HOW AND WHERE TO ADVERTISE YOUR HANDMADE GOODS WEBSITE TO THE MAINSTREAM MARKET: AN OVERVIEW
Recently, a member of my network, Free Craft Marketing Network, brought up a valid question that deserves a complicated answer. 🙂
So, as Etsy sellers (or sellers of ANY handmade goods on a website), we need to figure out HOW and WHERE to market our small niche to the MAINSTREAM Market (like eBay, Kaboodle and Novica do).
They are all free to list. eCrater won’t charge for ANYTHING, plus they’re backed by Google Checkout and Google Shopping Results. Absolute Arts charges a small percentage of each sale, (can’t remember what), and LinnCreek charges a mere 4% of each sale. I have made DOUBLE and TRIPLE the sales at these places than I’ve made at Etsy, believe it or not! Check them out, as they are a more mainstream and a less artisan to artisan market.
A TWIST ON BUSINESS CARDS AND BROCHURES:
Also, I’ve nearly DOUBLED my sales by selling at craft shows every month and passing out my business card with each purchase. I make my own business cards with Free business card making software… http://www.newfreedownloads.com/find/business-card.html
This navigated the customers to my sites. Also, make EXTRA cards to pass to your family members to give out for you. Let them proudly wear a piece or two of yours when they plan to attend a special occasion or even to work (I made tons of sales from my sister wearing my jewelry at work. With each sale, I gave her a small percentage and I kept the rest). Another marketing solution is to get a family member, friend or freelancer to be a sales rep for your small jewelry business. A jewelry sales rep is a traveling sales person who carries several independent lines of jewelry that he or she markets to various boutiques and galleries. The sales rep is paid a commission by the jewelry designer of between 10% to 20% of the wholesale price. For example, if a bracelet sells for a retail price of $100, the store pays $50.00 for the item. Out of that $50.00 you pay the rep $7.50, assuming a commission rate of 15%. This saves you time and money as you continue to focus on your jewelry making locally and won’t have to worry about traveling expenses.
www.LinkRefferal.com provides a free link exchange service and it has helped me bring in more hits to my webpages. More hits means more traffic and popularity, which means MORE potential customers.
I would also seriously consider making your own brochures and leaving them at local libraries, spas, schools, churches, Art Galleries, bookstores, cafes, other jewelry stores and any other high-traffic community establishments. I always get sales from those. I made my brochures with free brochure making software, too.
CAPTURE A MAINSTREAM MARKET WITH MAINSTREAM ADVERTISING:
Another thing I do is advertise my jewelry website in the newspaper, highly popular magazines (Lucky, Shop, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour). Include a special code for those who see your website in the paper so that they can get a special offer on your website when they make a purchase. Although it gets pricey, it DOES end up in sales!! I would do one at a time. There is limited space, so you will pay well in advance for a spot. I usually pay in advance for more than two consecutive spots. I can only afford to do this during the holidays, but it is well worth the effort and money!
Another thing to do is host jewelry (or Handcrafted Goods) parties (have your friends and family invite their friends and coworkers) and include your website address on your invitations and hand out business cards to those who show up. Award the people who show up special web coupons where they can get discounts for their first purchases from your website.
And another idea is, join your local Chamber of Commerce and advertise at all their events (or as many as you can) using your business cards, flyers, brochures and models wearing your pieces! This is a way to DIRECTLY target your specific niche market, while leaving the door open to the mainstream market, since the Chamber of Commerce always ADVERTISES their events on TELEVISION!
And, while you ARE on Etsy, Artfire, and other niche handmade artisan networks, consider selling your jewelry patterns of finished pieces! Some admiring Etsy sellers will want to purchase a pattern or kit of a finished piece that they’ve been ogling for some time. It’s a FREE and near effortless way to financially benefit from your Etsy shop.
Another neat idea: Use YOUTUBE to your advantage! They are FREE and you can create a PowerPoint presentation of the “Grand Re-Opening” of your shop. Let the watcher know of your “Fresh” and “New” and “Low Price” one of a kind pieces! Include lovely photos of you most beautiful pieces, and ALWAYS include your website URL!!! This will generate a lot more traffic to your site with very little effort. With this, you can advertise to millions of people for free.
If you don’t have PowerPoint, download it FREE, HERE you get a 60 day free trial. OR, just go for a FREE ALTERNATIVE at ZoHo.com
I also HIGHLY recommend that you submit quality, content-rich articles to various FREE writing platforms and blogs, like:
http://Blogs.eBay.com (great idea–sell AND market at the same time!)
http://blogger.com (the MOST lenient blog for shameless self-promotion!)
