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  • how do you market yourself

    i was wondering if any of you talented people could help me, iv been making models for years, run a small art shop (owned by my mum) do classes etc but im sick of being told that im wasted where i am, im crap at marketing myself i have no idea where to start, iv got a web site but no idea how to get people to it etc, can any of you give me tips as to where to begin in marketing this kind of stuff? thanks guys
    www.topofthecake.co.uk Bespoke Cake Toppers, for when you want Extraordinary Cake Toppers at only ordinary prices
    www.behindthemagicdoor.co.uk

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/...8767556&ref=ts

  • #2
    I think marketing is a skill that you have to learn like anything else.

    There are some really good books on the subject, something which I think people often overlook - also lots of good websites on the subject.

    You also have to decide what type of marketing do you want to do? Paid marketing or what you can get for free?

    Paid marketing is relatively easy - there are many ways to purchase advertising and it makes sense to think to yourself "where would my customers look?"

    If you are selling finished jewellery, there is little point in advertising in a bead magazine say, but a fashion magazine might be worthwhile. Likewise for wedding cake toppers, you need to think where brides hang out!

    Free advertising can be harder to get - sometimes magazines will feature your product and so on in their editorial if you send in press releases about your work. You need to learn to write a good press release though (again, most marketing books or websites will teach you how to do this).

    However, more and more these days, anything and everything writen in magazines you need to pay for. So they don't really contain editorial, so much as advertorial and you usually have to pay or strike a deal such as offering free gifts for a reader competition etc.

    Just participating in forums is a great idea. But again, you need to be where the potential customers are, not the other people making stuff. (Not that I want you to leave here, just add other internet places to your daily visits too maybe!)

    Using online selling venues like Etsy can be good marketing as well as giving potential sales. Blogging, facebook etc - anywhere you can waffle on about yourself and what you make! It all pays off eventually as the people out there looking for the stuff you make are far more likely to find you online if you are actually PRESENT online, talking about your product!

    You should also keep a mailing list and let interested potential customers sign up.

    If you are selling wedding toppers, even consider taking a table at a wedding fair to promote your work and get your order book filled up.

    There really are a lot of things you can do - just the trouble with marketing is you don't always see immediate results and that can make people give up trying. But over time, it will pay off.

    My number one advice on marketing though is to simply read up about the subject. Because marketing techniques tend to be broadly similar whatever the product or service you are trying to promote.
    Emma
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
    www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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    • #3
      Put your web site and any shops you have in your signature for starters. Surprising how much business and publicity even something that small can bring in. There are loads of free indexes on the web as well. Even yellow pages have a freebie you can subscribe to. It all helps to get your name out there. Word of mouth is useful so are the social networks. On your website make sure that you have it wll tagged with relevant meta tags so it comes up when people Google. The advice given by Emma is excellent but, if you are like me, a born non salesman it can seem daunting at first but just do everything you can to get your name and brand in the public domain.

      pet
      "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
      Facebook

      Website

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      • #4
        thanks for the replies there are some really useful tips there and i will defo be putting them into practice, I am definatly a born non salesman im rubbish at that sort of thing and often feel stupid and embarrassed about my stuff like im harrassing people, its lovely to be with like minded people like yourselves where i can waffle polymer all day but your right Emma i need to visit some other sites too and think about where customers would be, you guys are lovely and very helpful
        www.topofthecake.co.uk Bespoke Cake Toppers, for when you want Extraordinary Cake Toppers at only ordinary prices
        www.behindthemagicdoor.co.uk

        http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/...8767556&ref=ts

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        • #5
          I've been surprised by the number of hits that I've received just by being on this forum. Try listing ontop50crafters, this is a free listing directory


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          • #6
            the best advice for marketing yourself these days is social media, build up a fan base, tell your story, let people into your world. a good place to start is facebook, find someone who is in the same market as you and has got a good reputation ion facebook, see what they have done and dont copy them just put your own stamp on it.

            then explore:
            digg
            twitter
            stumbleupon

            even start your own blog, about how you make your art.

            number one rule is not to push your product just welcome people into your world.

            have fun!!!

