Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting A Jump Start on 2011- Marketing Ideas For Your Small Business Part 3

(Continued from Part 2)

(Click here to read Part 1)

Welcome back to the continuing series on creative ways to market your online boutiques in 2011! I have been working this week on my shop samples that I will be giving away this year and have created a TON of mini sushi magnets with my biz card & coupons! I am very excited on how they turned out and will be sampling them all year- including this blog. So far we have only just scratched the surface on how we can inexpensively promote our small businesses. We all have unique and personal shops, our best strengths are in our abilities to connect with our customers. So with that thought here are a few more ideas for you!

16. For your very best customers who give you the most repeat business send them something out of the blue
I have been blessed with connecting to several really great customers during 2010. I was so thrilled when I would see them in my PayPal inbox more than once. These people are your core business. They represent who your key market really is for your product. From mini cakes to in my case mini sushi- every shop should be looking at these people carefully. Where do they live? How old are they?  What feedback have you gotten from them? Are they men or women? Are they telling you it is for a gift? This is VITAL information for you to use when designing, pricing, packaging and writing your descriptions. Imagine your customers are around 50-60. You certainly would not use trendy language or slang or funky photos, you would probably use simpler clear photography that is more tasteful and refined, perhaps shorter product descriptions and specifics on details such as size and colors. This information you can only get from your customers. Reward your best ones with a surprise gift basket, t-shirt or small gift and give them several business cards to pass out to friends. Can't afford to do that? Then just send a thank you note to them with a coupon and some biz cards. Referrals and word of mouth from these people are GOLD! Treat them like the special people they are.

17. Do public demonstration of your products and the creative process
I LOVE this idea- just get out there and be seen in your community! Many communities have festivals all though the year. Buy a small booth and sell your products in a new way. If you sell food items, give out samples. If you sculpt- bring some clay and small tools and give demonstrations on how you make a simple item that you like to make. People will find you so interesting and what to take home a piece to remind them of the fun they had. It doesn't have to be a craft fair- in fact be different. Where I live we have a scarecrow fest in the fall- many shops have sidewalk sales, people rent tents and there are rides. Look to you community to see what is going on in your area during 2011 and make an effort to be a part of it. You may gain customers, exposure and press- along with meeting some fun new people in your area!

18.  Create sell sheets
The sell sheet is all about your products and services. The sell sheet typically describes one product or service or a series of familiar ones. Here you want to take your best photography you can and list all the benefits, it's description and all other improtant information about the product. Be sure to include you company contact info and the price or sale price. Designing doesn't have to be a chore, try Microsoft publisher or other inexpensive design software. I like to create sheets for the items I have multiples of. I find having a few fun items I can produce many of has really helped my small business. If I have a customer buy a similar item I will print and include a sell sheet in their package before I ship it out. I also ALWAYS include a packing slip and a busines card along with a small sample or thank you gift. This has gotten me some of my return customers as well! If you can, you may also what to consider creating a brochure to add as well. This may require some more time to design so make sure you include products that reflect the core of your business and that you can make more of- OR - try making a special brochure just of your OOKS! Anything extra you can stick in your shipping box to keep the customer looking at your items, thinking about your shop or remind them of it at a later time is in your favor. Don't forget that!

Well today we have covered a lot dealing manly with our lovely customers! I have met some really awesome people last year and I am just so excited to have people live with the creations and art I make. What we do is special, it comes from our heart and has a story. Part of your job as an artist and business owner is to share that with your customers! Well I hope everyone has a great week and I will be back soon with more tips to help you market your small business this year!

Posted by Susan of the Alla Prima Art Mall. Owner of Jade Dumpling on Etsy, The Garden District on Etsy, and Global Jewelry Bazaar on Etsy.  Susan has an MBA and is an instructor in both art and business where she teaches marketing, SEO & SEM, and other small business classes. 


  1. Thanks For Sharing.....
    Nice Small Business Ideas and Tips Shared by you...............
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  2. Nice blog. I had fun reading this. And it is easy to understand. Nice going.

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