ads.

A total old-school but very effective way to advertise your work is to wear it. NEVER leave the house without wearing jewelry (and do NOT wear any jewelry other than your own) and carrying your business card. A good idea is to carry a small flier with your show list on it. When the cashier at the supermarket comments on how nice your necklace is, hand her a business card and a flier. Seriously. Do it. It works.

Of course you should always advertise to your own mailing list. People on your mailing list are already committed fans, by letting them know about holiday shows or special items in your online store you will make sales. They like you. They want to buy. Send them directions on how to buy in your newsletter (and newsletter part 2 here).

For those without a mailing list and a newsletter rush immediately to your To Do list and write “create a newsletter” and “start a mailing list” on it.

Your blog is another place to create awareness of your holiday sales. Next is your Facebook business page and then there’s twitter. Here’s a list of ideas for how to advertise using these channels:

  • List your upcoming shows

  • Post pictures of new work

  • Talk about the new work, get excited

  • Tell your readers what is so fabulous about your work, tell them why it makes such a great gift

  • Post pictures of your gift-wrap and tell them about how this feature will save them time

  • Let people know about shipping deadlines

  • Remind people of your upcoming shows

  • Remind them again

  • Suggest items for various people, dad gifts, kid gifts, hostess gifts

  • Let them know when a new item goes into your online store

For those without a facebook business page or a blog rush immediately to your To Do list and write “create a facebook business page” and “start a blog” on it. These are important business tools for success. If you haven’t time to do it properly right now, put these tasks on our 2012 list and start researching how to do them now.

Once you have done your job wearing your Advertising hat, it’s time to put on your Sales hat. You already know how fabulous your work is and why. When the customer is standing in your booth, or sending you’re a question online, tell them all about the jewelry. Tell them why it makes such a great gift. Tell them how you made it. Sell them the work. You already know the story, simply share it. And make that sale.

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