Thursday, April 23, 2009
Promotion is key to sales for online businesses. If you are selling on a platform like Artfire or Etsy, you can't always rely on the random browser to find you shop and fall in love with your items.
So what does the novice online seller do to promote his or her business?
Many people will first start promoting their businesses on social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter or Plurk.
This is a great step to get started promoting your business. It is free (who doesn't like free). The downside is that it is time consuming to update and maintain pages and keep people in the loop to what new items you have, sales, etc.
Never fear, there is a new program to help update all your social networking sites at once. Presently it is in beta and still working on improvements but it looks promising.
Ping has a dashboard where you can control your networks, updates on various accounts. Go check it out, it may make your life a little more simplier!
Another venue businesses utilize for effective promotion is a blog. There are many different venues you can blog on from Blogger, Typepad, Xanga or you can set up your own domain name for blogging. Blogs provide an avenue for you to spotlight your own work, promote yourself and other shops, advertise sales or giveaways. You can mix business with personal and add information from your life. Play around with what works to see how you can get more traffic to your blog. One thing that is a must if you sell on Artfire or Etsy is having your mini shop or Rapid Cart on your blog.
Promotion also come in the form of advertisements online. My prefence for online advertising is paying pennies a day for ads on different sites that publish through Project Wonderful. For more tips for online ads, please see my previous blog for getting started with Project Wondeful.
Artfire and Etsy also have teams or guilds that you can belong to that can help advance your business through group promotion. If you haven't already, check out the guilds on those handmade venues to see what activites they are doing to promote.
There are several online sites that are all about promoting the handmade community.
Have you checked out Stumbled Upon where people can randomly be sent to your shop? It is useful!
Some more free ways to advertise:
•Your email signature
•Leaving blog comments- sign with your website link
•Have an online portfolio with photos of your items- use flickr or photobucket
•Leave your business cards at restaurants, places in town that you could see your item sold at
•Upload your photos and turn them into a music video for blogs, you tube and other promotional venues by using www.onetruemedia.com
•Are you putting business cards in with products for every order?
•Clickable signature links to your shop for posting in forums.
Do you have any more suggestions for promoting your venue? Tell us what works for you!