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Business Bits - Marketing

Monday, March 22, 2010

Topic: Marketing - Mobilizing the Troops

A few weeks ago I wrote a bit about pre-marketing (read it here) ...to me, that means cultivating your story (your message, style, purpose...) because before your name gets out there, you've got to have a meaning to your name! Now that we've got started on that, we can hone in a bit on marketing, seemingly the topic du jour for small craft businesses & Etsy folk. If I can remind ourselves first of the definition a marketing we'll be on our way:

Definition: (according to the American Marketing Association) Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Notice it's an activity & process for communication. Advertising is just a piece of that process. That's where Twittering & Blogs & Facebook & such come in. But Whoa Nelly! Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves......

Image Credit: Paisley in Paris

I think before we even approach social media & how to get your name out there we need to focus a little bit on the basics. Like your marketing department. In all likelihood that means you. You are probably your marketing department. So before you can really tweet a tweet or blog a blog take a look around your department.

What have you got already? Who can you enlist in your PR campaign? How can you use the resources currently at your fingertips?

I'm talking about word of mouth. Your own private marketing militia....

I think it's sometimes easy to jump ahead & say, "What can Twitter do for me?" or "Let's see how many sales I can get from this Facebook thingy." (which, I might add- are probably a backwards way of approaching social media....) Anyhow, look around & here's what you might see:

* friends: keeping in mind appropriate boundaries & such....your friends can be amazing marketers! I've found that adorning friends with my items can get the ball rolling- makes me happy to create things for them & I can't even possibly count the number of new buyers I've made from people who say, "I'm a friend of Suzy & I saw the awesome card case she had, I want one too...."

*family: same goes for family (of course, you really want to maintain appropriate boundaries here- don't want ma & pa to feel pressured to push your goods) but I think being up front with my family & saying, "hey here's the deal. I was a teacher. Now I want to be home with my son. So I'm trying to make this thing work. I'd love your support." wow, good things can come from that.

*spouses/partners: my husband has helped me forge amazing relationships with a few of his colleagues. One gal is my ultimate loyal customer. I mean ultimate.

*mom's groups: my current mother's club has a section in our online forum for postings & bits of promo- nervously I put myself out there & have had wonderful support since....not just as new customers but as support from one mum to another.

* community & church groups: no need to be an annoying salesperson, but sometimes just answering the question, "So, what do you do?" honestly can lead to wonderful leads....

* cultivating current online relationships: how can you better connect & collaborate with people you have already met & gotten to know? I'm excited to be strengthening relationships with a few other Etsy sellers in terms of my adding to my blog, introducing new products, & cross promoting.

*open up: ever want to have your own store? like your own actual shop? open up to friends, family & neighbors with what you do by hosting an open studio (read my experience here ) share your techniques & products while getting to know more people. this created a fantastic buzz.

* no brainers: carry those business cards! I can't count how many times I foolishly was without business cards, even once when I met an established crafty icon....so embarrassed about that one. Also, use your own products! What a dunce I felt like when so many moms were excited to see my items & at the next club outing I used an old HM bag. Must've answered, "No, I didn't make this one" a dozen times & the gals lost interest. Doh!

Ok, well that's just a list to get us started. Hope it was a bit of food for thought....Please add your tips for cultivating your marketing militia!

Further reading:
Excerpts from Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point: http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/tp_excerpt2.html {admittedly, I feel his writing is a wee bit redundant but it's worth perusing}

Seth Godin's post on Word of Mouth: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/04/the_mechanics_o.html

Made to Stick: Book & excerpt on author's blog- http://heathbrothers.com/madetostick/

3 comments :

Pili said...

Once again, amazing bits of advice!
This really is a great series!

http://abebedorespgondufo.blogs.sapo.pt/ said...

Good.

Allisa Jacobs said...

so glad it's helpful, sometimes it's easy to overlook the obvious....