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    Hi All

    Right I am determined that this year is going to be the year I get my photo cards up and running (I do say that every year!) my kids will both be at school by next September so if I can get myself established that would be great.

    I dont do that many stalls as I have two kids and feel guilty if every weekend I went off and set up a stall and left my husband to have them, thats not really fair and not very family orientated!

    So its advertising and hoping that the big world of the web will come to my rescue or would it be the paper advertising thats the question. I have looked through some of the past threads and have established that quite a few people use Folksy and Etsy and then you have Twitter/Facebook/Ebay and so on but there have been quite a few of you saying that your sales have been pretty slow or none at all? I would have thought that my product of Farm Greeting cards would be for the age range of 40+ and women.
    I was looking at a national magazine like Country Living as its Outdoor and Arty in some way. I then came to a stop when I found out that it would cost over £200!! and would never cover my costs and would have to sell loads of cards and its only for one month. I am just thinking of where to start and if there are any paper advertising which anyone has used which has come to some success or do you just stick with the WEB?

    Any comments/thoughts would be good
    Summer is here at last and Tesco have their Tins of Sweets ready for Christmas how mad is that!!
    All the best

  • #2
    A good way to advertise in a big magazine (free of charge) is to get your product reviewed in a suitable article or featured on a 'what's new this month' type of page.
    It would cost you a few cards that you would need to send to the appropriate person at the magazine.

    Your cards are really beautiful.

    Have you thought of self-promotion through your local newspaper?
    Our local newspaper welcomes small paragraphs with a photo or two about enterprising people and what they're up to. (You don't get paid for your contribution, but you don't get charged either! And it's good advertising.)

    Can I suggest that you check out your website - some (not all) of the links take too long to download and online customers are not terribly patient with slow page changes. It could cost you business.
    Last edited by rosiepinkStudio; 02-09-2011, 06:16 PM.
    Annie and Lyn


    • #3
      What about your local tourist information/council. Here in N.Ireland my local council have given me publicity and opportunities I could have never paid for. Also how about sale or return in a local gift shop? A Card party coming up to christmas, or a workshop, unfortunately most of my ideas seem to involve a wee bit of time and effort. The idea of the magazine review is a good one.
      Jan x

      [email protected]


      • #4
        Just wanted to say I love your cards. Maybe you could try contacting local National Trust or Wildlife Trust. They sometimes have visitor centres and shops and I think they're both getting quite keen on using local suppliers. Maybe a direct approach to them with a sale or return offer until proven?

        I hope you don't mind me saying though that the postage costs put me off a little. I think if I wanted to buy a card and then had to pay £2.50 postage that makes 1 card almost £5. At that price I think the occasional buyer of your cards isn't going to be your target audience. I would stock to local craft shops and supplies that you can go in and see. But then, what wouldi know -I've been making bags since xmas and have yet to sell any, so maybe you're better of taking advice from others!


        • #5
          Hi Liz
          I absolutely love your cards - have bookmarked your site to give myself time for a proper look at leisure
          I imagine you'd do really well at agricultural shows - do they still have lots in your area? we are lucky up here that they are still important parts of the local life.

          Do you have local farm shops that would maybe stock your cards?

          Good luck,
          CatkinJane - Handmade Material Things



          • #6
            Forget paying for magazine adverts, I have found them to be a complete waste of money:-(

            If you are in a rural area have you tried Farm Shops?

            Twitter JUSTSOAPS
            Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties


            • #7
              Many thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment and give me feed back. All of your comments have been taken on board. I was just thinking the other day about postage cost and yes I will reduce these, I was trying to assume that most people would purchase say 10 cards so that will only put 25pence on each card which was not too bad? I will make a smaller bracket for say 1-5 cards and add 50p on if that seems better?

              I kept on trying my pictures and found that they did open quickly as I made them the size which I was informed about as I had them smaller and then got the feedback that they were too small and the detail was lost in the image Humm not sure which way to go on that one.

              I did have a stall at my village fete a year ago and the photographer from the local paper said how she liked my cards and would not an article on me. I have chased her and chased her up about this for over a year now and no reply!!

              One thing I am really rubbish at an that is having the bottle to just walk into a shop and say would you like to stock some of my cards, the card market is very full and trying to compete on price is hard. I sell my cards at £1.30 for trade as I make them to order (is this too expensive?) I know that most places wish to make over 100% mark up on products.

              So may be that's my half way through new years resolution to have the front to approach people. I dont mind giving free cards away, I have done this quite a lot to try and approach people so I will do this as well and sent a lot to farm shops etc.

              Thanks again to you all


              • #8
                I think 1.30 is a good price for a handmade card xxx
                Lucy Moseley Moseley's Giftware
                Twitter: http://!/lucy_moseley


                • #9
                  Hello Liz - I've just re-visited your site and all the links are lovely and quick. I can only think that at the time I tried them earlier there were 'gremlins' around !