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            • #7
              A dead easy and quick and free thing you could do now - if you already aren't:
              make a colourful eyecatching poster and get it up in your shop window.

              I'm not sure this helps as I think most customers will bin it but churn out pretty business cards and pop one in each bag of stuff your shop custumers buy.
              The thing that catches my eye better is a cataloguey type leaflet. I'll sit down and look at that when having a cup of coffee. If you are going down that road it needs updating regulary. I find it incredibly annoying to get the same catalogue over and over again but remember sitting down with my kids (eon's ago when flyers were produced on roneos) and pouring over the latest Wargame figures (a two man band in those days, now a chain) and Tumi gifts (I suspect they started like me bringing stuff over from South America in a suitcase. I suspect they are now filling containerfuls.)

              Then it wouldn't hurt to bop around your local fairs. More to get known and make connections than to sell anything. I have a couple of symbiotic relationships with people (who have now become friends). Eg I get an order for a historical costume. If my order book is creaking, I pass that task on to my DIL or her friend. I supply the decoration and bits. I call in another friend for the hat and another for the shoes. So that's 4 of us benefitting from the one order but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't chatted for hours to my 'friends' first.

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              • #8
                Wow! So much great advice. It really is a tricky thing to get right.

                Emma has provided an awful lot for me to think about, thank you for such a useful reply

                This area is one of my weaknesses too. My brain goes to mush and I get a bit flustered and panic that I can't do everything. Then I end up doing nothing at all!

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                • #9
                  im a bit like that Cath, i just want to do everything at once then get disheartened that i cant and end up doing very little, i did have a good idea today tho, iv been making cards in work as samples but people have been asking to buy them, so iv started making duplictes to sell and thought ooo why dont i stick my website on the back, then anyone who buys them has the chance o look at it as does the recipiant, thats got to be a good idea right?
                  www.topofthecake.co.uk Bespoke Cake Toppers, for when you want Extraordinary Cake Toppers at only ordinary prices
                  www.behindthemagicdoor.co.uk

                  http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/...8767556&ref=ts

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know you should really kick yourself up the bottom and publicise yourself but if it really turns you to jelly there is another way.
                    You need to talk to anybody and everybody and make friends and find someone who's more gobby and bouncy that you. Someone who is already selling but has a weakness that you can fill.
                    Eg they are making stuff but can't make enough to fill a stall. Or they can't afford the pitch prices. You then suggest an offer they'd be mad to refuse.
                    So one of my friends offered me their stuff sale or return, another paid for half a pitch and I sold her stuff for her, another hates selling (I've just clinched a 'big' order for him).
                    AnnieAnna

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nomilou-miniatures View Post
                      i was wondering if any of you talented people could help me, iv been making models for years, run a small art shop (owned by my mum) do classes etc but im sick of being told that im wasted where i am, im crap at marketing myself i have no idea where to start, iv got a web site but no idea how to get people to it etc, can any of you give me tips as to where to begin in marketing this kind of stuff? thanks guys
                      Can we see your website? Stick it in your signature, don't be shy!
                      I'm finding Flickr is a great place to get your stuff out there and seen by people. It's not directly selling to anybody so you won't feel like you're being pushy, but there are Flickr groups set up for almost everything so lots of like-minded people and people that are actively searching for whatever speciality subject the group is about will get to see your work
                      You've got good photos in your album here. http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?q=ooak+clay+dolls There you go, make an account!
                      Maybe don't even think of it as marketing, selling & definitely not harrassing! You are just showing people what you do and giving them a way to get in touch with you (with a link in your profile) if they like what they see!
                      http://www.kookizu.com
                      Jewellery & Accessories

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Kookizu thats a good idea too, i think (hope) iv added my website link to my sig now, has it worked?
                        www.topofthecake.co.uk Bespoke Cake Toppers, for when you want Extraordinary Cake Toppers at only ordinary prices
                        www.behindthemagicdoor.co.uk

                        http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/...8767556&ref=ts

                        Comment

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