Some threads I have read lately got me thinking, so I ran around the forums and collected information from many threads on what to do to help your shop with sales and with your promoting. All of the info below is from others who have posted tips/tricks/info to help shop sales. I take no credit for anything here and since many people say the same thing I just copied the ones I thought were written the best. - Rainwolf
Without a doubt getting your name out there is one of the biggest and most difficult parts of online selling. Try to get a daily checklist together of things you should do to promote. Just like any other business, an online shop takes time to grow. Be patient and don't give up. This is your dream right?
Questions you need to answer for yourself:
Who are you selling to? Better yet, who are you hoping to sell to? Figure out who your target market is. So you know where to promote.
Start a mailing list
Post to those posts asking for someone to blog about. That gains exposure.
Make a blog and feature someone else in it. That gains exposure for you and another artist.
Have ONE address/site on all business cards, email signatures etc have this address on everything so no one gets confused and its easy to remember. Use your blog/website to promote and link all your venues. Then on every page have prominent links to the primary shops tell people that for more of my items please follow the links. Blogging about yourself and your creations works, but you generally you reach a limit of followers and those who have been following you already know what you have in your shop. By blogging about someone else they bring in new views, followers and buyers. Reply to atleast 3 other bloggers' posts, this gets your blog exposure. Team up with other sellers/guilds/teams to make joint promotions. If your friend makes and sells shoe polish and you sell shoes, join up together and spread the news. Divide up the promotions work and hit twice as many people in the same amount of time it would take you on your own.
The key to promotion is to do it regularly and to put as much effort into it as you do accounting or making an item to sell. Set aside time in your day to promote and work out a structured way of going about it, or you can find it will eat up all your time. Don't spend hours networking on one site and neglect everything else. Keep tabs on your efforts and work out which types of promotion work for you. Everyone is different and some forms of promotion work better for some than others. Focus on what works for you. Change and evolve as you go along or your audience and potential buyers will get bored and not visit your studio/site.
Keep a list of your customers. Send a postcard (no more then twice a year) letting them know you have a sale or that repeat customers have a discount. This reminds them of your store and adds a incentive to shop again.
Small craft fairs are not normally too expensive- and it is a great way to display some of your stuff- pass out business cards and just network, if you don't have a local craft show, try to start one. Word of mouth is the best way to promote. When someone asks you what you do -- instead of saying "homemaker" you should say "I am an artist. I work from home and my work is available at ... " and hand them a business card with your site and email on it. Toot your own horn when you win awards -- write up a news release and send it out.
If business cards are too expensive, make a flyer that you can post at local shops. Grocery stores, gas stations, and other places have bulletin boards for cards and flyers. Make flyer's with pictures of your creations and info about your business on your computer and print them, pass them around your neighbourhood
Send Customers a thank you and a shipping timeline. Its a nice gesture, also makes you stand out from all the other people they might purchase from online (this is a good time to link your shops and ask if they would like to sign-up for your mailing list.)
The rapid cart is likely the truly best display ad since it is also a cash register. you should be putting those up on all your blogs and sites.
One HUGE piece of advice: Do NOT spam other members! When you "write on someones wall" , "comment on their page" or "post in thier thread" talk to them, don't just say something to promote your shop.
Put a link in ALL outgoing email (save it in your signature)
Put a link in your signatures on your forum post, blog post, etc
Put up the Rapid Cart in your blog or website
Pass out business cards to people that you talk to ANYWHERE
Every time you go to a restaurant...leave your buisness card with your tip
Everytime you go to a book store...leave your buisness card on a coffee table
Eveytime you go to a coffee shop... leave a stack of cards at the counter (with permission of course)
Everytime you go to the grocery store...leave your buisness card on the cork board
Everytime you stop at a rest area (even if you live nearby)...leave your card where tourists may find it.
Visit your local florist and see if they would also like a stack of your cards
Make weather proof magnets of your buisness cards and neatly put a bunch on the back of your vehicle with one labled "please take one"
Everytime you leave the house Put some postcards and business cards in your bag and if the opportunity arises, you can put them in shops, the post office, cafes, art stores. Wherever you go.
Stop in and say "Hi!", talk to a few people, then if the timing is good drop a link. DO NOT just post links. That will just irritate people and most likely lose you friends/followers
Add a Artisan or Item--not your own! Not only is it just a nice thing to do, but bringing traffic to the site in general brings traffic to you.
Welcome, compliment, or just say "Hi!" to 2-3 members. If you have photos try to upload a photo a day to your IndiePublic
Write on 2-3 other members' walls/blogs
Join in atleast 1 forum thread, comment on a blog post, and comment on a spotlight. If time permits create a spotlight promoting other sellers
Promotion on a budget articl
Using keywords excessively in your item descriptions is considered by google to be keyword padding. It will get your website blacklisted. (by google). You do need to use relevant keywords in your content. Just make it normal. don't overdo it.
Things like "Blue Morning," "Red River Rock". Giving your items pet names is fine. Just don't do it in your Title tags, leave it for your description area.
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