Free friday - question
This Free friday's question is from Mieske. She has send me a cute little package with postcards and the following thing she wanted to know:
I have a great product (in this case christmas postcards) but how to promote and sell it?
Well, this is your first promotion, a blog feature! This is a powerful thing, as lots of people see it and might hop over to your website. It's always great if someone writes about your work but how to achieve this?
Don't send people something with the only goal: feature my stuff, this feels a bit cheap. Make sure you have a reason (like with this free friday question) or just send a cute goodie to tell them how much you like their work. It's very likely they'll post about your little snail mail. Make sure though, you are sincere, don't go tell people you like their work just so yours is featured.
I've send Sandra Juto a costumized portrait pin (with her portrait of course) once to tell her how much she inspires me. When she told about this on her blog, lots of people clicked the link and since then I have a lot more followers (and people who visite my shop), even though this wasn't my first intention.
Some other advise is to blog yourself, and by that I also mean blog about others (and make sure you link to them). Let them know when you've blogged about their work so they can link to you on their blog (but don't ask them to). After all, what you give is what you get!
Another good thing to do is just to mail shops (real or email) about your product, this is always permitted in this direct way (in contrast to blog features) as they are a shop and might want your product. Be nice about their shop (show that you know what they sell and that you not just send your 'please-sell-my-stuff-message' to every random shop) and ask friendly if they'd be interested in selling your product (if so, you can send them your wholesale and retail prices, don't forget tax and shipping info).
Make sure you direct your mail to the person who handles wholesale and such (not 'sir/madame' or 'hello', this makes it very impersonal) and include one good picture (in case of email) of your product in low resolution (72-100 dpi).
Etsy is a great way to sell your products too. Not only is it easy and very cheap (they only charge 20 dollarcent per listed item and 3,5% of your selling price of every sold item) but also great fun! The Etsy community is very large which means: lots of potential buyers and heaps of tutorials, help and fun stuff, even meetings and markets. The trick is to make sure your shop stands out. Choose a name wisely (also pronounceable in english). For more info on opening a online Etsy shop, see here.
Be aware of the fact that people don't only buy your product but your brand. If they like what you stand for, the feel and who you are, they are more likely to buy from you, as by doing so they buy your style. This means that when you pack your orders, always make sure you add a little something. This could be a personal note, an extra product or do a great giftwrap. Always include a business card or something else that shows your name and website. And, very important: be friendly and helpful in your communication!
Last but not least, it helps to email (with one good picture in low resolution) your product to magazines. Investigate a bit on what mag might be interested in your product (kids products are not so likely to be featured in a magazine about science, unless you make science kits for kids). Same rules here as with mail to shops, direct it to the right person and be friendly.
Ps. 101 Woonideeen (a lovely dutch interior design magazine) has a christmas-card-countdown every year. You can send them your christmas card and they might include it on their blog with your link! Be quick though as it closed on november 29th. For more info, see here.
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