A recent Shop Talk Friday reviewed Project Wonderful, but there are other ways to promote your shop and work to the public online.
Online Advertising Options
Google’s AdWords is an advertising program where you create ads that appear when people search Google, and you can set spending limits, such as a daily budget of five dollars and a maximum cost of ten cents for each click on your ad. Google provides keyword traffic/cost estimates, keyword guidelines for choosing effective keywords, and you only pay per click, and not per display.
The companion to this program, Google AdSense, is for websites which would like to display advertisements, and it can also be a good option for entrepreneurs who would like to also generate revenue.
Yahoo Search Marketing is a program that is very similar to Google’s, allowing you to set your limits, pay per click only, etc. To give you an idea, 2.3 BILLION searches occur on Yahoo every month. Yahoo also provides support, ad testing, keyword guidelines, and more.
Magpie - Here you pay per view, but this is also set up on a similar keyword model. You can target fairly specifically here, and click-through rates tend to be much higher than with traditional banner ads.
Non-Traditional Sources for Promotion
Flickr - Don’t sell off of this photo site, use it to show. Show off new work, work-in-progress, or sold items to give people a feel for your product line. This is a great, easy way to build a network of interested people. Tweet about your postings.
My Etsy Book – This is super easy and can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Like a virtual portfolio or mini, only far more detailed, this is a great widget and you can customize it. You don’t have to use their templates, and can upload pictures, or use plain background colors, as well as move and remove elements.
Forums - Most forums have a promotional thread where you can promote your work, website, shop, or latest coupon or sale. A good one to try is the Crafting and Business Help Community, which is a new forum, but already full of great information and resources. ETT has our own private board there as well.
Handmade Pledge - This is one way to access a huge number of handmade and Etsy lovers, many of whom have provided a link/URL or email address. Use this list for networking and for connecting with others who love what you love.
RSS Feeds - This is a GREAT way to provide customers who are interested with your new products/blog posts/website and shop updates, and more. First, find your feed - usually you will find a small button at the top of your webpage on your tool bar that looks like a small, square orange box. If you click on that, it will take you to a link that looks like this one from my shop:
Copy the link, then go to www.widgetbox.com (use the basic, free package) and create a widget that will allow people to sign up to receive your RSS feeds when you update your shop. It’s easy, you don’t have to worry about being labeled as spam, and people can choose to be updated.
Additional Stores - places like Artfire, 1000 Markets, Ebay, and personal websites all provide additional promotional opportunities to promote yourself and your work, for a minimal cost.
The one important thing to remember when using any of these opportunities, or any that you find through your own research is to have specific goals in mind that are achievable and targeted to what you want to accomplish. Sometimes that will be generating traffic for a sale or special promotion, sometimes it will be increasing awareness of your shop, and other times it will be to introduce a new product.
Resources:Programmable Web is an excellent resource for widgets, etc, with links and details.
Handmade Marketing is an excellent and extensive source of great, usable resources, ideas, and links.
Homework for this week: Spend some time on handmademarketing.org investigating opportunities, or if you don’t think you are ready for that, sit down with paper and a pen and come up with three objectives (goals) for your shop. Make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and have a Timeframe) so that you can determine when and how to meet them, and then begin looking into ways to make those happen.
Next Week’s Shop Talk Friday will be covering wholesaling, so stay tuned!