                  If a shop wants to put 100% mark up, then £1.30 is a good price. The card shops in this area would charge £2.50 - £2.99 for a good card.

                  I think the idea about the local National Trust and Wildlife Trust is a good one, as is the one for Farm Shops, and if people can just pick up and buy your cards easily, then postage is not there to add to their cost.
                  Annie and Lyn


                  • #10
                    One thing I am really rubbish at an that is having the bottle to just walk into a shop and say would you like to stock some of my cards, the card market is very full and trying to compete on price is hard. I sell my cards at £1.30 for trade as I make them to order (is this too expensive?) I know that most places wish to make over 100% mark up on products.

                    I know how you feel. I find that kind of thing really difficult too -but my husband keeps telling me the worst thing is they can say no. I think we both need to get a confidence boost and give it a go. I'm sure it's like anything else and it gets easier with practice. I plan to have a try with some local shops once i can get a midweek day off - I want to avoid weekends 'cos I think shops will be too busy to want to spend the time.

                    Good luck and let me know how you get on.


                    • #11
                      A bit of an aside really gonna make any christmassy ones? I'm a bit fanatical about pigs (i'm hopefully going to get some in a woodland i manage next year and can't wait to see them go on the land(the day job!))and would definitely buy some piggy Xmas cards. (not quite sure how you'd do it -I imagine it would be quite a challenge to get a pig wrapped up in tinsel!)


                      • #12
                        Hi Liz,

                        I have been establishing a sideline doing portraits for the last few years and have encountered ALL the problems you've described! Gone down the routes of advertising in Country Life (good response, but wipes out so much of the profit) and leaving flyers in shops and that kind of thing, online advertising, you name it.

                        Anyway, I wanted to say two things that might help - firstly, if you take out any magazine advertising at all (maybe when you got more established) don't ever pay the price they initially offer you! I did at first, not being good at haggling or being pushy and not realising what a state the advertising market is currently in. But after my first ad came out I was INUNDATED by calls from other magazines trying to get my custom. This told me something - they are desperate and will give you much better prices if you ask! For instance, you can get Country Living well below £200 if you tell them you simply can't afford what they quote you.
                        However - this is still a lot of money I know! But you can haggle with cheaper magazines too. They are quite used to it and have a lot of flexibility in the prices they are able to charge you. I found eventually I could sometimes get them to half their first offer.

                        The other suggestion was in how to be more confident in approaching shops. It is really hard to walk in with a bunch of cards and ask them on the spot to consider stocking you, I'm sure most people would agree! I have a friend who also makes and sells cards, but instead of showing them cards in the shop, she'll walk in and introduce herself, and then ask if they can give her the email address for the shop so she can send through examples of her stock complete with prices, etc. She finds this much easier than touting her wares in person!

                        Hope that might help a bit, but all the best - I think the cards are really, really good quality work and that many upmarket shops would be happy to stock them. Certainly I'd email National Trust retail as there's barely an NT property without a large shop and your cards would be ideal!
                        Good luck!
                        Pencil portraits and children's portraits from photos


                        • #13
                          hey ya,

                          i too am at that advertising cross roads! again i have a facebook/twitter/foksy etc but so far no joy! i am also trying out manual exchange sites (you look at peoples sites and they look at yours) we do get a few hits from them but i think its mainly people just clicking though!

                          i was going to try going down the local paper route in the not too distant future! see if that generates any traffic.

                          what i was once told is to identify your target market, work out where they shop both online and off, work out where they hang about and then flyer them there! should be interesting?!?

                          hope you work it out ok! its a tough one x



                          • #14
                            I have a sign at the raodside which brings a few punters in and also have leaflets in various places such as visitor centres, a holiday caravan park, a holiday chalet park and various other tourist attractions. I have tried newspaper advertising and but it is very expensive. As for magazines they are eye wateringly expensive. Sometimes they will feature you for free. I have been in yellow pages but they attract the wrong sort of enquiries. As for face book, blogging etc I think you will only attract alegion of fellow crafters who will maybe waste a lot of you time and may copy your ideas. I think a strong website or etsy type shop with plenty of interesting inventory will do wonders and keep you busy.


                            • #15
                              Kids Back to school this week!!, so after I have caught up with everything else I will look on the web and get cracking with sending samples off to Farm Shops and Village shops, Change my postage prices and try and crack on with the dreaded face to face selling!! AHHHH

                              With regards to the National Trust I once heard that they prefer to use pictures of animals which are on their grounds I think but will find this out.

                              I may also give Country Living a go and enquire to see if they will drop there price??

                              Many thanks again to you all and I will let you know the results!!
                              All the best
                              Last edited by farmonacard; 04-09-2011, 07:48 PM.