Today's Low-cost, High-impact Marketing Ideas focus on Community Involvement.
For the full list of ideas, organized by category, check out this post.
- You could donate to a fundraiser, chamber of commerce mixer, or grand opening of a local business. Where we live, there always chambers and small businesses who clamour for freebies to giveaway as prizes at local events, put in their silent auction or prize package -- and this usually gets your logo in whatever advertising they have!
- Most public libraries are so community oriented that they would probably be willing to have a poster for your shop or even a display case to show your wares.
- Speaking of libraries, ask them if you can display your items there. My local library has a display. When I first started I asked if I could put some of my prints in their display window. I offered them a commision as an incentive. They let me keep my work in there for a little over a month. That worked for me.
- Teaching & demos. I have had the best luck in reaching folks in the community this way. First, you get free advertising (if you are doing it at a gallery, local arts center, or as part of a group of community ed classes). At the class/demo, I usually have a mailing list sign up sheet, business cards, etc. I just finished an outdoor show last week, two thirds of my last class from a couple of weeks before came to the show. One person actually bought something, had 2 other orders, and some wore their piece they made. If you do this, the show and classes and promote each other. Advertise your classes to people visiting you at the show, then when you have the class/demo, invite them to the show. You can offer discounts for them to attend the other venue.
- I go to little one-woman vintage B&Ms that are struggling, and tell the owners about Etsy. I'd like them to stay in business, too, and what goes around comes around. Someday when I have my B&M I hope someone is so kind to me. Last week I saw a place with $2 aprons. Instead of snatching them up and making a profit off her, I did the "teach a man to fish thing" and asked her if she could use a computer, and yes, and then all about how to set up on Etsy, and how to convo me if she needed help. She's got kids to feed, and I know she can get $8-10 for those on Etsy, and help bring in new customers, too!
- Your local chamber of commerce or local chapter of BNI holds monthly meet and greet meetings and that has probably helped my business more than any other single thing i've done over the years. join in on community projects, etc. to become known in your community....
- I always advertise in local concert playbills, use the "local artist angle" and it brings a lot of business.
- So my best promotions still remain craft fairs and classes taught offline. If you can make those regular, your name, cards and face are out there all the time and you make contacts that come back.
- I am also active in my community. It truly helps to develop relationships with people - they may not purchase from you but they may know someone who will.
- I donated a blanket to my mother's family reunion.
As mentioned in this post, the ideas in this post came from my snippets of ideas saved from Etsy forum posts over the last year. If you provided an idea listed here, please comment and I'll credit the idea to you with a link to your shop, ok?
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