In this series, we ask the SASsy Mentors for their "words of wisdom" about a specific topic. This month, we asked Bob from BirchCreekLeather, CrochetGal and Lisa from EnergyShop for quick tips about marketing your shop and things you can do in just a few minutes a day.
- Go offline. Being involved with your local artisan guild does have its benefits as a great place to discuss the business of running your own business as well as exchanging ideas, venues and potential customers. Many people think that because their business has an online platform that everything must be done online and they forget about some of the 'old fashioned' methods.
- Friends and family don't have to be buyers but if they are aware of what you are doing, you will find that word of mouth advertizing can go a long way. Give them a few of your business cards to carry around too!
- With just a few minutes a day, you can grow and build a Pinterest board that represents what your shop is about. This can include inspiration, products, customer appreciation, and quotes. Lisa hosts bi-monthly "Repin-It-To-Win-It" contests on her board, featuring some of her most popular products. The customers love this, it grows the popularity of the board and helps promote those items. Here's an example: pinterest.com/energyshop/energy-shop-and-inspiration/
- Make sure your shop url is in your email signature and signatures in other forum posts, ie. "Visit my shop at <url>". (Make sure that the forum you are posting in allows ads.) Make your posts thoughtful and engaged with the topic (not self promotion) and people will want to learn more about who you are and what you do.
- Tweets, Facebook posts, and blogging about your shop 24/7 is not effective. Each of these venues should have a minimum of 75% interesting related content and less than 25% shop promotion in order to hold people's attention. No one wants to watch a TV channel that is 100% commercials. Draw people in with really compelling information and you will keep them around to see what you are promoting. (What is interesting related content? Try things like tutorials, behind the scenes photos, news or articles about your media or field, "how it's made", the ancient art form vs modern and so on.)
- Wear it, use it, live it. If you are using your soap, wearing your jewelry or carrying one of your handbags you have an easy way to start a conversation about what you do and show your passion about it.