All the above FREE writing/blogging platforms have built-in plug ins and do all the SEO work for you!
Plus, an ESSENTIAL marketing tactic is off-site SEO factors. Off-site SEO factors means links to your site. This is probably the most grueling and most time consuming effort you will have to make, because you need to get related sites to link to you. These are called “BackLinks”. Make sure your site is ready and is content-rich enough that other sites will want to link to you. Check other similar sites’ link pages to get more links (http://Indiepublic.com, etsy.com, http://Craftster.org and http://CraftBuddy.com are great places to start with endless links of fellow artisans who are more than eager to trade links if you just ask!).
Make sure you have your target keywords in your link information… WordTracker provides free Targeted Keyword assistance to help you accomplish this. Network with others and exchange links for FREE. **(ahem! Link with me! Message me for a free link exchange!)** The more sites that link to you, the more popular your site will be to web crawlers (search engines)!! Be SURE to link to as MANY quality sites as possible to get your Search Engine ranking up and your shop’s visibility optimal!
ALSO (VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!): There is a unique way in which you can build additional inbound links, free of charge, on your own free time. By simply commenting on other individual and company blogs, you may be able to create additional backlinks to your own site. Using a very simple approach to commenting, you can obtain a valued reputation in your own business niche and, in the process, use the blog sites as a way to boost the back links to your site.
Also, check out the competition….who are the highly popular Jewelry sites, for example?
The “mainstream” ones that statistically are doing well are:
http://WalMart.com (YUP, that’s right, Walmart!)
(Source: http://http://seekingalpha.com/article/58232-online-jewelry-competition-in… )
The common denominator with the above businesses is that they ALL claim to be “Cheap”, “Lowest Priced”, “Overstocked” or “Bargains”……Hmmm….what does this tell us?
The “handmade/Artisan” Indie shops that are popular on the search engines are:
What I noticed about the majority of shops above had in common is that MOST of them advertise with google adwords. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the Etsy shops are at the bottom of the list? That’s because they were the NOT at the TOP of the Search Engine listings. But the GOOD NEWS is that they WERE ranked extremely high and we can learn something from that. What we can learn is that IT IS POSSIBLE TO RANK HIGH IN THE SEARCH ENGINE LISTS AS AN ETSY SHOP!
The MOST popular Artisan Jewelry/Goods sites that are advertised to the mainstream public are:
I didn’t even see Etsy on the front page of ANY of my searches for “handmade jewelry” (except on the right-hand side with the Google Adwords ads)! Etsy shops didn’t show up until the 14th and 15th pages!! Etsy just isn’t as SEO-friendly as the other more popular sites (likd eBay), unfortunately (although I am noticing improvements on a daily basis!). But, you can use SEO tools to MAKE YOUR Etsy page SEO-friendly!
Check out the following FREE SEO tools for your website:
Think of a solid Online marketing plan. What do the pros do to market jewelry and goods online? They focus on:
1) Search Engines ( http://DMOZ.org , http://yahoo.coom , http://gimpsy.com , http://www.dogpile.com/ , http://LiveSearch.com )
2) Web Portals (Etsy, ArtFire, eCrater, eBay, Facebook, Digg, Blogger, Twitter )
3) Affiliates (Friends, Family, Hired Freelancer)
4) e-Mail Programs ( http://iContact.com/Email_Advertising )
5) Pay-Per-Click Ads ( http://adwords.google.com , http://www.targetwebvisitors.com/ , http://PositionTech.com , http://Business.com )
I recommend http://WordTracker.com to help you check your keywords to market to the right targets!
So ARE you marketing to the right targets?
You don’t want to market diamond rings to college students.
MAKE SURE to Find out what sells the MOST and if you think you can conform to it, then get to making it:
In 2004, Blue Nile reached 2.7 percent market share of the estimated $4.7 billion U.S. engagement ring market.
…the engagement market in the U.K. alone is a little over $900 million in U.S. dollars. So it’s about a fifth a size of the U.S. market.
(Quotes from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)
Go to http://http://seekingalpha.com to research the market and find what sells most!
ALSO: Color Marketing is a practical, free way to attract customers. If you are marketing a website, it’s a good idea to know which colors to display most. For example, Red, the color of Danger, is a good color for the Car Industry. What’s your color?
According to Precision Intermedia, the leading authority in “Color Psychology” in marketing, these colors evoke the following emotions in the minds of our customers (as Polled).
Psychology of Color: Black
Black is the color of authority and power, stability and strength. It is also the color associated with intelligence (doctorate in black robe; black horn rimmed glasses, etc.) Black clothes make people appear thinner. It’s a somber color sometimes associated with evil (the cowboy in the black hat was almost always the “bad guy”). In the western hemisphere black is associated with grieving. Black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions; it is easy to overwhelm people with too much black.
