I took one year of marketing when I was in High School, traveled to the DECA competitions and even made it to nationals for a business plan I’d written up for my family’s dairy farm. With that tid bit of information, I’d also like to say I’m not a marketing guru. But… this is what I do know.
If you have a product that your selling, you want to try to sell it through as many venues as possible. Why? The more you expose your product to the public and become seen, the more your potential customers are going to start recognizing your brand and your product. If you’re an author you want your book on as many store and virtual shelves as possible. Hungry readers out there are going to pick up your book and tell their friends who love to read too why they need to go buy your book too.
It’s the same way with you artist and craftsmen out there. Artist travel to galleries for showings. Authors stop by bookstores for signings and schools for assemblies. Craftsmen journey to craft shows…. See where I’m coming from? However, these are all physical places that we can be to show off what we’re selling and let the public know who we are and get to know us and our brand.
Yeah, that brand thing is kind of important. It’s like back in the old west when cattlemen took a hot iron to the backsides of their cattle so anyone else on the range would know were they came from. You just weren’t eating steak that night, you were eating Bonaza steak! And that’s what we’ve developed today with all our other products. Your just not just reading a blog, your reading Susan Lower’s blog. You didn’t just buy a new purse, you got a Vera Bradley. See what I mean? Even Van Gough had it going on and just never knew it. I guess it helps to become popular while your alive.
And, of course, today we have an advantage that Van Gough never had…. websites and virtual shops.
Now here is a question for you to ponder. With the raise in internet shopping and the easy of one click check out, is it worth it to a enterpeuner, such as yourself, who hand produces their products, to manage multiple venues online to sell their craft?
Let’s face it, if you’re an author or even an indie author, your book goes live on Amazon.com and other online book stores and your hardest job is trying to find someone to go to those venues to purchase it. You have to build excitement and interest for people to buy your book. As an author, I must say this is not a bad thing. It takes a lot of time and effort to connect with our readers and create compelling novels that have your readers coming back for more.
I’m also a craftsman (woman) ,too, like some of you reading this post today. I know that your heart and soul is in every piece of jewelry, pottery, and other types of workmanship that you’re putting up for sell. Many of you, this is more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life. It’s your passion, and one day you want to quit your day job and do this full-time. So…. do you set up multiple venues to sell your workmanship or do you focus on one website like an author focuses on a new release?
Out of my own personal experience the past few years of selling hand bound books online, here’s what I’ve found to have worked for me. Please note, this is my personal experience and it may or may not apply to your type of workmanship and product.
There are three main places to sell on-line: etsy, artfire, and ebay.
Here is my recommendation.
If you’re creating one of a kind pieces, stick to one venue. There is always that one percent chance that if you stick that one piece on multiple online shops that you could sell it twice at the same time and leave one customer disappointed because it’s no longer available.
If you are able to duplicate your product (such as an art print, book, bowl, etc) then by all means list your product in as many venues as possible. The more places you list your product the more exposure you get to shoppers.
However, there is always a downside with multiple venues, and we’ll talk about that next Tuesday!
In the mean time, I’d love to hear from you. Are you selling in multiple venues?
For the month of September, anyone who leaves a comment will get their name put in a bowl. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the bowl twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention me (in good way of course) on Face book or Twitter…you get your name in the bowl THREE times.
And what do you win?
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of your etsy or artfire shop (one – not both) or blog, which ever you choose.
If you are selected as winner, you have one week to contact me with your shop or blog address for critique. Your critique will then be posted here as blog post on the last Tuesday of the month. (ex. you’re chosen in Sept, your critique is posted the end of October)
At the end of September I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!