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nmstationerydesigns
03-06-2009, 11:34 AM
Can I ask when you started your business how you went about advertising/marketing etc - what worked best ?

Thank you x

AnnieAnna
04-06-2009, 11:43 AM
I made stuff for my family, then myself, flashed it about, got asked to make stuff for friends, then friends of friends, then a table, then a stall, then advertised in sp -ecial - ist magazines and websites. I grew like Topsy.
Annie

Tell me about it! I'm banging my head against a brick wall!
I've flashed stuff, I've given it away, I've gone to Annie's customers, I've flyered, I've tabled, I've stalled.
I'd probably be happier if I wasn't haunted by hurricanes and mired in mud ;)
It's taken a whole year to break even (but I do have a stall worth of stock :D)
Anna

I know what the difference is.
Annie listens to what her customers lack and tries to fill their gaps.
Anna is trying to flog stuff people don't really need. It's fun, it's nice, but they don't NEED it.

AnnieAnna

sparkysdad
04-06-2009, 12:21 PM
Hi Nicki, unfortunately there's no simple answer to how to market/advertise.. so many factors are variable.

With a card company, one issue you have is that your product is far more of an impulse buy - very few people buy cards far in advance of an event perhaps with the exception of Christmas.. so there is little compulsion to buy a card "now".. so your marketing and advertising would probably be most effective as a profile raising exercise rather than a direct "advert= immediate sales".

For profile raising to be successful you need to do little but often.. keep drip feeding your product to folk then when they need a card, you hopefully will be their first port of call.

One thing I would suggest you do is to encourage visitors to your site to register their contact details - maybe offer discounts as an incentive, or a modest prize draw.. then you start to establish a mailing list of folk you can email with regular "news" of new designs, reminders for events like Mothers day and so on..

You might also look in to offering a loyalty scheme of some description - a bonus for referring a new customer, or a discount on future purchases.. these things are low cost - you reduce your profits slightly if they are taken up, but there is no cash outlay, and no cost unless you sell something.

I would also read up on how to write a good press release, and start sending them to local papers.. most struggle to find decent local news (how often have you read "pensioner finds missing keyring after 30 years" type stories! ;);)) you may not get a result, but it is a low cost approach, and however small the story, you will probably get some custom.. if you do manage to get coverage by a paper, make sure you offer an incentive to the readers - 10% discont for example.. you need them to read about you, and register.. if they dont buy immediately, you need to be able to message them regularly!.

nmstationerydesigns
05-06-2009, 09:44 AM
Hi Nicki, unfortunately there's no simple answer to how to market/advertise.. so many factors are variable.

With a card company, one issue you have is that your product is far more of an impulse buy - very few people buy cards far in advance of an event perhaps with the exception of Christmas.. so there is little compulsion to buy a card "now".. so your marketing and advertising would probably be most effective as a profile raising exercise rather than a direct "advert= immediate sales".

For profile raising to be successful you need to do little but often.. keep drip feeding your product to folk then when they need a card, you hopefully will be their first port of call.

One thing I would suggest you do is to encourage visitors to your site to register their contact details - maybe offer discounts as an incentive, or a modest prize draw.. then you start to establish a mailing list of folk you can email with regular "news" of new designs, reminders for events like Mothers day and so on..

You might also look in to offering a loyalty scheme of some description - a bonus for referring a new customer, or a discount on future purchases.. these things are low cost - you reduce your profits slightly if they are taken up, but there is no cash outlay, and no cost unless you sell something.

I would also read up on how to write a good press release, and start sending them to local papers.. most struggle to find decent local news (how often have you read "pensioner finds missing keyring after 30 years" type stories! ;);)) you may not get a result, but it is a low cost approach, and however small the story, you will probably get some custom.. if you do manage to get coverage by a paper, make sure you offer an incentive to the readers - 10% discont for example.. you need them to read about you, and register.. if they dont buy immediately, you need to be able to message them regularly!.
thanks thats fab really good ideas there. x

nmstationerydesigns
05-06-2009, 09:58 AM
I made stuff for my family, then myself, flashed it about, got asked to make stuff for friends, then friends of friends, then a table, then a stall, then advertised in sp -ecial - ist magazines and websites. I grew like Topsy.
Annie

Tell me about it! I'm banging my head against a brick wall!
I've flashed stuff, I've given it away, I've gone to Annie's customers, I've flyered, I've tabled, I've stalled.
I'd probably be happier if I wasn't haunted by hurricanes and mired in mud ;)
It's taken a whole year to break even (but I do have a stall worth of stock :D)
Anna

I know what the difference is.
Annie listens to what her customers lack and tries to fill their gaps.
Anna is trying to flog stuff people don't really need. It's fun, it's nice, but they don't NEED it.

AnnieAnna
this really confused me but I got what you meant :D xx

Andrew_Berry
17-06-2009, 10:36 PM
Try approaching you local newspaper and write them a press release about your business.

Perhaps donate a prize for a competition?

AnnieAnna
17-06-2009, 11:02 PM
The confused thing - sorry......
there are two me s.
Annie runs a reproduction C16th accessories business. Very niche. I know my customers. I listen to them moaning and try to provide what they can't get in the modern world. Sucess!
The other me -Anna - has started a new business selling handmade stuff from South America. I thought it would be easy and it ain't.
I'd just come back from a music festival waist deep in mud and had been quipping away on another thread about the hurricane that blew the roof off the stage. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.
But the sun came out and I've made 4 profit now! :D so not a complete failure.

I was trying to say that what works for one thing doesn't necessarily work for another.

AnnieAnna