Psychology of Color: White
For most of the world this is the color associated with purity (wedding dresses); cleanliness (doctors in white coats) and the safety of bright light (things go bump in the night … not the bright sunshine!). It is also used to project the absence of color, or neutrality. In some eastern parts of the world, white is associated with mourning. White associated with creativity (white boards, blank slates). It is a compression of all the colors in the color spectrum.
Psychology of Color: Gray
Gray is most associated with the practical, timeless, middle-of-the-road, solid things in life. Too much gray leads to feeling mostly nothing; but a bit of gray will add that rock solid feeling to your product. Some shades of gray are associated with old age, death, taxes, depression or a lost sense of direction. Silver is an off-shoot of gray and often associated with giving a helping hand, strong character (sterling in-fact!).
Psychology of Color: Red
If you want to draw attention, use red. It is often where the eye looks first. Red is the color of energy. It’s associated with movement and excitement. People surrounded by red find their heart beating a little faster and often report feeling a bit out of breath. It’s absolute the wrong color for a baby’s room but perfect to get people excited. Wearing red clothes will make you appear a bit heavier and certainly more noticeable. (Some studies show red cars get more tickets but that maybe because the red car owners drive faster or the ticket giver notices the movement of the red car more prominently). Red is not a good color to over use but using a spot of red in just the right place is smart in some cases (one red accent in a otherwise neutral room draws the eye; a red tie with a navy blue suit and white shirts adds just the right amount of energy to draw the eye (no wonder it’s the “uniform of the day” at the seats of government). Red is the symbol of life (red blooded life!) and, for this reason, it’s the color worn by brides in China. Red is used at holidays that are about love and giving (red roses, Valentines hearts, Christmas, etc.) but the true color of love is pink. Pink is the most calming of all colors — often our most dangerous criminals are housed in pink cells as studies show that color drains the energy and calms aggression. Think of pink as the color of romance, love, and gentle feelings, to be in the pink is to be soothed.
Psychology of Color: Blue
Ask people their favorite color and a clear majority will say blue. Much of the world is blue (skies, seas). Seeing the color blue actually causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming; but that isn’t true of all shades of blue. Some shades (or too much blue) can send a cold and uncaring message. Many bedrooms are blue because it’s calm, restful color. Over the ages blue has become associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom and loyalty (note how many uniforms are blue). People tend to be more productive in a blue room because they are calm and focused on the task at hand. Some studies are showing that weight lifters can lift more weight in a blue gym – in fact, nearly all sports are enhanced in blue surroundings.
Psychology of Color: Green
The color of growth, nature, and money. A calming color also that’s very pleasing to the senses. Dark forest green is associated with terms like conservative, masculine and wealth. Hospitals use light green rooms because they too are found to be calming to patients. It is also the color associated with envy, good luck, generosity and fertility. It is the traditional color of peace, harmony, comfortable nurturing, support and well paced energy.
Psychology of Color: Yellow
Cheerful yellow the color of the sun, associated with laughter, happiness and good times. A person surrounded by yellow feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more serotonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It is the color associated with optimism but be careful with yellow, when intense, it is the color of flames and studies show babies cry more in (bright) yellow rooms and tempers flare more around that color too. It has the power to speed up our metabolism and bring out some creative thoughts (legal tablets are yellow for good reason!). Yellow can be quickly overpowering if over-used, but used sparingly in the just the right place it can be an effective tool in marketing to greater sales. Some shades of yellow are associated with cowardice; but the more golden shades with the promise of better times.
Psychology of Color: Orange
The most flamboyant color on the planet! It’s the color tied most this fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth and organic products. It is also associated with ambition. There is nothing even remotely calm associated with this color. Orange is associated with a new dawn in attitude.
Psychology of Color: Purple
What color were the robes of kings and queens? Yes, they were purple, our most royal color that is associated with wealth, prosperity, rich sophistication. This color stimulates the brain activity used in problem solving. However, when overused in a common setting it is associated with putting on airs and being artificial/ Use purple most carefully to lend an air of mystery, wisdom, and respect. Young adolescent girls are most likely to select nearly all shades of purple as their favorite color.
Psychology of Color: Brown
This color is most associated with reliability, stability, and friendship. More are more likely to select this as their favorite color. It’s the color of the earth itself “terra firma” and what could represent stability better. It too is associated with things being natural or organic. Caution however, for in India it is the color of mourning.
For MORE marketing tips and tricks, visit my Free Craft Marketing Network http://FreeCraftMarketing.ning.com
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