Not-so-daily bits and pieces about my art, stuff for sale, and every day epiphanies

Promotion, location, location…(and a lot of extra side dialog) February 18, 2008

The old saying goes, “Location, location, location!”, but when you’re talking internet sales, it’s not all about the location. Sure, having your website easily found is one big hurdle jumped, but there’s so much more to advertising your work on the web, whether you’re a glass artist, painter, pattern designer, seamstress, graphic artist, or any other kind of artist (I could go on here- I know so many talented artists! Bookmakers, altered book artists, found object artists, metalsmiths, you name it!).

What do I do to promote my beads (and now paintings)? I hate to say it, but I’m horribly lazy when it comes to promotion. The easiest, really, though I hate to admit it, is listing on eBay. I have always considered the listing and ending fees, and even the PayPal fees, an advertising cost. Considering the fact that about 80% of my sales are completed through eBay, it’s effective. Second front of advertising is direct email through my newsletter. Every time I list auctions or Etsy items, I send out an email to buyers and browsers that have subscribed to my email list. I try to keep it down to no more than 2 a week so they don’t get sick of seeing me 🙂 Third, I’ve joined the Glass Haven’s Etsy Street Team to get more exposure and help other glass artists get the exposure we need. Later, we’re hoping to take out small ads in leading bead magazines to draw more buyers.

I won’t spam other blogs with my listings, but I will post here and there a comment, and I’ve noticed some of my blog clicks coming from other blogs (some totally unrelated to beads or jewelry). My blog currently has pretty low traffic, but any traffic is good traffic! 🙂

I really should do more in the self-promotion field, especially since I want to migrate more towards Etsy and my website for sales, but until funds pick up, print advertising is a no-go. What else could I do to advertise?

  • a small ad or two in bead magazines (Beadwork, JustBeads, Bead & Button, Jewelry Artist, etc.)
  • post more often (or at all!) in my eBay discussion groups- I get behind in these because of my antisocial tendencies, so going back to post that I have listings feels like spam. Not a good feeling.
  • send in submissions of my work to aforementioned bead magazines. If accepted, that’s wonderful free advertising!
  • post in my blog more often, and promote the *blog* as well as my website and auctions
  • join a banner exchange for jewelry designers (I hate to say that the top 10 lists seem a little skewed, and this only seems to work if you have the traffic to begin with- I’ve seen people post that their banner is almost at the top, would you please go click it to raise it in the listings?, etc, which doesn’t seem productive to me, just… Yay, my banner’s at the top, not that any buyers actually clicked on it, but I have lots of friends… hmmm)
  • have promotional contests- comment on my blog and I’ll chose one a week at random to receive a bead, or a percentage off of purchases. I’ll have to think on that one. This smacks of ‘give me free stuff, not that I’d buy your beads’, and I can’t say I haven’t joined a contest just for the free stuff with no intention of ever purchasing from a company.
  • wear my own work as jewelry. For the most part, I only wear the same 6 rings, my Brighid’s cross, and the necklace hubby gave me for Valentine’s day. I should wear my own beads- bracelets, earrings, etc. I have commented on people’s jewelry, and hopefully they would comment on mine and I could launch into full diatribe about how I made it, designed it… yes, that sounds really… er… I should instead just say thank you and hand them a card with my website 🙂
  • drop cards at local boutiques, and bring in samples of finished jewelry. Yeah, I have time to make up finished stuff, eh? Not! LOL There is a local (I say local, they’re 15 miles away) bead store that I went into when I *really* needed some sterling silver wire and Swarkies… I was treated so rudely and the prices were so outlandish (I’m talking 75 cents for a single 6mm crystal Swarkie) that I left my bead tray on the counter and walked out, but not before telling the owner that I was appalled at her service and prices, and pretty much told her she’d never have the pleasure of selling my most incredible, insanely gorgeous, well crafted, detail oriented lampwork beads. So there.
  • show at craft shows. We do have a lot of these in the area, within a 50 mile radius or so. The only problem with this is that I have a hard time collecting backstock. I tend to sell continuously (because face it, I need the money now) instead of holding onto things to sell at shows.
  • be better with MY service. Ship faster, send little promotional goodies, pretty packaging. Right now I seal the beads into a pouch of bubble wrap with an impulse sealer (if you’re looking for one, Harbor Freight has a GREAT 12 inch sealer- I love it). I could add organza bags or ribbons, buy boxes, etc. I do always include a business card- unless it’s a serial buyer who I know is getting tired of getting them 😀 I spend a lot of time at Vistaprint getting magnets, calendars, etc. Etsy has GREAT promo people (see users kittycrossbones, pixelmade, sassycat, or just search for ‘promo’ on Etsy!) who will make buttons, magnets, coasters, mirrors, little matchbook notepads, with your graphic. They’re faboo, and I need to get more.

So, with all that said, there’s so much that you can do to promote your online and brick and mortar sales. I just need to prioritize! Do I need an ad, or 5 more skeins of that gorgeous wool? Hrmmmm…

I’ll be posting more later- new auctions are going up and I want to show off my new painting, too! 😀