Post and Pray vs. Post and Promote
Published July 17, 2012
Oftentimes, artisans believe that their job is done once they complete an item and place it online for sale. The thought is that someone will eventually encounter their treasured item and then place an order for it along with some other items that may also be for sale. While this does happen, it’s becoming far less common than in the past due to the rising popularity and ease of selling online.
Today, your products are getting lost among tens of thousands of other artisans and designers who are all competing for the same customers. Look no further than Etsy for proof. While they may have thousands of customers searching for something unique at any given moment, they are also searching through hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of items. The odds that a customer stumbles onto your item suddenly becomes much smaller as a result.
How do you solve this? Sadly, there is no easy miracle answer, but with some additional hard work, it can be done. The answer is through promotion. You have to find ways to get your products in front of as many people as possible in order to find that elusive buyer (or buyers). In the past, advertisers used to spend a lot of money to catch your attention. Proctor and Gamble spends several billion dollars each year to promote their products. Today, however, you can reach just as many people for mere pennies and even free. The secret is through social media.
For instance, if you do not have a blog, create one. Write about your craft and how you are influenced in your designs. If you’re on Facebook, promote your items to your circle of friends and their friends. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about your latest creations. Get the buzz going, ask people to share your news.
If you’re really ambitious, create a series of YouTube videos describing your product and the process of your items are made. Participate in related discussions on other people’s blogs or even LinkedIn discussion groups - each time leaving a link to your store (be sure to do it in a polite and non spammy way). Soon, after a lot of time and patience, you will start reaching out to more and more potential customers and hopefully generating more sales as a result.