Black Friday? For the longest time I had no idea what this was... But, with all the hype in the online marketplaces and social networks (like Ning)- how can you miss it? So, as part of my marketing for the holidays series, I thought I would talk about creative ways to get yourself in the ranks (with all the competition, it may be a little tough) for the upcoming Friday Super Shopping Day!
So, if you are a shop owner, sell handmade, artisan crafted, artist, or a combination of many things... You likely are hoping Thursday and Friday this week are going to be BIG SALE days for you! But, how do you get noticed when there are so many competing shops? Well, I did a little research and here are a few tips for you:
1. Offer a sale- that is a given right? But make sure you put this in your title of the product, in your tags for the offer, and make sure that you have an accurate way of immediately offering this sale. What does that mean? Make sure you either reduce the price paid so that the customer does not have to wait for a rebate, or refund. Most shoppers want to see the money immediately. Or utilize coupon codes that automatically deduct the cost, etc.
2. Post your sale info. where the shoppers will be. If you belong to a social network that mostly sellers frequent, or forums for vendors, posting your sales there is just notifying your competition, right? Why out those places that shoppers visit- for example, use some traffic referral sites starting today, do link exchanges today, utilize project wonderful right away.
Tip for Project Wonderful: Post your ads on sites that shoppers frequent! Don't just list your ad on sites or blogs that are targeted for the crafter/vendor/seller. So, for instance, avoid posting your ad on a blog for knitters that give patterns and tips, instead opt for the blog that shows off knitted items for sale. Make sense? and if you have the funds, now is the time to invest in your advertising on project wonderful. The free ads usually only run for one day, but if you bid .01 it will run until someone bids .02- is that clear? I hope I am explaining this correctly. Also, take the extra few minutes and set up a campaign that goes until Sunday- this way you get your busy Thurs. and Fri. shoppers, but also those stragglers that can't get to the computer until Sat or Sunday.
3. If you host a blog- set up direct links to your shop! Use your own platforms as sale banners! Utilize what you have and make the most of it! For example, if you have an artfire shop then you get a free blog with it, also. So, announce your shop sale on your blog and then post the link that goes directly to your shop (newby shoppers may not know how to maneuver around the site and find you), if you are having a sale on specific items, then put your link to Those Items. How do you find the link? Simply click on view store, then click on the sale item, then go to your bar at the top of your web page and right click on the URL to hi-lite it, then copy. Go back to your blog page, place your cursor where you want the link to be, right click again, hit paste- that's all there is to it! (for you advanced computer guru's this may be a little over - explaining, but I really want the new shop owners out there to get the most out of their available opportunities).
4. Take a little time and revise your key words. Now this is a little tricky for some... You really have to think about your selling platform (are you utilizing Etsy? artfire? zibbet? own website? selling on your blog?) and find out how the criteria is fed to google. I recently learned that Etsy shops stand out when they use catchy, descriptive adjectives for their products such as awesome, beautiful, outstanding, fantastic, unique, etc. But, Artfire focuses on the actual descriptive tags like color references, purpose, name, materials so you would go for like red, fiber, multi media, crochet, knitted, etc. Now- this is just THEORY- but, if you are trying to attract the general shopper (not just the shopper seeking out a uniquely crafted HANDMADE product)- you may want to remove the tag- HANDMADE- if you are using it. I know, I can't believe I am saying it... but, if you want someone to actually give your item a chance and check it out before excluding it, you may need to reel those shoppers in and give them the opportunity to browse it first. Many novice online shoppers unfamiliar with the handmade movement may be Leary of purchasing a handmade item at first, but getting them to your shop gives you the opportunity to sell it with your description, history, and feedback scores! Let's say a new shopper does a search for "baby hat", your item description may come up as "handmade, crocheted baby hat in soft blue acrylic" and this shopper may just pass on by and hit the Kohls advertisement. Or with the handmade removed, "Beautiful crochet blue soft acrylic baby hat". That may appeal, they click on your etsy
4. Why not send out an email to your customer list? If you do not have an email program, then this may be the time to invest in one (even if you only keep it for a month or two)- you will have it for the holidays and then the opportunity to send out your sales, holiday information, and new products to previous customers and get a few new ones. A great program (that is free the first month) is VISTA Print. Check out the link below for more information. Also, utilize traffic referral systems during this time. Many offer free email lists, traffic ranks, submission to various search engines, and advertising on various sites. I have listed a few of these for you- but, be very Leary of any paid services or contracts- until you have time to read the fine print- just submit your information and complete the sample email listings for now. That should be enough!
5. Don't forget to take advantage of blog hops, facebook fan pages, link love, etc. These type of activities promote you and you can help a fellow artisan by promoting them. Start by signing up for my facebook fan page below- then get on the discussion tab where it says link love and leave your links. I will promote them! Once you join my fan page, you can also promote yourself on the wall. Just introduce yourself, post your links, and load a photo or two. This page feeds to my website, my blogs, and to all my friends and fans! They in turn may have feeds also, so it goes to their friends and fans... See how quickly it can spread?
6. Finally, Finally, Finally..... To promote and share with all my readers, my blog site, fan page, squidoo lens readers and "rollers" , twitter, and more... I am putting together a Black Friday Super Sale and Giveaway Page! I will post this immediately and update it daily so everyone who may just be getting started with their sale plans has a chance to post their url. It will automatically feed to my twitter, facebook fan page, squidoo lens, plumdrop, merchant circle, LinkedIn, and web site. I will do some random promotions over the next week for the page with the lists and announcements on various traffic submission sites, referrals, exchanges! And everyone entered by Wednesday will have their shop /sale entered in my Super Sale email flyer I will send out! (if you would like to receive a copy, sign up for the email list in the box EMAIL UPDATES box below) In RETURN, all you have to do is promote the list and page by adding a brief post or update with the url linking to: http://mommytymegifts.blogspot.com or grab the button/avatar:
So, GO TO THE COMMENTS SECTION AFTER THIS POST AND : if you are having a SALE, list the SALE INFORMATION and URL. If you are having a giveaway, LIST YOUR GIVEAWAY TITLE and URL. Leave these in the comments below- I have set up the page that announces all of the sales and giveaways at http://mommytymegifts.blogspot.com and it is listed on the front page of my website at http://www.mommytyme.org AND you can find more information at my Facebook Fan Page- and ongoing tweets will be referring the URL from now until Sunday!
So, Only 4 days left to prepare! Get busy, and then list your information here- just one extra way to promote and increase your Holiday Sales this season....
To get a copy of the flyer and to receive ongoing updates from here and the Mommy Tyme Gifts blog:
Sign up in the box at the left column! Orange box stating "Email list"
Join the Fan Page for more promotional opportunities and to see the posts about your sale:
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